February 2005: June Kysilko Kraeft continues as our February featured poet, along with Len Krisak, who won the Richard Wilbur prize in 2000 for his book Even as We Speak. Also, two poems have been added to the bottom of Norman Kraeft's poetry page, including a touching, gentlemanly poem by Norman Kraeft about understanding that is better read than described.
Simon Perchik has been published in Partisan Review, Poetry, The New Yorker and many other journals, and "is the most widely published unknown poet in America" according to Library Journal. His poetry is full of what one reviewer calls "elemental tokens": tokens that sometimes seem simultaneously familiar and alien in the landscapes of his poems.
February seems a fine month for THT to be able to introduce its readers to the poetry of Julie Kane. Her poem "Thirteen" is reminiscent of "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian, a song that has haunted many a teenager to, through and beyond maturity. Kane's poems like "Maraschino Cherries," "Egrets," "Kissing the Bartender" and "Dead Armadillo Song" demonstrate her virtuoso range and what we take for staying power.
Michele Leavitt is another poet new to THT's pages. She joins our "powow" of Powow River Poets that now includes Rhina Espaillat, Deborah Warren, Len Krisak, Mike Juster and Michael Cantor.
Midge Goldberg is another new poet, for us at least, although her poems have appeared in some of our favorite journals, including Edge City Review, Pivot and The Lyric. She's yet another Powow River Poet. Just what do they lace the waters of Powow River with? Someone should bottle it, pronto!
It's a particular pleasure for THT to be able to publish two poems by Leland Jamieson.
Tara A. Elliott is yet another poet new to THT. She and Gene Justice are co-editors of Triplopia, an eZine that has published work by several THT poets, and she has been a multiple gold medal winner of the Net Poetry & Arts Contest (NPAC), which has been judged by THT poets Tony Marco, Jennifer Reeser, Harvey Stanbrough and Joyce Wilson.
Rhina Espaillat's poem "You Who Sleep Soundly Through Our Bleakest Hour" has been added to her THT poetry page, and also to Mysterious Ways. Also new to her poetry page is "Arbol Vecino," a Spanish translation of Robert Frost's "Tree at My Window," which has been on a banner with the English original, on exhibit all summer in various city parks of Lawrence, MA ...
Esther Cameron's review of THT's Holocaust Poetry now appears on our Essays & Assays page.
January 2005: This month we have a very special featured poet, June Kysilko Kraeft. As many of our "insiders" and "frequent fliers" know by now, June Kraeft passed away July 21st of last year. June was a writer, a poet, a photographer, a cook, a prize-winning horticulturist, and the co-author with her husband Norman Kraeft of several books on American art. Her THT poetry page will not only showcase her own poetry, but will also be a place for family, friends and admirers to say their last words on her behalf. If you knew June Kraeft, or if you read and admired her poetry, please feel free to e-mail your thoughts, poetry or prose, to THT's editor at email@example.com.
Our thanks to Richard Moore for contributing his thoughtful, insightful essay "Pain and Death" to Mysterious Ways, where it is now the featured article.
December 2004: We have added a poetry page for Wladyslaw Szlengel that ties in well with similar poetry pages THT has published recently: Esther Cameron's translations of poems about Janusz Korczak, a page of writings (some recast as poems) by Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, poetry by the third Pulitzer Prize nominee we've published, Charles Adés Fishman, a page of Yala Korwin's translations of the poems of Jerzy Ficowski and Jewish ghetto poets, and a special page of Yala Korwin's own Holocaust poetry.
This month we're pleased to introduce our readers to the work of Jill Williams, who numbers among her credits a Broadway musical, songwriting, an album published by RCA Victor, celebrity interviews, four nonfiction books, two poetry books, and poems in some of our favorite journals, including Light Quarterly, Edge City Review and The Lyric. She has dared to capture a yawning lion on film, and (even more daringly) has taught creative writing to college students! Oh, and she also does poetry readings across the United States and Canada.
We're also tickled pink 'n' polka dots to be able to publish the light verse of Edmund Conti, an accomplished humorist who has had over 500 poems published, although he claims not to keep count! Somehow we suspect he's not highly enough paid (is any living poet?) to make your lawsuit anything other than frivolous, so we suggest you rest your case and indulge in a little light-hearted frivolity.
It's an honor and a pleasure to introduce our readers to the poetry of Marc Widershien, an accomplished, often-published poet whose influences include Samuel French Morse, John Malcolm Brinnin, Robert Lowell, Daisy Aldan and Ezra Pound.
Len Krisak will be the featured poet in an upcoming issue of THT, but we're pleased to be able to offer our readers a "sneak preview" of his poetry page just in time to kick off the new year with a bang!
Also this month we've updated the poetry page of Zyskandar Jaimot with a new poem, "Siacon," and some of Zaj's own amazing imitations of the masters. If you haven't seen his page lately, you'd be remiss to miss the changes we've made!
November 2004: This month we're pleased to be able to review The Consciousness of Earth, a book-length epic poem by this month's Featured Poet, Esther Cameron.
We've "broken the mold" so to speak, and have published Jo-Anne Cappeluti's "Letter to Lord Auden" (an exception we think you'll be glad we made). While THT doesn't generally publish extremely long poems, this one seems worth many hyperbolic acres of hyperspace. And while we insist on a cluckish matronly "Tsk! Tsk!" to paper-and-ink journals for making poems like Jo-Anne's virtually impossible to publish these days (imagine: a long poem that, egad!, rhymes), we're happy to be able to do our part and publish it "virtually." So much so, in fact, that we're also publishing another longish poem by the same poet: "The Impotence of Being Earnest(ine)."
Another new poet this month (or at least new to THT) is Catherine Chandler. Catherine has been writing formal poetry for some time, but is somewhat new to the "publication game." So, as we say in these parts, we're "right proud" to be among the first journals to publish her work, along with two of our favorites: The Lyric and Iambs & Trochees.
J. Patrick Lewis is a poet of considerable formal skill who seems to enjoy poetry and a good laugh as much as the children he exuberantly teaches. So we hope you'll not only visit his THT poetry page, but use it to explore his web site, which will be of interest to anyone who has children, grandchildren, or who remains something of a child at heart.
Carolyn Raphael is a poet whose name will be instantly recognized by those who run in formal circles, which means she's among good friends here.
