W.S. Merwin Named the Next U.S. Poet Laureate

W.S. Merwin, one of my favorite poets living or dead, has been named the 17th United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress*. His term will begin in the fall of 2010 and run through the fall of 2011.

He will open the Library of Congress’s annual literary series with a reading of his work on October 25, 2010.

For some of my favorite poets, like W.S. Merwin or Rainer Maria Rilke, I do not know how they first entered my life. They have become so integral to me that I feel as though they have always been with me. After reading his work, “Separation,” — which I hope he reads at the conclusion of his duties as the Poet Laureate — I cannot think of loss the same way.

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José Saramago, Nobel Laureate, Has Died

[Photograph of José Saramago. Photocredit: Wikimedia Commons]
José Saramago, Nobel Laureate 1998
November 16, 1922 – June 18, 2010
The world of letters has lost another light.

José Saramago died today according to his publisher. He was 87 years old.

I am mostly ignorant of Mr. Saramago’s work. I began reading The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis and found the story wonderful and strange. It tells the story of Ricardo Reis, a “heteronym” used by Fernando Pessoa, who continues to live on after Fernando Pessoa has died. A heteronym is different from a pseudonym in that each heteronym possesses a separate history, temperament, philosophy, and writing style, whereas as a pseudonym refers to the author.

The writing career of Mr. Saramago flourished later in life. He did not become a full time novelist in his late fifties, “after working variously as a garage mechanic, a Welfare Agency bureaucrat, a printing production manager, a proofreader, a translator and a newspaper columnist” (from the New York Times obituary).

His work serves as a reminder that not all great artists are great while they are young, a foil to our obsession with youth.

Obituaries

On My Recent Silence

by Matthew Koslowski on June 17, 2010
in Announcements

Dear readers and friends,

June has provided a number of surprises for me. Please bear with me a little bit longer while I navigate some of these changes.

I have been having some excellent conversations about poetry and art — only in the real world, not online. I have been working on my own writing — just not my blog — and nothing that I am quite ready to share. I have begun to swing dance, in addition to the other dancing I already do, so I have even less time than I did before.

So, while I adjust to the new schedule, please be patient with me. I will have some good posts in the next week and I will try to make it up to you for the two Wednesdays I have missed.

Sincerely,

 

Matthew Koslowski

Special Announcement

by Matthew Koslowski on May 28, 2010
in Announcements

I am now a licensed educator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts!

Yesterday morning, I received an email notification that my application for a Preliminary Teacher License for Grades 5-8 and for Grades 9-12 has been approved.

I will be seeking a classroom for the fall. In the meantime, I will be seeking students to tutor this summer. If you have would like me to tutor your child, or if you know people seeking a tutor for their children, please contact me.