Edited by Robin Davidson
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About Houston’s Favorite Poems
Houston’s Favorite Poems is an initiative of the City of Houston Poet Laureate Program and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and is modeled on former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project and his national anthology, Americans’ Favorite Poems. In spring 2016, the Houston project—with the support of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office—made a call for favorite poems to those living in Greater Houston, and received approximately 400 poems in response. One hundred eighty-five poems, submitted by 233 Houstonians, are included in the volume to be released by Calypso Editions this November.
Of the Houstonians who shared favorite poems, you will see occupations as varied as a biostatistician, a cattle rancher, and a woodworker—as well as accountants, attorneys, bankers, clergy, engineers, electricians, health care professionals, museum attendants, musicians, visual artists, and many writers and teachers. Contributors range in age from 18 to 85 and live throughout Greater Houston within more than 100 zip codes. The volume’s contents is as diverse as Houston itself—including 119 poets from across the globe from such national and cultural origins as Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Greece, El Salvador, England, Germany, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Palestine, ancient Persia, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Somalia, and Wales. Further, many American poets are represented—ranging in ethnic background from such African American poets as Maya Angelou, Lucille Clifton, Nikky Finney, Langston Hughes, and A. Van Jordan to Asian American poets Amanda Huynh and Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan, Mexican American poet Juan Felipe Herrera, Native American poet Joy Harjo, and Sudanese American poet Safia Elhillo.
This forthcoming anthology, the newest of Calypso Editions’ catalog, is a moving tribute to the city of Houston and the life of poetry that thrives there. Stay tuned for the book’s release date and get your copy!
Israel * (1924 – 2000)
Wildpeace (Translated from the Hebrew by Chana Bloch)
Not the peace of a cease-fire,
not even the vision of the wolf and the lamb,
as in the heart when the excitement is over
and you can talk only about a great weariness.
I know that I know how to kill,
that makes me an adult.
And my son plays with a toy gun that knows
how to open and close its eyes and say Mama.
without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares,
without words, without
the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be
light, floating, like lazy white foam.
A little rest for the wounds—
who speaks of healing?
(And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation
to the next, as in a relay race:
the baton never falls.)
Let it come
suddenly, because the field
must have it: wildpeace.
About the Editor
Robin Davidson, editor of Houston’s Favorite Poems, was named Houston’s second Poet Laureate by Mayor Annise Parker in 2015 and served through April 2017 under the leadership of Mayor Sylvester Turner.
(Photo: Pin Lim)
Check back here soon to see the dates for the book release event and readings.