Poetry Hub

Poet Adrienne Rich Dies at 82

Adrienne Rich, one of America's great poets, has died at the age of 82, the AP reports:

RichRich died Tuesday at her Santa Cruz home from complications from rheumatoid arthritis, said her son, Pablo Conrad. She had lived in Santa Cruz since the 1980s.

Through her writing, Rich explored topics such as women’s rights, racism, sexuality, economic justice and love between women.

Rich published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and five collections of nonfiction. She won a National Book Award for her collection of poems “Diving into the Wreck” in 1974. In 2004, she won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for her collection “The School Among the Ruins."

Rich came out of the closet after leaving her husband and met her lifelong partner, the writer Michelle Cliff, in 1976.

Gay Football Player Poetry Slams Obama for Not Supporting Marriage Equality: VIDEO


When Outsports met Adam Goddard he was a bisexual football player struggling to find a place in the LGBT community. Goddard now identifies as gay and is using his other talent with words to speak out against social injustice — in this case Obama's unwillingness to support marriage equality.

Goddard gave this impressive performance at the NOH8 campaign's third anniversary party last week at the House of Blues in L.A.

Goddard's poetry slam, entitled 'Yes We Can But No We Haven't', AFTER THE JUMP...

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Carol Ann Duffy Named UK's 1st Female and Openly Gay Poet Laureate


In 400 years, the UK had never named a female or openly gay poet laureate, until today. Carol Ann Duffy is the first. According to The Telegraph, former PM Tony Blair had considered her for the honor in 1999 but decided against it because he  "was unsure how the middle classes would react to a lesbian national poet."

The Guardian reports: "Speaking on Woman's Hour this morning on Radio 4, she revealed that she had thought "long and hard" about accepting the offer. 'The decision was purely because they hadn't had a woman,' she said. 'I look on it as recognition of the great women poets we now have writing, like Alice Oswald.' Duffy said she was ready to deal with the scrutiny which comes as part and parcel of the laureateship, suggesting that her experience of public appearances would stand her in good stead, but that she would vigorously defend her private life. 'I'm a very private person and I will continue to fiercely protect my privacy and my daughter,' she said. She declared herself ready to tackle the official verse which the laureateship requires, but only if the occasion inspired her. 'If not, then I'd ignore it,' she said."

Robert Pattinson and Javier Beltran: Longing in Little Ashes


Twilight's Robert Pattinson makes quite an entrance in the follow-up to the vampire movie, as Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, which details the intimate relationship between Dali and poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

Two new clips have been released that contain plenty of longing gazes between the two men, along with this additional poster (below) for the film, which adopts a bit of Dali's surrealism.

In one of the clips, it looks as though Pattinson's ready to take neck-biting to the next level.

Watch them, AFTER THE JUMP...

Gay Relationships and Fanging with Robert Pattinson [tr]

First Look: Robert Pattinson and Javier Beltran in Little Ashes [tr]

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Mark Doty wins National Book Award for Poetry

Poet Mark Doty has won the National Book Award for his collection Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems.

DotyIn an interview about his nomination, Doty said, "I feel completely thrilled—I’m in wonderful company, and it’s particularly satisfying to me because my nominated book is a ‘New and Selected’ poems, so it’s 20 years worth of work. To have that volume singled out feels like a kind of affirmation of what I’ve been busying myself with for the last two decades, so I’m delighted."

He also talked about his newer work: "In these new poems, I found myself turning over notions that have always been at the fore for romantic poets: the nature of beauty, the nature of the soul, how love exists in time. I’m always thinking about beauty as a subject—that contested, difficult, fascinating ground that’s so important to me. So I wrote a poem in which I proposed a little theory of beauty. It was about the unlikely circumstance of looking at a prison tattoo on a man’s shoulder and realizing that it was quite an awkward looking thing, but it became beautiful when someone explained what it represented—it was a sign language character. This is beauty that is emerging out of knowledge. But there was more to say about kinds of beauty."

The other 2008 award winners were Fiction: Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country (Modern Library), Nonfiction: Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton & Company), Young People's Literature: Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic).

Doty is the author of many books of poetry as well as several prose works including Dog Years and the beautiful memoir Heaven's Coast.

Doty reading his poem "Charlie Howard's Descent" at the Split This Rock Poetry festival in Washington D.C., AFTER THE JUMP...

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Lesbian Poet Kay Ryan to be Named Nation's Poet Laureate

Kay Ryan, a poet that fellow poet and National Endowment of the Arts Chair Dana Gioia describes as a "thoughtful, bemused, affectionate, deeply skeptical outsider," is to be named the nation's next poet laureate today.

RyanThe NYT: "Known for her sly, compact poems that revel in wordplay and internal rhymes, Ms. Ryan has won a carriage full of poetry prizes for her funny and philosophical work, including awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1994, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, worth $100,000...After briefly attending Antelope Valley College, she transferred to U.C.L.A., where she earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English. She moved to Marin County in 1971 and lives there now, with her partner, Carol Adair."

Said Ryan: "I so didn’t want to be a poet. I came from sort of a self-contained people who didn’t believe in public exposure, and public investigation of the heart was rather repugnant to me. I couldn’t resist. It was in a strange way taking over my mind. My mind was on its own finding things and rhyming things. I was getting diseased...An almost empty suitcase, that’s what I want my poems to be, few things. The reader starts taking them out, but they keep multiplying."

As poet laureate, Ryan will receive a $35,000 salary plus $5,000 for travel, as well as an office at the Library of Congress.

Past poet laureates have included current laureate Charles Simic, and also Rita Dove, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Frost, Karl Shapiro, Billy Collins, Joseph Brodsky, and Stanley Kunitz.


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