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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for the 'Poetry' Category

Fri, February 21st, 2014
Poetry and Film: An Evening with Bidart and Franco (yes, that Franco)
Posted by: Courtney Jones

On Wednesday, February 19th, Booklist senior editor Donna Seaman, and editorial assistant Courtney Jones went to see poet Frank Bidart and actor James Franco discuss poetry and film at an event during the Chicago Humanities Festival. Here’s what they had to say: Donna says: Lots of literati have been making fun of James Franco’s venture into […]


Fri, August 30th, 2013
R.I.P., Seamus Heaney
Posted by: Donna Seaman

Why are poets only in the news when they die? How I wish I heard the name Seamus Heaney this morning on the air waves because he had a new book coming out, or because he was reading poems at the United Nations, trying to bring some sense and sensibility to world affairs. Alas, the […]


Tue, April 3rd, 2012
Remembering Adrienne Rich
Posted by: Donna Seaman

As National Poetry Month begins, poet Adrienne Rich is much on the mind of poetry readers in the wake of her death at 82 on March 27, 2012. Adrienne Rich’s poems are works you turn to when the fog of stress grows too thick and the static too loud, when the world seems cruel and […]


Mon, December 5th, 2011
The Poetry of Medicine
Posted by: Donna Seaman

The connection between medicine and literature is a long and noble one, including the works of Chekhov and William Carlos Williams, to name the two most readily cited. Women and men become doctors because they want to help and heal others, which are acts of compassion, and compassion is born of the imagination. To feel […]


Wed, September 21st, 2011
Poet Kay Ryan officially a “genius.”
Posted by: Donna Seaman

Although Booklist has enthusiastically reviewed books by the newly designated MacArthur “genius” long form journalist Peter Hessler, most recently, Country Driving: A Journey through China from Farm to Factory, this year’s MacArthur Fellows include only one instantly recognizable literary name, that of poet Kay Ryan, a former poet laureate. I’ll never forget the first time I […]


Thu, September 1st, 2011
2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship Winners Announced
Posted by: Sarah Hunter

The 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship winners have been announced by the Poetry Foundation and Poetry Magazine. These five winners were selected from thousands to receive not only the honor of winning, but a grant to continue studying and writing poetry. All of the winners will be featured in the November issue of Poetry. These poets […]


Thu, June 23rd, 2011
My Poetry Experience Not Lyrical
Posted by: Keir Graff

This morning I attended the dedication ceremony for the new Poetry Foundation headquarters building (which Blair Kamin gave a great review in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune). My presence was due to a trickle-down invitation: several higher-ups at ALA had been invited first but, as they were already en route to New Orleans and I’m not leaving until tomorrow, […]


Thu, January 27th, 2011
Derek Walcott wins T.S. Eliot Prize
Posted by: Courtney Jones

81-year-old Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott beat out Seamus Heaney to win the T.S. Elliot Prize for poetry. He will take home a $24,000 cash prize for his work,  White Egrets. Visit The Telegraph website for more on his win.


Fri, September 24th, 2010
Weeklings: Author-Critic Creatures, Milton in the Headlines, a Supposed Stigma, the Present Tense, and Too-Easy Reading
Posted by: Keir Graff

On the Guardian‘s Books Blog, Lesley McDowell writes about writers who are reviewers, and reviewers who are writers–and, honestly, I would have no idea what one of those looks like: It’s a strange hybrid, this author-critic creature. I can’t think of another art form where the “practitioner” and the critic overlap like this. Where are […]


Thu, July 1st, 2010
W. S. Merwin Gives up Paradise for Washington, D.C.
Posted by: Donna Seaman

William Stanley Merwin’s poems are fully meshed in nature, and he lives his passion for the verdant world in Hawaii, where he cultivates endangered plants. The profound connection between green entities and the poet is indicated in the title of the first collection of Merwin’s I reviewed, Flower & Hand. This launched my apprenticeship to this exemplary observer of […]





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