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Nat’l Poetry Month & Earth Month parting shots: to do’s & good reads

April 30, 2009

As I’m preparing my monthly Wrap Up :: What’s Up, I’m amazed there’s so much going on next month–and tonight! How about wine and a movie? How about wine and some recommended reads for National Poetry Month? Here’s some “To Dos” for the last night of April:

At Paradise Pantry on Main in downtown Ventura by the EP Foster Library, winemaker Michael Meagher pours his stunning syrah and other wines tonight from 5:30-830pm.

Surfrider benefit TONIGHT TIPS for Charity! Steve Walden of Walden Surfboards Thursday April 30th 6:00- 8:00pm Weaver Wines 14 So.California Street, Ventura: Tip Steve as he pours the drinks, and it all goes to Surfrider Ventura !

So after tasting wine, at 7pm tonight walk over to see Dark Side of the Loon documentary at Real Cheap Sports on Santa Clara between Ventura Ave. and Garden. OR–head to Machine Project in LA for some Neo-Benshi!

If you’re the stay at home type (or maybe just resting up or getting ready for tomorrow’s PROM RIDE!), celebrate the last night of National Poetry Month and Earth Month with some poetry by two of my favorites, Mary Oliver or Wendell Berry, by visiting a poetry site like ReadWritePoem or qarstlini (you might even see something there by me!).

Or find something new–here are some recommended reads:

The Christian Science Monitor recommends Poetry collections to cherish; here’s some excerpts:

Book Reviews: Poetry collections to cherish
Three short reviews of poetry collections.

By Elizabeth Lund
April 19, 2009 edition

Good Poems for Hard Times Edited by Garrison Keillor Penguin 368 pp, $16

Good Poems for Hard Times is a top seller nationally, and with good reason.

The book is full of strong, memorable poems that stick with readers like a friend during a long, hard night. Some of the poems, such as Mary Oliver’s “Spring,” capture an experience with such clarity and precision that everything else fades away. Others provide solace not by denying the gloom but by facing it and finding moments of light within the darkness.


Endpoint and Other Poems is a book readers should know, if not one they will love. The poems here, written during the last seven years of John Updike’s life, are predictable at times, especially in the first section, where he describes several birthdays and his approaching death.

As “Endpoint” progresses, the writing becomes even stronger, as if Updike had warmed up his pitching arm. There are memorable poems in later sections too, such as “Half Moon, Half Small Cloud,” which contains some wonderful lines about the moon.

We grow up as children with it, a nursemaid
of a bonneted sort, round-faced and kind,
not burning too close like parents, or too far
to spare even a glance, like movie stars.

In its best moments, “Endpoint and Other Poems” feels less like a poet saying goodbye and more like a few final words from a master.

POEM IN YOUR POCKET Edited by Elaine Bleakney

Poem in Your Pocket is one of the most inventive poetry collections this season. That’s no surprise given that it was published in conjunction with the Academy of American Poets, the organization that started National Poetry Month. Last year, the academy introduced the idea of Poem in Your Pocket Day, April 30, when people were encouraged to carry a poem and share it.

This year, the academy hopes that people will pull a page from this unusual collection, which looks like a hardcover embracing a daily calendar. Or better yet, tear out a poem every day.

“Poem in Your Pocket” includes a wide range of styles and authors – from Ben Johnson to Walt Whitman to Kevin Young – and is divided into sections such as Love and Rockets, Friends & Ghosts, and Sonic Youth. That eclectic mix, plus the lack of page numbers and a glossary, leaves readers feeling as if they’ve been thrown in the deep end of a pool. That’s not a bad thing, especially given what Kay Ryan, the US poet laureate, writes in her engaging intro.

Here’s another review: Best Poetry of 2008
Library Journal – New York,NY,USA
With National Poetry Month in full swing and the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) having just opted to give not one but two collections published in 2008 …read more!

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