Kirby Congdon

Kirby Congdon found his calling in the time of the Beat Movement, his poems being published by the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor as well as countless small-press outlets. While influenced by the assertive stance of a new generation in literature, he preferred to set aside the spontaneous approach of his friends and use his work as an exploratory tool in establishing the new identity of his times as well as that of his own maturation. This search was incorporated in 300 works which were compiled in a bibliography by a Dean of the English Department at Long Island University in his retirement and made available in hard-back with an extensive addenda by the literary activists of Presa Press through their skills achieved from the University of Michigan and their own experience which commands a movement in itself of contemporary literary action. Congdon’s work in poetry covers innumerable treatments of countless subjects in single poems, long treatments on a subject, and many collections of both serious thought and imagination through not only the poetry but through essays, plays and ruminations. Named the first poet laureate of Key West, he received a standing ovation for his reading honoring this position and was the featured poet in a festival celebrating Frank O’Hara in the New York region. He was also asked to read his work as well as give a talk on the country’s national poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, at a seminar honoring that man. Currently, Congdon is working on an autobiography and a collection of complete poems.

Apr 062018

By Kirby Congdon…… Footprints I press each foot’s print in, this beach made with stone and bone, clean and firm, beneath my feet and, so, design, with neat resolve, hard topographies from this shiftless land which oceans, also, rising, would complete with neither eye nor hand returning worlds, dissolved, with an easy disregard, into smooth, unmarked, and, once more, unmarred obliterations of sand. That landscape’s script has no language to translate. Our body’s trace is gone. Our lives are anonymous when endless oceans neither feel [continue reading…]

 April 6, 2018  Posted by at 12:04 am News No Responses »
Mar 302018
Book Review: Beautiful Chaos

by Kirby Congdon……. Book Review Beautiful Chaos Poems by Jose Gomez 6 x 9 pb (50p) ISBN: 978-6925319-5 Many references heighten ordinary speech and we can trust the empathy that underlies this man’s experience. In this reviewer’s opinion Mr. Gomez’ work is often erotically central and, like his vocabulary and the construction of his ideas they are often skillfully handled. Three memorable ones are “Cello,” the mellow reality in “Chaos,” along with the steady construction that provides the humor in “Am I,” a poem that [continue reading…]

 March 30, 2018  Posted by at 12:00 am Issue #262, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Mar 112018
Sheri Lohr and the Fair

by Kirby Congdon……. Sheri Lohr’s outfit, Seastory Press, has provided a service for those of us who have not yet been adored by the commercial, academic or popular institutions of our literary world. Eight or nine years ago she tried setting up an annual get-together at the Heritage House under the auspices of Jean Porter. Ms. Porter had originally encouraged local writers in her garden area, having already been a host to Robert Frost while Lawrence Ferlinghetti had been a personal friend whom I met [continue reading…]

 March 11, 2018  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #259, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Mar 032018
Nancy Tankersley Review

by Kirby Congdon……. This artist, familiar with the Maryland Institue of Contemporary Art, is active in Baltimore while Paul Gildea has provided a show of of her intimate paintings at his gallery on February 26th. Most of her thirty pieces are quiet interiors, an afternoon at the beach or casual portraits. One scene was located in Paris. One portraits was a cow in a sitting position looking contentedly at us. The title was “In the Clover.” Another was simply of a young person washing her feet, [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2018  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #258, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Feb 242018
What Happens?

by Kirby Congdon……. A few years ago, when a poet introduced her poem with the advice, “This really happened,” I was not able to stop thinking about it. Did she mean that the poem was founded on real facts, grounded on verifiable experience like an existential newspaper? If so, did she mean all the rest of her work was based on imaginary suppositions? Was everything made up like a fairy tale, fiction, or some other kind of entertainment? This would be the stuff of the [continue reading…]

 February 24, 2018  Posted by at 12:40 am ~ Column ~, Issue #257, Kirby Congdon, News No Responses »
Feb 112018

by Kirby Congdon…….   Gnat Avoiding my crass hand’s sweep, in random sallies within the world of my room, an insect darts, adoit, among the motes of dust that float, glow or drift about in ninety-three-million-mile rays of streaming silence. Such lives, in their abandon, define their space and what it’s all about, though chartless, in the far, rootless reaches of the absolute.  

 February 11, 2018  Posted by at 12:32 am ~ Column ~, Issue #255, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Feb 042018
Blue Collar Review. Vol. 21, Issue 1 (2917)

by Kirby Congdon……. Editors often put their best material near the front of their productions to catch the attention that is most worth it. Was this happening in the current Blue Collar Review? The poem on page 2, “Jackie Kennedy’s Hats” by Robert Cooperman out there in Denver is clear and memorable. When Jackie loses her hat as the President is shot, the poet’s father, a hat maker, responds, “There goes my business.” The poem ends this way: “…Dad couldn’t help but love Kennedy’s beautiful [continue reading…]

 February 4, 2018  Posted by at 12:53 am Issue #254, Kirby Congdon No Responses »
Jan 202018
Decimos (We Say)

by Kirby Congdon……. On glancing through the first production from the poetry group, Decimos, I was delighted with the Spanish title because this reviewer took three years of Latin in high school voluntarily.There is so much meaning beyond all those declensions!In a world of sports, competition and success Latin gave me something cultural outside of adolescence that was, for me, a beacon. When I read the biographies at the end of this collection I thought, “Well, gee, maybe we’re going somewhere. We’ve got adults here.” [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2018  Posted by at 12:23 am News 1 Response »
Jan 052018
Bad Poems and How They Get That Way

by Kirby Congdon…….. Webster’s Dictionary defines a poem as “a style more imaginative than ordinary speech.” This could be anything from street talk dialect to a royal decree or a definition in contracts, politics, news or in the dialogue of conversation. Almost any use of language can be enhanced for here is where the root of poetry takes hold. Its form may take on a graceful and intelligent tone when the speaker is familiar with his medium. A writer may indeed be imaginative with a [continue reading…]

 January 5, 2018  Posted by at 12:04 am ~ Column ~, Art, Issue #250, Kirby Congdon 1 Response »
Dec 292017

by Kirby Congdon……. Oratorio Endeavoring to be “remembered forever” is to be a bore, or whatever, when that eternal measurement of time for oracles may be clever but it’s hardly more than a handy rhyme to remind the dead, or whoever, of some war at one time or another.

 December 29, 2017  Posted by at 12:26 am Issue #249, Kirby Congdon No Responses »