Saturday, December 20, 2008

 

I’ve been battling bronchitis for several days now and have had to admit to myself that I am not going to be able to make it to New York tomorrow for my reading at the Zinc Bar Sunday evening. I want to apologize to Joel, and to Kim & Joe, and to anyone who was planning on coming to hear me. I actually had pneumonia when I read at the Cue Foundation last April & this is one part of the aging process I utterly despise.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

 

An inaugural poet
with a small press background
& Ivy League /
U. of Chicago connections

Who is Elizabeth Alexander?

All Things Considered interviews Alexander

A dissent

& another

§

Bruce Boone’s tribute to Bev Dahlen

Steve Vincent’s review of A Reading 18 – 20

§

A curious photo
I’d never seen before

§

Barry Schwabsky on Jack Spicer
in The Nation

§

A new story by a 19-year-old
Jack Kerouac

On the road
with Kerouac’s daughter, Jan

§

Sina Queyras latest chapbook roundup

§

John Olson:
Defining “experimental” poetry

§

The Librarian of Congress is
” wrong.
He’s so wrong. He’s so totally wrong.”

§

Mark Twain, a new essay

§

Jack Hirschman’s
75th birthday celebration
in
Italy

§

RainTaxi’s online auction

§

Craig Dworkin’s Parse

§

Francisco Aragón:
5 books of Latino Poetry

§

Michael Kelleher
is reviewing lots o’ books
in alphabetical order,
starting here

§

Jerry Rothenberg
on 20 years of
Granary Press

§

Eliot Weinberger’s What I Heard About Iraq
BBC adaptation

§

NY Times obit for George Brecht

§

I’m interviewed for Word Riot

§

Zukofsky’s “A”-24 coming to Sussex

§

Charles Bernstein’s Histórias da Guerra
(in Portuguese)

§

Saving a bookstore
in Salisbury, NC

§

Daniel Green
on the importance of context

§

Duncan vs. Levertov
the record of the letters

§

A profile of Louis Dudek
from an online store that believes
in context

§

A video interview with Vladimir Nabokov

§

A profile of
Tomizawa Kakio
with translations by Hiroaki Sato

§

Robert Louis Stevenson on Walt Whitman

§

Bryan Thao Worra’s Winter Ink

§

Extreme poetry
vs. flarf & conceptualism

§

Thomas Basbøll’s flarf thesis

Two problems of flarf
(& all else)

§

A profile of Raymond Roussel

§

James Wright on
”the blindness of the magazines”

§

Margaret Atwood
on the shadow side of wealth

§

Library of obscure Chicago literature opens

§

The Polar Bear Poetry Club

§

CS Perez takes wing

§

Bruce Covey’s “Best Poetry Books 2008”

Dora Malech’s list

Michael Farrell’s list is very short

Kathleen Jesme’s list

§

Thomas Pynchon’s next book

§

A profile of Todd Boss

§

When I write a poem …

§

Talking with “Irving Toast, Poetry Ghost
host Rustin Larson

§

Kostas Anagnopoulos & Allison Powers

§

3 stars for Mariani’s Hopkins

§

Semi-anonymous haiku

§

Sarton Prize recipients announced

§

The beat goes on

§

A short note against cretinism

§

The return of some really bad poetry

It gets verse

§

Seth Abramson dreams
of numbers & “relevance”

Seth Abramson thinks
Quietists
”make up 80% or more
of the national poetry community”

§

Limericks!

§

The writers of history

§

Rod Blagojevich & the death of journalism
not an accidental relationship

§

The end of the daily newspaper
Detroit is the first (but not last)
city to go

How long will it take
before every city follows suit?

§

Turkish intellectuals
apologize to the Armenians

§

Books by artists
at the
Walker Art Center

§

Taking comics to the streets

§

A memoir of street art

§

Avant-garde performer,
appellate judge

§

Wayne Thiebaud:
New York in the 1950s

§

Picasso the historian

§

Life models on strike

§

Site-specific installation
or just institutional bric-a-brac

§

Peter Schjeldahl on Marlene Dumas

§

Sotheby looks at the contemporary art market

§

Elliott Carter’s birthday weekend

Carter & Bernstein

§

An evening of opera & dance
that includes an advance peek
at Anna Rabinowitz’
The Wanton Sublime

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

 

When I linked to H.L. Hix “20 Questions” project on the Best American Poetry blog the other day, Harvey sent me his questionnaire &, rather impulsively, I responded straight away, answering 18 of the 20 questions. My answers may sound flip, but they’re not. That last question, for example, is completely serious. I’ve been in BAP & had volumes co-edited by people I completely respect, but year after year it’s almost as depressing a reading experience as the Pushcart Prize.  

