Light filtering through (PoemTalk #132)

G. Maria Hindmarch, 'Kitsilano (1963–1969)'

from left: Erín Moure, Karis Shearer, Deanna Fong

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In this special episode of PoemTalk we discuss a poem by G. Maria Hindmarch, who was at the center of the emerging avant-garde and counterculture literary scene in the early 1960s and later. Maria attended the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, established productive connections with Black Mountain poets among many others; published three books; and made audio recordings as a feminist, materialist, and literary communitarian. The poem we discuss is currently still unpublished; it is titled “Kitsilano (1963–1969).” Karis Shearer, Deanna Fong, and Erín Moure joined Al Filreis in Montreal to make this audio and video recording.

No, MY Ariel

An engagement with Sina Queyras's 'My Ariel'

In the first poem of Sina Queyras’s poetry collection My Ariel, an I-speaker testifies that “A love procedure set me going like a big fat lie.” This line directly overwrites one of Plath’s most famous lines — “Love set you going like a fat gold watch” — often quoted to portray Sylvia’s personal experience of new motherhood on the occasion of her daughter Frieda’s birth.

February 5 [2018]

Ted Rees with Ariel Resnikoff

PennSound podcast

PennSound podcast #60

Ariel Resnikoff (left) and Ted Rees (right).
Ariel Resnikoff (left) and Ted Rees (right).

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Ted Rees, who recently relocated from Northern California back to his hometown of Philadelphia, and Ariel Resnikoff, who recently relocated from Philadelphia back to his previous home in Northern California, met up at the Wexler Studio at the Kelly Writers House in October to read from and talk about Ted’s new book, In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame. 

The products of labor

A review of 'lo terciario/the tertiary'

review

The Spanish and English texts are rotated 180° relative to one another, such that the bilingual reader, halfway in, would rotate the book upside down to read the collection in its entirety. Or — if you are an anglophone reader, like myself — you are made literally aware that you are reading only one half of the book.

los productos del trabajo tienen sus residuos.
a estos residuos les llamamos objetividad espectral. 
a esta objetividad espectral le llamamos mera gelatina. 
a esta mera gelatina le llamamos
cristalizaciones de la sustancia social común.

a estas cristalizaciones les llamamos valor.[1]

So begins “todas sus propiedades sensibles se han esfumado,” the opening poem of lo terciario/the tertiary, the newest collection released in May by Puerto Rican poet and translator Raquel Salas Rivera. Or it begins:

What is poetry?

A review of 'What Is Poetry? (Just Kidding, I Know You Know)'

Left: illustration by George Schneeman on a 1974 booklet, via the Poetry Project.

Containing thirty-eight insightful and informative interviews with mostly innovative poets and a few non-poet fellow travelers, this big white book edited by Anselm Berrigan paints a clear picture of the Lower East Side avant-garde poetry scene. In these interviews, we are listening to the poets themselves, gaining an understanding of various avant-garde poetics straight from the horse’s mouth.

Containing thirty-eight insightful and informative interviews with mostly innovative poets and a few non-poet fellow travelers, this big white book edited by Anselm Berrigan paints a clear picture of the Lower East Side avant-garde poetry scene. In these interviews, we are listening to the poets themselves, gaining an understanding of various avant-garde poetics straight from the horse’s mouth.

Condemnation, confrontation, remembrance

A conversation with Andrew Levy and Norman Fischer

Above: Norman Fischer (left) and Andrew Levy (right) at Unnameable Books in Brooklyn. Photo by Trace Peterson.

Note: I have long been interested in Andrew Levy’s poetry. He and I have corresponded, and in recent years have read and performed together in New York, so we are familiar with one another’s approaches.

Lawrence Joseph's credo

In his last book of poems, Into It (2005), Lawrence Joseph describes his work as “A poetry of autonomies, / bound by a transcendent necessity,” which paradoxically produces “A continuity in which everything is transition.”[1] In his new collection, So Where Are We?, Joseph remains faithful to these notions, pushing them to a further extreme.

Stein's propagandistic potential

A note on Gertrude Stein's 'La langue française' and 'Patrie'

Portrait of Gertrude Stein with American flag by Carl Van Vechten, January 4, 1935, from the Van Vechten Collection at the Library of Congress, via Wikimedia Commons.

Editorial note: This piece is intended to be a companion to Logan Esdale’s contribution to this dossier, which can be found here.

An archive of feeling

A review of 'The Bigness of Things'

review
Left: The second issue of Steve Abbott’s ‘Soup’ (1981), where the phrase ‘New Narrative’ was first coined.

On a Friday night in October, a fine collection of people I do and do not know assembles in the ballroom of the Omni Commons for a marathon reading organized in conjunction with the New Narrative conference at Berkeley. The conference is titled Communal Presence: New Narrative Writing Today and feels aptly named.

On a Friday night in October, a fine collection of people I do and do not know assembles in the ballroom of the Omni Commons for a marathon reading organized in conjunction with the New Narrative conference at Berkeley. The conference is titled Communal Presence: New Narrative Writing Today and feels aptly named. In this grand room, we convene together as a ragtag and motley crew, an intergenerational community built around shared desires to connect with one another, to experience the body and its emotions together, to throw our queer longings into the fray as one.

Words that bleed music

Postbop jazz in the poetry of Amiri Baraka and Nathaniel Mackey

Left: Nathaniel Mackey at Vision Festival, New York, 2015, courtesy of Nathaniel Mackey. Right: Amiri Baraka at the Malcom X Festival, San Antonio Park, Oakland, California, May 2007. Photo by David Sasaki via Wikimedia Commons.

In his preface to Blue Fasa (2015), Nathaniel Mackey reflects on what is arguably the key preoccupation in his oeuvre: the relationship between music and language. Mackey’s comments emerge out of a sense of disquiet with the way the two modes of communication are often presumed remote from the other by today’s artists and scholars.