Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Poem at Lowestoft Chronicle

One of my poems, "Monkeys of Emei Shan", just went up in the autumn issue of Lowestoft Chronicle today, and is available to read at the link below. I think this tongue-in-cheek piece of mine fits in quite well at this great little magazine, which is full of humorous travel pieces. Check 'em out, if you have a chance, for fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. A big thank you to editor, Nicholas Litchfield.

Friday, August 30, 2013

RIP Seamus Heaney

Sad news, as Nobel Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney has passed away at the age of 74. Heaney, once described by poet Robert Lowell as "the most important Irish poet since Yeats", died this morning after a brief illness. You can read his obituary here. The world lost a great one today, a "once-in-a-lifetime portent, the comet's pulsing rose" (to quote from his poem, "Exposure"). I'm leaving off here with a video of one of my favorite poems of his, "Death of a Naturalist". RIP, Seamus Heaney. You will be missed.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to School

Just arrived back on campus after a fabulous summer holiday. My travels took me to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Rome, Istanbul, and Cappadocia, then back to China. I think what made the journey most special were the relationships--I got to meet my fiance's family in Scotland, then got to spend time with my mom in Italy, and then moved on to a truly magical and romantic time in Turkey with just my fiance. And of course, along the way, new friends from different cultures were made. I feel so grateful for all of it! Time now to get settled back in, and start thinking about not only the new school semester, but new poems, as well, and to start planning the Nepal trip for winter holiday. Also, I'll post links to the photo galleries once I finish editing everything. It's good to be back! 

New Poem at The Verse

Ah, here's a nice welcome back from summer holiday--one of my poems, "Neverland", appears in the debut issue of The Verse (mine is the third poem, if you scroll down). I like what the editor, Dan Navarrete, wrote about my poem: "A call to take action, excellent depiction of the reality surrounding impoverished youth in China. Truly a piece that sinks into our hearts and refuses to let go, just like the imagery." Cool! I think I'm also to be their poet of the month for September, as well. Wishing The Verse the best, and I hope the new journal is a success! Check 'em out at the link below:

The Verse

Friday, July 19, 2013

Casa di Goethe

Located at 18 via del Corso, just steps away from the Piazza del Popolo, is the Casa di Goethe, the house where Goethe spent his time in Rome during 1786-1788. Here, he lived with the German painter, Tischbein. Though most of the displays are facsimiles (originals being located in German museums and other places), it is still a moving experience to wander through his old rooms. One can just imagine Goethe, in his stockinged feet, leaning out the window to look at the street below, as depicted in Tischbein's 1787 drawing! And, they have posters of that for sale (had to buy a copy). In one corner of the largest room, which was Tischbein's studio, an easel holds a copy of the artist's most famous work, Goethe in the Campagna (also 1787), which is very striking, and surrounded by excerpts of Goethe's Italian Journey printed on the walls. There's even a copy of the huge Jupiter bust Goethe purchased while living here. What was perhaps most interesting, however, was to view Goethe's actual books, excerpts from his letters, and his drawings and sketches. Another highlight: Andy Warhol's rendering of Goethe in the Campagna, a visual delight! Here are some photos:

Copy of Tischbein's Goethe in the Campagna (1787), in the studio

Italian Journey excerpt, printed on the wall

Copy of Tischbein's drawing of his friend, Goethe, at the window (1787)

A deep and abiding friendship

Facsimile bust of Jupiter, which Goethe used to pray to each night


Goethe research materials in the library

Warhol's painting, Goethe (1982)

Me, in front of Casa di Goethe, Roma

While I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Keats-Shelley House the other day, I admit that Goethe had more of an impact on me than the Romantics ever did, so visiting the Casa di Goethe was important to me. I was largely self-educated in literature before going back to school, and Goethe's work was some of the first serious lit I ever read--to be standing in his rooms, surrounded by his things (and copies of them), had a bit of a celebratory feel. Now, to hunt down his statue in the Borghese Gardens. Ah, Roma! Ah, Goethe!

So much for hiatus...

I wasn't planning on spending much time blogging while on holiday, yet here I am...posting away! I've seen so many points of literary interest though, that I wanted to share.

While in Edinburgh, I visited the home of Robert Louis Stevenson, a pub named the Conan Doyle (near Arthur Conan Doyle's house) and saw a statue of Sherlock Holmes. Also saw the grave of philosopher David Hume up on Calton Hill. And fun fun fun was the Frankenstein Bar, a themed restaurant/pub located in a renovated church. Then, there was the Jekyll and Hyde pub. And the Sir Walter Scott monument in Princes Street Gardens. Wonderful and magical! I love Edinburgh, and want to move there.

In Rome, I've visited the Keats-Shelley House, the graves of Keats, Shelley, and Corso, and the Casa di Goethe. I also found this cool statue of Victor Hugo in the Borghese Gardens, below. Saw the Stendhal Hotel, and the Dante Cafe, and apparently, there's a Lord Byron Hotel somewhere. Still looking for the Lord Byron and Goethe statues up in the Borghese Gardens (no fear, I'll find 'em!), and the Gogol House on via Sistina. Went to Babington's Tea Room, near the Spanish Steps, but I'm still looking for Antico Caffe Greco (an old haunt of writers). 

Whew! So many things to see and do...and I've still 10 days left in Rome, before heading on to Turkey for a couple of weeks, where I've already scouted out more literary highlights. What a summer!

Statue of Victor Hugo, Borghese Gardens, Rome