Phil introduced the issue this way: This issue of Tyuonyi, Patterns / Contexts / Time: A Symposium on Contemporary Poetry, exists because of collective desire. Ninety-seven poets from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, England, and Australia felt the desire to respond. Their responses were to a series of questions devised by Charles Bernstein and myself. The questions were designed to be inclusive enough to address the issues which engaged us, but vague enough not to restrict the potential responses of the respondents. We wanted to create a forum wherein the real issues that compelled poets could be addressed without a felt adherence to any presuppositions. The volume of response was very gratifying and the range of response far beyond my expectation.
THE QUESTIONS: •What patterns, if any, do you see developing that are presently influencing habits of reading or readership within poetry? •What are the values or limitations of these developing, or undeveloped, patterns? •What context, if any, do you see your work as part of? •What context, if any, do you see for the work of those contemporary poets whom you find most interesting? •What's the most disturbing (or irritating) thing associated with poetry or your work as a poet? •What sources do you find most useful in keeping informed about contemporary poetry? •Do universities play any role for you in terms of your work as a poet? •Do you ever think about what you will be doing in ten years? What? etc etc.
Collected over the past four or five years, this forum offers a wide, and usefully conflicting, set of short essays, mostly by poets, on how race figures in their work. Max King Cap curates a set of images by visual artists that speak both directly and obliquely, to the issues at hand; Cap provides short commentaries for each image.
I can't think of a better way to begin this commentary about emplaced poetries than through the Cascadia Poetry Festival convening presently on Vancouver Island, in Nanaimo, British Columbia, April 30 to May 3. Emphasizing bioregional boundaries over those of nation-states, the Cascadian Movement elaborates a new geographically-based sense of place.
Benjamin Alfaro’s work has appeared in a range of journals, including Union Station, Cognitive Liberation, Mangrove Review, Stymie, Acentos Review, and the Red Cedar Review. He is also co-author of Home Court (Red Beard Press, 2014), a collaborative poetry collection, and co-founder of Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Festival's Michigan chapter. He has been featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices and on Michigan public radio.
The two volumes of Robert Duncan’s Collected Early Poems and Plays and Collected Later Poems and Plays (edited by Peter Quartermain), which appeared from the University of California Press in 2013 and 2014, make all of Duncan’s published poetry at last readily available.