Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Some quick work with the sharp knife and a pumpkin is now a Jack'o Lantern.
With both girls away this year at college, I get to have first crack at the pumpkin seeds.
Wishing a safe and fun Halloween to all with plenty of treats and no tricks.
Powered By Qumana

Friday, October 27, 2006

MIT Center for Collective Intelligence

Another interesting find today, actually this is the one that lead me to the WE>ME site. MIT has established a Center for Collective Intelligence. From their home page:
While people have talked about collective intelligence for decades, new communication technologies—especially the Internet—now allow huge numbers of people all over the planet to work together in new ways. The recent successes of systems like Google and Wikipedia suggest that the time is now ripe for many more such systems, and the goal of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence is to understand how to take advantage of these possibilities.

Our basic research question is: How can people and computers be connected so that—collectively—they act more intelligently than any individuals, groups, or computers have ever done before?

With its combination of expertise in computer science, brain sciences, and management, MIT is uniquely suited to address this question. We hope this work will lead to new scientific understanding in a variety of disciplines and practical advances in many areas of business and society.
Something to check out!
Powered By Qumana

Self Guided Tour - Stop #15

Originally uploaded by shersteve.
Several years ago, when camping with our friends at Promised Land State Park, PA we visited Conservation Island where there was supposed to be a short self guided tour. When we arrived, there were no more pamphlets to guide us on our way. The markers were still clearly labeled. (This one happens to be in Hopkinton State Park, MA but on the same type of guide nature tour.) We decided to make up our own explanation of what each stop meant rather than leave disappointed.

Not the first time that it was truly a self guided tour in every sense of the meaning (and certainly not the last one for this particular group).

Make your own self guided tour!
Pick out a sign or marker.
Check out your surroundings from that central point of reference.
Connect two or three things that you can see with a reason for how they came to be just so for that day.
You won't be too far off from the truth.

Now go make your way!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Screencast: Call for Blog Actors

Beth Kanter is looking for help. If you use any of the tools she is looking for and you happen to be a non-profit blogger that is a bonus.

I'm researching for a screencast that I will shoot over the next few weeks on the topic of widgets that can be used for your blog to enable conversation or support nonprofit programs.  I'm looking for widgets that can easily add any of the following features:

  • Integrating calendar or  events info on your blog
  • Publishing tag clouds, links from socialbookmarking, etc on your blog
  • Publishing other folks content via RSS feeds on your blog
  • Live chat on your blog
  • Voicemail on your blog
  • Share what you're feeds your reading
  • Commenting
  • Giving money

So, if you work in the nonprofit sector or nonprofit technology sector and have a blog that uses any of the above widgets or even ones I have mentioned and want to be featured in my next screencast, please leave a comment here.  I'm particulary interested in typepad widgets, but blogger, wordpress, and others are okay.

Check out Beth's Blog and drop her an email.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Second Life in the News

I shared Beth Kanter's posting on her participation in a Second Life event on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog, a new adventure into a networked learning community. The posting has generated some conversation. Since then, I have found an article in Wired on how to get started in Second Life and an article in today's Globe about Second Life passing the million mark in user participation. Clearly Second Life is a "hot" thing to do on the web.
Having read the Wired article while at the doctor's office, I am less anxious to go there. Maybe just because I don't have the time it would take to do so. There is so much to do and so little time anyway. But that's me.
Will you go explore Second Life?
What will your avatar look like?
Will you recreate yourself or "improve" yourself in Second Life?
Powered By Qumana

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Anticipation rising again. Conference call today at 6:00 PM.
No, it is not for work. The JJLN core is getting together.
Saturday afternoon, sun setting, breeze still blowing, leaves falling.
Paul Simon sings "If the asnwer is infinite light, why do we sleep in the dark?" in his new song, "How can you live in the Northeast?"
and Rosa asks:
I am often struck these days about the speed of these advancements, wishing I had a personal, knows-it-all web-savvy guru seated at my side to walk me through everything, and then throw me overboard into it, while he/she floats nearby with a life preserver at the ready should I need it. Then, mere seconds later, I wonder, how much do we really need to know?

How much do we really need to know?

Enough to make our way.

Where are we going?

Ah, that is another story. We are going forward and will end up where we need to be.

Powered By Qumana

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Early Morning Rumi - Sunday Morning, Main Stage

Sunday morning, Main Stage, Robert Bly and Coleman Barks for "Early Morning Rumi". They were accompanied by David Dahling (cello), Steve Gorn (flutes) and Glen Velez (percussion).
"When it is cold and raining..."
"You are the wished for song..."
"Dance, dance..."
"When you are broken open.."
"This night extends into eternity..."
I had started capturing the first lines. Rumi poetry does not usually have a title. I gave up shortly after starting because it was too difficult to determine when either Robert or Coleman were not talking in their voice (normal intro speech) and starting to talk the poem. I decided just to sit back and enjoy it and make some notes on key points.
I had posted pictures of this session earlier .
Technorati Tags : , , , , ,
Powered By Qumana

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Main Stage - Saturday evening - "How is the truth to be said?"

