Reviews and Articles
Sima Rabinowitz of New Pages reviews The Stone of Language
‘If you have trouble believing that poetry with a “social message” can also be art, Achtenberg will change your mind. The Stone of Language is a remarkable book of urgent, intelligent, artful poems with a conscience. And, fortunately, there’s no “project” here—these are not speeches, disguised as poems. This is not a single-minded treatise, but a collection that explores a range of subject matter, including (though not exclusively) themes of social and political significance, in language that is always original, and more often than not, breathtaking. These are poems that change you while you’re reading them and after you’ve closed the book.’ (read more)
Lyle Daggett reviews The Stone of Language
The best book of poems I’ve read in the past year or so is The Stone of Language by Anya Achtenberg (published 2004 by West End Press, PO Box 27334, Albuquerque, NM 87125). I first met Anya, and read her poems, in the early 1980′s when she was living here in Minneapolis. I encountered her poems at a time in my life when, although I had not stopped writing poetry, I had for the most part stopped doing anything public with my poems. Anya Achtenberg was one of the poets whose work helped me to find a way for my poems to come back out into the world, to write poems that I felt might be capable of engaging with the larger world. (read more)
Alison Ross reviews The Stone of Language
Poetry that’s worth a damn typically boasts what I will term an “internal conscience,” meaning it is acutely aware of its own merits and brims with artistic integrity. A good poem has a sense of ethics, in other words, and consciously follows its own creative code and linguistic logic. A good poem can even violate its own code of ethics, and get away with it unscathed! That’s what I would call a smashingly good poem. (read more)
Conference sparks writers’ creativity
by Marcella Ortega
Carson Bennett has been creatively stuck.
Bennett is a graduate student at UNM and writes creative nonfiction and personal essays. Every year, he seeks rejuvenation at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference.
“It gives me the boost of energy that I ride on throughout the year,” Bennett said.
The conference was held last week. It was founded by Sharon Warner in 1999. Warner is the director of the conference and an associate professor of English at UNM. She said in its first year the conference offered a few workshops on fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
Since then the conference has grown to include 19 different workshops. (read more)