1. What poet should be in Obama's cabinet, and in what role? 

Simon Ortiz, chair of Truth & Reconciliation Commission on the Subject of the Genocide of Native Peoples (a new position)

2. If you could send Obama one poem or book of poems (not your own), what would it be and why? 

William Carlos Williams' Spring & All, in the 1970 Frontier Press edition.

3. What other poetry-related blog or website should I check out? 

There are so many. But let's point to The Annandale Dream Gazette, the only site I know of devoted to the unconscious of poets

4. Who is the most exciting young/new poet I've never heard of, but whose work I ought to find and read? 

This will vary greatly by person now, won't it? How about Tsering Wangmo Dhompa?

5. What's the funniest poem you've read lately?  What was the last poem that made you cry? 

I tend to resist poems that go for only one emotion or the other - what feeling do you get from Louis Zukofsky's "A"?

6. William or Dorothy?  Robert or Elizabeth Barrett?  Moore or Bishop? Dunbar or Cullen?  "Poetry must resist the intelligence almost successfully" or "No ideas but in things"?  Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas or Tender Buttons? 

Both / and, both / and, both / and, both / and, "No ideas but in things," Tender Buttons.

7. Robert Lowell wrote a poem called "Falling Asleep Over the Aeneid." What supposedly immortal poem puts you to sleep? 

The Four Quartets does it best, since it makes dreaming impossible. But most anything by Lowell will do just fine unless I've had tea after 9 PM.

8. Even for poetry books, the contract has a provision for movie rights.  What poetry book should they make into a movie?  Who should direct it, and why?  Who should star in it? 

I've only seen that clause in Yale Younger Poets contracts &, as I recall, Jack Gilbert told me he got an advance from a studio for Views of Jeopardy way back when.

But let's go with The Cantos, starring Brad Pitt. Woody Allen, because it would interesting to watch him negotiate the Pisan Cantos.

9. What lines from a poem you first read years ago still haunt you now?   

Helot for what time there is
in the baptist hegemony of death.

Jack Gilbert, from "Singing in My Difficult Mountains," in Genesis West, no. 1, 1962.

10. What poem do you love, love, love, but don't understand? 

Hart Crane, The Bridge. Or (which I love less, but also understand less) John Berryman's Dream Songs.

11. If the official organ of the AWP were not the Chronicle but were the Enquirer, what would some of the headlines be? 

I will leave those for Kent Johnson & Kenny Goldsmith to invent.

12. If you were making a scandal rag for poetry in the grocery store checkout stands, what fictitious poetry love triangle would you make up to outsell that tired Hollywood story of Angelina and Brad and Jen? 

I wouldn't.

13. This is the Best American Poetry blog.  What's the best non-American poetry you've read lately? 

Aleksandr Skidan's Red Shifting, translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya & others, published by Ugly Duckling Presse.

14. We read poems in journals and books, we hear them in readings and on audio files.  Sometimes we get them in unusual ways: on buses or in subway cars.  How would you like to encounter your next poem?

In my dreams tonight, so that I can write it down when I wake.

15. What poem would you like to hear the main character bust out singing in a Bollywood film?  What would be the name of the movie?  What would be the scene in which it was sung? 

16. Do you have a (clean) joke involving poetry you'd like to share? 

17. Tell the truth: is it a poetry book you keep in the john, or some other genre (john-re)? 

In one bathroom, the one I spend the most time in, I have several books of poetry including Shakespeare's Sonnets. In the other, I have magazines, including The Nation, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Poets & Writers, ComputerWeek, Information Week, ComputerWorld and CFO.

18. Can you name every teacher you had in elementary school?  Did any of them make you memorize a poem?  What poem(s)? 

No, thank heavens. I can't memorize haiku. But Vance Teague in fifth grade made us write for an hour every Wednesday and never told us what genre. He made me a writer as much as anyone.

19. If you got to choose the next U.S. Poet Laureate, who (excluding of course the obvious candidates, you and me) would it be?  Of former U.S. Poet Laureates, who did such a great job that he/she should get a second term?  Next election cycle, what poet should run for President?  Why her or him? 

PLOTUS (as Donald Hall called it): Linh Dinh, because he hears the "American" voice better than anyone I know.

President? Barrett Watten or Rae Armantrout – the ideal president would be a combination of the two.

20. Insert your own question here.

Why is The Best American Poetry so mediocre year after year, editor after editor?

