Thursday Apr 18

hoppenthaler.jpg Anselm Berrigan, represented in this month’s Congeries with an excerpt “from a long thing that I've been working on for awhile now,” is featured on the cover of the September/October 2009 issue of Poets & Writers. In the fine article by Kevin Larimer, Berrigan talks about his life as the child of well-known New York City poets. His  mother, Alice Notley, and his father, Ted Berrigan, were influential members of the second generation of The New York School of poetry and, in the article, Anselm describes the hodgepodge of writers and artists that regularly visited their St. Mark’s Place apartment by saying, “’It was like a whole small town.’” This gathering of poets and poetry is like a whole small town in which I wouldn’t mind living; in any case, it’s one I enjoyed building, and I’m enjoying my regular visits to the place as well. 
Michael S. Harper, one of the most influential and important poets of his generation, is here; his first volume, Dear John, Dear Coltrane, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1970. Allison Hedge Coke, of mixed Wendat/Huron/Metis/Tsalagi/ Creek/French Canadian/Portuguese/Irish/Scot/English ancestry, begins to represent the new United States, one of fusion and variety; her first collection, Dog Road Woman, won the 1988 American Book Award, and she lives here, too, as do Nicholas Samaras and Sean Singer; Nick, the son of a prominent Greek Orthodox priest, won the prestigious first book prize, The Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, in 1991; Sean, who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, won the Yale in 2001. Timothy Liu was born to parents from the Chinese mainland, and his Vox Angelica (1992) won the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award. Through his own honest and often angry poetry, as well as via the indispensible volume he edited, Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry (Talisman House, 2000), Liu has helped to give voice to gay America, as has Michael Klein through his poetry and other work, such as his memoir, The End of Being Known (U of Wisconsin P, 2003; paperback 2009). And on and on: poets, prose writers, editors, teachers, good neighbors and gracious hosts.