Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Just learned (just checked) that my local public library has the new third volume of the Rothenberg / Joris Poems for the Millennium anthology, this the one that focuses on international romanticism.

Will go check it out, in every sense of the word.

Inclining, today, to order vol. 1 in that series and supplement it with handouts, pdf files, links, and the like. It's more relentlessly avant-garde than I'd ordinarily teach, but that means the other material won't be hard to locate. And so far, anyway, I haven't found anything remotely like it for the first half of the 20th century.


Spent the morning working on NEH and Brisbane business. Oops! Just thought of two emails to send about Brisbane...be right back...

OK, they're sent. Basically making sure that the funding we have is in place, even as I decide whether to put any more of my own funds on the line to bring scholars to Australia. How much am I in for so far? About $250. Maybe another $250, if that gets some folks from India to come?

(Wish I had the check from my last Parnassus piece in hand, to help me figure out my budget. A teaser from the lastest piece, on various Palestinian poets, over here at the Big Jewish Blog. Scroll down until you reach the inset quote, to find it.)


Spent last evening guilty, heartsick. My daughter had come home crying from school, for a variety of reasons, one of which had to do with a teacher. Sent an angry email to the teacher, who had no idea that she'd caused my girl such grief. She's been a beloved teacher of both my kids for many years now, and felt ill-used, even betrayed. But when Meg's crying for 90 minutes, thinking her favorite teacher had sent her packing on the last day she'd be at the school...well, 'nuff said.

They've since patched things up, and I've written to apologize, but the damage is done. Now I'll spend a day looking at my email, hoping for an 'apology accepted' and wishing I'd kept my temper in check.


A nice note from D-- about my PromotionFail(tm):
I'm shocked! Parnassus is the most distinguished place to publish on contemporary poetry. I would kill to get a piece there! And it is obvious that you are doing more significant service -- to the entire Chicago area -- than any lit teacher on the planet. The NEH programs by themselves are world class service to the profession. In all honesty, at [UNIVERSITY] you would have been promoted years ago."
Thanks, D! Per my chair's advice, I've printed the email and stashed it away for next time. Keep those cards & letters coming, as they used to say.


A Facebook "tag" the other day got me thinking about books that stay with me. My slightly inebriated list of 15, per the request, looked like this:
1. Andre Norton, Witch World
2. Frank Herbert, Dune
3. Robert Persig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
4. Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces
5. A. S. Byatt, Possession: a Romance
6. Jennifer Crusie, Bet Me
7. Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Avatar
8. Jerome Rothenberg, A Big Jewish Book
9. Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
10. Philip K. Dick, VALIS
11. Ronald Johnson, ARK
12. Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era
13. Frank O'Hara, Selected Poems
14. Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love
15. Laura Kinsale, Midsummer Moon
Somehow I missed Lord of the Rings, which I've read and re-read since childhood, and Earth House Hold, the book of essays and journals by Gary Snyder that's been calming me down since that whole email thing last night. And a host of others. But an interesting exercise, and one I may try with my students someday.


Perking myself up with this song, this morning (it's Wednesday now, about 9:30 my time). Some bad news about Brisbane--a couple of speakers unable to come--but by gum, I'll be there, and it'll be grand.

(I find the embedded quotation from Bob Marley in the chorus oddly moving--the ripples of culture that spread from the Hebrew Bible to the African diaspora to world pop to indigenous rock, counterpointing the genetic distance between any & all of these groups. Something to be done with that--but for now, just watch & think of me.)


clasificados said...

That is great. You're local library must be well maintained. Anyways, if you want to have a peek on Philippines tribal songs check out kadangyan.

E. M. Selinger said...

Hey, thanks, Clasificados! I'll check them out on Youtube, and post some favorites here.