The Main Stage on Saturday evening at the Dodge Poetry Festival was a special set of readings by the 21 "name" poets centered on the theme "How is the truth to be said?". This question is a line from a Gwendolyn Brooks poem "The Mother ". reproduced here to help set the context for the poems that were then read in the following order. The poets were asked to keep to about fine minutes and to do one of their poems in response to the theme. If they also could do another poet's work, in response, then that would be welcome too.

The only trouble with this process is that two poems for some of the poets can not be spoken within five minutes so the time schedule was off. In an attempt to catch up, they had the break as scheduled but cut one of the music interlude sessions. The order of the poets to read apparently had some scheme to it, although it was not apparent to us in the audience and made for some interesting contrasts. I'll comment on those that occurred as we progress along the readings.

As with earlier sessions, sometimes the poet would announce the title of the poem, sometimes they would not. And sometimes if they did, I missed it. If there are errors that are found, please let me know. I will be happy to make the correction. There is also a working assumption that if they did say the title and I did catch it, that I have also spelled it correctly. In a few cases, I have been able to go back to the poet's book in my possession and verify the poem title. Unfortunately, my library does not include all of the works this august body of poets. I have also attempted to check the internet but the archive of poetry there is still scarce. Ironically (or fortunately) the Dodge Foundation in taping and recording these session will ultimately be the best source of the corrections when they put their collection on line.

Gwendolyn Brooks: The Mother
Abortions will not let you forget.
You remember the children you got that you did not get,
The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair,
The singers and workers that never handled the air.
You will never neglect or beat
Them, or silence or buy with a sweet.
You will never wind up the sucking-thumb
Or scuttle off ghosts that come.
You will never leave them, controlling your luscious sigh,
Return for a snack of them, with gobbling mother-eye.

I have heard in the voices of the wind the voices of my dim killed
I have contracted. I have eased
My dim dears at the breasts they could never suck.
I have said, Sweets, if I sinned, if I seized
Your luck
And your lives from your unfinished reach,
If I stole your births and your names,
Your straight baby tears and your games,
Your stilted or lovely loves, your tumults, your marriages, aches,
and your deaths,
If I poisoned the beginnings of your breaths,
Believe that even in my deliberateness I was not deliberate.
Though why should I whine,
Whine that the crime was other than mine?--
Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made.
But that too, I am afraid,
Is faulty: oh, what shall I say, how is the truth to be said?
You were born, you had body, you died.
It is just that you never giggled or planned or cried.

Believe me, I loved you all.
Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved, I loved you

From A Street in Bronzeville by Gwendolyn Brooks, published by Harper & Brothers. © 1945 by Gwendolyn Brooks.

"How is the truth to be said?"

Coleman Barks - "Loosing it"

Linda Gregg - "Pay attention", then "It goes away"

Ekiwah Adler Belendez - "Possibly Nelson", then"My heart box apple"

Linda Hogan - "Naming the animals"

Brian Turner - a Wilfred Own poem (title not captured), then "Katyusha rockets"

Toi Derricotte - an Audrey Lord letter, then "Tender"

Tony Hoagland - a Bruce Wizell poem "No matter what", then "Love"

Taslima Nasreen - the story of her mother's death, then "Elegy for my mother"

Kurtis Lamkin - the story of his brother as a closet poet, "Old Sancphia", then "Royal language"

Robert Bly - Robert Creeley's poem "My friend John", then "Stealing sugar from the castle"

Lucille Clifton - read Gwendolyn Brook's "The Mother ", then "The lost baby poem"


Steve Katz on cello for a musical interlude

Taha Mohammed Ali (with Peter Cole) - "kid goats of Junea"

Sekou Sundiata - a Lucille Clifton poem "Lucifer, understanding at last"

Linda Pastan - Elizabeth Bishop poem "One art", then "Tourist at Ellis Island"

Anne Waldman - "married", then William Blake's "Garden of Love" which lead into "Rogue State"
Anne is of the Howl school of poets. She is a performance artist. She can howl for long lines with out catching her breath. It is quite amazing. Some wonder if it is poetry. She certainly is confident in her "voice". when she finished there was a collective sense of relief, almost of exhaustion.

Jorie Graham - a Wilfred Owen poem (title not captured), then "Epidemic"
As she took the stage, she mentioned that was there really a reason for this line up order? As in, do you expect me to follow Anne? They certainly are representative of two extremes. Jorie went on to say we need some dead poets around here now to help us settle down. I wonder if she understood what was implied when she said that as Andrew Motion was scheduled to come up next. She apologized for taking some time to collect her thoughts before getting into her first reading. We all empathized with her. Following Anne would be an ordeal for anyone.

Andrew Motion - a Philip Larkin poem (title not captured), then "Fox provides for himself"
Andrew was a true gentlemen and commented that as a representative of dead poets, he would read one of the famous dead poets poems (i.e. Larkin's work) then go into one of the live dead poets (meaning his own).

