A Preview of Coming Attractions
Mary Flinn, Blackbird editor-in-chief
for Vol. 2, No.1, previews the coming issue: "As we prepare to publish
Blackbird, Volume 2, Number 1, and I read through the stories,
poems, lectures, and art that we have collected, I am struck by the odd
felicities, synchronicities, or just plain coincidences that permeate
the work. . . ."
Email Exchange with Richard McCann
In late March, 2003, Richard McCann discussed,
informally and via email, some of his current work with Blackbird
editor Mary Flinn. Their conversation centered primarily on the personal
in poetry, and on the personal in writing in general.
Interview with Douglas Jones
In February of 2003, Blackbird editor
Mary Flinn met with playwright Douglas Jones in the Blackbird editorial
office at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Jones spoke about
the origins of Songs from Bedlam (see our current Gallery section),
about his own beginnings, and about the state of local and regional theater
Interview with Myron Helfgott
In January of 2003, Blackbird editor Mary
Flinn met with sculptor Myron Helfgott in the Blackbird editorial
office at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Helfgott spoke
of his use of time, sound, and motion in his recent work, and of his influences
from the fields of art, architecture, and literature.
Interview with Lynn Emanuel
On November 22, 2002, Blackbird correspondent
Mathias Svalina met with poet Lynn Emanuel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Their conversation revolved around the ways writers are influenced, including
the influences on Emanuel's own worknoir film and fiction, Gertrude
Stein, Italo Calvino.
news from poems . . ."
Blackbird marks the cancellation
of the February 12, 2003, Poetry Symposium by the White House with quotations
and poetry from Dickinson, Hughes, Levine, Lorde, Whitman, and Williams
on the nature of poetry, on the nature of war, and on the nature of the
poet's responsibility to speak to the state of the world.
Interview with Steve Scafidi
On September 28, 2002, Blackbird correspondent Leslie Shiel met
with poet Steve Scafidi, winner of the Fifth Annual Levis Reading Prize,
at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. They spoke at length
about the making of Scafidi's first book, Sparks from a Nine-Pound
Hammer, and about the role of life in poetry and the role of poetry
Interview with Ron Smith
In December of 2002, Blackbird editor
Mary Flinn met with poet Ron Smith in the Blackbird editorial office
at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Smith spoke about the
role that travel plays and has played in poetry and literature. Smith's
poem "Greece" is included in this issue of Blackbird.
Interview with Claudia Emerson
In November of 2002, Blackbird assistant managing editor Susan
Settlemyre Williams met with poet Claudia Emerson in Emerson's office
at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Emerson spoke
about her latest poetry collection, Pinion: An Elegy (reviewed
in this issue of Blackbird), about her current and future projects,
and about the making of a poetry collection.
Interview with Mark Jarman
In July of 2002, Blackbird editor Mary Flinn met with poet and
essayist Mark Jarman at the 13th Annual Sewanee Writers' Conference, held
at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Jarman spoke about
his essay "Happiness: The Aesthetics of Donald Justice" (included
in this issue of Blackbird) and about Justice's influence as both
a writer and a teacher.
Annual Levis Prize Reading
On September 27, 2002, the Department of English
and the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University
celebrated the awarding of the Fifth Annual Levis Reading Prize. Marcel
Cornis-Pope, Department Chair, introduced the event. Gregory Donovan then
introduced Steve Scafidi, who read from his winning book Sparks from
a Nine-Pound Hammer (Louisiana State University Press, 2001.) Scafidi
also read one new work, "To One Who Lingers in the Trees," whichin
tandem with the publication of the readingwe have added to the poetry
section of this issue of Blackbird.
In conjunction with the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth
University, Blackbird is pleased to remember the poet Larry Levis
and to publish poems by this year's Levis Reading Prize winner, Steve
Scafidi. You will also find Levis's "Caravaggio: Swirl & Vortex"
and a 1996 recording of Levis reading this poem, Levis's essay "Bell's
Tavern," Randy Marshall's remembrance of Levis as a friend and teacher,
and a call for your letters and responses to Levis's life and work.
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