Saturday, February 21, 2009

Publishers & Google reach settlement

As we continue to hurtle into the 21st century, one of the snarly issues is authors' copyrights and electronic reproduction. I enourage all to read Walter Benjamin's 1936 essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction."

Also, here are some issues worked out in court recently, with full text available at

"The settlement, if Court-approved, will authorize Google to scan in-copyright Books and Inserts in the United States, and maintain an electronic database of Books. For out-of-print Books and, if permitted by Rightsholders of in-print Books, Google will be able to sell access to individual Books and institutional subscriptions to the database, place advertisements on any page dedicated to a Book, and make other commercial uses of Books. At any time, Rightsholders can change instructions to Google regarding any of those uses. Through a Book Rights Registry ("Registry") established by the settlement, Google will pay Rightsholders 63% of all revenues from these uses.

"Google also will pay $34.5 million to establish and fund the initial operations of the Registry and for notice and settlement administration costs, and at least $45 million for cash payments to Rightsholders of Books and Inserts that Google scans prior to the deadline for opting out of the settlement."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009



Amy Fleury was born and raised in Seneca, attended Kansas State University, and taught at Washburn University for more than ten years. She visited many area arts centers and colleges for readings and conferences. Her writing has a fresh quality, conveyed by a narrator who has a quiet excitement about the surroundings. Even this elegy, “At Cather’s Grave,” set in a forest cemetery, has a brightness. Like Cather, the narrator is displaced from western plains. Monadnock in the poem is an isolated New Hampshire mountain that rises over pine forests, and it emphasizes the sense of shadow at the gravesite. The prairie skies become the contrasting life in the poem.

Here Fleury turns to landscape as eternity, like Cather’ novels about the prairie create a literary heritage that continues. Fleury writes that “the prairie/ is like a page,” and so she joins the author with her own writings. She contrasts the dark New Hampshire woods with “sun-doused sedge” and also graveside and life. The last stanza integrates opposites with affirmation of the continuity of wind, which tells stories everywhere, and the land, which “will take us in,” whether in forests or on the plains. Fleury herself recently moved to Louisiana, but will never truly leave Kansas.

At Cather’s Grave

Veiled in deep New Hampshire pines,
you rest in a bed of mast and loam.
A pilgrim from the plains, I’ve come in homage
to your open-skied and earth-turned words.
Monadnock will not shadow you.

We both know that the prairie
is like a page, our living and dying
written in every tuck and swell.
I wish we could walk out together,
arms linked, toward the sun-doused sedge.

But everywhere, whether here
or there, the wind stories us
and the land will take us in.
We are all happy to be dissolved
into something so complete and great.

Education: Amy Fleury graduated from Seneca High School. She received two English degrees from Kansas State University (B.S. 1991, M.A. 1994) and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (McNeese State University, 1997). At KSU she received the William H. Hickok Graduate Fellowship in Fiction.
Career: Amy Fleury taught at Highland Community College (1997-1998), Washburn University (1998-2008), and McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana (2008 - ). She received the Crab Orchard First Book Award for Beautiful Trouble (Southern Illinois University Press 2004), and she has a chapbook Reliquaries of the Lesser Saints, RopeWalk Press, University of Southern Indiana.
____________________________________________________________________________________________© 2009 Denise Low, AAPP 30 © 2004 “At Cather’s Grave,” Amy Fleury, first published in Beautiful Trouble, Southern Illinois University Press.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Iowa Poet Laureate Robert P. Dana Publishes

Robert P. Dana published Hard Candy, a fine-press publication from Catstep Press, Iowa City, 2008. The chapbook includes 13 poems, including the following villanelle, reprinted with the master poet’s permission. The villanelle form has five stanzas of three lines and a concluding quatrain (4 lines). Here the recursive movement of the pattern is a perfect container for the recursive motion of the narrator’s memory.

Going Back

Will it be like home or one foot in the grave,
when I return to my little New England town?
I live now between the mountain and the wave.

What will I lose? What will I save?
A boyhood autumn, red-gold slanting down?
Will it feel like home or one foot in the grave?

Admit it. You’ve sometimes been a slave
to memory. The girl, the dance, the gown.
We live between the mountain and the wave.

Let Rip Van Winkle once more dream and rave
in his old horse-trough by the library, his frown
hawking apples and one foot in the grave.

Mac, Ju-jic, Honey, Ruth and Dave
are gone now, into the sear and tumble-down.
We live between the mountain and the wave.

The mill run’s coppery. Wild waters don’t behave.
A fly drifts, dazzling brook trout and brown.
Does it seem like home or one foot in the grave?
I live between the mountain and the wave.

Another new publication from Dana is from Anhinga Press, The Other, a collection of poetry, available through this url: .

Dana is about to celebrate his 80th birthday, and his writing continues to amaze me. Dana is one of the poets I study to see ways that poetry can be crafted.