Articles

Engagement, race, and public poetry in America

Ansel Adams, “Roy Takeno at town hall meeting, Manzanar Relocation Center,” (courtesy the Library of Congress).

Has American poetry become more engaged with public events, more politically relevant, in the opening years of the twenty-first century? That is the claim made by The New American Poetry of Engagement, an anthology edited by Ann Keniston and Jeffrey Gray and published in 2012.[1]

A familial touchstone via 'Dhalgren'

Preface: One day, at Naropa University, I was on a panel that Anne Waldman organized for the MFA summer writing program. I gave my talk about poetry and speech acts. Chip was nice enough to attend as an audience member. Chip knows his poetry.

Amuse-bouche

You came to see human bodies tonight, but she said this is “holy work and it’s dangerous not to know that ’cause you could die like an animal down here.”[1] She was talking about making dances — pacing back and forth across bridges, riding up and down the block, selling loosies on the corner, walking in the middle of the street. The hazard of movement, of moving and being moved, of knowing that we are affected, that we are affective.

Erotic particularity, metacognition, survival

Of Samuel Delany

Samuel Delaney interviewed at ReaderCon 2011 (watch video here).

Trigger warning: this essay includes snippets of cultural theory, so if you’ve had traumatic experiences with it, please be careful.

When I began thinking about how best to honor Samuel Delany today, I felt some sense of obligation to explain what for me has been the transformative effect of reading Delany’s work, especially from the standpoint of queer studies. 

Mirror and maze

Editing the journals of Samuel R. Delany

Samuel Delany reads at the Kelly Writers House, 2008.

In his fiction, memoir, and criticism, Samuel R.