Ernest Hilbert Bowdlerized at Long Last!


Until now, my poems have appeared whole or in parts, but not intentionally altered. At last, I am proud to have been slightly bowdlerized!

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“On Not Writing as a West Indian Woman” by Vahni Capildeo


Born in Trinidad, Vahni Capildeo has lived in the UK since 1991. She is the author of the poetry collections Dark & Unaccustomed Words, No Traveller Returns, Person Animal Figure, and Undraining Sea, and her work has appeared in the anthologies Identity Parade, In the Telling, and The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse. She is a contributing editor and the UK agent and representative for the Caribbean Review of Books and a member of the International Advisory Board for the Journal of Indo-Caribbean Studies.

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The Tiny Viking Drinking Horn of Ernest Hilbert the Rooster!


As noted here in years past, there is, in fact, a venerable warlord rooster named Ernest Hilbert, who keeps watch over his realm and his harem in Massachusetts. He was named for me. It is true. What is more surprising is that he is not only still among us but dispensing his roosterly duties with great aplomb.

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“Dream Song 207” by John Berryman

Portrait of American John Berryman (born John Allyn Smith Jr,  1914 - 1972) as he poses with journalist Jane T. Howard (1930 - 1995), Dublin, Ireland, 1967. (Photo by Terrence Spencer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

“Berryman has written an elegy on his brilliant generation and, in the process, he has also written an elegy on himself.” – A. Alvarez

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Shearwater covers David Bowie’s “Look Back In Anger”


“Since springing from the rib of Okkervil River, Shearwater has always made music bigger than the capacity of the clubs they play . . . Meiburg seems to be personally willing the band upward and outward, risking the kind of mainstream corniness that you only encounter when ambitions grow mountain-sized.” – Pitchfork

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“The Dogdays” by J.V. Cunningham

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“Cunningham’s (1911-1985) precisely bitter epigrams deserve more admirers. Like Ben Jonson’s, Cunningham’s best lines often state his moral or stylistic goals: ‘The classic indignation, / The sullen clarity / Of passions in their station, / Moved by propriety.’ Other favorite topics are regret, epistemology, bad books, theology, alcohol, and sex. Epigrams state rules, clarify, generalize and show impersonal authority; Cunningham’s parched, self-suspicious intelligence fit such ends, and formed his ‘plain style’—‘Savage, direct and bitten, / Not pitying and unclean.’ Like the diamonds used as drill bits, Cunningham’s rigorously specialized verses are harder and clearer than what they attack, pointed, unornate, small-scale, useful, and valuable.” – The Boston Review

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“My Father’s Dante” by Ernest Hilbert

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“Ernest Hilbert is known for the sonnet, and rightfully so. In Caligulan, he doesn’t so much break free of that but makes it clear that whatever he does, whether with subject, verse form, or anything else, it’s because it’s what he damn well wants to do. Poets like Hilbert roll that way. These poems will make you laugh and break your heart even as they drink you under the table.” – Quincy Lehr, author of Dark Lord of the Tiki Bar

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“Dog Days (Caniculares Dies)” by Ernest Hilbert

In his debut collection, Sixty Sonnets, Hilbert establishes a variation on the sonnet form, employing an intricate rhyme scheme and varied line length. A skillful practitioner of form and nuance, Hilbert shifts between delicately sonic moments and humorous narrative sequences. Hilbert’s second collection, All of You on the Good Earth, returns to his idiosyncratic, highly inventive sonnet form. – Poetry Foundation

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“The King’s Bed” by Penny Boxall


Penny Boxall graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA with distinction in Creative Writing (Poetry). Her debut collection, Ship of the Line, was published by Eyewear in 2014. She is currently shortlisted for the 2016 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and Gladstone’s Library’s 2017 Writer in Residence programme. She won second prize in the 2014 Jane Martin Poetry Prize. Her poem, ‘What You Mean to Me’, was commended in the Forward Prize in 2014. Her poetry has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Rialto, The Forward Book of Poetry 2015 and Mslexia, and is forthcoming in Magma. Formerly the Literature intern at The Wordsworth Trust, she is now the Education Officer at Oxford’s University Church, programming arts events.

