Monday, February 27, 2017

Now Available: Domestication: Collected Poems 1996-2016.


Domestication: Collected Poems 1996-2016. Published February 25, 2017. 

Available now from Shipwreckt Books in Rushford, Minnesota, and from Content Bookstore in Northfield, Minnesota. Also available on Amazon.

"Rob Hardy brings together the wide range of gifts that place him among the few whose common touch makes them exceptional. In work that is at once accessible, enjoyable, and wonderfully well-made Hardy shows, without pretentious display, that poetry is not an outsider’s cryptic game. His poems demonstrate what Henry David Thoreau teaches: that profundity may best be found in simplicity. Hardy gracefully combines his deep knowledge of the ancient classics and his wide interest in scientific learning with his first-hand experience of nature and human relationships." —Emilio DeGrazia



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New Publication: An Essay on Phyllis Bottome (Critical Flame)

Phyllis Bottome was a British novelist, well-known during her lifetime, who observed the rise of Hitler first-hand during the years she lived in Munich in the early 1930s. In essays and in her novel The Mortal Storm, Bottome about the grave threat of European fascism, and of Hitler in general, at a time when the general mood was one of appeasement. My essay in The Critical Flame focuses on her novel The Mortal Storm (1938), and draws some connections with current events in the United States. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Year of Reading Globally

This year I'm planning to read more books by writers who are not British or American, and more writers of color. In general I tend to read novels by British women novelists of the 20th century, so it's also a bit of a change for me to be reading more novels by men. I'll keep updating this post throughout 2017 with a list of my reading.

January

Hisham Matar, The Return (Libya, Great Britain)
Rabih Allamedine, An Unnecessary Woman (Lebanon, U.S.A.)

February

J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (South Africa)
James Baldwin, Go Tell It On the Mountain (U.S.A.)

March

Robert Walser, The Walk (Switzerland). Novella. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

New Publication: An Essay on Susan Glaspell (Ploughshares)

The current (Winter 2016-2017) issue of Ploughshares includes my essay "'We Live Close Together and We Live far Apart: A Look2 Essay on Susan Glaspell." Susan Glaspell was born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1876. With her husband, she founded the Provincetown Players, the pioneering experimental theater that launched the career of Eugene O'Neill. Her own plays for the Provincetown Players, including the classic Trifles, established her as one of the leading playwright of her day, and one of the founders of modern American theater. In 1931, she became only the second woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama. She's less well-known as a novelist. Fidelity (1915) and Brook Evans (1928), reissued by Persephone Books in London, are the only two of her nine novels currently in print. Ploughshares' "Look2" series features essay about neglected authors like Glaspell who deserve a second look. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Literary Events in Northfield: January 13-28

Friday, January 13: Arts for Martin.
The annual celebration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at Arcadia Charter School. This year's event features art and poetry by Northfield sculptor Mac Gimse. More information here. 7pm. Arcadia Charter School, 1719 Cannon Rd., Northfield.

Sunday, January 15: Writers Resist: Hope is Greater Than Fear.

Thirteen local writers will participate in a “Writers Resist” event on Sunday, Jan. 15, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The “Northfield Writers Resist: Hope is Greater Than Fear” event is scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Cannon Valley Friends Meetinghouse, 512 Washington St.
Participating writers are Northfield Poet Laureate Rob Hardy, Beth Breiland, Bella Callery, Florence Dacey, Adriana Estill, Doug Green, Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Rich Larson, Harmony Neal, Orick Peterson, Joy Riggs, Kaethe Schwehn, and Vicki Scott. The readings will address issues of social justice, freedom of expression, and the preservation of democratic ideals. The event is free and open to the public. A coffee and cookie reception will follow. 
More information about the national organization is available at http://www.writersresist.org/

Monday, January 16: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration: "Building Bridges of Understanding." 

Northfield Human Rights Commission invites the community to join in a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., of the work he did, and the work he continues to inspire us to do in this country.  This year’s celebration will take place on Monday, January 16, 7:00-8:15 pm, at Emmaus Church, 712 Linden Street North.  This event is free and open to everyone in the community.
The program will include poetry by Delina Haileab and Rob Hardy (Northfield Poet Laureate), music by St. Olaf Gospel Choir, thoughts from Lisa Moore, St. Olaf Professor of Social Work, and an open microphone time for the community.
This annual event is also the time when Northfield recognizes work that is being done in the community in the area of human rights.  In 2017 the award is being presented to Father Dennis Dempsey of the Church of St. Dominic.  Fr. Denny is being honored for the caring and support he has provided to our growing Latino community.  In addition we celebrate the numerous individuals and organizations that are involved with supporting the Latino community in so many ways.  Further, with this award we are recognizing the important contributions and vitality the Latinos have added to life in Northfield. 

Thursday, January 19: Project Ghostlight (Northfield Arts Guild Theater)

On Thursday, January 19, 5:30 to 6:15pm, the Northfield Arts Guild Theater will be joining artists and community members across the country in the tradition of leaving a "ghostlight" on in a darkened theater. When theaters go dark at the end of the night, the ghostlight offers visibility and safety for all who might enter. Please JOIN US for a brief program of poetry and monologues as both students and adults reflect on the Arts Guild's mission to inspire our community by developing, supporting, and providing quality inclusive artistic opportunities. Goodies will be served. All are welcome.