Billy Collins - "building with its face blown off", then from 180 by GB Garrett "What I want"

Mark Doty - part of Walt Whitman's' "Song of Myself", then "Tiara"

Gerald Stern - e.e. cummings' "Buffalo Bill", then "Lorca"

Ko Un (with Richard Silberg) - "echo", then FL "I want to offer water", then "Mountain is mountain"

Technorati Tags : , , ,

Powered By Qumana

White Barn Tent - Saturday afternoon - Conversation

Saturday afternoon in the White Barn Tent was scheduled a "Conversation: Poetry and the self, Poetry and the community". Taha Muhammed Ali (with Peter Cole), Kurtis Lamkin, and Taslima Nasreen were scheduled for this conversation.
An interesting mix: a native Palastinian with Israeli citizenship, a New York born black man living in the South, a Bangladash woman living in exile for her views on woman's rights. With this mix, the conversation should be a good one. The one complicator though was language. Taha's English is not so good, so there was a delay in Peter's translation and in the response back. 
The most interesting comment came from Taslima who said she did not trust the community. Kurtis was anxious to pursue this but in the time permitting was unable to do so. What did she mean by not trusting community? Did she define community differently? Why not trust the community?
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Saturday afternoon - Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton , one of the matriarchs of American poetry, is not really a 'grand matriarch' at all. She is so open, so down to earth. I have had the pleasure of hearing her at the three Dodge events I have attended and multiple times at those events. Usually in a "Poets on Poetry" session and then she always takes part in the Poetry Sampler and again on the Main stage in Saturday evening lineup.  I don't tire of listening to Lucille. Even when she has repeated a poem I have heard before, it is a "new" reading. Something new comes from hearing at a different time and place.
"After blues"
"... my father was so sure"
"what I know is"
"In 1958"
"You are nearly light enough"
"Mataooha" - she who is called Pocahontas
"Aunt Jemima"
"September song"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Saturday afternoon - Taslima Nasreen

Taslima Nasreen was the next up on the Main Stage on Saturday afternoon at the Dodge Poetry Festival . She is on political exile from Bangladesh as a result of her views on women's rights. She is stern and speaks deliberately. She must miss being with her family. She does not agree with the view that a woman's destiny is determined successively by her father, her husband, and her son.
After she made her opening statement the audience, almost a full tent, was silent. There was not a sound. Not even the cricket from the other evening broke the silence.
She paused a moment then went on to announce a poem to read.
"The commodity"
"Run, run"
"Happy marriage"
"Woman breaking bricks"
"Poem of Sabitha"  "it is for the well being of others that people write poetry"
"Elegy to my Mother"
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Saturday afternoon - Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion, the current poet laureate from England took the Main Stage next on Saturday afternoon at the Dodge Poetry Festival . I had the chance to catch his reading for teachers on Friday afternoon so this was a second appearance. He was conscious of this, acknowledging if he had read a poem before at the Festival and if he had, why this one needed to be repeated.
"Regime change"
"Learning to fish"
"From the balcony"
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Saturday afternoon - Ko Un

Ko Un, a prolific writer from Korea opened the afternoon sessions on the Main Stage. Members of the Paul Winter Consort provided a musical interlude to set the atmosphere and then coming back from a break.
Richard Silberg read the poems in English after Ko Un read them in Korean. It was interesting to see the body language and hear the tone of the voice as each read the same poem. They were not similar which became disconcerting as they progressed. When Taha Mohammed Ali and Peter Cole do their joint reading, I don't find the same disconnect.
"A poet"
"Front of a tree"
"My poems"
"The poem in last nights dream"
"The road ahead"
"Alone one day"
"A certain happiness"
"2 blind people"
"Widow Pike from Hondo Bree"
For a poet who is reportedly so "political", only one poem touched on politics, and it was clearly added to the listing along the way.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Poets for Teachers - Friday afternoon - Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion held a "Poets for Teachers" session in the Carriage Barn at the Dodge Poetry Festival . It was a tough choice as he was up against Billy Collins or Jorie Graham in the same time slot. Since Andrew was the first poet laureate from England to be here, I thought it worth the while to go. It was.
The Carriage Barn was an appropriate setting for this session. The antique carriages were positioned around the room, poorly lit. Shadows were cast by the wheels and footholds. I'll post some pictures to accompany this reading.
Andrew mixed some talk about himself and his poetry with readings of some of his poems and also took some good questions part way through. He stood, hunched forward slightly over the mic. He is a tall gentleman. Seems to be taller than I. His voice and cadence comes across in the lines of his poems. Looking at the on the page after, his cadence is presented with the line breaks. And in some cases, the line breaks are formatic and the cadence continues.
"The Letter"
"Dancing hippo"
"A blow to the head"
"On the table"
"The game"
"Dead March"
He mentioned that "form is the enemy of feeling". The is an energy release in a struggle of containment within the form.
He spoke of his work with Philip Larkin.
Powered By Qumana