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“The Antikythera Mechanism” by Eric Thomas Norris


Eric Norris lives in Portlandia, USA. His poems and short stories have appeared in Soft Blow, Assaracus, Jonathan, The Nervous Breakdown, Glitterwolf, The Raintown Review, and E-Verse Radio.

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“Light Illumined” by Ernest Hilbert


“As anti-pastoral as Hilbert can be, he shares Robert Frost’s commitment to describing impressions as precisely as possible, which may offer, as it did Robert Frost, a ‘momentary stay against confusion,’ even if such descriptions can lead to contradictory conclusions . . . . The music of Caligulan is, by turns, smooth and jagged. This is by design. Poetry reflects and clarifies complexity . . . . An honest volume for dishonest times, Caligulan reminds us that ‘thunder / Sinks your song, because, like the day of birth, / The day you’ll wake and have your death is set.’ It ‘just hasn’t happened yet.’” – Washington Free Beacon

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“Bertrand Russell’s Chicken” by Nic Aubury


Nic Aubury was born in Watford in 1974 and grew up in the Midlands. He read Classics at Oxford and now teaches Latin and Greek for a living. He had a chapbook and a full collection of poetry published by the now defunct Nasty Little Press (Small Talk, 2011 & Cold Soup, 2013) and has performed his poetry at various festivals including Port Eliot, Latitude, the Cheltenham Poetry Festival and the Ledbury Poetry Festival. The poem Decline and Fall was chosen as a Poem of the Week in the Guardian newspaper in 2015, and poems of his have appeared in the Carcanet anthology New Poetries VI, in the Penguin anthology The Poetry of Sex, in the Bloodaxe/Ledbury Festival anthology Hwaet! and also in Sophie Hannah’s novel The Carrier and on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

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“The Toadstone” by Reagan Upshaw

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Reagan Upshaw is a poet and critic living in Beacon, NY. His poems, articles, and reviews have appeared in Bloomsbury Review, Boston Review, Hanging Loose, the San Francisco Chronicle, Light, Poets & Writers, and many other publications. He makes his living as an art dealer and appraiser.

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“On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness” by Arthur Guiterman


Arthur Guiterman was born of American parents in Vienna, graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1891, and was married in 1909 to Vida Lindo. He was an editor of the Woman’s Home Companion and the Literary Digest. In 1910, he cofounded the Poetry Society of America, and later served as its president in 1925-26.

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“Insomniac” by Rebecca Watts

Rebecca Watts photo

Rebecca Watts was born in Suffolk, England in 1983 and now lives in Cambridge, where she works in a library and as a freelance editor. In 2015 a selection of her work was included in the Carcanet anthology New Poetries VI. Her debut collection, The Met Office Advises Caution, is due out from Carcanet in September 2016 and is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

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Caligulan Lands in London and London Takes a Bite Out of It


Through the kind ministrations of noted bookseller and celebrated poet John Clegg, the London Review Bookshop (LRB) in London is now plentifully stocked with copies of my latest venture, Caligulan.

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“How easy it was, to stand and look at the stars” by Ben Mazer

Ben Mazer

Ben Mazer was educated at Harvard University, where he studied with Seamus Heaney, and at the Editorial Institute, Boston University, where he studied under Christopher Ricks and Archie Burnett. His poem which appears here is from his sixth poetry collection, February Poems, which will be published by the Grolier Poetry Press in the fall of this year. Mazer’s most recent collections are The Glass Piano (MadHat Press, 2015) and December Poems (Pen & Anvil Press, 2016). He is also the editor of The Collected Poems of John Crowe Ransom (Boston: Un-Gyve Press, 2015). He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the Editor of The Battersea Review.

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“We Are Experiencing Delay” by Caoilinn Hughes

Caoilinn Hughes at the launch of her book of poetry Gathering Evidence, in Charlie Byrnes Bookshop on Wednesday. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

Irish writer Caoilinn Hughes’ first collection, Gathering Evidence, was published by Carcanet in 2014. She recently moved from New Zealand (where she completed her PhD at Victoria University of Wellington) to the Netherlands, where she teaches at Maastricht University. She is currently writing her second poetry collection and a novel.

