Having put together a couple of little grants & my annual travel money from my department, I’ll be going to Vietnam this summer for around six weeks, spending most of my time in Hanoi doing some editing at Th? Gi?i and working on a project to collect information about a handful of early Buddhist poets. I’ll probably go to Hué for a week to visit Pagodas with my friend Mai, too. If I could collect enough texts & biographical materials for a little anthology, that would be great, but working from the US all I have are tantalizing hints. Here is a picture of Hŕng Mă St. I took several years ago that suggested to me the idea of going places, but checking the Vietnamese spelling of Hŕng Mă just now, I discovered this amazing panoramic picture, which is the next best thing to being there. This will be my seventh trip to VN in fourteen years.
First Listen: Leonard Cohen, ‘Old Ideas’ : NPR. This isn’t shipping until the end of the month & I’ve pre-ordered it, but it was cool to be able to listen to an advance copy. Not sure how long NPR will leave it up. The New Yorker printed the first song on the album as a poem in its most recent issue.
. . . has won a prize from the American Literary Review.
Here is what Joanie Mackowski, who judged the poetry contest, thought of the winning poem, “Lake Surface Full of Clouds”:
“Stretching its keen observations and minutely choreographed sentences over the advancing paw prints of its lines, “Lake Surface Full of Clouds” makes language ductile and makes the reader recall the animal and chemical pleasures of reading. This poem finds an atomic pulse: ‘thing & song// in their wild fullness full’.” The poem will appear in the Spring 2012 issue of ALR.