Wendy Videlock is an up-and-coming poet whose work has been published by a number of excellent journals and web sites.
We've also added a new poem "From a Widow's Diary—9/11/01" to Yala Korwin's poetry page.
We also have a bit of wonderful late-breaking news: Jared Carter, a THT Featured Poet, has been invited to read his work at the Library of Congress on December 9, 2004. For more information, please click here.
We are also pleased to be able to publish a new essay, "Thomas Stearns Eliot, an Early Re-assessment for the New Century" by Joe Ruggier. This essay is very much in the spirit of our new Grace Notes page (more on this below). How refreshing to read that a contemporary poet not only values Eliot as a poet, critic and mentor, but as a source of consolation and comfort!
Please check our Thanksgiving special, which includes two hard-to-find poems by Langston Hughes, along with various pearls of wisdom and poems from Robert Frost, Louise Bogan, Hart Crane, Edward Arlington Robinson, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, and others. Frequenters of THT will be pleased to find poems and excerpts of poems by a number of THT poets: Jim Barnes, Beverly Burch, Jack Butler, Esther Cameron, Jared Carter, Rhina P. Espaillat. I even manage to sneak in a "poem" of my own, perhaps my first or second haiku or haiku-like poem (a fairly recent happenstance, and one not highly likely to be repeated). But there are extenuating circumstances, explained alongside the poem.
Also this month THT is introducing a new page, called Grace Notes.
August 2004: This month we're pleased to be able to feature Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel along with the third Pulitzer Prize nominee we've published, Charles Adés Fishman. And we're doubly delighted to be able to bring our readers wonderfully moving translations by Yala Korwin: translations of the poems of Jerzy Ficowski and of Jewish ghetto poets who speak to us now—largely anonymously, and thus forever united, as one Voice—from the ghettos of WWII-era Poland. And for good measure, we have a special page of Yala Korwin's own Holocaust poetry. Also, our thanks to Esther Cameron for allowing us to link to her outstanding Point & Circumference Homage to Paul Celan. And here's a link to the Norton Poets Online page for Paul Celan. Esther Cameron personally recommends the University of Wisconsin's Paul Celan page.
In closing, I'd like to publish a letter by one of the most talented, loveliest and nicest poets I know: Rhina Espaillat ...
"I've just visited the site—after a long time away from the internet altogether, because I've been up to the ears in projects, paperwork, translations and houseguests!—and I want to tell you how lovely it is, and how unfailingly interesting and instructive it remains. The addition of new work by Yala [Korwin], and the use of the photograph to accompany one of her poems, are great assets to the site and one more gift you've given the reading public."
"And here's some very sad news you may not have heard yet: I had a call two nights ago from Norman Kraeft, to tell me that [his wife] June died July 21, after a painful but mercifully brief bout with pancreatic cancer. She died—and I was not surprised to hear this—as courageously and uncomplainingly as she had lived, and left behind a final magnificent poem she had not shown anyone. He read it to me on the phone; it gave me goose pimples. Luckily he has very good friends living nearby who have been helpful and kind."
"And, finally, much happier news from here. I have two new publications out this year: a full-length book titled The Shadow I Dress In, from David Robert Books (it won their Stanzas Prize), and a little chapbook titled The Story-teller's Hour, from Scienter Press. Also, several of my translations of Robert Frost poems into Spanish are being used by the Robert Frost Foundation as part of their coming Frost Festival on October 23, in Lawrence. One of them—my Spanish version of "Tree at my Window"—is on display all summer, with the English original, on a banner that's flying in several of the city parks of Lawrence, a nearby city in which Frost and his wife both grew up, and that now has a large Hispanic population. I'm very pleased over that, as I like to see the arts used to forge living links between neighbors from different cultural groups."
July 2004: This month we are pleased to be able to feature the work of Makoto Fujimura. Fujimura is an artist and an essayist, but his art is poetic and his essays are poetic, and it's hard to imagine that anyone will quibble if we make an exception (to our rule of normally featuring poets) in his case. It helps our case (not that our case needs help) that Fujimura has created art based on T. S. Eliot's "Four Quartets." Noted artist and critic Robert Kushner tells us: "The idea of forging a new kind of art, about hope, healing, redemption, refuge, while maintaining visual sophistication and intellectual integrity is a growing movement, one which finds Fujimura's work at the vanguard."
We are also featuring the work of Edward Zuk, who has an interesting background to complement his highly interesting, skillfully written poetry. Zuk was born in Surrey, British Columbia, in 1971. He graduated with a B.A. in mathematics and English from the University of British Columbia and went on to earn an M.A. in English from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, where he wrote his dissertation on uses of the sonnet by American poets of the first half of the 20th century. Being half-Japanese, he has pursued haiku poetry to explore that part of his heritage. He has served as the British Columbia coordinator for Haiku Canada.
Beverly Burch is also new to our pages, and no, she's not related to me [THT editor Michael R. Burch]. But the way she writes poetry, I'd like to think that I share a few poetic genes with her!
We also continue to feature the work of June's Featured Poet, Moore Moran. And for good measure, we also continue to feature our tribute page to Ronald Reagan, with lines of his own poetry "batting leadoff."
We have also added an important, touching picture to the poetry page of Yala Korwin. The picture inspired her poem "The Little Boy with His Hands Up." We hope you'll revisit the poem now that the picture is in place. Yala Korwin's poem and an essay "The America I Love" by Elie Wiesel, graciously mailed to us by THT poet Esther Cameron, seem to go hand in hand, and so we have also added a poetry page and links to six important essays by Elie Wiesel.
We've also added three poems to the poetry page of Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal, and they're poems you won't want to miss (and will be excuseless if you do).
At the Art of Love competition organized by LondonArt.co.uk (Britain's largest contemporary art website, exhibiting nearly 10,000 artworks by over 750 artists), two of Carmen Willcox's poems were selected to appear in an exhibition (and accompanying catalog) at the Arndean gallery in London during February 2004. The poetry entries were judged by Andrew Motion, Britain's Poet Laureate. We've updated Carmen's poetry page, and we invite you to revisit it, or to visit it for the first time if you've been remiss in the past . . .
