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Canioís Books to Celebrate Emily Dickinsonís Birthday with a Talk by Poet George Held

The poet George Held will be giving a talk on the poet Emily Dickinson in honor of her birthday. Canioís Books, 290 Main St., Sag Harbor, NY. 4 p.m., Saturday, December 10.

Sag Harbor, NY, December 04, 2011 --( The poet George Held will be giving a talk on the revered American poet Emily Dickinson, in honor of her 181st birthday, at Canio’s Books, 290 Main St., Sag Harbor, NY on Saturday, December 10, 2011, at 4 p.m. "Miss Emily's Hymnal: The Art of Common Meter" will be a look at the formal structure and themes of Dickinson's work with a chance to practice.

Maryann Calendrille, one of the owners of Canio's, where George has frequently given readings of his own work, took a haiku workshop led by him last summer and asked if he’d like to give a talk on Emily Dickinson on her birthday, which this year falls on a Saturday, the day Canio's Cultural Cafe normally offers readings and other programs. George, who taught Emily Dickinson’s poetry for years as a professor at Queens College, and led a workshop based on her verse, a few years ago, for the Live Poets Society in Bayshore, NY, promptly agreed.

Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Though now considered one of America’s greatest poets, she had less than a dozen of her nearly 1,800 poems published in her lifetime.

"Common meter," the verse form of Protestant hymn Emily Dickinson often borrowed to construct a poem, also serves George Held as an occasional instrument. Its four-line stanza, or quatrain, combines an alternating rhyme scheme (abab) with alternating long (8-syllable) and short (6-syllable) lines as this untitled poem by Dickinson demonstrates:

It's such a little thing to weep --
So short a thing to sigh --
And yet -- by Trades -- the size of these
We men and women die!”

A satiric poem by Held, originally published in Light, follows that same pattern:

Tell All...

Tell all the lies but tell them well;
Make customers believe
The sales pitch blooming on your lips
So they won’t feel aggrieved.

Sell all the dreck despite its flaws,
Don’t worry ’bout the toys;
Just hope the folks won’t sue your ass
After the obsequies.

For more information about Canio’s Books and directions on how to get there, please visit their website at CaniosBooks dot com or call 631.725.4926.

George Held, a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of two full-length collections, ten chapbooks, as well as two e-books of poetry, and the editor of “Touched by Eros,” an anthology of erotic verse. His “After Shakespeare: Selected Sonnets” was recently published by Červená Barva Press. A teacher, translator, writer and poet, his work has appeared in “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” “Confrontation,” “Notre Dame Review,” “New York Quarterly” and “Rattle,” among numerous other publications including two-dozen anthologies, and been featured on National Public Radio (NPR). Among his chapbooks is “Phased” (Poets Wear Prada, 2008). He holds a B.A. from Brown, an M.A. from University of Hawaii, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers, taught at Queens College for 37 years, was a Fulbright lecturer in Czechoslovakia (1973-76), and serves on the executive board of The South Fork Natural History Museum, Bridgehampton, NY. He lives in Greenwich Village with his wife Cheryl.

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Poets Wear Prada
Roxanne Hoffman

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