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

 

    

Recently Received

 

Books (Poetry)

Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, The Scattered Papers of Penelope: New & Selected Poems, edited by Karen van Dyck, many translators, Graywolf Press, St. Paul 2009

Ed Baker, Between Two Houses, Poems-for-All, Sacramento 2007

Micah Ballard, Parish Krewes, Bootstrap Press, Lowell, MA 2009

Adam Fieled, Opera Bufa, Otoliths, Rockhampton, Australia 2007

Adam Fieled, Posit, Dusie/e-chap, location never given, 2008

Karl Gartung, Now That Memory Has Become So Important, MWPH Books, Fairwater, WI 2008

Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, After the Palace Burns, Zoo Press, Lincoln, NE 2003

Tinker Greene, Funeral Sentences, self-published, San Francisco 2008

Lyn Hejinian, Saga / Circus, Omnidawn, Richmond, CA 2008

P. Inman, Ad Finitum, If P Then Q, Manchester, U.K. 2008

(Author not credited, but the design suggests that it’s John Martone), All Saints, no location given, no date

Jim McCrary, All That: The Collected Chapbooks, ManyPenny Press, Moscow, ID 2008

Teresa K. Miller, Forever No Lo, Tarpaulin Sky, Grafton, VT 2008

Fred Moten, Hughson’s Tavern, Leon Works, no location given, 2008

Anne Portugal, Quisite Moment, translated by Rosmarie Waldrop, Burning Deck, Providence 2008

Allison Power, You Americans, Brooklyn 2008

Brandon Shimoda, The Inland Sea, Tarpaulin Sky, Grafton, VT 2008

Jordan Stempleman, String Parade, BlazeVOX, Buffalo 2008

Joseph Stroud, Of This World, Copper Canyon, Port Townsend 2009

James Thomas Stevens & Nicolas A. Destino, Of Kingdoms & Kangaroo, First Intensity Press, Lawrence, KS 2008

Jean Valentine, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965 – 2003, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT 2004

Keith & Rosmarie Waldrop, Flat with No Key, Burning Deck, Providence 2008

Hannah Zeavin, Circa, Hanging Loose, Brooklyn 2009

 

Books (Poetry Anthologies)

The Emohippus Greeting Card, first series, editing uncertain, Eohippus Labs, Los Angeles 2008. Includes Teresa Carmody, Dan Richert, Mathew Timmons, Vannesa Place, Allison Carter.

 

Books (Other)

Laura Chester, Rancho Weirdo, Bootstrap Press, Lowell 2008

Michael Cross & Andrew Rippeon, Building is a Process / Light is an Element: Essays and Excursions for Myung Mi Kim, P-Queue / Queue Books, Buffalo 2008

Derek Fenner, I No Longer Believe in the Sun: Love Letters to Katie Couric, Bootstrap Press, Lowell, MA 2009

Fanny Howe, The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation, Graywolf Press, St. Paul, 2009

Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Arts and Literature, Penn State Press, University Park , PA 2007

.M. G. Le Clézio, The Prospector, translated by Carol Marks, David R. Godine, Jaffrey, NH 1993 (new edition)

Ralph Maud, Charles Olson at the Harbor, Talon Books, Vancouver 2008

Jena Osman, Refuge / Refugee, Chain / Links, Oakland & Philadelphia, 2008. Includes essays by Emily Abendroth, Bryan Finoki, Amze Emmons & the Documentary Project for Refugee Youth

Kirm Rosenfield, Re: Evolution, with an introduction by Sianne Ngai, an analysis by Diana Hamilton & a research paper by Jennifer Calkins, Les Figues Press, Los Angeles, 2008.

Gustaf Sobin, Aura: Last Essays, Counterpath Press, Denver 2009

 

Journals

Open Letter, thirteenth series, no. 7, Fall 2008, Strathoy, Ontario. Special issue: Dialogues on Poetics & Public Culture: Includes Fred Wah, Lily Cho & Melina Baum Singer, Lianne Moyes, Claire Huot, Robert Majzels, Tara Lee, George Elliott Clarke, Rubelise da Cunha, Lee Maracle, Karis Shearer & Frank Davey (“Schlemiel and the Cat in the Hat”), Kit Dobson & Jeff Derksen, Jessica Wyman & Kathleen Ritter, Ashok Mathur & Smaro Kamboureli

Poetry Project Newsletter, no. 217, New York, December 2008 / January 2009. Includes Harrison Rodney, Chris Martin, Kristin Prevallet & Lee Ann Brown (on Helen Adam), Stephanie Young, Karen Weiser, Thom Donovan, Paul Foster Johnson, Edmund Berrigan, Diana Hamilton, Mike Hauser, Macgregor Card, Carol Mirakove, Dana Ward, Brian Teare, Sara Wintz, Jen Coleman, Stacy Szymaszek & Corrine Fitzpatrick

Process, no. 1, Gloucester MA, July 2008. Includes Clayton Eshleman, Alan Davies, Diane Wakoski, Christopher Rizzo, Jerry Rothenberg, Nathaniel Tarn, Pierre Joris, Nancy Kuhl, Janet Rodney, Edward Dahlberg, Michael Rumaker, more.

