August, and news of the death of Dean Young reached me just a few days ago. Like many of you, I was not shocked, given his widely recorded health issues. Nor did I know Dean personally. I think we spoke once or twice, corresponded; we have published several of his poems in Plume. So, thinking to leave eulogizing to others more suited to the occasion, it was with one of these poems that I thought I would bid Dean good-bye.
But, then, as I was scrolling social media, reading some of his colleagues’ and admirers’ (everyone admired him) responses to his passing, I came across this, from Wayne Miller, on Facebook, I think. A poem I knew well, which Wayne identifies as simply “one of the great poems”. I couldn’t agree more, as I imagine you might, too. Thank you, Wayne. And, again, and certainly not for the last time, thank you, Dean.
The Invention of Heaven Dean Young
The mind becomes a field of snow
but then the snow melts and dandelions
blink on and you can walk through them,
your trousers plastered with dew.
They’re all waiting for you but first
here’s a booth where you can win
a peacock feather for bursting a balloon,
a man in huge stripes shouting about
a boy who is half swan, the biggest
pig in the world. Then you will pass
tractors pulling other tractors,
trees snagged with bright wrappers
and then you will come to a river
and then you will wash your face.
This month, in lieu of Joseph Campana’s usual discourse on topics literary and otherwise (to be taken up again in October), we turn instead to the following item:
PLUME POETRY 10 HAS ARRIVED!
The anthology is everything we at the journal hoped it would be: a beautiful cover and layout by Kristen Weber; poems by 42 “established” poets from Gregory Orr to Jane Hirshfield to Carol Muske-Dukes to Ramón García, who then introduce a “partner-poet” – say, Yona Harvey, or Rushi Vyas, Brandon Som or Glorious Piner; and an exciting Feature on M.Rimbaud, with essays from Mark Irwin and Alain Borer, along with new translations of poems and photographs.
Here are a few words on Plume Poetry 10 from Chase Twichell
“So many poets, so little time! I’ve come to rely on these inventive Plume anthologies, . . . the range of work is enormous. Many of these writers are completely new to me, and I doubt I’d ever have come across them otherwise. I find many of them to be truly original, . . . the work goes back to the origins of its perceptions, allowing us to see how a poem’s meaning comes into being. I look for that quality in poems, and find it here in abundance. This collection is like a big plate of irresistible hors d’oeuvres.”
and Amit Majmudar –
“‘I like a hitch in the line, like you— / my little art is doubling, too,’ writes Maurice Manning, and Plume Poetry 10 doubles the reader’s pleasure. Rhyme’s basis is the companionship of sound and sound, and the companionship of poet and poet is the basis of this anthology. Its structuring principle is as inspired as the poems that comprise it. Familiar names invite unfamiliar ones, so the joy of recognition alternates with the joy of discovery. You get to see where the art is and where it is headed. Mark Irwin’s kinetic translations of Arthur Rimbaud show us still other kinds of poetic companionship—that of poet and translator, and of the dead and the living. This anthology is the perfect companion for every lover of American poetry.”
And a shot of the cover —
Zoom partnered readings from Plume Poetry 10 will begin soon. First up will be those under the auspices of the Writers Center in Washington, DC:
Saturday, September 24th, 5 PM – 6 PM –
Ani Gjika and Olivia Banks
Beckian Fritz Goldberg and Miguel Murphy
Saturday, October 29, 5 PM – 6 PM.
Martha Rhodes and Rushi Vyas
Kelli Russell Agodon and Katerina Canyon
Another from the Writers Center is in the works, as well. Details on social media, shortly.
Also, readings will take place at Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles and the Dali Museum in Saint Petersburg, Florida, TBA.. Others to follow.
Penultimately, our cover art this month is from Dike Blair. For more information on the artist, a good start might be made here and here.
Finally, as usual, some recently published/forthcoming books from Plume contributors: