21 Most-Mentioned Poets

As the year comes to a close, I find myself in a reflective mood. Having compiled a list of the more than 350 poets I have mentioned on my website since I began writing about poetry in 2003, I was curious to discover which poets I have mentioned most often in the last ten years.

What follows is that list of poets — most alive, some dead; most writing in English, some not; many I have met, some I won’t and never will. Click on the name or image for a brief summary of who each one is and and what they mean to me, and to read what I have written about them over the years.
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The Silence Teacher Reviewed in Rattle

RattleRattle is one of my favourite US literary journals, and Michelle Bitting is one of my favourite US poets, so to have her treat my newest short collection, The Silence Teacher, in their online reviews series is particularly meaningful for me.

As Michelle says, we were together in the first workshop of the first residency of my first semester in the Pacific University MFA in Writing programme. Reflecting on that time, which still plays in my mind like a black-and-white film, I realise how far I have come in my travels with grief, and how essential writing has been throughout.

Michelle makes astute observations about the arc of the work throughout her review, calling it, “a heroic account of a father’s journey dealing with death.”

Read the full review on the Rattle website.

A Perfectly Imperfect Inaugural Evening

After weeks of preparation, my dream finally came true — bringing together two fine poets and dear friends from six thousand miles apart for a live poetry reading and Q&A with the global poetry-loving community.

The poets were in great form, the questions from viewers were interesting and the conversation was intimate and wise. People “came up to me afterward” (in a virtual sense, through social media) to tell me how much it inspired them to hear both the poems and insights that both poets shared tonight. We discussed the practice of writing, the filmpoem genre, and how poetry, mythology, and life experience interweave and inform each other.

The only major hiccup came at the very end, when the feed unceremoniously cut out on viewers about two minutes before we had said our final farewell. A virtual roar of discontent went up on the Transatlantic Poetry Community page from those tuned in. It means they missed the end of Andrew’s sentence (no, he can’t draw MacAdam exactly), my announcement of the three viewers who won a book, and a few parting words from me, gushing with thanks for all involved.

No matter. I will regroup, debrief, and come back stronger technologically for our next scheduled reading in August.

Meanwhile, you can hear the archive of tonight’s reading (minus the two wabi-sabi minutes at the end) right here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiuPdIm_DS4]<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiuPdIm_DS4" data-mce-href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiuPdIm_DS4"><img src="http://www.robertpeake.com/files/2013/07/bitting-philip-splash-300x168.jpg" alt="Click here for video" class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-4633" data-mce-src="http://www.robertpeake.com/files/2013/07/bitting-philip-splash-300x168.jpg" /></a>

Click here for the latest news and updates from the Transatlantic Poetry community

An Interview and Two Readings (Busy Week!)

Books by Mackenzie and PhilipI recently had the pleasure of interviewing Scottish poets Rob A. Mackenzie and Andrew Philip for the Huffington Post UK. We conducted the interview using email, passing around batches of questions so that they we could bounce off one other’s ideas and create a conversation. It was the next best thing to sharing a table at a coffee shop with them both, and the results make for an an enjoyable read: “Music, Memory and Subversion: Two Scottish Poets’ Second Books“.

Andrew will also be featured on July 10th as part of the Transatlantic Poetry on Air reading series, paired with California poet Michelle Bitting. The response to that initiative has been extremely positive so far, with poetry lovers on both sides of the pond eager to tune in these very special kinds of readings that could only happen in this century. To sign up to attend this reading, as well as a reading on August 14th with Jane Hirshfield and George Szirtes, be sure to join the rapidly-growing Transatlantic Poetry Community on Google+.

Michelle Bitting and Andrew Philip // Transatlantic Poetry on Air


Jane Hirshfield and George Szirtes // Transatlantic Poetry on Air

Click here for the latest news and updates from the Transatlantic Poetry community

10 Transcontinental Poets for 2013

Transcontinental 2013The Internet gives us the illusion that the best a culture has to offer will invariably find its way to us. But when it comes to art, I find that so much still comes down to local knowledge. Americans and Brits alike have long maintained a fascination with the literary work of their overseas cousins, but usually only the biggest names make the trip across the pond.

Hoping in some small way to remedy this, I have written an article for the US edition of The Huffington Post on “5 British Poets to Watch in 2013” and, for sake of symmetry, an article in the UK edition of The Huffington Post on “Five American Poets to Watch in 2013“.

How closely you watch is, of course, up to you. My hope is that you will seek out the work of these ten fine poets out for your own sake, to bring a little transcontinental mischief and mirth to your poetry reading in the year ahead.