Thursday, November 24, 2011

December 1: Ferry Reading in Boston

Eminent poet and translator David Ferry will read this Thursday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m. at Suffolk University’s Modern Theater, 525 Washington Street, downtown Boston. Ferry’s most recent award is the 2011 Ruth B. Lilly Prize, from the Poetry Foundation, for “lifetime career achievement.” The most recent book of his poems is Of No Country I Know, New and Selected Poems and Translations. His new collection of poems, Bewilderment, will be published in 2012. His books of translation include Gilgamesh, A New Rendering in English Verse; the Odes of Horace; the Epistles of Horace; the Eclogues of Virgil; and the Georgics of Virgil. A Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Suffolk University, he is currently translating the Aeneid of Virgil.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


what is surely one of the more effective openings in recent reviewery, A. O. Scott writing for the New York Times begins his critique of the new Shakespeare costume thriller Anonymous with this account: "a vulgar prank on the English literary tradition,a travesty of British history and a brutal insult to the human imagination. Apart from that, it’s not bad." He is more generous later on: "My point is that it might be a mistake to suppose that the director of 10,000 B.C. — to mention only the most salient example — should be taken as a reliable guide to history." Oh come on, Mr. Scott; that may be part of your point, but not the whole of it. The full review, which asks the question "How well does the director manager this complex question?" of a film which asks, "How could a commoner write such great plays?", appears at

Nota bene: Here is an excerpt (from an article on the NPR website) from Mark Twain's pamphlet response to the incredulity exhibited by skeptics of Shakespeare's authorship:
is surmised by the biographers that the young Shakespeare got his vast knowledge of the law and his familiar and accurate acquaintance with the manners and customs and shop-talk of lawyers through being for a time the CLERK OF A STRATFORD COURT: just as a bright lad like me, reared in a village on the banks of the Mississippi, might become perfect in knowledge of the Behring Strait whale-fishery and the shop-talk of the veteran exercisers of that adventure-bristling trade through catching catfish with a 'trot-line' Sundays."


The Fruitlands Museum -- a beautiful facility, with outdoor and indoor exhibits occupying a hilltop location in Harvard, Mass. -- in partnership with the Concord Poetry Center, is inviting poets to come seek inspiration in a landscape rich in natural and human history. Fruitlands is soliciting original poems written about and on the museum grounds during fall and winter 2011-2012.

From the program description page: "Anything that can be seen or experienced on the 210-acre property from outside the museum buildings is an appropriate subject. Ten to fifteen poems will be selected by a jury of poets and museum staff. Poets whose poems are selected will be invited to share their work at a Plein Air Poetry Celebration at Fruitlands on the afternoon of Sunday, May 6. Selected poems may also be compiled in a chapbook and/or audio recorded."

Email submissions to Submission deadline is January 15, 2012. Rules and guidelines at; sign-up sheet at If you have questions call 978.456.3924 x291 or email
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The photo above was taken on a visit to Fruitlands in October 2011, and is directed toward the rise of Mt. Wachusett to the west. Thoreau, addressing this peak, noted that "like me [thou] standest alone without society", and "know'st not shame nor fear."