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.
J2 reviews editor and commentator Orchid Tierney reviews tasks by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Barking & Biting by Sina Queyras, and Cold Pastoral by Rebecca Dunham. Of tasks she writes, in part: “Núñez’s poems chronicle the peripheries of a Cuban homecoming while exploring the porousness of identity and nationalism so marked by a feeling of loss. ‘[I]dentity lurks,’ writes Núñez, ‘like a forgotten ring in a public bathroom.’ These poems are lucid, nomadic but not driftless in local memory as they prowl the geographies of migrant return and exile.”
J2 reviews editor and commentator Orchid Tierney writes on three poetry titles from this year and last.
There is a fearlessness I’ve always admired about the work of Ottawa poet, editor and publisher Amanda Earl, unafraid to follow her curiosity into unusual corners, whether exploring the sexuality and textures of 1920’s Montparnasse in her first trade collection, Kiki (Chaudiere Books, 2014), to “Saint Ursula’s Commonplace Book.” As she writes to describe her current work-in-progress:
Ursula lived in the fourth or fifth century. Variations on her story exist. In one version, she is travelling by ship with eleven thousand virgins to meet her groom, a Pagan. The ship is attacked and the women, including Ursula, are beheaded. In another version, an arrow pierces her heart.
A church was built over the tomb where Ursula was buried. The arrow which pierced her is kept there. Young girls pray to Ursula for protection and miracles. She is their patron saint.
I want to backtrack a bit and link to some recordings related to earlier commentaries. Rather than update the older posts, I’ll periodically add new tracks to expand previous playlists. I’ll also make some new unthemed playlists of singles segmented from longer recordings that I came across while browsing PennSound’s reading series pages.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW Sina Queyras is a poet and writer currently living in Montreal. She was raised in western Canada, and has degrees from the University of British Columbia and Concordia University. Queyras has lived in many places and held many jobs, and we talk about the ways geography and work have shaped her poetics. Her poetry collections Lemon Hound (2007) and Expressway (2009) were published by Coach House Books, and her excellent blog is called Lemon Hound.
Over at her excellent blog Lemon Hound, Sina Queyras is hosting our talented transcriber of PennSound interviews, Michael Nardone. Michael has selected some excerpts from Christian Bok's discussion with Charles Bernstein's students at Penn a few years back. "Greetings from Blachford Lake," Michael begins, "up near the east arm of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Via the satellites, I've been working under the direction of Al Filreis at the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, transcribing some recent and classic dialogues on poetry and poetics that will eventually be published in Jacket magazine once the journal takes up its new residence in Philadelphia. Occasionally, I hope to post on Lemon Hound a few excerpts from discussions I'm working on, and wanted to start with these selections from a conversation with Christian Bök featuring Charles Bernstein and students from the University of Pennsylvania." Here is your link to the blog entry. Above: Michael at left, Sina at right.