Thursday, November 27, 2008

 

Words take wing in North Beach

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This year’s BlazeVOX Thanksgiving Menu poem
honors Anne Waldman

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Chris Nagler’s intro
to Jocelyn Saidenberg’s reading
at Small Press Traffic

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A reading by Geof Huth & Crag Hill

Huth’s A Book of Poems So Small
I Cannot Taste Them

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The Chernoff-Hoover Hölderlin

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Robin’s ,
Philly’s oldest indie bookstore,
has announced it will close in January

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Mark Scroggins discusses
Louis Zukofsky’s development as a poet

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New PennSound Pages:
Louis Zukofsky
Stephen Ratcliffe
Hannah Weiner

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Puns will save the world

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The Selected Letters of Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder

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Jascha Kessler on Auden, Ashbery
and “the fix” of the Yale Younger Poets
(scroll down)

Ashbery was wheezing and coughing
(scroll to no. 18)

How to read John Ashbery

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Adam Fieled: Am Not a “one-trick pony”

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Lots to like in
Otoliths 11

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Free blogs for laid-off journos

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Bruce Andrews: “Dang Me”

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Allen Ginsberg on William Carlos Williams

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Woodland Pattern’s 2008 Open House
Pearl Harbor Day
features Charles Olson

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John Brenkman on Roberto Bolaño

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New England College says
its poetry program was stolen

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French lit. of the 20th century

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Joe Cottonwood remembers Donald Finkel

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Michael Lally has a great list
of artists whom (or Who) it takes awhile
to completely “get”

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Two posts on
Larry Eigner

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Bill Knott: Selected Sonnets

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Bob Arnold’s Back Road Chalkies
(PDF)

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Charles Bernstein:
”British poetry in the ‘90s”

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Cort Day on manifestos by
Olson, O’Hara & Bernstein

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The “overthrow of the book

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
calls a moratorium
to buying new manuscripts

while Hachette
sends everyone bonuses

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Random House gets digital

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Reading the fine print

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The practical case for academic freedom

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Use the web, go to jail

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Just 6 books of poetry among the NY Times’
100 Notable Books of 2008:
2 Norton, 2 Graywolf, 1 FSG,
1 Univ. of
Arizona
(Juan Felipe Herrera!),
plus Nate Mackey’s Bass Cathedral
makes the roster of novels

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C.D. Wright:
”Like Hearing Your Name
Called in a Language
You Don’t Understand”

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An appreciation &profile of
James Wright

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Sarah Palin for . . . poet laureate?

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total destruction…elemental creation

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BookThug’s Moments Café

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Henry Corbin’s poetics

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mid)rib 2 is online
& worth a look-see

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Keith Montesano
has added several new
”first-book interviews”
to his site

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Cole Swensen is coming to London
December 10

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San Francisco poetry happenings,
a report

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Looking for Aphrodite
in Olson’s Maximus

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Some interesting-if-curious
:”books that matter” lists

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John Updike:
a lifetime of bad sex

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Nick Piombino & Toni Simon:
collage & text

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The legacy of Danny Nicoletta

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The photos of Christopher Griffith:
tired, but not a retread

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Grace Hartigan: a short obit
with a grand painting

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A new Berkeley Art Museum?

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Susan Bee: 4 recent paintings

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Sir Paul: Why I experiment

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A short but very nice profile of the late
Virgil Thomson

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America: A Prophecy

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Sounds out of snowflakes

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The new Weather Underground

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The Middlebrow Research Network

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

 

  

Recently Received

 

Books (Poetry)

Caroline Bergvall, Alyson Singes, Belladonna Books, Brooklyn 2008

Daniel ƒ. Bradley, T=i=d=y Language, Outlands, Toronto, 2008

Robert Desnos, Essential Poems & Writings of Robert Desnos, translated by Mary Ann Caws, Terry Hale, Martin Sorrell, Bill Zavatsky, Joanathan Eburne, Katharine Conley, Patricia Terry, Timothy Ades, Kenneth Rexroth, Paul Auster & Stephen Romer, edited with an introduction & essay by Mary Ann Caws, Boston 2007

