In the News
April is National Poetry Month
But we could sing we’re not afraid, because we were. So music is a form, a poetic form of telling the truth.
—Rev. Edwin King
Many of you, and certainly IthacaLit folks, celebrate poetry everyday. Let's join April's blooming poetry movement.
Let's, each one of us, bring poetry off the shelf, out of the quiet room, and into unexpected places. Some places to start are with Poet Laureate initiatives like Ted Kooser's Poetry 180 & Natasha Trethewey's Where Poetry Lives or NYC's handy Poem in Your Pocket. Let's get going.
Share the words that move you --anywhere, everywhere! Remember that poetic truth, great or small, touch hearts as they bring folks to that place inside them that feels like home.
Spring Writes Festival
Join us for Ithaca's annual Spring Writes Festival. In May, we'll promote IthacaLit poets & artists with readings & contributors' books for sale at the Community School for Music & Art. Founding Editor Michele Lesko will also be answering questions as a member of a panel discussion on publishing.
Bill Murray? Who Doesn't Like Poetry!
"That Time Bill Murray Read Us His Favorite Poems"
— excerpt from Oprah Magazine
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Oprah Magazine's books editor Leigh Haber reached out to the actor [Bill Murray] through a mutual friend, knowing that Murray was a supporter of New York's Poets House, The Associated Press reports. Two months passed without any response from the actor, but in true Murray fashion, he finally responded on deadline day with a batch of his favorite poems, along with his own comments and annotations.
"It was so funny," Haber told the AP. "He had scraps of paper on which he'd scribbled notes and Xeroxes of poems..." Galway Kinnell, Lucille Clifton, Thomas Lux and Naomi Shihab Nye are among the poets whose work Murray includes in the issue.
Diane Lockward...revels in sensory language, often lip-smacking language, and she can make the language of terror and loss as spine-tingling as the beauty of a last stab of sunset before it disappears. The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement, with its cryptic title, invites us to join her in nothing less than a poetic banquet... Make no mistake, though, the artistic weaving in these poems is tough as knots that "hold their weight, that won't come undone." This book is a feast to which Garcia Lorca himself would give a five-star rating.
—Kathryn Stripling Byer, NC Poet Laureate, 2005-2009
Bill Murray reading Emily Dickinson's "I Dwell in Possibility" for Poet's House, NYC
One of my teachers...made me look at art in a different way,” Akilah said. “As I grew older, I … realized that the black people [who] came before us … made us into what we are today, so of course I had to include them in some way.” (“Of all the things I chose to include,” Akilah writes on Google’s site, “the six most special to me are the Symbol of Life [the ankh], the African continent, where everything began for me and my ancestors, the Eye of Horus, the word ‘power’ drawn in black, the woman’s fist based on one of my favorite artist’s works, and the D.C. flag — because I’m a Washingtonian at heart!”)
—Akilah Johnson, The Washington Post