Re-reading the poetry of place

There's an endless construction project going on next door to us in Salthill. Traffic on the street shuts down in both directions each day for the arrival of a tractor, and the gravel for a new driveway has just been laid. Large trees have been chopped to hedge-rows. Yesterday, in the morning, a displaced bird flew into one of the exhaust tubes of our apartment, located above the kitchen cabinets. It flapped around and was quiet.

First reading of Sophia Le Fraga's 'W8ING 4' (5)

Emily Harnett

Emily Harnett (left) & Sophia Le Fraga

The main conceit of “W8ing 4” is that I, as a viewer, occupying the same perspective as Soph’s iPhone interlocutor, am forced to be uncool. I’m forced, in other words, into the subject position of an uncomfortable teen girl. This is not a stretch. I am no longer a teen, but I am still a girl, and young enough for coolness to be a quality of immediate concern.

Arie Galles & Jerome Rothenberg: Graffite (Complete)

        A few years ago I began to engage with the artist Arie Galles in a series of poems  to accompany three “suites” of his drawings (twenty drawings in each suite).  Now, under the title “Graffite: Three Suites after Images by Arie Galles” he has posted all sixty poems & drawings on his web site (

A reading at the Woodward Line

My first encounter with a Detroit poetry institution was the Woodward Line Poetry series, a monthly reading at the Scarab Club in Midtown curated by James Hart III and Kim Hunter. The series has been running for over 10 years, featuring poets from within and beyond Detroit.  I first attended the Woodward Line back in September, when Nathaniel Mackey opened the 2014-15 series.

The January 2015 reading featured two Detroit writers, Steve Hughes and James LaCroix, and a Windsor, Ontario writer, Gustave Morin. Snow had fallen all day, so the crowd was initially sparse.

Avant-Garde, II: Surrealist Map of the World

surrealist map world
Anon., Le Monde au Temps des Surrealistes (The Surrealist Map of the World) (Variétés, Brussels 1929)

By the early 1920s, many of the Dadaists had moved on from their former centers of activity in Zurich, New York, Berlin, and elsewhere, while Paris had once again become a hotbed of artistic activity. The Surrealist Map of the World first appeared in a special issue of the Belgian periodical Variétés in 1929.  “Le Surréalisme en 1929” featured works by René Crevel, Paul Éluard, Louis Aragon, Robert Desnos, and André Breton alongside Belgian writers and artists Paul Nougé, E. L. T. Mesens, and others.