Poets on Poetry - Friday morning - Billy Collins

Billy Collins took the Main Stage next on Friday at the Dodge Poetry Festival .
He admitted that he does not collect knick-knacks. He does collect definitions of poetry. He does not give plastic monkeys for Christmas, so they can be put with other monkeys, in the monkey room. He got a big laugh as he said this (better than I am retelling it).
Dante - Poetry is about "things that are true with words that are beautiful"
However, the yellow pages is full of entries on "beauty" but has no entries on "Truth"
Hardy - emotions set to measure
Coleridge - best words in best order
Rukesyser - meaning that moves
Auden - clear expression of mixed feelings
Macleash - the synthesis of chrysanthemums and biscuits
poetry is what happens when prose is exhausted
"Baby listening"
"summer houses"
"Little myth"
"I ask you"
"The long day"
does not like the question, what is the poet trying to say, it implies that they failed to say what they wanted to, but they did say what they wanted, generally, we just need to understand it
From Poetry 180
  • by Mark Halliday "The Current"
  • by Tom Wyman "Did I miss anything"
Billy was the first one to acknowledge the boom camera. They are video taping each poets presentation not just here in the main stage (where there are four cameras) but in each of the other tents they are set up to record video and audio. The boom has been quietly but significantly moving about the stage hovering about the poet from different angles (as long as they don't block another camera shot) and this has been going on all the time. No one, until Billy, has acknowledged this.
"Parendel for Susan"
told the story behind this invented poetic form. Crafted the footnote to imply some authenticity but it is all bogus. Had the poem published in a poetry journal, new the editor would appreciate the joke. It was published and then he started getting letters complaining about the parendel, one in particular accusing it of being the worst ever written (it really was the first). Big laugh. Had an extended letter exchange with this person before it was recognized as being bogus. Even worse was a couple of years later, a doctoral candidate from a Southern university was doing a thesis and wanted to do an anthology of parendels and would he do the introduction. She also complained in passing that she was having trouble finding more parendels. They also exchanged quite a few letters before finally they finally talked on the phone and he told her the story. There was a long pause on the other end. "Red Hen Press" did eventually publish an anthology of parendels and he did write the intro.
"poetry an interruption of silence"
music leaves spaces
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Poets on Poetry - Friday morning - Jorie Graham

Jorie Graham took the Main Stage to open Friday Morning at the Dodge Poetry Festival .
She talked of taking a short line poem by William Carlos Williams or Robert Creeley, removing the line breaks, then as an exercise have the students (or someone) put in the line breaks as they see fit. See what comes of this. How does it match the original?
Jorie is a professor at Harvard. She talks in intellectual terms, themes, ideas, at universal levels. This will be a good setup to have Billy Collins next.
She used the Red Wheelbarrow and spent the next twenty minutes or so working an analysis of the poem. She claimed she has talked for three hours on this one poem and did not exhaust the avenues of exploration the poem presents.
In brief:
  • The red wheelbarrow uses the senses. It asks how was this done? What had just occurred? "Glazed" with rain water. The storm had just passed.
  • The senses are translatable. Justice conjures up a different idea for everyone.
  • The poem is democratic. Red. White. Blue.
  • "Upon" - imposes a hierarchy
  • Multiple cycles, circles
    • Evaporation - the water cycle
    • Wheel representing the cycle of human development
    • Motion introduced with the chickens
    • Chicken/egg cycle
I had overhead someone talking about Jorie doing haiku. She talks in such long sentences, I find that hard to fathom.
Interesting note: she lives part of the year in France, in Normandy, about the D +18 mark. The Allies has divided the country side into zones marking where they would have made progress in advancing since D Day. Hence, D + 18 (hours) is about where they would have been 18 hours after landing. One of the signals the troops had been prepared with were little crickets. The toy kind, that makes a clicking sound. The area in Normandy is full of hedgerows. Thick impenetrable brush. You can go along a hedgerow but not through it. The crickets were set up as a signal to confirm in the darkness that the person there was either friend or foe (friends would respond with the cricket). There was a terrible miscalculation as a similar sound would be made when the Germans cocked their guns. Many, many of the advance troops unfortunately died that way.
"There is this category of 'by mistake' for everything, even death"
She read a long poem taken from the "Active Action Reports". A series of reports filed by the field commanders at the end of each day.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Saturday morning - Paul Winter Consort

The Paul Winter Consort played their own set of music immediately following the early morning Rumi session with Coleman Barks . I could have moved along to another tent, to another poet or poets but I chose to stay. I needed some music to help organize the thoughts, words and images from the previous sessions. It was time well spent.
Paul Winter and company play wonderful instrumental music. My thoughts were free to play amongst themselves and sort things out. A few of the sherku were created in this period. Others were at least started.
Paul played
"Appalachian morning"
"Hymn to the sun"
"Canyon chacon"
"River run"
These are the titles that I captured. He probably played some other pieces but I must have been lost in thought and missed them.
Technorati Tags : , , ,
Powered By Qumana

Celebrating Rumi's 799th Birthday

Saturday morning. 8:00 AM.
Yes, it is early but this is Rumi, and Coleman Barks accompanied by the Paul Winter Consort .
This is an experience unlike most other.
Only thing better than this is sex.
Paul Winter on sax
Eliot Wadopian on bass
Glen Velez on percussion
Steven Katz on cello
Paul Sullivan on piano
and of course,
Coleman Barks with his southern drawl.
What I captured from this session were lines, key ones, beautiful ones. Ones that make you think. Ones that make you wonder.
They may be first lines. They may be titles. Coleman does put in some granddaughter poems. Those generally have a title.
To help distinguish we'll use this little nomenclature:
FL for first line, where known
GL for good line
T for title, where known
"let the beauty we love be what we do"
"one night a man was crying Allah..."
if I were dying or I were convinced I were dying soon..."
"In the glory of the soccer field"
"She explains tackle football"
"Tuck's coach"
"to praise"
"totally conscious"
"when you look for God, God is in the looking of your eyes"
"there is a community of the spirit, join it"
"Cats purr"
"the internet says science is not sure"
"Stay together friends, don't scatter and sleep.
Our friendship is made being awake"
"this we have now is not the imagination"
"out beyond ideas..."
"I would love to kiss you..."
"I have lived on the lap of insanity..."
"I am so small, I can barely be seen..."
"Come to the orchard in spring..."
"today, like every other day..."
Coleman closed with some Nasrudin jokes. They are a big hit in the Middle East. They are very much like standard "ethnic" jokes that in the age of political correctness have fallen out of flavor. They are funny.
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Friday evening = Jorie Graham

