Features

Trevor Joyce: Reading in Ireland

Trevor Joyce. Photo by Jason Lee.
Trevor Joyce. Photo by Jason Lee.

Trevor Joyce is an Irish poet whose innovation and creativity constitutes a sustained challenge to the conventions of poetry and reading in Ireland and abroad. Writing and publishing in Ireland since 1967, Joyce has seventeen collections of poetry and is cofounder and coeditor of New Writers’ Press.

On Myung Mi Kim

Myung Mi Kim at the Kelly Writers House, 2010. Photo by Arielle Brousse.

In a discussion with Divya Victor included as part of this feature, Myung Mi Kim quickly arrives at the following problem: “I can’t quite imagine a relationship with a poem, the fact of writing or reading a poem, that would be permanently inscribed.” The sentence reads like an aphorism.

Traveling furiously toward you

John Ashbery and the arts

Hotel Negresco, 2010, collage, 6 ¼ x 5 ½ inches, by John Ashbery. Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.

While painting occupies a primary place in John Ashbery’s sense of the arts, his poems also have to do with the possibilities he has gleaned from individual artists in nearly every medium.

Eugene and Johnny Go Boating Rosanne Wasserman
Star-crossed Trevor Winkfield
Boiled Dinner Jennifer Moxley
In No Time at All Wanda Coleman
Quiet Moon Harry Mathews
Correspondences Marcella Durand
Three looks Sandra Lim
The Late Parade Adam Fitzgerald
Farms Mark So
Uptick Emily Skillings
Morning in Runnemede Thomas Devaney

Contemporary English poetry and North American influences

Left to right: Tim Atkins, Amy De'Ath, Jeff Hilson, Richard Parker, Holly Pester, Sophie Robinson, and Carol Watts.

Perhaps more than at any other time in recent decades, the influence of North American poetry and poetics on English poetry is surfacing in a number of different ways. Sharing a language but positioned at a distance from the personalities and occasional conflicts between schools and coteries, contemporary English poets combine their North American influences differently, perhaps more flexibly, than North American poets do. As the works collected here demonstrate, the results of these combinations are surprising and exciting, distant and familiar; this poetry is engaging even and especially when considered apart from its influences and precedents from across the pond.

Poems by Tim Atkins Tim Atkins
Poems by Amy De'Ath Amy De'Ath
Poems by Jeff Hilson Jeff Hilson
Poems by Richard Parker Richard Parker
Poems by Holly Pester Holly Pester
Poems by Sophie Robinson Sophie Robinson
Poems by Carol Watts Carol Watts

Drafting beyond the ending

On Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Rachel Blau DuPlessis in 2007 in Philadelphia. Photo by Robert S. DuPlessis.
Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s “Draft 94: Mail Art”; DuPlessis in 2007 in Philadelphia. Photo by Robert S. DuPlessis.

 

but nothing includes everything, or dominates over everything. The word ‘and’ trails along after every sentence. Something always escapes … — William James

To say that Rachel Blau DuPlessis has built her entire poetic project on the logic of the provisional and the contingent is no exaggeration. And reader, make no mistake — she has married us to this process. In the School of DuPlessian Midrash every seam and suture is exposed as a subject of instigation cum investigation. Investigation, in Drafts, is not simply a prod to the ethical; it’s heuristic: in teaching us how to read Drafts, Drafts teaches us how to read. (So maybe it’s chiasmatic, too?)