Marcella Durand, Area, Belladonna Books, Brooklyn 2008

Paul Eluard, Capital of Pain, translated by Mary Ann Caws, Patricia Terry & Nancy Kline with an introduction & essay Mary Ann Caws, Black Widow, Boston 2006

Carol Guess, Tinderbox Lawn, Rose Metal Press, Brookline, MA 2008

Barbara Guest, The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest, edited by Hadley Haden Guest, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CA 2008

Olav H. Hauge, The Dream We Carry: Selected and Last Poems, translated by Robert Bly & Robert Hedin, Copper Canyon, Port Townsend 2008

Peter Jaeger, Eckhart Cars, Salt Publishing, Cambridge UK 2004

Peter Jaeger, Prop, Salt Publishing, Cambridge UK 2007

Andrew Joron, The Sound Mirror, Flood Editions, Chicago 2008

John Kinsella, Divine Comedy: Journeys Through a Regional Geography: Three New Works, W.W. Norton, New York & London 2008

Sarah Lindsey, Twigs & Knucklebones, Copper Canyon, Port Townsend 2008

Valery Larbaud, The Poems of A. O. Barnabooth, translated by Ron Padgett & Bill Zavatsky, Black Widow Press, Boston 2008

John Olson, Backscatter: New and Selected Poems, Black Widow, Boston 2008

Richard Owens, Delaware Memoranda, BlazeVOX, Buffalo 2008

Raymond Queneau, Eyeseas (Les Zioux), translated with an introduction by Daniela Hurezanu & Stephen Kessler

Michael Schiavo, The Mad Song, foreword by Douglas Crase, The Shires Press, Manchester NH 2008

Sandra Simonds, Warsaw Bikini, Bloof Books, Central New Jersey, 2009

Jack Spicer, My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry, edited by Peter Gizzi & Kevin Killian, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT 2008

 

Books (Poetry Anthologies)

Open Text: Canadian Poetry in the 21st Century, edited by Roger Farr, Capilano University Editions, North Vancouver 2008. Includes Oana Avasilichioaei, George Bowering, Louis Cabri, Jeff Derksen, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Maxine Gold, Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, Donato Mancini, Darren Wershler, Rita Wong, more.

Sidebrow 01, edited by Jason Snyder, John Cleary & Kristine Leja, Sidebrow, San Francisco 2008. Includes A.K. Arkadin, Andrea Baker, Julia Bloch, Jimmy Chen, Steve Dalachinsky, Catherine Daly, Brett Evans, Noah Eli Gordon, rob mclennan, Kristin Prevallet, Stephen Ratcliffe, Elizabeth Robinson, Ed Skoog, Chris Stroffolino, Cole Swensen, Chris Tysh, Nico Vassilakis, James Wagner, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, more.

 

Books (Other)

Peter Jaeger, ABC of Reading TRG, Talon, Vancouver, 1999

 

Journals

Action Poetique, no. 193, Ivry-sur-Siene, France, September 2008. Hahhah Höch feature (includes Isabelle Garron, Kurt Schwitters, Ursula Krechel, Henri DeLuy, Til Brugman, more), Jacques Roubaud, Tom Raworth, more.

Crayon 5, “On Beauty,” Milwaukee & New York, 2008. Includes Andrew Levy, Beverly Dahlen, Kristen Gallagher, Joe Amato, Cecilia Vicuña, Nicole Brossard, Rob Halpern, Carolee Schneeman, Julie Patton, Sawako Nakayasu, Kristin Prevallet, Brenda Iijima, Steve Benson, Laynie Browne, Diane Ward, Thom Donovan, Alan Davies, Roberto Harrison, Lisa Robertson, P. Inaman, Andrew Klobucar, Linh Dinh, John Shoptaw, Laura Sims, Pat Reed, Judith Goldman, more.

