November 29th, 2005

Egrets Reading

Neglected Masters

The Poetry Foundation (which also publishes Poetry) has way too much money these days thanks to the grant from Ruth Lilly.

However, they seem to be willing to spend it for the sake of American Poetry, a good thing in my book.

Last year, they gave out a "Neglected Masters" award of $50,000.00 to Samuel Menashe, who was recently one of the distinguished guests at the New York "First Annual Stephen Crane Festival of the Short Poem".

Unfortunately, I hadn't heard of Samuel Menashe before the Stephen Crane Festival came to my attention, but his description as a "short poem master" certainly caught my eye, being that short poetry is one of my passions.

Menashe's book, Samuel Menashe, new and selected poems, was recently published by The Poetry Foundation as part of his "Neglected Masters Award" and I ordered a copy.

It came in today's mail so I'm now just starting to read through it. Menashe's poems are brief, yet he often plays with rhyme, alliteration, and assonance.

My favorite Menashe poem so far is "Reeds rise from water," which is also published online at Archipelago. (It's the second poem on the page, scroll down...)