And to wrap things up, here's an Uncle Flatboot review of The HyperTexts originally published by www.triplopia.com (our thanks to Triplopia editor Gene Justice and to "Uncle Flatboot" himself, Paul Sonntag, for allowing us to use the review here).
June 2004: Our featured poet this month is Moore Moran. Readers have only to expend a hyperclick to find themselves vigorously nodding agreement with John M. Daniel, who says: “Moran is a fine writer, a really wonderful poet. He shows education without showing it off; he shows sensitivity without being sentimental." As is so often the case with the fine poets we publish, the poems of Moore Moran need no further assistance on our part, so please indulge yourselves forthwith! Also this month we've updated the poetry page of Zyskandar Jaimot with two new poems. The poems are "Substance of the image" and "Abraham's Diner, Machias, Maine." We also have a tribute page to Ronald Reagan, with lines of his own poetry batting leadoff.
April 2004: Our featured poet this month is Robert Mezey, about whose poetry we could go on at length, but whose words need no assistance on our part. We agree wholeheartedly with Galway Kinnell that what we find in Robert Mezey's work "that ultimate tenderness toward existence which is the dream of great poems." We welcome you to enter and discover, in the poet's own words, "the warm rooms of the pentameter." We are also pleased to be able to publish the poetry of V. Ulea, the pen name of Vera Zubarev. Ulea is a literary critic, writer, and film director. She has a Ph.D. in Russian Literature from the University of Pennsylvania where she currently teaches. She has published books of prose, poetry, and literary criticism and has recently finished her full feature movie, Four Funny Families, based on Chekhov’s plays. Readers familiar with Neovictorian/Cochlea and The Eclectic Muse will no doubt recognize her distinctive style and themes. We have also added four new poems to the poetry page of Marly Youmans, and we know that you will enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed publishing them.
March 2004: Our featured poet this month is Luis Omar Salinas, and we are especially honored to have been given the rights to publish his major poems in perpetuity. Although it will take some time for us to publish our entire allotment of the career-defining poems Luis Omar Salinas has personally selected for The HyperTexts, please click on the hyperlink above to see the poems we have published to date. As Zyskander Jaimot says in the introduction he penned for our readers : "Yes, attention should be paid to Luis Omar Salinas. Attention paid, to a fine poet." We couldn't agree more! Also, please read an excellent tribute poem to Luis Omar Salinas, contributed by another outstanding poet, Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal. We have another tribute poem, this one dedicated to Leslie Mellichamp by Norman Kraeft. Also, please check out our latest, greatest page: Mysterious Ways. Mysterious Ways will be a permanent feature, updated frequently, akin to our Masters and Esoterica pages. We are also accepting unsolicited submissions for Mysterious Ways; please see the page intro for submissions guidelines. However, we will not allow poems to "limbo" beneath our high standards bar, so please be forewarned and submit your very best poems!
November 2003: Our featured poet this month is Norman R. Shapiro, who has supplied us with too many outstanding poems for us to possibly do them justice in a single issue. Which presents us with two dilemmas: what to use, and what to leave out. Rather than leaving out more than we can use in one sitting, we hope to be able to publish (pending his approval) a small number of poems from several of Shapiro's excellent books in semi-regular installments over the next few months. Please stay tuned, but in the meantime you can find three superb translations from Charles Baudelaire: Selected Poems from "Les Fleurs du mal by clicking the hyperlink above. We're also pleased to be able to publish the poetry of Marly Youmans, of whom no less an authority than William Harmon says, "I wish more poems were like these." We've added two poems to the poetry page of Joe Ruggier: poems he says are among his "best-loved creations." And we've also added Esther Cameron's insightful review of Ruggier's "Door-to-Door to CD-ROM" literary CD, which is a collection of nineteen books on one disk.
October 2003: Our featured poet this month is Alfred Dorn. Dr. Dorn has been absolutely essential to the preservation of an endangered species: traditional English poetry. A former Vice President of the Poetry Society of America, he is the Director of the World Order of Narrative and Formalist Poets, which has sponsored international contests since 1980. His efforts on behalf of traditional poetry, narrative and metrical poetry in particular, are greatly to be applauded. And Dom is a poet, critic, and art historian of note, having won more than seventy awards. Anthony Hecht tells us, "The poems of Alfred Dom seem to me vigorous, imaginative and original, graced with elegant formalities when the occasion warrants, manumitted and free when the spirit moves." We invite you to experience those elegant formalities by clicking on the link above.
We're also pleased to bring you the poetry of Michael Cantor, whose poetry reflects a variety of interests and influences, and ranges from traditional sonnets to rib-tickling humor to oriental affairs.
The HyperTexts is pleased to be the first on-line journal to announce the availability of a new poetry CD edited by Joe Ruggier, a CD in which I was pleased to play a very small part. The CD is a compilation of nineteen books which Joe has painstakingly converted to .PDF format, and it's a great value for the price, which you can obtain from Joe by clicking the link above and going to the bottom of his poetry page, where you will find his address and phone number. You really should call Joe on the phone if only to hear what my wife says is "the loveliest, gentlest voice ... a boon for the soul." Beth, who seldom reads poetry except for the poems I write about her (which she wisely professes to like, in between stifled yawns), upon having spoken to Joe on the phone for the first time, made me immediately find her all the poems of Joe's that I had in my possession. Do you think she's ever asked to read all my poems? Hah! Back to the CD: the books include The Best of The Eclectic Muse (1989-2003), collections of poems by George Borg, Mary Meisel, Roy Harrison, Philip Higson, John Laycock, and Ruggier; "Savitri," a long prose poem by Chandrampatti; a collection of letters in verse between Ruggier and Esther Cameron; and a collection of letters between Ruggier and Roy Harrison. My contribution to the CD was technical assistance with the autostart feature of the CD, done through the computer consultancy I own and the valiant efforts of Fred Born and Rod Allen, two of my programmers. It turns out that older versions of Windows can only autostart programs, not files such as the Table of Contents file Joe needed to have launched automatically when the CD is inserted in a user's drive. But Fred, Rod and I put our heads together and found a freeware program that can launch Adobe Acrobat Reader even when the exact name and version of the AAR program are unknown, if not saving the day, at least helping to end it on a poetic note.