Jorie Graham also read on Friday evening on the Main Stage at the Dodge Poetry Festival . She came on after the break where Sekou's band provided another musical interlude. The poems Jorie read were as follows:
"At the cabaret now"
"Guardian angel"
"Praying attempt May 9, 2003"
"Praying attempt Jun 14, 2003"
"Spoken from the hedgerows"
"Needed exploration"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Friday evening = Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland took to the Main Stage at the Dodge Poetry Festival on Friday evening. The poems he read were as follows:
"Fred had watched Kung Fu"
"Phone call"
"Hard rain"
"The change"
"Social life"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Friday evening = Linda Gregg

Linda Gregg was the second poet up on the Main Stage Friday evening at the Dodge Poetry Festival . The poems she read are listed below.
"The gods must not know us"
"There she is"
"At home"
"Chosen by him"
"Sun moon kelp flower"
"Secret of grapes"
"I do not need the gods to return"
"Now I understand"
"Aphrodite and the nature of art"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main stage - Friday evening = Kurtis Lamkin

The Friday evening session in the Main Tent opened with Sekou Sundiata's band playing. The lead vocalist did a Mirabai poem. Her voice was wonderful, enchanting. I did not catch the names of the individuals in the band. I was hoping they would be in the program but they weren't.
The band played well!
Kurtis Lamkin took the stage as the first poet for the evening. He brought his kora and used it for some of the poems.
"Queen of the birds"
"Jump Mama"
The are no words for what he does mixing his words with the kora. It is a sight and sound for the experience. A memorable occasion that won't be soon forgotten.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dodge Poetry Sampler - Friday Afternoon

The line up for the Poetry Sampler on Friday afternoon was alphabetical. Each poet had about 5 minutes to provide a sample of their work. 19 poets in a row. It went something like this:
Ekiwah Adler-Belendez                "Haiku"         "Coyote's trace"
Taha Muhammed Ali (with Peter Cole)            "Revenge"
Lucille Clifton             "Grandma Moses"         "After blues"
Billy Collins            "The death of a next door neighbor"            "What loves does"
Toi Derricotte         "I stink"
Mark Doty        "House of beauty"
Jorie Graham         "Studies in secrecy"
Linda Gregg          "The wait"           "Alone with the goddess"
Tony Hoagland             "Romantic moment"
Linda Hogan          "History of red"            "Other side of the twin"
Ko Un (with Peter Sillberg)           "seritaph"           "rowing with one oar"
Kurtis Lamkin      "Princely language"
Andrew Motion          "A1 mechanics"           "The mower"
Taslima Nasreen          "You go girl"              "Letter to my mother"
Linda Pastan           "Notes from the delivery room"             "Short history of Judaic thought"
Gerald Stern            "Lillies"
Sekou Sundiata        Baraka's "lowku"      "New American theater"
Brian Turner                  "Eulogy"
Anne Waldman          "Allan Ginsburg will never..." (first line)               "The writing dance"
The pictures to accompany this listing can be found here.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Sunday, October 15, 2006

How well are your roots entrenched?

Originally uploaded by shersteve.
How connected are you?

What is your support system?

Is nature that much different from human life?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

How do you define success?

This is a new item for discussion today and going foward has been posted by John Richardson at Joyful Jubilant Learning.
This is just one of the several topics available for discussion as the Joyful Jubilant Learning network gets started this month. There should be something of interest here for you.
Check it out. Join the conversations with a comment or email.
How do you define success?
Powered By Qumana

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 1 - Recap

As Gerald Stern progressed in his reading the rain finally came to Waterloo Village . It had been threatening during the afternoon and evening. It came down with a roar. The rain on the tent roof made it had to hear Gerald. The tent was not pitched properly in that there was not a drain system in place. The tent floor sloped down towards the stage and as the rain increased, little rivulets began to snake there way down the floor. These water snakes caused folks (like me) to pick up their backpacks or book bags, etc. from the floor and move them to either their lap or to an empty chair.
Gerald remarked at one point that he might as well keep on going, no one was going to want to leave in this rain. We agreed and he continued.
Eventually he did finish. We did make our way out of the tent into the rainy darkness and back out to find out cars in the parking lot and make our way to home or the hotel (in my case). It was a long and full day but not so surprisingly, I was not tired. I was still quite energized by the proceedings.
Recall that I had started the day with Kurtis Lamkin. He closed with "Jump Mama" and I could have quit right there, the Festival would have been worth it hearing that live, participating in that live. But oh, no, there was much more to go. Tony Hoagland, Sekou Sundiata, Lucille Clifton, Mark Doty, the duet with Kurtis and Sekou, supper and meeting up with LJ Cohen, then the evening with the music of Lori Cotler and Glen Velez, and the poetry of Ekiwah Adler BelendezLinda Hogan, Brian Turner, Toi Derricotte and finally Gerald Stern . What a range of words but all on a common ground. No wonder I am still energized.
But Day 1 draws to a close and I need to prepare for Day 2. The Poetry Sampler is something to look forward to and then Friday evening Sekou's band is scheduled to perform on the main stage to provide the musical interludes; that should be something special.
And more recaps to come,
this after all is only Day 1!
Technorati Tags : , , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Gerald Stern