Tight, no. 3, Manchester Center, VT, 2008. Includes Andrew Mister, Ryan Murphy, Lisa Jarnot, James Meetze, Gabriel Gudding, Arlo Quint, Daniel Nester, Sandra Simonds, Shanna Compton, John Koethe, Buck Downs, Aaron Belz, Nora Almeida, Jess Mynes, Charles Wright, Matt Hart, Robert Kelly, Morgan Lucas Schuldt, Joseph Massey, more.

 

Other Forms & Media

Or, issue one, Los Angeles, 2008. Include Adonis, Amiri Baraka, Ahmed Barakat, Guy Bennett, Neeli Cherkovski, Gillian Conoley, Ray DiPalma, Gary Gach, Marco Giovenale, Owen Hill, Ken McCullough, Douglas Messerli, Laura Moriarty, Nick Piombino, Martha Ronk, Standard Schaefer, Toni Simon, Adriano Satola, Paul Vangelisti, more. Oversized tabloid.

The Blue Letter, Brooklyn, November 2008. Marie Buck, Brad Flis, Lisa Robertson and Dara Wier. In the form of a 16-page letter, duplex printed, on (naturally) yellow paper.

 

Still a big stack of books
waiting to be noted here

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

 

Here’s a little thought experiment. Place the following three poets into chronological order –

A) John Ashbery

B) Clark Coolidge

C) Basil Bunting

Most readers I dare say will select the sequence C, A, B – not only replicating the order in which these poets were born, but also that of the emergence of the literary movements with which they are associated: the Objectivist Bunting (tho you may have a harder time explaining why he should be so labeled), first generation New York School icon Ashbery or Clark Coolidge, who has been associated at times with both the 2nd generation New York School and with language writing. And who am I to say that anyone is wrong here?

So let me add a little more detail to my thought experiment and run it again:

A)  John Ashbery’s River and Mountains

B)  Clark Coolidge’s Flag Flutter & U.S. Electric

C)  Basil Bunting’s Briggflatts

By now even the sleepiest reader must realize that there is some trick afoot. Let me add a few other titles: The Diaries of Anaïs Nin, Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, Jack Spicer’s Book of Magazine Verse, George Oppen’s Discrete Series, Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans, Louis Zukofsky’s All: The Collected Short Poems, 1956-1964.

All of these works were published in a single year, 1966, although both the Oppen & Stein were reprints of long unavailable editions.

This is a detail I pulled out of the bibliography that’s in the back of The Grand Piano, Part 7, the most recent volume in this collective interrogation into the history of the poetry scene of San Francisco during the latter half of the 1970s. We decided that it would be a good idea to simply list, in order of their year of publication, the books that were important to us, starting in 1965 and running through 1985. Nor did we just list the poetry that mattered to us. 1966 was also the year that LeRoi Jones published Home: Social Essays and Kenneth Burke brought out Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method, from UC Press.

Going through the list again Wednesday night, trying to distract myself from a too long flight from LA to Philadelphia, I thought to myself, “Hey, how about that?” seeing Ashbery, Coolidge & Bunting all bunched together like that. Rivers and Mountains is actually one of Ashbery’s early books (also one of my personal favorites) & Bunting himself has been defined by the volume Briggflatts as by nothing else in his life. But here is Clark Coolidge already tossing the onions & chard in what Robert Sward would later dismiss as “psychedelic word salad” in a review of this very book in the journal Poetry. In my mind at least, these three works fit into very different slots, which is to say that each volume has become part of a larger narrative, and that these narratives themselves are parts of a larger whole ensemble.

