Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just Before the Release

*Boone photo as a token of congratulations to Traci Brimhall*

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, folks! The sun is shining and deserving poets/wonderful people have been awarded money for their poems: You can read the prize-winning poems at the website--it's a treasure trove. Congrats to all my friends on the list!

I suppose I want the Giants to win, but mostly I just want the commercials to be good.


A couple of winters ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Spokane, Washington, to interview the great Sherman Alexie just before the release of his latest book of poetry,Face. I was worn-out and deep into some dark winter months of making a record, and I couldn't wait to cross the continent to refresh my inspiration by meeting one of the people whose art made me feel brave enough to try to write things down in my own words. The fact that Alexie was going to be on home turf was extra special in my mind. Eastern Washington was a place I called home for much of my life, so to return there meant a great deal to me. The fact is, there aren't very many writers from Washington, and even fewer who speak the language of kids who grew up in poverty there, and probably less than a handful of those speak the poetry of our region. "Our" trees are not "their" trees, if you know what I mean.

-a wonderful interview between Neko Case and Sherman Alexie, at The Believer


Killer first line of the moment:

We have no words for you.

from "Not Words But Hands" by Martin Espada
(The Republic of Poetry, W.W. Norton, 2006)


Inside the great publishing houses — grand names like Macmillan, Penguin and Random House — there is a sense of unease about the long-term fate of Barnes & Noble, the last major bookstore chain standing. First, the megastores squeezed out the small players. (Think of Tom Hanks’s Fox & Sons Books to Meg Ryan’s Shop Around the Corner in the 1998 comedy, “You’ve Got Mail”.) Then the chains themselves were gobbled up or driven under, as consumers turned to the Web. B. Dalton Bookseller and Crown Books are long gone. Borders collapsed last year.

No one expects Barnes & Noble to disappear overnight. The worry is that it might slowly wither as more readers embrace e-books. What if all those store shelves vanished, and Barnes & Noble became little more than a cafe and a digital connection point? Such fears came to the fore in early January, when the company projected that it would lose even more money this year than Wall Street had expected. Its share price promptly tumbled 17 percent that day.



These guys will be in Seattle on March 26th!

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