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Susan Spear’s Opera The Price of Pomegranates to Be Performed


Poet and librettist Susan Spear studied with me in 2012, when I began teaching a course on the practical art of the opera libretto for the Western MFA poetry concentration. She began out with the notion of an opera based on the biblical book of Ruth. I urged her to think more broadly about the story and characters, and perhaps to modernize it in a meaningful way. She spent some time reading about the burgeoning Afghan immigrant community in Los Angeles. This turn proved auspicious, and the result is a beautiful opera, with music by composer Jerome W. Malek, called The Price of Pomegranates, a moving and intelligent story of family loyalty and personal freedom. It will be performed at the Writing the Rockies festival this month.

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“New Jersey” by BJ Ward


“In poems that both honor and transcend his blue-collar roots, BJ Ward blends poignancy and humor with downright good storytelling, and takes his place among the bright up-and-coming voices of his generation.” – Stephen Dunn

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“Spell for an Orchard” by John Clegg


John Clegg was born in Chester in 1986 and grew up in Cambridge. He studied for a PhD at Durham University. In 2013, he received an Eric Gregory Award. His first collection, Antler, was published by Salt in 2012, and his second, Holy Toledo!, was recently published recently by Carcanet Press. A pamphlet, Captain Love and the Five Joaquins, is published by Emma Press. He works as a bookseller in London.

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“Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” by Robert Archambeau


Robert Archambeau is a poet and literary critic whose works include the books Citation Suite, Home and Variations, Laureates and Heretics, The Poet Resigns: Poetry in a Difficult World, and The Kafka Sutra. He has also edited a number of works, including Word Play Place: Essays on the Poetry of John Matthias, The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing, and Letters of Blood: English Writings of Göran Printz-Påhlson. He teaches English as a Professor at Lake Forest College near Chicago.

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“Kite” by Ernest Hilbert Scored for Voice and Cello by Christopher LaRosa

Kite Kite

Follow along with the score as you listen to Chris LaRosa’s setting of my poem “Kite” for voice and cello, featured on ContemporaryCompositionXX’s youtube channel, performed by Rachel Mikol and Will Rowe, commissioned by Sara Wilkins.

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“I, Too, have Been to the Huntington” by J.V. Cunningham


[Cunningham’s poems] “difficult as they are to place in the stream of American and English poetry, are of unusual interest. They are the products of a talent which is emphatically and avowedly not modern, but which, though it operates within quite narrow bounds, and intentionally so, is none the less expert and sensitive.” – Edward Weismiller

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“Independence Day” by John Poch


John Poch has published four collections of poetry. His most recent, Fix Quiet, won the 2014 New Criterion Poetry Prize. He teaches in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University. His work has appeared in Poetry, Yale Review, Agni, American Poetry Review, Paris Review, and many other journals.

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“The Night my Sister Went to Hollywood” by Hilda Sheehan

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Hilda Sheehan’s debut collection is The Night my Sister Went to Hollywood (Cultured Llama Press, 2013). She has also published a chapbook of prose poems, Frances and Martine (Dancing Girl, 2014).

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“Summer Scream” by Ernest Hilbert in the New Issue of Per Contra


My light-hearted summer “horror” poem “Summer Scream” appears in the new issue of Per Contra, an international journal of the arts, literature, and ideas.

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Images of The Book Collector, a New Opera by Composer Stella Sung and Librettist Ernest Hilbert

At the climax, the Baron, driven mad with desire for the book, commits murder! His daughter confronts him and is terrified when she realizes he does not understand what he has done and feels no remorse.

Until now, I’ve only been able to share images taken on cell phones and smaller cameras, which you may have seen here. I’ve finally received some of the professional photographs taken of the opera. Enjoy!

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“14-Year-Old with Two Friends on Bikes Outside the Wawa on Germantown Ave” by Mark Danowsky

Mark Danowsky bio

Mark Danowsky’s poetry has appeared in About Place, Beechwood Review, Cordite, Elohi Gadugi, Grey Sparrow, Mobius, Right Hand Pointing, Shot Glass Journal, Third Wednesday and elsewhere. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Mark currently resides in North-Central West Virginia. He works for a private detective agency and is Managing Editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.

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