Last month I mentioned an "Arkansas connection" with Greg Alan Brownderville joining Jim Barnes, Jack Butler, and R. S. (Sam) Gwynn on THT's pages. This month, with the addition of Michael Cantor, I think it bears mentioning that we also have a "powow" of Powow River Poets that, in addition to Mr. Cantor, includes Rhina Espaillat, Deborah Warren, Len Krisak and Mike Juster. For information on a poetry workshop "done right," please click on this link to our write-up on the Powow River Poets and the poetry contest they sponsor in conjunction with the Newburyport Arts Association. Even more importantly, please browse our Contemporary Poets index and read the work of these fine poets.
After I posted the October issue, Rhina Espaillat e-mailed me the following: " It's wonderful, also, to have our group [the Powow River Poets] mentioned in the same issue with Alfred Dorn, who is an old and valued friend to me, from NYC days, and to the Powows. He's honored us by reading here several times, with his wife, Anita, who is a fine poet herself. I can't tell you what a difference this man has made in the lives of the countless poets he's taught, encouraged, and spurred to new effort and new thought, both through example and through his unique yearly contest. Many of us wait all year for the World Order of Narrative & Formalist Poets Contest guidelines, which are like notes from several excellent college seminars! The kind of competition his contest engenders has little to do with money, and everything to do with meeting the challenges tossed out by a first-rate poetic and critical intelligence. But what he really is, at heart, is the kindest and most generous of mentors: any number of young poets today will attest to that." Of course, we know many poets who feel exactly the same way about Rhina!
I'd also like to share Rhina's comments about THT poet Yala Korwin: "I want to tell you again what a joy it is to see Yala Korwin's work posted on your site, attracting the readers she deserves. Her poetry gives the lie to the remark by Paul Celan that she uses as an epigraph to one of her poems, about the impossibility of telling one's own truth in a language that is not one's first. Yala's work is so passionate and wise about her truth—the truth of her personal experience and that of her generation—that it would somehow make itself understood if she stammered it in Chinese! Thank you for giving a forum to those of us who try to defy Celan's observation by doing our "telling"—our singing—in the language of the Other."
On a personal note, I was pleased and surprised to have Writer's Digest call me on the phone with the news that two of my poems ("See" and "At Wilfred Owen's Grave") had finished 3rd and 7th out of over 18,000 overall contest entries in the recent Writer's Digest Rhyming Poetry Contest. The poems are a mouse-click away for anyone who'd like to peruse them: just click here. — MRB
September 2003: Our featured poet this month is John Morgan. His poetry has appeared in some of our favorite journals, including Light Quarterly, The Neovictorian/Cochlea and The Eclectic Muse. But that's virtually all that we know about him, other than that we like his poetry, and that we know you will too. We have another poet new to THT this month: Greg Alan Brownderville, who tells us: "I was born and reared in a musical family of Pumpkin Bend, Arkansas, where I absorbed the blues, Southern gospel, country preaching saturated with the King James Bible, and the rural rhythms of life in the Mississippi River Delta. Rhythm ruled." Biblical, rural, biblical-rural, rural-biblical ... no matter the names we contrive for the rhythms of his poems, they seem simultaneously both unique and familiar—a hallmark of the best blues and gospel music. And just in time for fall, we've added "Spring Villanelle" to the poetry page of Tony Marco; it was an interesting experience to see Tony reconstruct this nearly forgotten poem from memory, as he e-mailed in tantalizing passages as they returned to him. And to top things off, we've added new poems by Frost, Poe and Dickinson to our Masters page. Interestingly, we have quite an Arkansas connection forming on the pages of THT, as we add Greg Alan Brownderville to a group of fine poets with Arkansas roots: Jim Barnes, Jack Butler, and R. S. (Sam) Gwynn. And because my wife hails from Arkansas and has introduced me to the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival, mayhaw jelly, garlic cheese grits, vacation houses on stilts, and other such esoterica ... well, I feel that I have a foot in the door of this rather exclusive club!—MRB
August 2003: Our featured poet this month is Esther Cameron. It's also a pleasure for us to be able to publish the work of Max Gutmann. His poem "The Villanelle's Appeal" had stuck in my mind (a good thing for a poem to do) ever since I first read it in Piedmont Literary Review. So when Max queried us about a submission to THT, I immediately asked if he'd let us use "The Villanelle's Appeal," which he graciously did. Max Gutmann's work has appeared frequently in Light Quarterly, so prepare to be both amused and be-mused. Also, we've added three new poems to the poetry page of Richard Moore, the three poems at the top of his page. For readers new to THT, Richard Moore's poetry page is a good place to start browsing, because the man is a helluva poet: a poet who will be known to future generations if we have anything to say in the matter. Or even if we don't and good taste in poetry has anything to do with who gets read. A poem of Moore's that I particularly like is "In the Dark Season," and to me these three lines are an almost perfect description of the mysterious art of writing poetry:
One studied a new language in the darkness,
looked far down into the well,
into the hints of sunlight in its depths.
I'd encourage our readers to do what I have done myself: buy all of Richard's books, read his poems, study his essays. Get him to sign his books, because according to Richard he's pissed off his share of publishers, which means his signature may be a rare and valuable commodity in the future.—MRB
July 2003: Our featured poet this month is Jack Butler, who says of himself, "I am a noise-scarred singer, but by god I still hold the true note." That's no idle boast; his poetry will add multiple exclamation marks to anything anyone might say about him or his work. Jack Butler is simply one of the best poets writing today, and if you haven't read "For Her Surgery" or "Electricity" before, you have missed out, until now. Get back into the loop of poetry sparking like a live wire by clicking here. We're also pleased to bring you the poetry of Yala Korwin, who came to English poetry in the most roundabout of ways, but we're glad she did. We also have a several new additions to our Essays & Assays page, including two reviews of Joe Ruggier's Songs of Gentlest Reflection, one by Mary Rae, the other by yours truly.—MRB
June 2003: Our featured poet this month is Jim Barnes. Samuel Maio tells us, and we concur, that "Barnes is a masterful poet, a most worthy voice for his generation." Brian Bedard says "His poems are a singing in the rain which he knows falls on us all but which, in spite of its chilling touch, also gives life to the earth we must wander over and disappear into." James Dickey says "It is a deep new pleasure to come on a poet with the imaginative boldness of Jim Barnes." So without further ado, let us point you to his poetry page. We're also pleased to bring you the poetry of Kevin Walzer. Kevin has published three books of literary criticism and has had poetry published in Connecticut Review, Sparrow, Poetry Magazine, and other journals. He is also one of the founders of WordTech Communications. Publishing through Word Press and other imprints, WordTech Communications has grown into a major force in poetry publishing with plans to publish more than 40 books in 2004. We also have a new addition to our Essays & Assays page, a review of Joe Ruggier's Songs of Gentlest Reflection, reviewed by Mary Rae.