Gerald Stern was the last to take the Main Stage on Thursday evening at the Dodge Poetry Festival. Jim Haba , Fesitval Director, did the introduction (as usual) and included an image to describe Gerald. Jim had recently been to Home Depot and some young kids were going down the aisles with their parents, the parents walking the kids with those sneakers that have the wheels in them, they pick up their toes, lean back on their heels, and scoot away. He said the image of the kids scooting down the aisles reminded him of Gerald's writing. He just scoots along.
"Shove it in" (Creeley)
A Robert Creeley poem in honor of Robert who passed away earlier this year.
"Lilacs for Ginsburg"
"Hydranga" from the book American Sonnets
"Still burning"
"Dream free"
"One poet"
"Save the last dance for me"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte took the stage after a musical interlude on Thursday evening at the Dodge Poetry Festival. The music was provided by Lori Cotler and Glen Velez .
"Once Alan Ginsburg stopped to pee"
"Boy at the Patterson Falls"
"Lightning bug"
"baby pictures"
"Black bottom"
"A note on my son's face"
"Telly (the fish)"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Brian Turner

The next up on Thursday evening was Brian Turner. Brian's book; "Here, Bullet", had won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award for poetry. He wrote most of the poems while stationed in Iraq during 2003 and 2004. The desert and harshness of war comes through in these poems.
"Here, bullet"
"Katyusha Rockets"
"Last night's dream"
"Night in blue"
"Alhazen of Basra"
"Meter out"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Linda Hogan

Next up Thursday evening on the Main Stage was Linda Hogan . With a Native American Indian (Chickasaw) heritage, she writes of life in the West amongst the open plains and animals.
"Celebration: Birth of a Cow"
"Who will speak"
"A Place for an Eagle"
"Blessing the children"
"Elk song"
"Lost girls"
"Return of the buffalo"
"Naming of the animals"
"Origins of corn"
"Corn dance"
the was a song for each stage of the growth of the corn, especially amongst the Pueblo, whose lives depended upon a successful crop.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Ekiwah Adler-Belendez

The Thursday evening session opened with Ekiwah Adler Belendez scheduled to read. He had been listening along with us as Lori Cotler and Glen Velez warmed us up (really) with some wonderful music. He was so taken with it, that he asked to see if they would collaborate with him and play while he read. They agreed to and what followed was really magic.
Some titles he mentioned, some he read from the book "Weavers".
"I long to sing of my rage"
See the picture from this collaboration.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dodge Poetry Festival 2006 - Summary

Here is the summary of my posts on the Geraldine R Dodge Poetry Festival held at Waterloo Village, September 28 through October 1, 2006.

Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 4 - Recap

Rumi East & West - Sunday = Barks & Bly

Early Morning Rumi - Sunday = Barks & Bly

Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 3 - Recap

Main stage - Saturday evening = How is the truth to be said?

Conversation: Poet and Self, Poet and Community

Main stage - Saturday afternoon = Lucille Clifton

Main stage - Saturday afternoon = Taslima Nasreen

Main stage - Saturday afternoon = Andrew Motion

Main stage - Saturday afternoon = Ko Un

Saturday morning - Paul Winter Consort

Celebrating Rumi's 799th Birthday

Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 2 - Recap

The Wandering Poet

Main stage - Friday evening = Sekou Sundiata

Main stage - Friday evening = Jorie Graham

Main stage - Friday evening = Tony Hoagland

Main stage - Friday evening = Linda Gregg

Main stage - Friday evening = Kurtis Lamkin

Poets for Teachers - Friday afternoon - Andrew Motion

Dodge Poetry Sampler - Friday Afternoon

Poets on Poetry - Friday morning - Billy Collins

Poets on Poetry - Friday morning - Jorie Graham

Dodge Poetry Festival - Day 1 - Recap

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Gerald Stern

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Toi Derricotte

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Brian Turner

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Linda Hogan

Main Stage - Thursday Evening = Ekiwah Adler Belendez

Ekiwah & Friends

Cotler & Velez

Side view

Approaching the Tappan Zee

Dodge Poetry Crowd Mingles

Everlasting Life: Spoken Word as Jazz, Performance and Conversation

Poets on Poetry: Mark Doty

Poets on Poetry: Lucille Clifton

Poets on Poetry: Sekou Sundiata

Poets on Poetry: Tony Hoagland

Poets on Poetry: Kurtis Lamkin

Thursday Evening

Andrew Motion in the News

Poetry Bus Tour

Early Morning Rumi

Back but behind

Paul Winter Consort

Dodge Festival - Day 3

Dodge Festival - Day 2

Dodge Festival - Day 1

Go west young man!

