Monday, May 21, 2007


Last week was a busy time in the Niedt household, with not one but two sons graduating from college - on the same day! My wife and I had to spread ourselves pretty thin. My 21-year-old graduated from Rutgers College in New Brunswick with a B.A. in language and linguistics (Phi Beta Kappa, with high honors). The university commencement, which my wife attended, was on Wednesday. (Tavis Smiley of PBS was the keynote speaker - my wife said he was great.) Thursday afternoon was the college graduation, where he actually received his diploma. I attended that ceremony (James Gandolfini, an alum, was an honored guest), while my wife attended our older son's art exhibition and reception at Rutgers in Camden, where he is graduating with a B.A. in art. His graduation ceremony was that evening, so I had to shuttle from one campus to the other (two hours by train) to get there just in time. It was a tiring but wonderful day. Now the hard part comes for both of them: getting a job!

Some good news on the poetry front: (1) My poem, "Crackle of Stars", was accepted by the online journal Flutter for their June issue. You can check it out (after the 1st, I presume), at
(2) Edison Literary Review, who have published me three times and are about to publish me again, have posted one of my poems, "52 Pickup", on their sample page:
(3) I got an encouraging letter from an Australian haiku journal, Paper Wasp, that they are considering my haiku for their next issue, due in September.

My friend Anna Evans, an estimable poet, alerted me and her other poet friends to the fact that Poetry Magazine is accepting "open" submissions for the months of June, July and August - i.e., they will only consider submissions from poets who have never been published in their journal before. This makes the odds a little better to get into the premier poetry journal in the U.S. Even though my chances are slim to none, I'll give it a go. "You can't win if you don't play!"
If you're interested (bonus: they pay $10 a line!), here's the link:

In the spirit of graduation, today's poem is in honor of my oldest son, who's finishing his doctoral thesis at UC Berkeley. The form is a "diamante" - the explanation is a little lengthy, so I invite you to look it up:

Higher Education


inquisitive, conscientious

reading, writing, calculating

courses, thesis -- degree, career

researching, lecturing, mentoring,

authoritative, informative


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