May 2003: Our featured poet this month is Jared Carter. Dana Gioia said of Carter's first book, Work, for the Night Is Coming: “From beginning to end, this volume has the quiet passion of conviction, the voice of a poet who knows exactly what he wants to say and how to say it.” Henry Taylor described Work, for the Night Is Coming as “one of the clearest and strongest first books to have appeared in recent decades.” Galway Kinnell obviously agreed about the merits of Work, for the Night Is Coming, awarding it the 1980 Walt Whitman award. Carter's second book, After the Rain, attracted similar notice. “Extraordinary,” Gioia wrote “a dark, haunting book in the tradition of Frost.” Ted Kooser found After the Rain to be “a moving and masterful book, charming in the best sense of that word.” It offered “proof,” according to Robert Phillips, “that the art of poetry is alive and well in America.” Robert McPhillips called it "the finest, most varied, and most rewarding volume of poetry published in 1993.” We could go on, but we'd rather point you directly to Jared Carter's poetry page. And we're also pleased to add three new poems to the poetry page of Terese Coe. While French delicacies may currently be out of favor in certain circles, we think our readers will enjoy Terese Coe's delicate translations and interpretations of the French poet Pierre de Ronsard. With poetry, discrimination is good thing, so please read and enjoy!
April 2003: Our featured poet this month is X. J. Kennedy. Richard Moore says Kennedy is "one of the best poets we have." Jan Schreiber says "Very little human experience is beyond the range of his keen eye and his well turned lines. We are fortunate to have him working among us." Those of our readers who are fans of Light Quarterly, one of this editor's favorite journals, will already be well acquainted with the work of one of earth's best "unserious poets," so please be sure to thoroughly investigate his poetry page. We've also added a new poem, "The Rusish Baths," by Zyskandar Jaimot.
March 2003: Our featured poet this month is R. S. Gwynn. Dana Gioia has called him "one of the truly talented and original poets of my generation," praising his "depth of feeling and intense lyricality." Richard Wilbur says: "R. S. Gwynn's No Word of Farewell is ... a richly varied, highly accomplished collection from one of our best." X. J. Kennedy says: "A wonderful satirist, a master translator, a keen observer of ironies, Gwynn commands a wide range of forms, some of them daunting in their difficulty. Moreover, he clearly holds with the ancient wisdom that a poem ought to bring gladness. That is why, every time I spy one of his new poems in a magazine, I read it before anything else." On that note, we suggest that you do as Mr. Kennedy does, and without further ado, let us direct you to R. S. Gwynn's poetry page. This month, we're also pleased to publish poems by Terese Coe. Her work includes her own delightfully original poetry and a translation from Pierre de Ronsard. We continue to feature the work of the great Romantic poets and their literary heirs on our Masters page. Also, we'd like to announce the debut of a new literary web site, the home page of The Eclectic Muse. The Eclectic Muse is edited by February's featured poet, Joe M. Ruggier, a poet who has worked tirelessly to promote our kind (and we hope your kind) of poetry: poetry that sings and moves, poetry that embraces rather than denies or defies the traditions of English poetry. If you believe as Joe Ruggier does—that there is a revival of traditional poetry, and that the world is better place for it—then we think you'll find The Eclectic Muse well worth the price of a subscription.—MRB
February 2003: Our featured poet this month is Joe M. Ruggier, a man who has done something to make all bewailers of the "state of the art" of contemporary poetry take note, having sold over 20,000 books, many of them door-to-door, including over 10,000 books he wrote and published himself! Now that's something even Robert Ripley would find truly amazing. We encourage our readers and poets not only to visit Joe's poetry page, but also to support him in his efforts to, as it were, singlehandedly jumpstart the revival of traditional English poetry. Joe was born in Malta and now lives in Richmond, Canada, where in addition to writing English and Maltese poetry and outselling most "major" poetry presses by himself, he is also a literary critic and editor who publishes a fine poetry journal, The Eclectic Muse. As if that isn't enough, Joe has translated the poetry of the Maltese poet George Borg. He's truly a man of many talents (and many hats!). And what better month than February to revisit the work of the great Romantic poets, so on our Masters page we're featuring the work of a number of Romantic poets, from William Blake and Robert Burns to Dylan Thomas and Hart Crane, and we've also included two darkly romantic poems by a perhaps unlikely candidate, Robert Frost. In the necessarily humble opinion of this editor, Frost's "Acquainted With The Night" and "Directive" are far darker, more chilling and disturbing, and simply better than anything written by Poe.—MRB
January 2003: Our featured poet this month is Emery Campbell. Emery, in addition to being a talented poet, fiction writer and translator, is active in the Georgia Poetry Society and, like many of the poets who breathe life into the pages of The HyperTexts, is contributing to the current renaissance of traditional poetry by actively encouraging the efforts of other poets. If you like witty poetry and metrical/rhymed poetry, you'll doubly like the poetry of Emery Campbell. Also, at Emery's request, we've added two new poems to our Masters page: "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden (of which Emery says, "I find it one of the most poignant and powerful poems I have ever read.") and "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot who died in action at the age of 19 on December 11, 1941.
