Thursday, February 19, 2015

Activist and Fishing Books at 3 Good Books

Thanks to Drew Myron for interviewing me at 3 Good Books regarding my interest in activist poetry. An excellent 5 minute audio of Robert Bly discussing Alden Nowlan's poetry appears at the end.

I saw the fine poet Philip Levine died recently at age 87.  He was quoted as saying, "I'm not a man of action; it finally comes down to that. I'm not so profoundly moral that I can often overcome my fears of prison or torture or exile or poverty. I'm a contemplative person who goes in the corner and writes."  However, he had a bold streak that served him well.  The article by Hillel Italie and Scott Smith linked above noted, "Exhausting factory hours made Levine so determined to write that he showed up in 1953 at the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop even though a planned fellowship had fallen through. He was told he could sign up for one course, but he enrolled in three. One of his teachers, the poet John Berryman, became a mentor."  I've heard "Sometimes vitality will push you through barriers."

At 3 Good Books, I greatly enjoyed the post Henry Hughes on Fishing which listed Thomas McGuane's The Longest Silence, Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, and John Engel's Big Water.  I'm glad I  bought Big Water.  There is a blurb inside from my favorite fisher poet Ted Hughes: "It's a kind of poetry about fishing that I've often tried to imagine -- focuses the moment, the target event, and somehow brings to life and holds suspended the whole aura of accompaniment that makes a great memory and a unique happening. [ . . .]"  Henry Hughes wrote, "These poems understand our stewardship and existence through water. [ . . . .] This is an indispensable collection for the poetry-minded angler."