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Marilyn Kallet

He chooses the funeral over the poetry reading

Tomorrow’s the book launch for my new book of translations, “The Big Game” (Le grand jeu), by the surrealist Benjamin Péret. It’s the first time this volume will appear in its entirety in English; the pub is Black Widow Press. This is a big deal for me–I have been rehearsing, arranging for surrealist happenings and [...]

The Limits of Silence

As a lyric poet, I think a lot about the limits of silence.  And I try to keep a sense of humor about the problem of those who are stingy with speech.  This is a pantoum I wrote a couple summers ago in Auvillar,  about the irritation I felt with “Bubba,” the silent type.   [...]

Poetry can be a bad influence (ask Paolo and Francesca)

When   When the low heavy sky hangs down like a cover, you’re in Auvillar Without your spouse.  Dante’s on his way.   Ladies of a certain age compete for the clothes line. Show off gleaming copper pots.   Tea and flan, wet wash.  Dante’ s not your concern.   Beatrice tends him, pats dry. [...]

Summer of Love Poems

Just back from leading the poetry workshop in Auvillar, France (“O Taste and See”) sponsored by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and it was so delicious that I am seriously considering doing it again (and again and…) Wrote my little heart out. I’m including here a lyric from a previous summer’s lusciousness. Blue [...]

Healing Chant in the Face of the Nuclear

That was my arrogant title for a poem I wrote a few years ago when I was living in Auvillar, France, a few miles from a nuclear plant. Though the French seem at home with nuclear power, that very summer had been one of the hottest on record, and the rivers were heating up, causing [...]

Online? Expect to be read

A young friend of mine who works for a hip magazine in a super-hip city recently Tweeted a negative reference to her workplace. A few hours later, her boss called her in to the office, and told her she was lucky to be working at such a great place, and to NEVER say negative things [...]

When to let a book go

I’ve been crazy proofreading the new manuscript, translations of surrealist poet Benjamin Péret. The translations themselves are very goo d, they’re poems, yes, if I do say so. My God, they should be. They’ve been reworked endlessly and they sing. But then there’s the intro, the opening of Americ an doors to this French squirrel [...]

My motives are not entirely literary

I told myself I would not go back to Auvillar (Deep France). I’ ve been four times, taught three workshops, why be greedy ? Each time is enriched by the great company of o ther poets, old and young. Sure, we write poetry. We give readings. But mostly I’m going back for the food and [...]