For years, T.S. Eliot had the last word on the month of
April, declaring it, "the cruellest month." In 1996, The Academy of American
Poets designated April a month of celebration, and proclaimed it National Poetry
This year, April was especially eventful for TCR. Mid-month, Co-Editor Guy
Shahar and I attended the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference held in Albany, New
York. The TCR booth was next to Ralph Adamo of The New Orleans Review.
We could not have asked for more spirited company than Ralph and the neighboring folks at Penguin
Putnam, Meridian, and The Denver Quarterly, to name just a few.
During the conference we enjoyed the company and conversation of John Rosenwald and
Ann Arbor of The Beloit Poetry Journal, Peter Johnson of The Prose Poem,
Don and Diane from Poetry Daily, the staff of XConnect, and Shoshanna
Wingate and Mary Gannon of Poets & Writers. We taped several video greetings
at the convention which are available online. We look forward to an encore next year in
Kansas City, MO.
We also held the first of our poetry readings which was videotaped by Shahar
Productions. April 24th was a night of Clerihews, hayforks, comets, onions, and
Southern grace at Borders Bookstore in Arlington, Virginia, with poets Henry Taylor and
R.T. Smith. Henry Taylor did the Charleston, Rod Smith held up a can of Spam, and
Guy Shahar read a Clerihew to Henry Taylor invoking his name.
On April 28th, Mark Bibbins, Gregory Djanikian, and Kevin Pilkington treated a packed
crowd to a reading of their poems at Posman Books in New York City. They were
assisted at the reading by the two resident cats in the store. Both readings are available
online in Real Video.
We participated in Robert Pinsky's vision of the Favorite Poem Project with a tribute
of our own in Real Audio. Each week, a different poetry lover read their favorite poem.
Among the participants were Billy Collins, Mike Neff, and Robert Pinsky himself.
(Billy Collins proclaimed April, "National Dog Month.")
May arrived, and the frenetic pace of National Poetry Month subsided. Guy and I
visited Philip Levine at his new apartment in Brooklyn, New York. We spent a serene
Sunday afternoon conducting an interview with him for this issue. We found Phil to
be a very down to earth person and poet, both insightful and generous with his
answers. What more can be saidhe's Philip Levine. Thankfully, he has come back
to us, and New York welcomes him with open arms.
Issue Seven also marks the first appearance of Dante in a literary magazine exclusive
on the Internet, translated by Pulitzer Prize-winner, W.S. Merwin, and read by U.S. Poet
Laureate Robert Pinsky. Merwin's translation of Purgatorio Canto XXXI appears for
the first time. We welcome David Lehman, Thomas Lux, Linda Pastan, Billy Collins,
and others aboard with new work; all of whom, except for David Lehman, are making their
online debuts. John Kinsella, R.T. Smith, and David Shevin also return, and David
Kennedy reviews David Lehman's latest book.
We'd like to thank Krista for her expedient transcription of the Philip Levine
interview and DeWayne Rail for his clarification of some of the recording. And to
the rest of the dedicated TCR staff: Dawn, Ginger, Christine, Tony, and Renee for a
magnificent job. Their hard work, patience, diligence, and understanding have helped
to make Issue Seven our best yet. The live tapings of the TCR readings would not
have been possible without the help of Jonathan, Eric, Robert, Gabriel, Shari, James,
Daniel, and Monique working with Shahar Productions.
We'd like to extend our appreciation and gratitude to India Amos at the Academy of
American Poets, Sam Gillete at Borders Books in Arlington, Virginia, Tom Padilla at Posman
Books, New York City, Rod Smith, Henry Taylor, Mark Bibbins, Gregory Djanikian, and Kevin
Pilkington. Most especially, we are indebted to Robert Pinsky for graciously filling
in for W.S. Merwin at the last minute.
Finally, enjoy Issue Seven of TCR!