All of this is thoroughly imaginary, even if I fancy it as some sort of history of contemporary poetry – and I’m perfectly capable of arguing for my sense of it in reasonably strong terms, downgrading the likes of Robert Lowell, for example, or elevating (as a few correspondents tell me I have done without justification) Elizabeth Bishop from some margin of trivia. What is not imaginary, however, is the actual history of publication of any of these works. George Oppen published Discrete Series some 32 years before in an edition of maybe 300 copies. But in 1966 he was publishing for the first time in a generation and his terrific first books from San Francisco Review / New Directions had generated interest in the even earlier pre-communist poetry of the 1930s, so Ron Caplan of the Asphodel Bookshop in Cleveland brought out this reprint. Likewise Dick Higgins (one of the most underappreciated poets & publishers of the entire period) brought out Stein’s early opus, a big brick of a book at a time when all you could get of The Cantos, say, was an edition of the first 90.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

 

Harryette Mullen on Bob Kaufman

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The Jacket George Oppen feature is emerging, with
Rachel Blau DuPlessis
George Evans
Al Filreis
Bobbie Louise Hawkins
Michael Heller
Geoffrey O’Brien
& more to come

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Robin Tremblay-McGaw
on the Modernist Studies Conference
(Part 1, Part 2)

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Norman Fischer’s Charlotte’s Way

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Reading Katie Degentesh

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Aldon Nielson on the end of alphabets

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David Bromige on poetry in the ‘60s & ‘70s

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Yet another set of answers to
Sunset Debris

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When they were young:
the Poetry Project staff of 1984-85

When they were younger:
at Frank O’Hara’s loft, 1964

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John Timpane on Roberto Bolaño’s 2666

William Gaddis & Roberto Bolaño

Marcela Valdes on 2666

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Edwidge Danticat’s “Ghosts”

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The Emily Dickinson Deluxe
Baby-Doll T Shirt

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A president who has read
Borges & Cortázar

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The weirdo school of poetry

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Fatso poetry, lemur poetry

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Close-reading (misreading?)
Rae Armantrout’s “Prayers”

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Who’s looking for poetry

Or a poem

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Just add water

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In Harvard Square,
Out of Town News
is set to close

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A bookstore in Berlin

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Joseph Harrington on poetry & history

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Henry Corbin & American poetry

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Dorothea Tanning & the poets

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Burt Kimmelman’s There Are Words

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Robert Creeley on poetry in motion

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3 poems by Eileen Tabios

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Talking with Toni Morrison

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A profile of Joe Benevento

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David Wagoner in Happy Valley

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Real Indian literature

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Native American identity poetics on The News Hour

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Negative capability & the 10,000-hour investment

Reading Outliers

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First thought, best thought

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The New York Times obit for Donald Finkel

An appreciation in the St. Louis Beacon

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Reviews of the NBA poetry finalists

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The never-dull-enough
Bad Sex Award
is back

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The only writer to receive
a National Medal of Art this year is
Stan Lee!

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Mary Karr is “a crank”

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Many Dodge Poetry Festival videos on YouTube

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A home for (mostly) Quietism in Lower Manhattan

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Lynn Neary talks with Salvatore Scibona

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Mark Young has my number

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And so (in a different way) has James Wagner¹

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But this site has yours

§

Booksellers, publishers feel pinch

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Take a deep breath

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A belated New York Times obit
for Grace Hartigan

An appreciation from The Washington Post

Another in The Baltimore Sun

And one in The L.A. Times

The Telegraph

The NY Observer wonders if Hartigan’s name
is secretly engraved on Frank O’Hara’s tombstone

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Through the lens of Coach House Press

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Susan Bee – Not vispo

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Street art with tape – Aakash Nihalani

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Nancy Perloff on
book art of the Russian avant-garde

§

Obama & the arts

§

Has Obama saved the internet?

§

Will MoCA LA survive?

A Broad proposal

§

Dance & theater critic
Clive Barnes is dead

§

Prozac for pachyderms

§

 

 

¹ The Paris Review feature, which is indeed decades old, was part of an attempt (unsuccessful to my eye) to defibrillate the journal in hopes that a spark of life would get the blood pumping again. The 39-year-old appearance in Poetry  is part of my own quietist past, of which I have written more than once. See also publications in TriQuarterly, Southern Review, Poetry Northwest and The Chicago Review from that same general period. Ironically, Henry Rago, who took the work for Poetry, passed over many truly quietist pieces of mine and ended up using an imitation of Robert Kelly’s poetry – I was already transitioning away from that world.

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