Thuggery & Grace, no. 4, Nov. 2008, Denver. Includes Eileen Myles, Ed Bowes, Philip Whalen, Reed Bye, Sara Velahn, Maureen Owen, more. (Final print issue. “We’re planning on going digital…”)

Tinfish, no. 18½, Kāne’ohe, HI 2008. Poetry Puzzles and Games Issue. Includes Susan M. Schultz, Lian Lederman, Allison Utley, Jenifer Wofford, Isaac Parker, Sally French, Jason Teraoka, Kai Gaspar, Sage Uilani Takehiro, Ryan Oishi, Jill Yamasawa & Tiare Picard

Work, no. 11, Oakland, 2008. Includes Linda Russo, Dana Teen Lomax, Sean Hill, Lara Durback, Francis Raven.

Zoland Poetry, no. 3, Hanover, NH, February 2009. Includes Jared Stanley, Nuno Júdice, Chris Glomski, Nick Twemlow, Matthew Shenoda, Nathaniel Tarn, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Brent Cunningham, Noah Eli Gordon, Le Phan Le, Chris Pusateri, Susan Baran, Iana Boukova, Alice Miller, Albert Goldbarth, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Roxanne Halpine, Nathalie Stephens, Lynn Xu, Marc Cohen, Chen Li, Major Jackson, Ron Horning, Ed Barrett, Oles Ilchenko, DA Powell, William Corbett, Ron Padgett, Édouard Glissant, many, many more.

 

Still a big stack of books
waiting to be noted here

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

 

 

Next Sunday
December 21,
7:00 PM

Joel Lewis & Ron Silliman

 

Zinc Bar
82 W. Third Street

Between Thompson and Sullivan¹

New York, New York

 

¹ If you have not been to the Zinc in awhile, please note that this is a new location.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

 

Photo by Jonathan Williams 1957

Jacket’s new feature on
Denise Levertov
includes pieces by
Kevin Gallagher
Anne-Marie Cusac
Anne Dewey
John Felstiner
Sam Hamill
Donna Krokik Hollenberg
Rachelle K. Lerner
Dick Lourie
Mark Pawlak
José Rodríguez Herrera
Matino Villanueva
links to 2 Robert Bertholf pieces
& me

§

Robin Tremblay-McGaw on
the Beverly Dahlen Fest

§

Introducing Blake Butler

§

Linton Kwesi Johnson:
”If I Woz a Tap Natch Poet”

§

Lytle Shaw:
”Olson’s Archives: Fieldwork in New American Poetry
(MP3)

§

Juliana Spahr’s “The 90s”

§

Lyn Hejinian’s Saga / Circus

§

A profile of Mourid Barghouti

§

Living at Shakespeare & Co.

§

Quietists plan for inaugural

Maya’s got laureate-itus

What about the real laureate?

Could it be worse?

A vote for Patricia Smith

David Lehman on the BBC (MP3)

A do-it-yourself strategy

Or maybe not

§

The Oakland Small Press & Zine Archive,
a part of Deep Oakland,
has PDFs of many works associated
with that city,
including books by Pat Parker & Bob Grenier,
the journal Work & my own zine Tottel’s

§

Talking with Kevin Killian

§

John Ashbery’s account
of the making of
A Nest of Ninnies

§

Ashbery vs. Kessler,
NY Times blog is keeping score

§

Svetlana Boym:
”Victor Shklovsky & Hannah Arendt
(MP3)

§

Two “True Accounts”

§

Five books from a “good book year”

Mark Scroggins’ “Notable Books”

“Best reads of 2008
(from
Kuala Lumpur, mostly US & UK authors)

Robert Archambeau’s list of everything he read

Anthologies make “the perfect present

Seven of the NY Times’
Ten Best Books of 2008
were published by Knopf
(hint: less subtle than Blagojevich!)