Another poet I've enjoyed swapping e-mails with is Richard Moore. As anyone who visits this page regularly knows by now, I'm a fan of Richard's poetry, and it seems that I'm constantly finding new poems of his (or at least poems of his that are new to me) and asking him for permission to use them for THT. I don't consider myself a critic of poets, just an avid reader of poetry, but if I had to take a stab at naming poets in my ever-widening circle who might come to be highly valued by future generations, Richard Moore would be my first choice. As the editor of THT, I've never subscribed to the "less is more" thing. Instead, I think to myself "best is more," and so we've added three new poems to Richard Moore's poetry page: two that were published recently in Romantics Quarterly, and one that was the lead poem in the most current issue of Edge City Review, a fine journal edited by Terry Ponick, and one that should be on everyone's reading list.—MRB
December 2002: Our featured poet this month is Jennifer Reeser. The featured poet on our Masters page is Elizabeth Bishop. We have also updated Jendi Reiter's poetry page with a picture and information about her first book, A Talent for Sadness. Our congratulations on the book, Jendi! The featured essay on our Essays and Assays page is Dana Gioia's "Can Poetry Matter?" We have also added a Essays and Assays link to Gioia's follow-up to his essay, titled "Hearing from Poetry's Audience." Gioia's comments about the response to "Can Poetry Matter?" are interesting: "Letters poured into The Atlantic, copies of which they shipped to me in thick bundles. Other mail came to me directly or through my publishers. Reporters phoned at the office for interviews. Newspaper and magazine articles appeared. Radio producers asked me to discuss the article on the air. Friends phoned with anecdotes about the article's impact. Strangers called to ask advice. And for months the mail continued. Eventually I received over 400 letters from Atlantic readers. They were overwhelmingly favorable. Many of them felt I had not gone far enough in criticizing the inbred nature of the poetry world." Fascinating stuff, and we think Dana Gioia is an excellent, excellent choice for the next chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
November 2002: Our featured poet this month is Harvey Stanbrough, who was nominated for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize and the 2000 Frankfurt Award. Our newest Contemporary Poet is Jendi Reiter, a most welcome addition. We've also added a new poem/song lyric, "Annette's Song," to Tony Marco's poetry page, and we've also added an interview with Tony to our Essays & Assays page. Correcting a longstanding oversight, we've added a picture of Jan Schreiber to his poetry page. Also, while we're trying to obtain the rights to publish Steve Kowit's timely essay, "The Mystique of the Difficult Poem," here's a link for anyone who wonders, as we often do, why Harold Bloom's critical libido is stirred at the merest whiff of cognitive difficulty. Oh, and by the way—our poets were paid a well-earned compliment by Michael Morton, Director of the Net Poetry and Arts Competition, who recently said: "As I told one of our members, The HyperTexts reads like a 'Who's Who' in contemporary poetry today!" Our sentiments exactly!
October 2002: Our featured poet this month, Leo Yankevich, speaks to us all the way from Gliwice, Poland, while Essays & Assays features Esther Cameron's thought-provoking essay "I, Human" and two essays by Richard Moore: "The Balancer: Yeats and His Supernatural System" and "Poetic Meter in English: Roots and Possibilities." We've also put a few finishing touches on Richard Moore's poetry page, which is one readers should revisit often. And we've added two new poems to Gail White's page: poems that will mercilessly tickle our readers' funnybones. The first poem will remind you of someone you know (perhaps even of poets who've appeared in these pages!). The second will pepper you with sage advice. These are "must reads," folks.
September 2002: Our featured poet this month is Gail White. Also, this month we're pleased to showcase the poetry of Deborah Warren in our Contemporary Poets section. And in our continuing attempt to refute the modern adage "less is more," contending that if the words are good enough, we'd rather have more, not less, we've also added five new poems by Richard Moore: ones you'd be amiss to miss. We've also added a number of poems to our Masters page, and this month we're featuring some of the best love poems of all time, from poets like Roethke, Jonson, Auden, Yeats, Herrick, Bishop and Bogan. Our congratulations to Rhina Espaillat, whose latest book Rehearsing Absence was reviewed (positively, of course) in the September issue of Poetry. Rhina has a problem to which most poets secretly aspire: she's been the topic of so much interest and discussion recently, that, in response to her on-line interview with Poetic Reflections being delayed, she expressed relief, saying, "I don't want readers/viewers to say, 'What, HER again???'" Is that a twinge of empathy we're feeling, or is it the sting of envy?
August 2002: This month's featured poet is Zyskandar A. Jaimot. Our thanks to Noah Hoffenberg, poet and editor of CRUX Literary Magazine, for bringing the poetry of Mr. Jaimot to our attention. Which leads us to thanking Richard Moore for putting us in touch with Mr. Hoffenberg, whose poetry now appears in our Contemporary Poets section. We owe a second round of thanks to Richard Moore for pointing us toward Richard Wakefield, whose poetry also appears under Contemporary Poets, as does that of Jack Butler, who also has a selection of essays on our Essays & Assays page. This month, we've updated our Masters page with poems by Auden, Bishop, Bogan, Baudelaire and Keats, with the latter's poem being suggested to us by Esther Cameron. (Thanks Esther.) We've also updated Patrick Kanouse's page with a picture and two new poems. Patrick is the editor of The Raintown Review, stepping into the position previously held by Harvey Stanbrough. The Raintown Review is a champion of metrical poetry in general and blank verse in particular, so please be sure to support both Mr. Kanouse and his journal with your subscriptions and your submissions.
July 2002: We're running behind on publishing a number of new poets (new to THT, but names many of our visitors will immediately recognize, although we also have a few surprises up our sleeves). Our apologies for the delays, but please console yourselves with our editor's promise that your wait will eventually be worth his weight in gold (discounting, of course, his feet of clay.) In the meantime, we've added a new page we think will be of interest: Essays & Assays. Here, you'll find interviews and essays on "things poetic." We hope to soon add roundtable discussions in which poets scream and pull out their hair debating mindbending things like what the hell "free verse" means, and whether Joseph Salemi has been teaching American Idol's Simon Cowell a few tricks.
June 2002: Our featured poet is Leslie Mellichamp, for the second month. We continue to receive poems and testimonials in the honor of a poet and editor we greatly admired. So please revisit this month's updated Featured Poet page. We have also added a number of poems to our Masters page, and our thanks to Gail White and Zyskandar Jaimot for suggesting the poems debuting at the head of the Masters page this month. Both Ms. White and Mr. Jaimot will be featured poets in upcoming issues of THT. Also, thanks to Allen Heinrich, editor of Carnelian, for two poems ("Exile" by Hart Crane and "No Other Troy" by William Butler Yeats) we "lifted" from his excellent poetry web site. You can find Carnelian, which has published poetry by THT poets Harvey Stanbrough and Jack Granath, on our Links page. In our defense, T. S. Eliot did say, "Mature poets steal."