Dodge Poetry Festival - Meet up

Technorati Tags : , ,

Powered By Qumana

Everlasting Life: Spoken Word as Jazz, Performance and Conversation

The last afternoon session I attended Thursday was called "Everlasting Life: Spoken Word as Jazz, Performance and Conversation". It was a duet by Kurtis Lamkin and Sekou Sundiata . Having heard both of them individually earlier in the day, hearing them together was special.
They did provide some thoughts before they got into their performance, and performance it really was. Kurtis played his kora with his poems. Sekou spoke his poems. The intertwining of the two poets and their words (and the music) created such a tapestry of image, the two poems really created a third. In such a way, if they did it again, it would probably be different each time. And thereby really special!
I did not catch the names (or titles) of the poems they did. If they did mention them, I missed that.
Kurtis said: we all have seen a sunset, we all have had our first kiss, our first breakup. Your voice makes it sounds like it is the newest thing.
Kurtis discussed how he came clean (stopped doing drugs). He realized that this state of consciousness, to be open, to be susceptible... discovered that he had the capability to get there anytime he wanted... it was also nice to be paid for it.
Chant creates a magic spell, enables you to forget yourself.
TS Eliot "Poetry communicates before it is understood."
Sekou talked of his 51st Dream State project. As he grew up there was much talk as the 49th state joined the Union, and then again as the 50th state joined the Union. There has been on and off talk about which would be the 51st state; Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. Unfortunately due to recent events, he is coming to believe that the 51st state will be a state of "permanent war". He is fearful of this. Look at the history of empires. You know what happens. They don't last. He hopes that his project will help raise the issue and avoid this state of permanent war. It is scheduled for performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) early in November.
Powered By Qumana

Poets on Poetry: Mark Doty

These are my notes from Mark Doty's "Poets on Poetry" session Thursday afternoon at the Dodge Poetry Festival .
Mark opened by reading "Heaven for Paul". It took him six years to come about to write the poem after the incident had actually occurred.
He talked of asking "How can I get myself out of the way so the reader can get to the feeling (of the poem)?"
Poetry attempts to translate ideas into what had been previously unspoken.
A poem is a laser beam into an idea, a story at a moment in time. Prose (short story/novel) gets into those other areas around the idea or story. The poem is focused more so than the prose.
"Heaven's Partner" (addresses the grief around the 1994 passing of his partner with AIDS)
He told why he provides an intro to a poem at a reading when the poem as presented when published does not have the intro. The intro is necessary to provide some framework, some context to come to understand the poem relatively quickly. The intro is not provided for the published work but the reader can come back to it, and usually does, may read part, and then come back, may read it all and then still come back. The poem is understood generally not all at once. The published work allows that to occur. The spoken poem needs the extra context to help it be understood. It generally is only spoken once.
Mark talked of the pluses that order brings to a poem. The order shapes, allows the poet to bring a spotlight or place emphasis. The order is where the craftwork of poetry comes to the forefront.
Writers block occurs when you usually have too much to say. Pick up a thread, follow it, write it out, pick up just the one at a time, be patient, don't be overwhelmed.
Mark said poets are "domestically suspicious people" as they talk out loud to themselves... trying out the words, phrasings, sounds, making sense of it all.
This turns out to be an illusion. W H Auden said "poems are never finished, merely abandoned."
Mark discussed that Americans are moving more now than ever before. Good things can come from this, new (better) job, opportunity. but there is also a difference from where you were, a change, some bad things, an isolation from unknowing the new area.
We are a species who need to see images of ourselves.
Mark finds it remarkable that we can get better as we age. Stanley Kunitz wrote some of his best work when he was in his 70/80's and he was still writing when he passed away earlier this year (at 99).
"Heaven for Stanley"
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Poets on Poetry: Lucille Clifton

My notes from Lucille Clifton's "Poets on Poetry" session Thursday afternoon at the Dodge Poetry Festival . She is sitting this time. She can't stand for a long period due to some health problems. Her voice and spirit is still very good. She wants to be here.
She started talking of poetry as sound, she heard mystery and music in the language. She explored the connections between things. The space between towns where no one lives. It is a mystery.
She does not understand why we as a civilized people can not show emotion. She talked of the example that Jackie Kennedy provided when the President was shot.
If things matter, you know them.
"Mulberry fields"
Allow it to happen, pay attention to what you listen to, see what you look at.
Learn to trust intuition. Art is a balance of intuition and intellect.
As I look back over my notes, I don't know why there are so few for this session. I recall liking it.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Poets on Poetry: Sekou Sundiata

These are my notes from Sekou Sundiata's "Poets on Poetry" session Thursday morning at the Dodge Poetry Festival. The day had opened with Kurtis Lamkin in the Main Tent, followed by Tony Hoagland whom I had not heard of prior to this Festival. The next up in the Main Tent was Jorie Graham but down at the Braw Pond Tent was Sekou. Kurtis had mentioned him as being an influence so I decided to take the walk. It was a good choice.

Sekou talked about writing in first person plural. That is, from a personal point of view but within a larger context, a black man writing post 9/11.


He made a reference to Stirling Brown as being a major influence of his. Kurtis had done so previously.

Something about 9/11 required some "heavy lifting".

Need to rely on that irrational mysterious place, trust it, use it.

He talked of the cento form of poetry, a poem made from lines of other poems.

"Blink your eyes"

The opportunity for improvisation comes from the jazz esthetic. Form and structure analogous to a composer, they only have a clue of what is too happen.

