Lisa Robertson, Jeff Derksen, and Bob Perelman joined Al Filreis to talk about a poem in a sixteen-poem series by Fred Wah going under the title “Discount Me In.” That series and several others were brought together in a book called Is a Door. Our poem, “Race, to go,” is the first — a proem of sorts — in the “Discount Me In” group, and we have occasion during our discussion to talk about the several valences of discounting. I don't count. The census misses me because I fall between the cracks in racial categories. The neo-liberal moment has cheapened me. Both positively and negatively racially charged language around food, freely punned and intensely oral, turns casual by-talk into rebarbative backhand (creating an effect distinctly pleasurable) and brings into the poem the entire story of official Canadian multiculturalism.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW Jeremy James Thompson is a renaissance man of the poetic arts: writer, publisher, printer, designer, teacher, and all-around organizer. On his website The Autotypograph, you can find his imprint Auto Types Press and his blog Autotypist, as well as a thorough list of his other projects and accomplishments. Thompson is also an elite bartender and mixologist, which we touch on in our conversation.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW Souvankham Thammavongsa is a poet who lives and works in Toronto. Her parents were raised in Laos, and she was born in a refugee camp in Thailand in 1978. Thammavongsa’s family moved to Canada when she was a year old. Her book Found (2007) describes these experiences, and was made into a short film by director Paramita Nath. Thammavongsa’s first book of poems is Small Arguments (2003). You can find her website here.
Ammiel Alcalay, Gary Barwin, and Danny Snelson joined Al Filreis to talk about a poem by John Wieners for which we at PennSound have two recordings. The version used as the basis of this PoemTalk discussion was part of a brief two-poem performance at the Poetry Project in New York, in 1990. (He also read "Confidence" that day.) “The Acts of Youth” was written in the early 1960s and published in Wieners's second book, Ace of Pentacles, in 1964.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW Kaplan Harris is a scholar and editor who writes about a wide variety of 20th- and 21st-century poetry, including the work of Ted Berrigan, Hannah Weiner, Susan Howe, and the Flarf poets. With degrees from North Carolina State University and the University of Notre Dame, he currently teaches at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York. For the last several years, Harris has been co-editing the forthcoming Selected Letters of Robert Creeley with Peter Baker and Rod Smith. His article “The Small Press Traffic school of dissimulation” was recently published in Jacket2.