Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Best American Poetry Online

My poem Descort on a Truism, published earlier this month in Drunken Boat, is featured on Best American Poetry Online, a newish blog by CE Chaffin.  Each week Craig proposes to examine a recent poem published online, with a brief interview of the poet.  He would be glad for suggestions. Mine is the entry for Feb 21; check out the others as well!     

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Featured poet in THE CENTRIFUGAL EYE

I'm the featured poet in the February 2010 issue of The Centrifugal Eye, "Troblems and Prubbles: All Mixed-Up."

There's a little box at the top where you can type in the page you want. My interview starts on page 6, poems on p 14, essay on p 18, a couple more poems on p 38 in the "Misheard poems" folio.

The focus is mostly on my use of the absurd.  I also talk about what I learned about writing poetry from translating and composing; my struggle to come to terms with Quaker attitudes toward the arts; and what I discovered about my poetics from having a daughter with Asperger's syndrome. 

Many thanks To Eve Hanninen and the editorial staff of The Centrifugal Eye for this opportunity to take stock of where I am as a poet.  And to K. R. Copeland for her witty illustrations of two of my poems.    I don't know when I last had so much fun as in the process of back-and-forthing with Eve while the whole thing took shape.

PS.  There's a malfunctioning link to my Types & Shadows column, "A ministry of uselessness"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Drove me to the Blogosphere

Soon after I first got online in 1997, I realized that the web could solve a long-standing problem of mine:  My interests run deep and narrow, and I tend to gather extensive information on highly specialized subjects. I saw that's personal web pages would give me multiple venues for sharing such information, and soon I was learning html and making friends with the process of webbing.

Earlier this month I received notice from that as of March 15 they will no longer support personal web pages. Actually the termination was immediate. My four sites were blocked, giving me no chance to notify my readers that they were about to disappear.  Though we had been promised that we could download our files, the site manager was inaccessible.  Fortunately I have everything on my laptop, and well backed up.

The main casualty was Jens Bjørneboe in English, a massive resource about the Norwegian writer (1920-1976) whose work I was involved in translating. I launched it in 1998 and made monthly additions through 2002; many other writers and translators contributed, and it is internationally recognized as the primary resource about Bjørneboe on the web.  I have hopes that an academic institution will provide a new home for it, and regret that I wasn't more diligent about looking for one earlier.

Also gone are:

my poetry website, which I started recently, didn't like all that much anyway, and intend to rethink.
Poetry has been my major interest for the last few years, and I have published in a number of magazines, mostly online. 

Quakerism and the Arts Historical Sourcebook, where I attempted to document the Society of Friends' historic antipathy to the arts and the gradual progress toward acceptance.  Eventually I published a pamphlet, Beyond Uneasy Tolerance, compiling Quaker quotations on the arts from the 1650s to the 1990s, and abandoned the site after that.

Fortunately the fourth site, also massive --- the Quaker Bible Index, a work in progress about Bible citations in 17th-century Quaker writings --- already has a permanent home at the Earlham School of Religion,

Hence this blog.  It seems a way to bring my disparate interests together and keep folks who share any of them informed while I figure out where to go next.