Thursday, January 19: Writers Night: A Sense of Place.
The Northfield Poet Laureate is pleased to present “Writers Night: A Sense of Place,” a carefully selected program of poetry and prose by local writers in the new atrium of the Northfield Public Library at 7pm on Thursday, January 19.
Ten writers from Northfield, Faribault, and Webster will read selections on the theme of “a sense of place.” The selections were submitted during the month of December. In early January, a panel of judges made selections from thirty separate poems and short prose pieces in a blind screening process.
Writers included on the program are Sherry Anderson, Becky Boling, Florence Dacey, Bret Farley, Larry Gavin, Doug Green, Margit Johnson, Christine Kallman, Hannah Pahs, Joy Riggs, Julie Ryan, and Leslie Schultz.
Writers Nights were first held in the Northfield Arts Guild beginning in 2003. This revival of Writers Night is sponsored by the Northfield Public Library, with funding from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota.
Saturday, January 28: Sidewalk Poetry Kick-Off.

Starting at 2pm at the Northfield Public Library, last year's sidewalk poetry winners will read their poems in an event to launch the 2017 Northfield Sidewalk Poetry Competition.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Poem for the First Northfield City Council Meeting of 2017

I thought it would be appropriate to start the year here in the Northfield City Council chambers with a poem in memory of one of the first women elected to public office in Rice County, Molly Woerhlin, who passed away on December 23. Molly was a woman of tough, practical kindness, who left a legacy that enriches all of us in Northfield. As I remember her, and reflect on what she did with her life, I think about how much good we can do with the one life we are given, and how much more good we can do when we join that life with the lives of others.

Northfield, Minnesota
January 3, 2017


Molly’s Daisies
  
Another year is gone,
taking with it so many cherished lives,
so many dreams that seemed so possible at the start.
It was common in the last days of the year to count our losses,
to share the tally of the year’s cruel subtractions,
as if the only solidarity we could find was in our grief.
Each December day was filled with a little more darkness.
But sometimes we have to make our own light.
Not long after the longest night of the year, I found myself
remembering that unmowed strip of lawn
in front of Molly’s house on Maple Street,
where every summer the daisies bloomed,
and all those common flowers massed together seemed
like a table laid for some kind of sacrament.
I remembered how, in the solitary summers of childhood,
I used to pluck the white petals—she loves me not,
she loves me—as if those petals tallied losses that were the condition of love.
But thinking of Molly and her daisies, I know that love
is what happens when we add our one blossom to the blossoming all around us.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016: The Year in Northfield Poetry

Sidewalk Poetry. In 2016, nine new poems were added to Northfield sidewalks as part of the Northfield Sidewalk Poetry project. Reconstruction of Woodley Street between Division and Prairie Streets provided nearly a mile and a half of new sidewalk for poetry. 41 poems were installed along Woodley Street. The 2016 winning poets were Barbara Belobaba, Becky Boling, Julia Braulick, Steve McCown, Orick Peterson, Anne Running Sovick, Lori Stoltz, and Richard Waters.

Poetry Out Loud. In March, Arcadia Charter School student Anna Kochever was one of the top six finalists in the 2016 Poetry Out Loud state championship, held at The Loft in Minneapolis. Poetry Out Loud is an annual poetry recitation competition for high school students, sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. More than a dozen Arcadia students participated in the local competition. 

Poem in Your Pocket Day. On April 21, during National Poetry Month, Northfield again celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day. Boxes full of poems were available at local businesses, some of whom offered discounts for customers who shared a poem. In 2017, Poem in Your Pocket Day will be on Thursday, April 20.

TORCH Poetry Slam. The second annual TORCH Poetry Slam took place in December. This year’s winners were Chris Lazaro (third place), Delina Haileab (second place), and Alondra Perez Gonzalez (first place).

Poetry Nights at ContentContent Bookstore hosted nine Poetry Nights in 2016 (January-June, October-December). Poets featured were Susan Jaret McKinstry, Greg Hewett, Kaethe Schwehn, Leslie Schultz, Freya Manfred, Ken McCullough, and the winners of Arcadia’s Poetry Out Loud Competition and the 2015 TORCH Poetry Slam. The June 2016 Poetry Night was a bilingual reading of poems of Pablo Neruda.

New Books. Two Northfield poets published books of poetry in 2016: 
  • Leslie Schultz, Still Life with Poppies: Elegies (Aldrich Press)
  • Kaethe Schwehn, Tanka & Me: Poems (Brain Mill Press/Mineral Point Poetry Series)
Contest Winners. Two Northfield poets won contests in 2016:
Northfield Poet Laureate. In September, the Northfield Public Library selected Rob Hardy to serve a three-year term as Northfield’s first Poet Laureate. In November, the Northfield Public Library received a $9,600 grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) to support the Poet Laureate program. Rob read poems in September at the annual Joseph Lee Heywood graveside service, the dedication of Wheeler Park, and the community celebration of the U.N. International Day of Peace. In November, he read a poem at the opening of a City Council meeting. He also worked with students in several classes at Northfield High School, hosted nine Poetry Nights at Content, and created and administered the Northfield Poet Laureate Facebook page.


The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) has provided a grant for this project thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made possible by the voters of Minnesota.

Now Available: Domestication: Collected Poems 1996-2016.

Domestication: Collected Poems 1996-2016 . Published February 25, 2017.  Available now from Shipwreckt Books in Rushford, Minnesota, ...