Fall/Winter 2010

Dear Friends:  The past few months have had some unexpected twists and turns.  But that’s life–it be that way sometimes, right?  A couple of medical issues interfered with my annual teaching sessions at the IWWG Conference, so I decided to conduct my workshop consultations by phone, which turned out to be surprisingly effective.

A wonderful surprise:  Brett Rutherford, my first publisher (Notes on 94th Street, 1972), has written a full, extraordinary review of Art and Politics / Politics and Art.  You can read it here, in full, and on his website, The Poet’s Press.  Click “D. H. Melhem” in list on right.

The review begins:  “High explosives warning: this slender new volume of poems is poetical and political dynamite. Manhattan poet Melhem thought she would set out with a very classical purpose, to present poems that were inspired by, or narrate the stories of, works of visual art — an urge that arose from her own childhood engagement with painting, drawing, and sculpture. But her own life as a child of Lebanese immigrants, and the war-torn half century we have passed through, dictated otherwise. Although many of the poems here center around works of art, Melhem’s poems hone in on the life-and-death issues that confront us as citizens and as a nation. This is not so far from the classical model, it turns out, since the model of ekphrasis, in The Iliad, is a description of the shield of Achilles. The shadow of war hangs over art, visual or poetic.”

A generous excerpt appears on Page 9 of the extraordinary new Network, the IWWG newsletter, accessible at Network magazine Issue #4, 2010, and online

NEW PUBLICATIONS:  Although my physical life has been reclusive in recent months, my publications continue:

For Enid, with LoveA Festschrift, ed. Barry Wallenstein (New York: New York Quarterly, 2010).  Tribute to the much-missed Enid Dame, poet, teacher, midrashist, co-founder and co-editor (with Donald Lev) of Home Planet News.

Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams, ed. M. L. Liebler (Minneapolis, MN:  Coffee House Press, 2010).  Workers’ poetry anthology.

First excerpt from memoir-in-progress , Lights in a Doorway (“Heaven”; “Thomas Paine”), in Banipal 38: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature (2010).

Socialism and Democracy, Vol. 24, No. 2, July 2010.  Poem, “Downsizing Flint, Michigan”; also poems by Roberta Gould, Philip Appleman.

Home Planet News, No. 64, 2010.  Book Review of Barry Wallenstein’s urban poems, Tony’s World. Delhi, NY:  Birch Book Press, 2009.  Jacket commentary by Marilyn Hacker and F. D. Reeve.

Home Planet News, No. 64, 2010, “Theft” (poem).

Arab American Almanac, sixth edition, ed. Joseph R. Haiek. Glendale, CA: The News Circle Publishing House, 2010.

Joyous holidays to you all, with seasonal greetings of all varieties, and renewed wishes for peace, on which one can never, never give up, however remote it may seem!  Some advances in 2011, perhaps?  With a few positive gestures toward the environment?  Global warming, anyone?