Commentaries

Belladonna founder coming to Philly

I'm really pleased to announce that this year's CPCW Fellow in Poetics & Poetic Practice is Rachel Levitsky. She will teach a seminar called "Writing Practice of the Avant-Garde or: Avant-Garde Hybrid Writing" and at the Kelly Writers House will host the visits of several writers associated with the course.

Rachel Levitsky's first full-length volume, Under the Sun, was published by Futurepoem books in 2003. She is the author of five chapbooks of poetry, Dearly (a+bend), Dearly 356, Cartographies of Error (Leroy), The Adventures of Yaya and Grace (PotesPoets) and 2(1x1)Portraits (Baksun). Levitsky also writes poetry plays, three of which (one with Camille Roy) have been performed in New York and San Francisco. Levitsky's work has been published in magazines such as Sentence, Fence, The Brooklyn Rail, Global City, The Hat, Skanky Possum, Lungfull! and in the anthology, 19 Lines: A Drawing Center Writing Anthology. She founded Belladonna--an event and publication series for avant-garde poetics--in August 1999. A past fellow of The McDowell Colony and Lower Manhattan Community Council, she teaches at Pratt Institute and lives steps away from The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

Previous CPCW Fellows: Tracie Morris, Linh Dinh, Erica Hunt, and Kenneth Goldsmith.

For much more go here. And here's a Ceptuetics interview: AUDIO RECORDING

Below is a video recording of Rachel's reading at Berkeley as part of their lunchtime poets series:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB0ZsiA9KiE]

yelpers yelp praise

"...a very hip little cottage..." Phrase found among the reviews of the Kelly Writers House currently posted to Yelp.

LINKS: 1 2

there is so much to be scared of so what is the use of bothering to be scared


I send out thanks to Daniel Schwartz, who has pointed out two errors on a web page that I've had up for years - the text of Gertrude Stein's "Reflection on the Atom Bomb." The corrected version is here.

"They may be a little scared, I am not so scared, there is so much to be scared of so what is the use of bothering to be scared, and if you are not scared the atomic bomb is not interesting."

high terror on the blue website

I stand corrected. Earlier I snarkily noted that Stevens's "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" gets a disproportionate load of parodying, and wondered why other Great Mods didn't. The author of In My Mind I'm Going posts her own snarky riposte: what about WCW's "Red Wheelbarrow"? Of course. I suppose any modernist poem that can be taken as a ditty will get parodied. Yet, still, there's something about "13 Ways": trying one's hand at the perspectival variations. A guy who admits he's something of a drinker tries his hand, and the URL has the word "everypoet" in it (as in "everyone is..."):

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Keg

1.
Among twenty restless students,
The only stoic thing
Was the base of the keg.

2.
I was of three thirsts,
Like a cellar
In which there are three kegs...

Here's a parody of Pound:

Salutation to a Previous Generation

O Generation of the entirely snug
and entirely impenetrable,
I have seen poets versifying in the dark,
I have seen them with uneven lines,
I have seen their volumes full of gibberish
and heard unlikely theories.
And you are smarter than they were,
And I am smarter than you are;
And Hopkins lives in the anthologies
and cannot even write criticism.

And here of Williams:

Homeland Security Advisory System

nothing depends
upon

a red seal
blaring

phrases of high
terror

on the blue
website

And Dickinson:

General Advice to Miscreants

Split the hair - when you face the music -
Blow after blow - will roll aside -
Violence dealt to the batted belfry
Spent on your hair and not your hide.

Loose the flood - like a snake oil seller -
Gush after gush, and swear it's true -
Cro-Magnon creditors! Credulous cretins!
You'll escape yet from the peer review.

The three just above (Pound, WCW, Dickinson) are the work of Jay Scott, who writes (among other things) The Daily Whale, satires for every leaf of the calendar.

Andy Kaufman as muse

For Godot, subtitled "research in poetry," seems to announce "Issue 1," dated Fall 2008. If you go to their blog site you'll see that the "announcement" includes a list of authors in the hundreds. And there's a link to the issue's contents, a mere 3,785 pages of poems. So far as I know an email announcement was not sent around, so how do any of us find out about this For Godot? Well, poetry people seem to be a self-conscious, self-promoting bunch. Many have set up "Google Alerts" which by email daily report instances of, e.g., one's own name as it appears somewhere on the 'net.

Evan J. Peterson, whose blog is "Poemocracy", fell for For Godot's "culture jamming" when he saw a Google Alert for his name, followed it to its source and found himself among the many pages of the "issue." The same thing happened to me and presumably many others.For Godot, Peterson wrote, "is an obviously effective publicity stunt that lured some high-profile (unlike myself) self-interested (much like myself) people to the site."

At another blog, a commentator named Rob wrote: "It is a joke, surely! Some kind of social comment on the meaningless of .pdf e-publication? Something like that…" And Barbara added: "Maybe it is an arm of the International Library of Poetry and they will be sending all those writers a request for $39.95 so their winning poem can be entered in the 'contest.'"

Skip Fox wrote: "Andy Kaufman as muse?" And Nick Piombino: "There has been talk of a poetry bailout. Is this it?"

The creators of this instance of mock radical inclusivity are Vladimir Zykov, Steve McLaughlin, and Jim Carpenter.