Choriamb changed to NPB:New Poetry Books

Choriamb has moved to NPB: New Poetry Books. Pretty much the same blog, with a new address and focus.


Derek Walcott’s recipe for authorial integrity

“[Sarah] Arvio recalls [Derek Walcott’s] recipe for authorial integrity: ‘If we are going to call ourselves poets, we should know the canon. If you say ‘horse’, for example, you should be able to name any number of poems with a horse in it and quote the lines’.”

Eva Salzman: With Regrets Autumn 10 Poetry London

American Life in Poetry: Column 289

American Life in Poetry: Column 289


There’s only so much we can do to better ourselves, and once we’ve done what we can, it still may not have been enough. Here’s a poem by Michelle Y. Burke, who lives in N.Y., in which a man who does everything right doesn’t quite do everything right.


A man can give up so much,
can limit himself to handwritten correspondence,
to foods made of whole grains,
to heat from a woodstove, logs
hewn by his own hand and stacked neatly
like corpses by the backdoor.

He can play nocturnes by heart.
They will not make the beloved appear.
He can learn the names of all the birds
in the valley. Not one
will be enticed to learn his.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2009 by Michelle Y. Burke and reprinted from Lake Effect, Vol. 13, Spring 2009, by permission of Michelle Y. Burke and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

New Poetry Books 10/5/2010

Jill Bialosky – Knopf


From a blank canvas sprang a swirl of color and emotion:
a mysterious figure emerging from a dark thicket.

Was he beautiful? Did it matter?
For once ugliness could be a form of beauty: an equivalent

Read rest of poem, plus an interview with Bialosky, @ On The Seawall: Ron Slate’s Website.

Kamau Brathwaite – Wesleyan Poetry

>down evening sun forever & for ever<
Heartease Which is where she is/in that
soft distance shining & i'm suddenly & at
last happy & very very sad & lonely at th

Read rest of poem @ Wesleyan University Press

Master of Disguises
Charles Simic – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Master of Disguises

Surely he walks among us unrecognized:
Some barber, store clerk, delivery man,
Pharmacist, hairdresser, bodybuilder,
Exotic dancer, gem cutter, dog walker,
The blind beggar singing, Oh Lord, remember me,

Read rest of poem @ The New Yorker, November 24, 2008

Poetry book releases: October 4

The Poets Laureate Anthology Forward by Billy Collin, Contributors: Elizabeth Hun Schmidt and The Library of Congress – W. W. Norton & Company

“The first anthology to gather poems by the forty-three poets laureate of the United States.”

The Iron Key: Poems – James Longenbach – W. W. Norton & Company

James Longenbach

Mrs. Hunter is the only name I have for her,
A rich old woman who engaged my father, a painter,
To document her collection of keys.
Photographs she considered vulgar.

Read rest of poem @ The New Yorker, July 2, 2007


Broadsided: putting art and literature on the streets

On the first of every month, a new broadside is posted on the project’s website. The jump from page to public stage is ultimately facilitated by “vectors,” interested folks who can download the PDFs and print and post them at will. Broadsides have been tacked on office doors, placed in waiting rooms, left on airplanes, and even slipped, guerrilla style, between the pages of newspapers and magazines.

Open-Air Publishing – Broadsides turn poetry into guerrilla art
September-October 2010 – Alex Dimitrov, from Poets and Writers. Reprinted at Utne Reader.

New App for Memorizing Poetry

VerseByHeart for memorizing Bible verses and poetry

Read about it @ the New Yorker’s “Book Bench:”

On Memorization: A Twenty-First-Century Ode Posted by Eileen Reynolds @ “The Book Bench,” New Yorker 9/30/2010

In the first drill, the poem is displayed with words missing, and you read it aloud to yourself, filling in the blanks. If you get tripped up, you can tap a blank space to momentarily reveal the missing word. Next, you’re given a line or two of text with the words scrambled, and you have to put them in the correct order.