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Meet The Poets, Take 1

For University Press Week we introduced you to two of the contributors to the latest edition of our annual poetry anthology, Best New Poets: Fifty Poems from Emerging Writers. In that interview, both poets discussed how they became writers, poetry's place in the modern world, and their favorite work by other poets. In this follow-up we wanted to give them the chance to discuss their contributions to the Best New Poets book and to share the poems themselves. Our first poet is Tiana Clark.

A Talk with the Poets

As part of University Press Week, the University of Virginia Press is proud to take part in a week-long blog tour. Today's theme is "Presses in Conversations with Authors." Please visit the other presses posting new content today—Temple University Press, Columbia University Press, Beacon Press, University of Illinois Press, Southern Illinois University Press, University Press of Kansas, Liverpool University Press, University of Toronto Press Journals, and Manchester University Press. When we heard the theme of today's leg of the University Press blog tour was "Presses in Conversations with Authors," we immediately thought of the latest edition of Best New Poets: Fifty Poems from Emerging Writers. That's fifty new authors, after all. Poets Tiana Clark and Emily Vizzo were kind enough to answer our questions, and we give them our most sincere thanks. A longer version of each interview will be posted next week. For now, here are some highlights.

The Gales of November Came Early

Tuesday, 10 November, marks the fortieth anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior. The largest vessel on the Great Lakes when it was launched in the mid-1950s, this iron-ore freighter hit a surprise storm on route from Superior (near Duluth) to Detroit in November of 1975 and went down with her entire 29-member crew. In addition to the many lives lost, the never-solved mystery of what ultimately brought the Fitzgerald down has made this tragedy one of the touchstones of shipwreck lore, inspiring countless news stories, books, and even a top-ten song by Gordon Lightfoot that, over the course of six tortuous minutes, will have you raising your tankard of beer to the lost crew.

The Art of Translation

Robert McCormick gave a reading recently at Franklin University in Switzerland, where he is Professor Emeritus in Literature and Creative Writing. The text was his translation of Louis Philippe Dalembert's L'Autre Face de la mer, known in English as The Other Side of the Sea.

Woodrow Wilson Papers To Go Online

Rotunda, the electronic imprint of the University of Virginia Press, announced it will create an online edition of the Papers of Woodrow Wilson. With the permission of the Princeton University Press and the generous support of friends of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, The Papers of Woodrow Wilson Digital Edition will be published as part of Rotunda's American History collection.

Rock Creek 125th Anniversary

September sees the celebration of Rock Creek Park's 125 anniversary, and Melanie Choukas-Bradley, author of A Year in Rock Creek Park: The Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington D.C., has a number of events lined up, beginning with an interview on NPR's Kojo Nnamdi Show(which you may listen to here). If you're going to be in the nation's capital, you may join Melanie on a number of walking tours through the historic park. A complete listing of events may be found on her web site

The World In One Zip Code

A tour in portraits of Washington D.C.'s exceptionally diverse Columbia Pike neighborhood, Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project features the work of five inspired photographers. Lead photographer Lloyd Wolf appeared on NPR's Kojo Nnamdi Show, and in addition to posting the entire interview on their site (listen to it here), they have created a stunning online photo gallery.

LISTEN: "No Sunday School Picnic"

In the summer of 1965, exactly fifty years ago, President Johnson made the decision to “Americanize” the Vietnam War. This meant escalating dramatically the number of US troops in Vietnam and, after playing a comparatively peripheral role, assuming the burden of defending the south against the communist forces of the north. The southeast Asian country was about to gain a profoundly new significance for the American people. In the new essay-length ebook The War Bells Have Rung: The LBJ Tapes and the Americanization of the Vietnam War, George C. Herring explores this turning point in our history through a remarkable resource—LBJ’s privately taped conversations.

LISTEN: The Next Step Up the Ladder

July 28 marks an anniversary that is not well known but which looms large in American history. On that day in 1965, Lyndon Johnson appeared on television to deliver his famous “Why We Are in Vietnam” speech, as he announced to the American public that he would be committing more American troops to that war-torn region. This massive escalation—General Westmoreland requested 150,000 additional troops—represents the “Americanization” of the war and is seen by most historians as the turning point in America’s involvement in a country that would help define, tragically, an entire era.

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of these events, we are presenting a special essay by George Herring, one of the great chroniclers of the Vietnam War. Published in a special ebook-only format, The War Bells Have Rung: The LBJ Tapes and the Americanization of the Vietnam War reveals that LBJ, like many of his eventual critics, saw the war as a doomed enterprise. And yet, he felt he had no choice but to pursue it. Using recordings of the president’s private phone calls from that fateful summer, Herring shares the fascinating behind-the-scenes drama of LBJ’s decision.

An Epochal Peace

The new agreement with Iran over its nuclear program hues closely to R.K. Ramazani's recommendation in the afterword of his 2013 book Independence Without Freedom: Iran's Foreign Policy. According to the new deal, Iran will be able to maintain its program but for peaceful uses only. Ramazani, widely considered the dean of Iranian foreign policy study, urged the U.S. to recognize Iran's own ambivalence about nuclear weapons while allowing some freedom in civilian uses of a nuclear program.