Posts Tagged ‘ David Koehn ’

First Verse: David Koehn and Sally Wen Mao

First Verse is a series of conversations between David Koehn and another poet who has recently had a first book accepted or won a first book prize. These conversations navigate the process and experience of conceiving, developing, and bringing a first manuscript to its final form as a finished book.

SallyMao-1248Sally Wen Mao is the author of Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014), the winner of the 2012 Kinereth Gensler Award and a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Pick of Fall 2014. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2013 and is forthcoming or published in Poetry, Black Warrior Review, Guernica, jubilat, The Missouri Review, and Washington Square, among others. A Kundiman fellow, she holds an M.F.A. from Cornell University, where she was a lecturer in creative writing and composition. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and teaches in the Asian American Studies department at Hunter College.

imageDavid’s poetry and translations were previously collected in two chapbooks, Tunic, (speCt! books 2013) a small collection of some of his translations of Catullus, and Coil (University of Alaska, 1998), winner of the Midnight Sun Chapbook Contest. David’s first full length manuscript, Twine, now available from Bauhan Publishing, won the May Sarton Poetry Prize. David’s poetry has appeared in a wide range of literary magazines including Kenyon Review, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rhino, Volt, Carolina Quarterly, New York Quarterly, Diagram and many others. David Koehn received his MFA from the University of Florida, Bachelors from Carnegie Mellon, is an essayist for OmniVerse, and Chair of Omnidawn’s Advisory Board.

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First Verse: David Koehn and Rachel Mennies

First Verse is a series of conversations between David Koehn and another poet who has recently had a first book accepted or won a first book prize. These conversations navigate the process and experience of conceiving, developing, and bringing a first manuscript to its final form as a finished book.

alisonsteve02327Rachel Mennies is the author of The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards (Texas Tech University Press, 2014), winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook No Silence in the Fields (Blue Hour Press, 2012). Her work has recently appeared in Sixth Finch, Poetry Daily, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere, and was recently funded by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. She teaches in the First-Year Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of AGNI‘s editorial staff.

imageDavid’s poetry and translations were previously collected in two chapbooks, Tunic, (speCt! books 2013) a small collection of some of his translations of Catullus, and Coil (University of Alaska, 1998), winner of the Midnight Sun Chapbook Contest. David’s first full length manuscript, Twine, now available from Bauhan Publishing, won the May Sarton Poetry Prize. David’s poetry has appeared in a wide range of literary magazines including Kenyon Review, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rhino, Volt, Carolina Quarterly, New York Quarterly, Diagram and many others. David Koehn received his MFA from the University of Florida, Bachelors from Carnegie Mellon, is an essayist for OmniVerse, and Chair of Omnidawn’s Advisory Board.

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First Verse: David Koehn and Jane Lewty

First Verse, a new feature of OmniVerse, is a series of conversations between David Koehn and another poet who has recently had a first book accepted or won a first book prize. These conversations navigate the process and experience of conceiving, developing, and bringing a first manuscript to its final form as a finished book.

JaneLewtyJane Lewty is the author of Bravura Cool (1913 Press: 2013) which was the winner of the 1913 First Book Prize in 2011, selected by Fanny Howe. Currently, she lives and works in Amsterdam.

imageDavid’s poetry and translations were previously collected in two chapbooks, Tunic, (speCt! books 2013) a small collection of some of his translations of Catullus, and Coil (University of Alaska, 1998), winner of the Midnight Sun Chapbook Contest. David’s first full length manuscript, Twine, now available from Bauhan Publishing, won the May Sarton Poetry Prize. David’s poetry has appeared in a wide range of literary magazines including Kenyon Review, New England Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Rhino, Volt, Carolina Quarterly, New York Quarterly, Diagram and many others. His essays and reviews have appeared online and in print across a similar variety of magazines.

David Koehn received his MFA from the University of Florida, is a Vice President at a technology company, is an Angel investor as part of the Sand Hill Angels, and an Account Director at the pro bono volunteer organization Taproot, is an essayist for OmniVerse, and a father of five.

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David Koehn: “Reclaiming Catullus”

“The original is unfaithful to the translation.”
Jorge Luis Borges, On Henley’s translation of Beckford’s Vathek, 1943

The ‘availability’ of Catullus is both a challenge and an opportunity. My original thesis in translating Catullus was that Catullus, the pleasure of Catullus, has been subsumed by the classicists and the philologists. Prof. Rebecca Resinski of Hendrix College corrected my course here. She took exception because I made it sound “like classicists and philologists have swallowed Catullus up and have been keeping him from others.” There may be some truth to that—but I clearly overstated.

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David Koehn: Catullus 32 Matching Quiz

Catullus 32: Match the year of publication on the left with the version on the right

In the following listing the publication dates are mismatched with their versions. Can you arrange them properly? What number 1-32 in the right column matches with A? With B? And so on…

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David Koehn: On Arthur Sze’s Syzygy

The following essay is an extension of a review of Arthur Sze’s book Quipu, originally published in American Letters and Commentary.

“Even without understanding intricate details of a theory, the fact that it has supersymmetry built in allows us to place significant constraints on the properties it can have. Using a linguistic analogy, imagine that we are told that a sequence of letters has been written on a slip of paper, that the sequence has exactly three occurrences, say, of the letter “y,” and that the paper has been hidden within a sealed envelope. If we are given no further information, then there is no way that we can guess the sequence—for all we know it might be a random assortment of letters with three y’s like mvcfojziyxidqfqzyycdi or any one of the infinitely many other possibilities. But imagine that we are subsequently given two further clues: The hidden sequence of letters spells out an English word and it has the minimum number of letters consistent with the first clue of having three y’s. From the infinite number of letter sequences at the outset, these clues reduce the possibilities to one word—to the shortest English word containing three y’s: syzygy.”

from “The Power of Symmetry” in the chapter “Beyond Strings” from The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

syz•y•gy (sĭz′ə-jē)
n. pl. syz•y•gies
1.      Astronomy.
      a.      Either of two points in the orbit of a celestial body where the body is in opposition to or in conjunction with the sun.
      b.      Either of two points in the orbit of the moon when the moon lies in a straight line with the sun and Earth.
      c.      The configuration of the sun, the moon, and Earth lying in a straight line.
2.      The combining of two feet into a single metrical unit in classical prosody.

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David Koehn: On Heaney’s “The Turnip-Snedder”

The full text of “The Turnip-Snedder” can be found in the link at the end of this essay.

In my notes on Seamus Heaney’s “The Turnip-Snedder” I need be careful else I’ll turn the discussion into some paltry, gushing commendation. In many ways, the work of poetry—its earliest resonance as art—beyond the gross manipulations of the personal—began for me in college with the reading of Heaney.

Heaney was my earliest teacher on several fronts. Heaney never averted his eye from the work at hand. His rhythms varied between classical and contemporary. The historical moment and the historical aura of all things emanate from the artifacts, the objects, in his poems.

Heaney treated things, everyday things, materiality itself, with a kind of magic that made sense to me. The illumination of objects by Heaney as they are, as they operated in historical context, as they manifest in the present, and as they operate both now and into the future in our language suggested to me the very infinities of writing—and especially the reading of poetry.
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