Fall 2009 Update

Dear Friends: 

Awhile back I mentioned having spent weeks in a studio recording all my books of poetry. D.H. Melhem and Gwendolyn Brooks at PEN, 1990. Photo: Jack KaminskyJust out:  Rest in Love:  Of five sections, Introduction, Parts I, II and III are now available on the website!  Final two sections will be released in a few weeks.  You can play and/or download to your computer or to a CD.  Compliments of the author.

Big news:  My eighth collection of poems, Art and Politics / Politics and Art, will be published by Syracuse University Press in spring 2010.  It will be my third book with them, following New York Poems (2005) and Stigma & The Cave (2007).  I’ve been interested in art and writing all my life, and in politics nearly all.  The distinguished poet Philip Appleman notes: “Melhem’s poetry disproves the myth that poetry must be “purified” of politics in order to be art; indeed reminds us that only when we have sternly confronted the harsh realities of life do we deserve the joy of beauty.”

Brand-new acceptances:  “John Updike and My Mother,” Long Island Sounds Anthology (The North Sea Poetry Scene Press, forthcoming 2009), and a memoir-type essay, “Gwendolyn Brooks, Black Poetry, and Me,” in the forthcoming Callaloo (November 2009).  Photographer Jack Kaminsky’s lovely photo of us, taken in 1990 when I introduced her at PEN, appears with the article–and is reprinted above. 

“For Gaza,” appears in the current issue of Socialism and Democracy (No. 50, July 2009).  “Suicide Bomber” was accepted for Mizna, and is scheduled for their fall issue. 

Although I wasn’t planning to give my annual workshop this year at the International Women’s Writing Guild Annual Summer Conference, held since 1978 at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, I did make an impromptu overnight visit there to help introduce our keynote speaker, “Democracy Now’s” remarkable Amy Goodman. As first vice president and proud participant, I hope many of you will consider joining me next June, for a week, five days, or even a weekend.  Click for details on the Guild and a conference brochure. 

We continue to miss our dear friend, editor/poet/cartoonist/writer/reading series host Robert S. Dunn (Feb. 1959-Sept. 26, 2008). Poet Leigh Harrison is compiling a tribute anthology in his honor.  Please note EXTENSION of deadline for submissions:  February 2010, Robert’s birthday month.  So there’s time yet to contribute something.  Her email address: guitarbabe123@aol.com.

Peace, D. H.