The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 01, 2008

The Best Of Last Year

Bishop583_4 In case anyone is joining us fresh, I thought it might be helpful to list my five favorite posts from last year.

1) Henri Cole schooled us on exactly how Elizabeth Bishop should be read.
He wasn't the only one to offer audio of a Bishop poem--be sure to also check out Thom Gunn's reading of Varick Street and Robert Pinsky reading At the Fishhouses.

2) Seamus Heaney read poetry by Ted Hughes.
Trying to put this into context for one of my friends, I was actually heard to say 'This is like getting to hear The Rolling Stones covering James Brown.' (I'll trust that everyone here knows what I meant.)

3) Associate publisher of FSG Linda Rosenberg weighed in on two of my favorite poets: Thom Gunn and August Kleinzahler. Her words on re-issuing The Man With The Night Sweats:

...it's our hope that our volumes—most with new introductions by poets of today—will make it easier for new readers and old to find their way into these extraordinary books. Due to the unique power of the form, most of these works seem to acquire an even greater resonance as time passes. It may just be that the impact of deeply felt, finely wrought language is even more intense in a less literate age.

4) Frederick Seidel in what looks like a most enjoyable night on the town.
The reading of 'The Owl You Heard' isn't too shabby, but the thought of running into Seidel in a photo booth is what makes me smile.

5) The first-ever FSG vs Knopf literary smackdown
Quickmuse.com came to town to pit Pulitzer Prize-winner Paul Muldoon against Knopf's Brad Leithauser in a spur of the moment poem-composing competition. Debut poet Eliza Griswold opened the event.

After the jump, one more bonus moment!

6) Possibly the best joke ever made about writing workshops.

I came up with Survivor: Oxford University (and also Survivor: Iowa Writers' Workshop, although that may be far too close to reality too be funny).

Well, here's hoping there's plenty more where that came from! Let me know in the comments below if I missed anything you especially loved...

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