The biggest letdown I have reading New Zealander Graham Beattie's blog is not being able to get the books he discusses for our store! We hear that frustration also when customers with friends in UK or elsewhere come in to find a book that their friends are raving about. Sometimes, a book takes years, if ever, to migrate and be published across the pond (or from New Zealand, across several oceans). When I first heard about Harry Potter taking UK by a storm, I was frustrated that we could not get it here. Of course, nobody cared, because nobody had heard of the series. Only after three titles in the series were published in Great Britain did it start here. It created such an immediate excitement that the fourth book was released almost simultaneously in UK and here, and the rest, as they say, is history.
This "darn it!" moment comes often when I read about poetry books. Fiona Kidman's new book Where Your Left Hand Rests, 2010 Costa Poetry Prize Winner Christopher Reid's A Scattering, ... the list could go on.
Moreover, I guess I can be missing good stuff on television. I just discovered an "American Idol" type program in Abu Dhabi in which performance is all about reciting one's own poetry. It looks great! And, some of the lines of Hissa Hillal, the featured poet in this NPR piece, as translated, are quite impressive. Although it is difficult to judge poetry by brilliant lines, she does appear to be a top runner in "Million's Poet" (I love when praise of a book of poetry include quotes like, "Some lines are so piercingly beautiful,..." or "In so-and-so's writing, a line might shine so brilliantly, it can blind you." Heck, anyone can write a brilliant line. It's the rest of the poem that makes writing poetry so difficult.) Luckily, the fact that it is not playing on American broadcast television saves us from more comment from those who discuss "The Office," "Modern Family" and "Nurse Jackie" and say, "You see what you're missing without a TV."
However, we do have our fair share of poetry in Downtown Dixon. Join us on Friday, 16 April, 7pm, for some Open Mic Poetry with Tom Irish presiding. And/Or on Friday, 30 April, 7pm, when I will strive to leave the weekday gig early and arrive at Books on First in time to have fun listening and watching, reciting, reading or performing.
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