Wednesday, March 26, 2008

National Poetry Month, Thoughts, People's History of the American Empire

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. This is a good time to do poetry events, I guess. We had eight people who stayed through the whole poetry open mike the last time and four people who came in and out. It was kind of fun. Some people read their own poetry, but mostly people read from books of their favorite poems. I think it will grow slowly. There is no money spent on this kind of thing. Flyers and press releases cover advertising. I will probably be going around to post flyers at various places in the community as well.

I chose to fill the front three display cases with poetry books. A mix of beat, black, avant garde, and popular poetry. People like Wendell Berrigan, Nikki Giovanni, Charles Bukowski, Sapphire, Langston Hughes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alice Walker, Alan Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Diane Wakoski, Sylvia Plath, Gary Soto, Hart Crane, Sandra Cisneros, Jean Toomer, William Carlos Williams, and others. I am hoping that people will take interest in the selection. It is always very hard to know with these things.

Matter by Iain Banks is on the Locus Bestseller list. I am enjoying reading it. It reminds me a little bit of Ringworld by Larry Niven. The action takes place on a giant hollow world with multiple levels and towers between the different levels. There are a lot of different aliens in the story. It is quite intriguing.

A new graphic novel just came out People's History of the American Empire by Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Paul Buhle. This is a left of center history in comic book form. Howard Zinn is famous for writing A People's History of the United States: 1492- Present. This book has an official release date of April 1, 2008. This means we cannot put the book out for the public without potentially breaking copyright and receiving fines. Publishers do check for this in bookstores to see if you are releasing a book early. One of our local libraries got fined for doing this. I am looking forward to getting a chance to read this book.

I haven't read A People's History of the United States. Sometimes, I can only guess at whether something is good from other peoples recommendations.


Pam Hoffman said...

Poetry is a funny thing for me. It seems intensely personal which is a quandry IMO.

I'm 'pretty darn introverted' according to the test in "The Introvert Advantage" and I really don't like to pry nor do I enjoy gossip or the magazines with it in them.

So, since poetry seems like something intensely personal to me, I don't enjoy very much of it by other people.

I've WRITTEN poems before that I like very much.

The medium itself is attractive to me because you must get the most bang for your verbal buck I suppose.

I enjoy expressing myself in that format - each word must convey a lot of emotion, or content if you will.

I do have some favorites but when people have given me books with poetry in it, I don't really enjoy reading most of it.

Good to know about this though,

Pam Hoffman

p.s. the first full week in May is National Postcard Week! :)

Book Calendar said...

I've always liked poetry because it is a very visceral medium. One of my favorite things about poetry is how you can use color and tone to express emotion.

I really don't want to be considered a poet, but I sometimes, when I am in the mood write poetry.

I have to be in the right mood to do it. Often this is a point of emotionally extreme, so I don't get the feeling most of the time.