Poetry as Art

April 16, 2014

Here are two fun and inexpensive ways to keep poetry in your life all year long (and pretty up your dorm room). All you need is a color printer, nice paper, and a poem you love.

~ Meghan Malone

Click here for instructions (pdf)

For questions regarding copyright see the Emmanuel copyright page:


Poetry Corners

April 15, 2014

How often do you actually take the time to see what is going on in the world of poetry, poets and general musings? Here are some items of interest:

Concord Poetry Center – Scrapbook – The Power – Mark Twain in the January 1876 Atlantic Magazine:


The rhyme Mark Twain quoted is from a book called Trolley Wars:Streetcar Workers on the Line – it really is hard to get that rhyme out of your head.

Here is a local poetry site of interest: Mass Poetry: http://masspoetry.org

Within that site you may find information about the Mass Poetry Festival 2014 with Oliver De La Paz:


More sites of interest:

Poets.org From the Academy of American Poets – Spring In New Hampshire:


Poet-To-Poet Projecthttp://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/639

To top this all off here is one for those who may get a longing to travel out of Boston this Spring:

Information about the 22nd Annual Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) which was in early April, and their plans for the next Festival.  Austin might be a fun place to consider a vacation next Spring!:



Word of the Week: Coalesce

April 14, 2014

As in: “For a poem to coalesce, for a character or an action to take shape, there has to be an imaginative transformation of reality which is in no way passive (Rich, 2003, pp.173-174).” Book Cover: Adrienne Rich's poetry and prose: Poems, prose, reviews, and criticism

Rich, A (2003). When we dead awaken: Writing as re-vision. In Gelpi, B. C.,& Gelpi, A., & Rich, A. (Eds.), Adrienne Rich’s poetry and prose: Poems, prose, reviews, and criticism (pp. 166-177). New York, NY: W.W. Norton.

For definitions of coalesce, consult the Oxford English Dictionary.

To learn more about Adrienne Rich and her poetry see the Encyclopedia of feminist literary theory (available through Credo Reference).


Join the Library in celebrating National Poetry Month: The Beat Generation

April 11, 2014

The Beat Generation, or the beats, was a group of American writers who came to prominence in the 1950s by embracing poetry, travel, spirituality, jazz, and anti-consumerist ideas. Some of the famous poets and writers in this group included Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Now, here are some things that you might not have known about the beat writers:

1) Jack Kerouac wrote his first novel in 1943 and it was not publicly available until recently. Explore books in our Online Catalog by Jack Kerouac.

2) Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were lifelong friends who wrote each other hundreds of letters, all of which have been published in a recent collection available in the library: Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The letters.

3) Not only did Allen Ginsberg write some of the most famous American poetry of the modern era, he was also an avid photographer. See his photos of himself and other poets and writers in his photographic memoir Reality Sandwiches (Snapshot poetics : Allen Ginsberg’s photographic memoir of the beat era.

4) Just in case you haven’t gotten to them yet, the Emmanuel College library has copies of classic works of beat poetry and literature. Some examples include:

- Posted by the Reference Department

Join the Library in Celebrating National Poetry Month!

April 10, 2014

What’s your muse?

Poems are inspired by a variety of things.  Some are inspired by songs, while others are inspired by paintings. Some poems can even be inspired by the scent of freshly baked homemade cookies.

What’s your muse?

Write a poem inspired by an encounter while riding the T, or a walk through the Commons. How about a poem inspired by a memorable family vacation or the birth of a sibling.  Write an ode inspired by the death of a grandfather or a long conversation with your best friend on the phone. You can even be inspired to write a poem by watching a Red Sox Championship game.

Let us help inspire the poet within. Feel free to use these images to inspire your creativity.   Please share your poems and inspirations.


(All photos are courtesy of Jennifer Woodall)


Agave Plant Tower Hill Botanical Gardens










Aran Islands Ireland

Aran Islands










Cape Cod

Cape Cod









The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail








Fenway Park

Fenway Park







The Boston skyline

The Boston skyline







Glastonbury, England

Glastonbury, England









Make Way for Ducklings  Boston Public Garden

Make Way for Ducklings
Boston Public Garden

Novels about poems or poetry

April 9, 2014

Former poet laureate Robert Hass has written of turning to poetry “out of need,” in search of “a lens to clarify and focus inchoate feeling. Once in a state of mute misery, I picked up Emily Dickinson, flipped around, and came across a couple of lines–

They say that Time assuages–

Time never did assuage–

and felt somewhat better, alive again.” Opposed to this kind of vital reading for Hass is “the novel which I use almost exclusively not to live my life, though what I read there invades my life constantly, frames ways I have of seeing and thinking about things, character, social life, states of consciousness, that the novel addresses.”
[Robert Hass, Yusef Komuyakaa, W.S. Merwin, Joyce Carol Oates, Gerald Stern and Susan Stewart, "How Poetry Helps People to Live Their Lives." American Poetry Review 37 (2008): 32. In JSTOR: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20683923]

As a reader of novels, I can’t fully subscribe to that distinction, though I also can’t completely reject it. But whether you prefer your sustenance in poetry or prose–or suspect that the distinction may be overstated, unnecessary, or false–you may find something to enjoy in an area of compromise between the two: novels about poets and poetry.

  •  Byatt, A.S.: Possession -  Parallel storylines follow the tumultuous romance of two Victorian poets, and the race between two present-day researchers to reconstruct their history through archival records.
  • James, Henry: Aspern Papers and in ebrary – A man goes to great lengths to gain access to the private papers of a dead American poet who had been living in Venice.
  • Nabokov, Vladimir: Pale Fire – A novel in the form of a 999-line poem by the fictional John Shade, followed by a sometimes obsessive commentary by Shade’s self-appointed Boswell, followed by an index that should not be missed.
  • Carey, Peter: My Life as a Fake – Based on a real literary hoax.
  • Barker, Pat: Regeneration -  The first in Barker’s World War I trilogy, Regeneration follows the British poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen through psychiatric treatment for “shell shock” at a Scottish hospital. Many other characters, including their doctor, are also based on historical figures.

You can find more novels about poets by searching in the catalog for “Poets–Fiction” as a Subject.


~ Erica Jensen, Reference Librarian

Word of the Week: Griot

April 9, 2014

As in: “In highlighting this tradition of ritualized artistry as resistance in his poem, [Amiri] Baraka acknowledges his role as griot of the black experience.”BookCover_JazzGriots

Marcoux, J. (2012). Jazz Griots: Music as history in the 1960s African American poem. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, p. 175.

Posted by the Reference Department


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