Saturday, March 09, 2013

 


Kamau Brathwaite
reading all of
Islands
(1973)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


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Friday, March 08, 2013

 



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Thursday, March 07, 2013

 
My sense that that the free-range anthology has outlived its value as an object, at least in codex form, does not mean that I think that book anthologies as such are useless. Quite the opposite. The form is perfectly suited to more sharply defined functions, focusing in on a narrower spectrum of poetry, or for introducing a new terrain or category altogether. Examples that I’ve praised in the recent past – and would do so again – include Beauty is a Verb, a gathering of poets with visible disabilities, or The City Visible, a collection of recent poets from Chicagoland, or Bay Poetics, Stephanie Young’s panoramic look at poetry from the SF-Bay Area.

But Young herself noted – and I agreed (& this is nearly seven years ago at this point) – that her task was itself problematic to the edge of ludicrous. Her 110 poets (more than the first edition of the Norton PoMo) managed not to include Kay Ryan, Tom Clark, Maxine Chernoff, Paul Hoover, Michael Rothenberg, David Meltzer, Bob Hass, David Buuck, David Bromige, Michael Palmer, Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, Truong Tran, Alice Jones, DA Powell, Edward Smallfield, Rusty Morrison, Judy Grahn, Aaron Shurin, Renee Gladman, Norman Fischer, Gail Sher, Curtis Faville, Eavan Boland, Morton Marcus, Alan Soldolfsky, Joyce Jenkins, Richard Silberg, Dennis Schmitz, Joe Stroud, Robert Sward, Chana Block, Rochelle Nameroff, Jack Marshall, Julia Vinograd, Richard Denning, Sotère Torregian, Jack & Adele Foley, Scott Bentley, Ebbe Borregaard, Harold Dull, Nina Serrano, or Al Young. For starters. That list includes two US Poets Laureate & one laureate of the state of California. And Young did a terrific job. But, even though the Bay Area represents just one (or maybe two if you break the South Bay out as a separate entity) of the nation’s top 100 metropolitan areas, it already is quite beyond the stage where it can be represented by 110 poets. Brooklyn – let alone greater New York City – would present parallel problems for anyone who likewise attempts the implausible.

So it’s a tricky question, how much is reasonable, and what is the dividing line between do-able and just plain silly. Some recent anthologies show this question generally in its most positive aspect. I’m completely pleased that each exists, because I know that they broaden my scope of knowledge. Which in turn focuses the question a little differently. What if I knew more about their areas of coverage? There was a time after all when I knew more or less nothing & the Oscar Williams paperback anthologies of the mid-20th century half-persuaded me that I didn’t need to know more, focusing as I did then – I was maybe 15 – on Robert Frost, failing to notice the presence of Frank O’Hara, William Carlos Williams or Ezra Pound. It wasn’t until I was 18 and had The New American Poetry in hand that the world really opened up for me.¹ But at 15, I had no means for opening a book & thinking “right poets, wrong poems” or how to pose the problem. Or that it even existed.

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

 

William Carlos Williams

Talking
with Walter Sutton
October & November, 1960


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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

 

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Monday, March 04, 2013

 

Rob Fitterman & Ron Silliman
tonight

@ Dia: Chelsea
in New York City

535 West 22nd Street,5th Floor
$6 general admission;
$3 Dia members, students, and seniors 

Advance ticket purchases recommended
Tickets are also available for purchase at the door,
subject to availability.

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Sunday, March 03, 2013

 

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
on
Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas


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