No poetry, but several books
about authors
in the
Washington Post’s
”Best Books of 2008”

No poetry in the Inky’s list
of what staff have been reading

Scott Abels gift guide

Best books for luring women

Valparaiso Poetry Review’s
Poet of the Year is
Mark Doty

Jack Powers is
New England Poet of the Year

“What we need is a list of lists

§

High-brids

§

Beach
by Roberto Bolaño

Talking with Natasha Wimmer,
translator of 2666 & The Savage Dectectives

Ron Slate on The Romantic Dogs

§

Martory, Bolaño, Lux,
Voisine & Holman

in Brooklyn Rail poetry roundup

§

Carol Houck Smith,
Norton’s editor of poets,
has died

§

After reading Jack Spicer
”you may feel that much American poetry is fake

§

40 years of correspondence
betwixt Allen Ginsberg & Gary Snyder

§

Breyten Breytenbach at Kelly Writers House

§

John Milton, freedom fighter

§

Four readings by Lynne Dreyer

§

Among the events coming up at the Poetry Project
is a 30th anniversary reading of
Bernadette Mayer’s Midwinter Day
plus, of course,
the New Year’s marathon

§

K. Silem Mohammad gets relevant

A short history of flarf

Flarf vs. conceptualism, round 2
(in which we notice why
all the Conceptualists are male)

§

On Commitment:
Joe Safdie & Mark Wallace correspond

§

Don Share on the interview process

More answers to H.L. Hix’ 20 questions:
Cecilia Woloch
Christine Gelineau
Dan Beachy-Quick
George Witte
Philip Metres
Sara Maclay
Ann Fisher-Wirth
Gregory Dowling
Stacey Harwood
me

§

Miles Champion reading at Jean Day’s house (MP3)

§

The problem of Solzhenitsyn Street

§

When Jim Morrison showed up
at Jack Kerouac’s door

§

Protesters sing
to counter “blasphemous” poetry reading

§

Bob Dylan & Thomas Hardy:
A simple twist of fate

§

Greg Fuchs’
”from De la Bronx

§

The art of the self-destructing poem

§

Joe Safdie replies to Mark Wallace
on commitment
(Note K. Lorraine Graham’s comment)

§

Thomas Merton on PBS

§

Robbie Burns’ hidden poems

§

A first book prize for Holly Iglesias

§

Using its laureate site
to promote
the literary history of Gloucester

§

When languages die

§

New trends in classic Chinese poetry

§

Reviewing a review

§

Todd Swift’s minireviews of
Poetry Review, Paxamericana, The Wolf

§

An act of prescience on the part of
Calvin Trillin?

§

Claudia Emerson returns to Chatham

§

Guardian review of the Lowell-Bishop letters

§

Poem Including History
(sub required)

§

And then I read . . .

§

Talking with Reginald Dwayne Betts

§

David Baptiste Chirot on Félix Fénéon

§

A new work by
Rodrigo Toscano

§

Talking with Carole Maso

§

Cutting down trees
just to publish a magazine

§

Martial was no saint

§

Linda Bierds, Susan Steward, Brendan Galvin

§

Paul T. Hogan’s Points of Departure

§

Just like Romeo & Juliet

§

Carol Muske-Dukes on being
the
California laureate

§

Dmitry Golynko’s As It Turns Out

§

The “most intellectually ambitious writer”?

§

When does the writer’s nakedness just become TMI?

§

Who is [the Po’] It?

§

A new collection of political poetry

§

A profile of Moira Egan

§

Stumping for John Gay

§

Hopkins & the modern?

§

Trying to save Philly’s libraries

Alternatives to closing

But in New Jersey, libraries are growing

§

Remembering Dorothy Porter

Talking with Porter

§

Working out issues through poetry

§

Reviewing The Paterson Literary Review

§

Dennis O’Driscoll’s interviews with Seamus Heaney

§

Perfect weather for poetry

§

Mama, don’t let your kids go into journalism

Who cares if newspapers die?

My favorite crime reporter signs off

§

Best article about Bill Ayers

§

The two Malcolm Gladwells

§

Arundhati Roy:
Mumbai is not our 9/11

§

Everyman

§

In re Žižek,
the joke’s on Kirsch

§

The 2nd International Interdisciplinary
Bakhtin Conference
is announced for June

§

William Stevens,
who changed the law
by invoking the infield fly rule,
has died

§

George Crumb at Carnegie Hall,
Charles Wuorinen at the Guggenheim

§

Elliott Carter’s century

Turning 100 at Carnegie Hall

§

Pierre Boulez:
proud to be a bully

§

The Construction of Boston:
Scott Wheeler’s opera
set to a work by Kenneth Koch

§

Ousted critic sues orchestra

§

A profile of Nathaniel Dorsky

§

Das Kapital goes manga

§

Phong Bui, David Levi Strauss
& Peter Lamborn Wilson
talk with Terry Winters

§

Multimedia Emily

§

The collaborators:
Merce Cunningham & his friends

§

Battlestar Galactica
jumps back into our quadrant
for one last glorious season

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