Thursday, September 26, 2019


David Lehman is the October poet to participate in Marsh Hawk's "Chapter One" project that shares how poets got their start. You can read his contribution HERE, but here's an excerpt:
At the University of Cincinnati, where I taught as the Elliston Poet in Residence, I was asked what advice I would give to young writers. I looked at the bright, eager faces in the room, and I said — I didn’t know I was going to say this, it was just what I felt at that moment – that they should remember that poetry is not life. That there will come a time when all of them will feel envy and resentment, because they didn’t get the job they deserved, or the award, or the recognition. There is no one is the poetry world who feels he or she has received the recognition they deserve. The question is: How will you deal with the bitterness and resentment? Because those things are the enemies of poetry. Those things are not real — not real in the sense that grief and love are real. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to succumb to competitive envy. And that is why it is important to remember that poetry is not the whole of one’s life, but a part of it, and that we should not put too great a burden on the poetry that we love. Keeping it alive, poetry and the possibility of poetry, is the great thing.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


An invitation from Mary Mackey:

     Harvard has invited me to fly to Cambridge, Mass., to read poems from The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams as part of the Harvard Authors Speakers' Series.
     This invitation, which I think is due in large part to Jaguars winning the 2019 Eric Hoffer Small Press Award, came as a surprise, but--better yet--it comes as a sign of how much Harvard has changed in its attitude toward women since I was an undergraduate.
     In those dark days of Harvard misogyny, women were prohibited from entering Lamont, the undergraduate library, which meant I never got to hear Allen Ginsberg, Robert Frost, or any of the other famous poets who came to Harvard read from their work.
     On Monday, October 21st, at 7:00 PM, I'll be reading from Jaguars at The Harvard Coop (which is what Harvard calls its bookstore). I'll also be talking about the fires raging in the Amazon, since so many of my poems are set there. I plan to  dedicate this reading to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who like me, was turned away when she tried to enter Lamont because she was a woman. Drop by and join me if you're in the neighborhood.

Time: 7:00 PM. Place:The Harvard Coop, 1400 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 01238.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Joan Gelfand reviews Mary Mackey's The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams: Collected Poems 1974-2018 over at Compulsive Reader! You can see the review HERE, but here's an excerpt:
Mackey is a magnificent thinker with broad passions: pagan cultures, literature, anthropology, ecology and history are subject explored in Jaguars. After graduating with her PhD from The University of Michigan in 1970, she arrived in Berkeley, California, and began publishing in earnest. Her first novel, Immersion, was recently re-released. An ecofeminist novel, which takes place in the jungles of Costa Rica, it is a portent of climate change. 
Serious topics such as ecofeminism, history, and ecology might sound dry, but like many magnificent thinkers before her, Mackey is in full possession of a wild and wacky sense of humor that always puts her readers at ease. I’ll also say here that while her mind is magnificent and her interests broad, her work, while stunningly layered, is always accessible.