Commentaries

ModPo 2014 starts September 6

a free, open, non-credit, 10-week online course

ModPo – a free, entirely open, non-credit, discussion-based 10-week course on modern & contemporary U.S. poetry – begins its 2014 session on September 6. Everyone is welcome to join us. Click here — https://www.coursera.org/course/modernpoetry  — to enroll.

ModPo 2014 includes several new features in addition to the 10-week survey of mod American poets & poems. New is an entire set of resources for teachers. (We encourage teachers at all levels to join us.) And new, too, is “ModPoPLUS,” a supplemental syllabus that parallels the main ModPo syllabus – additional poems, links to audio and video, and video-recorded close readings of the poems. 

ModPo people gather together for meet-ups in many majors cities around the world. The ModPo team this year will be coming to New York, Washington DC, and Prague.

Brolaski and the metropolitan imaginary

Julian Brolaski, gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2011), 104 pp., $15.00—Usage begets and outpaces grammatical and syntactical rules. In that sense, usage is equivalent in value to adaptation in evolution. Temporal events, both usage and adaptation nonetheless function within the constraints of an epoch, given to any “us” as the architectonics of space and structure.

Jake Marmer: Nigun Poems & Poetics

[Originally published in Current Musicology's recent issue on “experimental writing about music.”]

 

PREFACE

 

This set of poems grew out of my experiences of listening and finding myself inside nigunim(pl; singular nigun or nign), Chassidic chants — mystical, usually wordless songs used as accompaniment for rituals — weddings, prayers, candle-lightings — collective beckoning of transcendence. The nigun experience is fraught with what Amiri Baraka called, referring to blues, the “re/feeling” — proximity and shape of personal history of encounters with unfathomable.

Reading Vancouver from abroad

a Vancouver real-estate advertisement from 1912

Departing slightly from the topic of Vancouver poems by Vancouver poets to include Vancouver poems by non-Vancouver poets, this commentary considers work by French Modernist poet Guillaume Apollinaire and Jacqueline Suskin, a contemporary Los Angeles poet-entrepenuer who sells poems at the Hollywood Farmers Market. Apollinaire’s poem “Windows,” from Calligrammes, a posthumously published collection of poetry, was written a century ago while Suskin's poem “Vancouver BC” was a few days ago, last Sunday. 

 The following excerpt from “Windows” registers the phemonenom of urbanization and the precedence of the city in the early 20th century:

Fifty years of Buffalo poetics readings on PennSound

We've been working on this page for a decade, but now near complete -- 150 readings and events at Buffalo, from 1963 to 2003. 

Most of the readings here are connected to two series: "Walking the Dog" programs coordinated and recorded by Robert Creeley until 1990; "Wednesdays@4 Plus" programs (1990-2003) coordinated and recorded by Charles Bernstein (working with Susan Howe, Raymond Federman, Dennis Tedlock, Robert Bertholf, and Creeley). While the Poetics Program as such didn't begin unitl Fall 1991, we include on this page readings beginning 50 years ago in Buffalo, associated with the State University of New York's English Department.