May 2002: Our featured poet is Leslie Mellichamp, whose death on December 18, 2001 leaves a void poetry will be hard pressed to fill. As the editor of The Lyric, the oldest magazine in North America devoted to traditional poetry, he was one of the standard bearers of accessible metrical poetry when its future seemed, at times, in doubt. In those lean years of the not-too-far-distant past, if a poet had a nice sonnet or villanelle that was languishing unpublished, The Lyric was always a bright prospect: a lighthouse, a star. We are pleased to be able to share Leslie Mellichamp's poetry with you, and if you have a personal testimonial you would like to have added to his poetry page, please e-mail it to Michael R. Burch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're also pleased to introduce you to the poetry of Hudson Owen, who appears in our Contemporary Poets section. To show what a small poetic world it is, and also the esteem in which Leslie Mellichamp's journal is held, Hudson Owen listed The Lyric first among his publication credits. Many poets have done the same throughout the years. Also, we've added a new poem by Tony Marco, "Sabillasville Sonnet 3." And we've updated Rhina Espaillat's bio: she now has four books, including Rehearsing Absence, winner of the Richard Wilbur Award. Congratulations, Rhina!
March 2002: Our featured poet is A. M. Juster. We have also added Wendy Taylor Carlisle to our Contemporary Poets section. We have a fine slate of poets who will be added next month, including Jack Butler, Noah Hoffenberg, Hudson Owen, Deborah Warren and Richard Wakefield. We continue to be encouraged by the publication of accessible metrical poetry in journals like Poetry, Harvard Review (which recently used a poem by THT poet Joyce Wilson), Atlanta Review, Hudson Review, Paris Review, Cumberland Poetry Review, and many others. And we're greatly encouraged by the fact that several poetry sites now attract thousands of visitors each month. Web sites like www.poets.org and www.ablemuse.com continue to grow and thrive. But there are thousands of poetry sites that are flourishing, and there is incredible demand for poetry on the Internet. For instance, "poetry" was recently the number eight search term for an entire year on Lycos, ahead of "football," "golf," "wrestling" and most of the "sex kittens." Amazing, but true. Yahoo! had to cancel an on-line poetry bash due to overwhelming demand, and Yahoo! has pretty decent broadcast capabilities. In an attempt to get the word out about "our kind" of poets to an increasingly attentive world, THT editor Michael R. Burch will be conducting a series of monthly interviews for Poetic Reflections. Each month, starting in April, we'll provide a URL to the current interview. The first interview will be with Richard Moore, one of our favorite contemporary poets, time and schedules permitting, so please "stay tuned!"
February 2002: Our featured poet is Rhina P. Espaillat. We have also added Anton N. (Tony) Marco to our Contemporary Poets section, and Tony will be the featured poet in an upcoming issue of The HyperTexts. There is one major change to our format: we have consolidated the poems of the Masters onto one page. We did this to make it easier for visitors to find our Contemporary Poets pages. We have also updated our Links page; there are now several outstanding Formalist poetry sites which appear early in our listings. Speaking of links, we were paid a wonderful compliment by Chris Beaulieu, editor of Poetic Reflections. Chris decided to cull his links down to the best three, and THT made the cut. Since Poetic Reflections itself was named one of the top three poetry web sites by none other than Writer's Digest, we were obviously quite pleased. We were even more pleased when Chris noted that the content of THT is "awesome." On another note, professor Kevin N. Roberts, editor of Romantics Quarterly, is looking for traditional poetry that shows the influence of the great Romantic Poets. If you're interested in submitting to Romantics Quarterly, please contact Michael R. Burch.
January 2002: Our featured poet is Jan Schreiber. We have completely revamped the Contemporary Poets section to make it easier to find the poets. Contemporary Poets are now listed alphabetically. In the past, we had tried to maintain groupings (Formalist, New Romantic, Free Verse), but as our roster of poets has grown, the lines of distinction have blurred, however pleasingly, and an alphabetized list will probably be easier on both our visitors and the editor, who became famous (or is it infamous?) for not being able to decide who went where with the old method. Also, due to popular demand (or at least an occasional inquiry), you can now find the editor's picture by clicking here. In the February version of THT, we hope to combine the Masters into one page, which will push the Featured Poet and Contemporary Poet sections toward the top of the index.
December 2001: Our featured poet is Claudia Gary Annis. We have updated our Rock Jukebox Page, and we hope you'll check it out. We are adding a number of excellent Contemporary Poets in the near future, including George Amabile, Anton (Tony) Marco, Hudson Owen, and Jan Schreiber, so please visit us again soon!
November 2001: Our featured poet is Richard Moore. We have updated our Links Page to show the THT poets who have been published by the various poetry journals and web sites listed. We also want to congratulate Mary Rae for winning the first prize in the first annual Raintown Review Awards poetry contest, which was jointly sponsored by THT. A special note of congratulation is in order to THT poet Joseph S. Salemi, who was the only poet to have two poems among the finalists. Also, THT poet Michael R. Burch won the Algernon Charles Swinburne poetry contest, sponsored by Romantics Quarterly, with Carmen Willcox finishing second and Mary Rae the first runner up.
Prior to November 2001: Our first featured poet was Richard Moore, as noted above. Prior to November 2001, THT didn't have issues, per se, and was not updated on a monthly basis, but merely upon the caprice of its founder and editor (i.e. me, Mike Burch). When did THT start? I don't rightly remember! But I was able to use the Wayback Machine to find the earliest extant version of THT, circa March 2001. At that time we had separate pages for the Masters; they included Matthew Arnold, William Blake, Ernest Dowson, Robert Frost, A. E. Housman, Ben Jonson, Edgar Allan Poe, Wilfred Owen, E. A. Robinson, Dylan Thomas, Walt Whitman, and W. B. Yeats. Our first cadre of contemporary poets included Harvey Stanbrough, Annie Finch, A. E. Stallings (the first "big fish" we landed), Dr. Joseph S. Salemi, William F. Carlson, Jennifer Reeser, Kevin N. Roberts, Michael Pendragon, and Michael R. Burch. From April to October 2001 we added the following contemporary poets: Roger Hecht, Louise Jaffe, Esther Cameron, Jack Granath, Carmen Willcox, Dr. Alfred Dorn, Wade Newman, Patrick Kanouse, Joyce Wilson, Mary Rae (the winner of our first and only poetry contest), Ric Masten and Ursula T. Gibson. In the early days, Bill Carlson was a godsend, as he put us in touch, either directly or indirectly through his website and its links to Expansive Poetry & Music Online, with roughly half the poets we published in our formative days: himself, Dorn, Salemi, Cameron, Newman, Hecht (via Newman, his literary executor), Jaffe, Granath, Reeser and Richard Moore. The second largest "pool" of poets came from to us from the ranks of the New Romantics: Kevin N. Roberts, Michael Pendragon, Carmen Willcox and Mary Rae. We found Harvey Stanbrough through The Raintown Review, which he founded and was still editing at the time. Some poets we found through the "grapevine" and the Internet: Stallings, Finch, Wilson, Masten, Gibson. We found Kanouse either through Carlson or Stanbrough.