He could not provide advice for a career as a poet. He could provide some thoughts on a life as a poet.

You have to read, immerse yourself in traditions. What is good writing only comes from reading good writing.

Part of the struggle is with the words when they fail to do what you need them to do.

Writing his poetry is an unpredictable thing. Never does a poem come all at once, he may not trust it if it did. It comes from a line, it's homeless and he tries to find a family for it.

Quoted Rita Dove, "if you can't be free, be a mystery"

Once a poem is said authorship ends, we have no control over the poem after. The words are out there bouncing around as the ideas in the people's heads.

Technorati Tags : , ,

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Another Connection

Yesterday I read about how you can't change the participation inequality. The separation of the audience into three parts rang a bell. A bell that required some searching this morning to find what I had written once upon a time. Yes, the archives are good for something like this.

It was as recently as February that I quoted from this but it really was last November that I crafted the Fire Circle Story.

This will be something worth putting into a future podcast.

Does the fire circle story ring true?

Are you about to challenge the participation inequality?

Technorati Tags : , , , , ,

Monday, October 09, 2006

Playtime, it's about time!

Sometime a study gets published and you just have to say; duh, no kidding!
Like this one that I picked up via Google news earlier today: "Lots of free play will do good to children develop, says new study."
The report advocates promotion of free play as an essential part of childhood, avoidance as far as possible of television and computer games, which are passive entertainment, and active involvement of parents in their children's daily activities like spending time together and talking and listening to them rather than giving them loads of extracurricular activities.

The report recalls several studies, which emphasize that unstructured play benefits children, especially in making them creative, in discovering their own passions and in developing instincts for problem solving.
I would not restrict the benefits to children. Or better yet, reword the study to include children of all ages. But that may be just me. Peter Pan after all, is one of my heroes. I don't want to grow up.
And I love playing.
Did you play today?
Technorati Tags : , , ,
Powered By Qumana

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Introducing sherku (part 2)

I introduced sherku earlier and need to respond to an inquiring mind. Instead of burying my response in a comment (which I did) I also decided that there might be value to put it out in the open as well.

The question was:
Well, I'm not good at poetry. Not to mention haiku. But, really, will you write more in-depth about this sherku of yours -- and how it related with haiku -- for a very novice kinda guy? I'd like to learn about it.

The initial answer is:
Well, it is somewhat "tongue in cheek" but very much like haiku. It differs in that is my spin on creation. I add my "2 cents worth" to it. I follow the standard form and convention somewhat and deviate as necessary.

For example, while convention calls for 17 syllables, I prefer to recommend 19. Why 19? Well, 17 is confining, 19 provides more (recall 2 cents). 19 is also a number from a card game called "Cribbage" where 19 is an impossible score to achieve. Trying to condense a feeling, an image to some number (19 in this case) is an impossible task (recall Cribbage score) to try but try we must. Or as Yoda says: "Do, or not do, there is no 'try'".

As I discover the words to explain additional features of sherku, I'll continue to post them here.

The audio version of this is here.
The listing of available sherku can be found here.

Technorati Tags : , ,, , ,

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Poets on Poetry: Tony Hoagland

These are my notes from Tony Hoagland's "Poets on Poetry" session on Thursday. The session was a mix of poems and some commentary with a few questions from the audience towards the end. A few poems were from memory, mostly he shuffled papers to find the poem he wanted to read. You can assume that the poems he read (in quote marks) are his unless specified otherwise. If there are any errors, they are likely due to omission on either his or my part. No malice intended.
"Song of Speaks Fluently"
"Dream song #5"  John Berryman
"O mercy"
"Permanent" - Kenneth Koch
"Dick head"
"For Grace after a party" - Frank O'Hara
a good poem usually has one of three elements; entertainment, energy, or violence.
"Phone call"
"21st Night" - Anna Akhmatova
"Food Court"
"Nature Poem" - Richard Brautigan
"Hate Hotel"
"How it all adds up"
good poems should have some motion, take a turn at the end.
Find something between two things to talk about, become trained to look for it.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Poets on Poetry: Kurtis Lamkin

These are my notes from the "Poets on Poetry" session where Kurtis Lamkin opened the Dodge Poetry Festival on Thursday morning.
The power of words, the magic comes out of your being, to be put into someone elses' head. Feedback is important. When the poems go out there, the poet needs to know how they knock around in someone's head.
A good line from "Foxes Manifesto" - "believing is all a child does for a living"
Kurtis closed the session with a performance of "Jump Mama" which made my day. It is a wonderful story of coming "heavy home" and getting the child within awakened. The story, the setting, the jump rope chant, all put together is purely magical.
He reads with no paper, no book. They are all memorized poems. I was going to ask him how many he knows and I answered my own question. He knows them all; the finished ones and the ones that are not yet finished.
Technorati Tags : , ,
Powered By Qumana

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Good tips on Video Presentation

Beth Kanter has been busy since attending PodCamp Boston. She has gotten seriously bit with the new media bug. She is making great progress and even better sharing her learnings along the way.

Here is one on Flickr as Presentation Tool.

Here is her first screen cast on Technorati Tag Bookmarklet

Check in with Beth and learn as she does.

Tags: , , ,

Powered by Qumana