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Rakhman, Lana 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015
with Alix Anne Shaw
Chicago Cultural Center


When is an embrace the
antithesis of hunger? Restrain,
re-train, recite the words you
learned again: the payoff,

– Lana Rakhman, “XIII.”

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They are young. They are looking
at their future grave. At their past
grave. Already with two feet
in the grave, who will cut flowers down
for them? 

– Lana Rakhman, “Black & White Photograph, 1982”

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More info on Lana Rakhman⇒

Rich, Adrienne


Spirit like water
moulded by unseen stone
and sandbar, pleats and funnels
according to its own
submerged necessity –

– Adrienne Rich, “At Willard Brook”

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Read this interview with Adrienne Rich on her poetry collection, “Tonight No Poetry Will Serve,” from the Paris Review:

Adrienne Rich on ‘Tonight No Poetry Will Serve’ – The Paris Review

Adrienne Rich needs no introduction. One of the twentieth century’s most exhaustively celebrated poets and essayists, she counts among her many honors a National Book Award, a Book Critics Circle Award, and the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award. Robert Hass has ascribed to her work the qualities of salt and darkness, praising its “relentless need to …

Saw you walking barefoot
taking a long look
at the new moon’s eyelid
later spread
sleep-fallen, naked in your dark hair
asleep but not oblivious
of the unslept unsleeping

– Adrienne Rich, “Tonight No Poetry Will Serve”

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Watch Adrienne Rich read her poem, “What Kind of Times Are These,” from Poetry Everywhere:

Poetry Everywhere: “What Kind of Times Are These” by Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich reads her poem “What Kind of Times Are These.” Part of the Poetry Everywhere project airing on public television. Produced by David Grubin Productions and WGBH Boston, in association with the Poetry Foundation. Filmed at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. For more information, visit

More info on Adrienne Rich⇒

Roeske, Paulette 1998


You have given me
too much: two pearls, two moons ascending–
luminous, miraculous,
like your two hands as I see them in dreams.

– Paulette Roeske, “Too Much”

Broadside of "Too Much" by Paulette Roeske.

Broadside of “Too Much” by Paulette Roeske.

Buy this broadside in a series with Annie Finch, Debra Bruce, John Frederick Nims, and Cin Salach⇒

A man I know is out in it, bent
on a senseless errand. He chafes his hands,
mutters into his frozen bears. If
he returns, he will tell stories
of pigeons fallen like stones
from their perch under the El
while wondering whether I would mourn
his passing.

– Paulette Roeske, “Cold Snap”

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Ryan, Michael 1989

Friday, October 13, 1989


They slept and ate like us.
Feral they were not.
The intricacy of their handiwork
bespoke a fineness we’d be taught.

– Michael Ryan, “The Others”

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Read an interview with Michael Ryan from How A Poem Happens:

Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan’s Threats Instead of Trees won the 1973 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award; In …

Wanting leads to worse than oddity.
The bones creak like bamboo in wind,
and strain toward a better life outside the body,
the life anything has that isn’t human.

– Michael Ryan, “Where I’ll Be Good”

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Watch Michael Ryan read his work at Poetry@Tech:

Poetry@Tech: Michael Ryan – Part 1

Poetry@Tech presents: Michael Ryan Fourth Annual Bourne Poetry Reading October 26, 2005

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Ryan, Kay 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


In harmony with the rule of irony–
which requires that we harbor the enemy
on this side of the barricade–the shell
of the unborn eagle or pelican, which is made
to give protection till the great beaks can harden,
is the first thing to take up poison.

– Kay Ryan, “Soft”

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Listen to Kay Ryan’s 2006 reading for the Poetry Center of Chicago:

Read this interview with Kay Ryan from the Paris Review:

The Art of Poetry No. 94

Kay Ryan, who was named the sixteenth poet laureate of the United States in July, lives in Fairfax, California, where for more than thirty years she has taught remedial English part-time at the College of Marin at Kentfield. She is often referred to as a poetry “outsider” and underdog. S…

It seems like you could, but
you can’t go back and pull
the roots and runners and replant.
It’s all too deep for that.
You’ve overprized intention,
have mistaken any bent you’re given
for control. You thought you chose
the bean and chose the soil.

– Kay Ryan, “A Certain Kind of Eden”

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Watch Kay Ryan read some of her work:

Poetry & Science: Kay Ryan Reads her Poems

“Poetry & Science: A Shared Exploration” event on October 16, 2013. C.P. Snow complained of a world in which the “two cultures” of science and the humanities have grown increasingly separate.

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Rothenberg, Jerome 1980

Friday, May 16, 1980


Time runs thru my fingers,
laughter & feathers
against her lips
when I bend to kiss her

– Jerome Rothenberg, “A Slower Music”

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Read this interview with Jerome Rothenberg from Rain Taxi:

Poet and Polemicist: an interview with Jerome Rothenberg

by Sarah SuzorPoet, translator, and polemicist Jerome Rothenberg is the author of more than 80 books of poetry, and has edited or co-edited ten major

the gauleiter & the rabbit
form another segment
of the dream     their motion thrusts them forward
until he drives his teeth into the other’s neck
purveyor of a custom so within the norm
the world will hardly recognize it

– Jerome Rothenberg, “The Gauleiter & The Rabbit (2)”

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Watch Jerome Rothenberg read some of his work:

Jerome Rothenberg ” Visions and Affiliations

No Description

More info on Jerome Rothenberg⇒

Rodriguez, Luis J. 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008


We sink into the dust,
Baba and me,
Beneath brush of prickly leaves;
Ivy strangling trees–singing
Our last rites of locura.
Homeboys. Worshipping God-fumes
Out of spray cans.

– Luis J. Rodriguez, “The Concrete River”

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Audio recording of the Poetry Center Reading Series featuring Tom Raworth, Diane di Prima, Kimiko Hahn, Eugene Gloria, Patricia Smith, Luis Rodriguez, Robert Bly, Brian Turner, Bruce Weigl, Tyehimba Jess, A. Van Jordan, Arielle Greenberg, Billy Corgan, Franz Wright, Czeslaw Milosz, Louise Glück, and Alicia Ostriker.

Audio recording of the Poetry Center Reading Series featuring Tom Raworth, Diane di Prima, Kimiko Hahn, Eugene Gloria, Patricia Smith, Luis Rodriguez, Robert Bly, Brian Turner, Bruce Weigl, Tyehimba Jess, A. Van Jordan, Arielle Greenberg, Billy Corgan, Franz Wright, Czeslaw Milosz, Louise Glück, and Alicia Ostriker.

Buy this audio recording featuring Luis Rodriguez and more⇒

Watch Luis J. Rodriguez’s Tedx Talk, “From Trauma to Transformation:”

Trauma to Transformation | Luis Rodriguez | TEDxLAPL

Luis Rodriguez talks about how gang life wasn’t his final destination. Out of trauma came transformation. Luis gives us his view on how poetry can be used as a source of medicine. Luis is Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. He also has 15 books, co-founded Tia Chucha’s Center, ran for California governor in 2014, endorsed by the Green Party.

More info on Luis J. Rodriguez⇒