Just when was The HyperTexts originally created? I'm not sure. Probably between 1998 and 2000, since the site already had considerable content in early 2001, with a total of 21 poets in its Masters and Contemporary Poets indexes, not to mention fairly extensive Esoterica and Rock Jukebox pages. In July 2004 we recorded our hit counter for the first time: 16,787. But I don't remember when I added it, so any number of early hits were probably not recorded. In four months of 2008 alone, THT had around 30,000 hits on its main page. So our readership has obviously grown dramatically. We seem to get as many hits in four months as we once did in four years.
Why did I start The HyperTexts? Again, I really don't remember. I know I bought a copy of Microsoft Frontpage, the program I used to create THT, probably just before the turn of century, in order to edit the website of the software company I own, Alpha Omega Consulting Group, Inc. At the time Alpha Omega had a programmer, Steve Harris, who had experience designing websites, so I imagine I bought the program on his recommendation. Steve left Alpha Omega toward the end of 2000, so I suppose around that time I had to take over editing the company website. So perhaps I created THT in order to learn the basics of HTML. It would have been natural for me to create a literary website, as a way of learning my way around HTML, because whenever I needed to learn a new programming language, I always started with something functional that I had the expertise to design and critique. I doubt that I had any real intention of being an editor and publisher of poetry at the time. I do remember getting in contact with A. E. (Alicia) Stallings and asking if I could publish a few of her poems. Her graciousness no doubt encouraged me to "go after" other poets. Annie Finch and Harvey Stanbrough were other poets I admired who gave me permission to publish their poems. Through my connection with Michael Pendragon, who published my poems in the literary journals Penny Dreadful and Songs of Innocence and the poetry anthology The Bible of Hell, I met Kevin N. Roberts, the founder and editor of Romantics Quarterly. As I helped Kevin get Romantics Quarterly off the ground, with financial assistance and suggestions, I began to see something of a larger role for myself, in the grand scheme of things, and THT soon became a launching pad of sorts for literary journals on tight budgets that didn't have their own websites. Those were the days before every man and his dog had a blog.
In 2002 I published Rhina Espaillat, and over the years she has helped THT publish the work of a number of her fellow Powow River Poets, including Michael Cantor, Deborah Warren, Len Krisak, Mike Juster and Midge Goldberg.
In 2002 I published Jack Butler, the first poet in an "Arkansas connection" that now includes Jack, Greg Alan Brownderville, Jim Barnes, and R. S. (Sam) Gwynn.
In early 2003 I ran free advertisements for Joe Ruggier's literary journal, The Eclectic Muse, and for his collection of books on CD, which my software company helped Joe create. My relationship with Joe soon led THT to join forces with Joe's Multicultural Books (MBooks) imprint, and before long we had published books by Emery Campbell, Zyskandar Jaimot, T. Merrill and V. Ulea, with hopefully more to come.
Also in 2003 I published Yala Korwin, a Holocaust survivor, and soon with the help of Yala and Esther Cameron, THT was able to bring a number of poems by Jewish ghetto poets and other Holocaust poets that had never appeared in English before. Our early Holocaust pages included those of Janusz Korczak and Elie Wiesel, which were published in 2004.
In 2005, I published the work of T. (Tom) Merrill, and this was the beginning of yet another fruitful relationship. Tom has devoted much time to THT, and he is now our Poet in Residuum. In addition to gracing our pages with his poems, essays and poet intros, Tom is a proofreader par excellence. And he has directed us to a number of poets we wouldn't have known about otherwise, including Agnes Wathall, Eunice de Chazeau and Mary Malone.
In 2006, I published the poetry of Jeffery Woodward, and he has gone on to contribute a number of pages to our "Blasts from the Past" series, earning a honorable mention on our masthead. And so THT's editors and associates now consist of me, Tom, Joe and Jeffrey.
As I pen this retrospective (written on December 12, 2008), THT ranks in the top ten with Google for a number of our primary search terms: the hypertexts (#1), hypertexts (#2), formal poetry (#2), contemporary formal poetry (#3), "the Masters" poetry (#2), Darfur poetry (#1), Holocaust poetry (#10), ghetto poets (#2), Nelson Mandela poetry (#1), Elie Wiesel poetry (#1), Leonard Nimoy poetry (#1), Ronald Reagan poetry (#1), Pope John Paul II poetry (#1), Karol Wojtyla poetry (#1), Nadia Anjuman poetry (#1 and #2), Miklós Radnóti poetry (#1), Formalist poetry (#5). And we're ranked extremely high by Google for searches for many of the poets we've published: X. J. Kennedy poetry (#1), Richard Moore poetry (#1 and #2), Esther Cameron poetry (#1 and #2), George Held poetry (#1), Jack Butler poetry (#3 and #4), Ethna Carbery poetry (#3), etc.
In a few cases, such as Richard Moore's and Esther Cameron's, we even rank above the poets' personal and/or literary websites. And in many cases, we rank number one with Google in searches for our poets' names, sans modifiers, as with Eunice de Chazeau, Alfred Dorn, Rhina P. Espaillat, Roger Hecht, George Held, T. S. Kerrigan, Yala Korwin, Leslie Mellichamp, Robert Mezey, Joseph S. Salemi, and Agnes Wathall, just to drop a few names. These are men and women with serious accomplishments, so it's interesting to see THT ranking number one, even above Wikipedia, as we sometimes do.
Where will THT go from here? Perhaps as high and far as Google can help us fly . . .
December 12, 2008