In her new book Then Go On, Mary Burger explores how to occupy space and time with language and thought, how to expand the self, transgressing its borders, how to exhaust thought, how to suspend time and the self, and how to exceed language with itself.
As if a harbinger, the following text presented itself a few months prior to Burger’s book, handwritten in kid’s scrawl and posted in a ground-floor window in my neighborhood:
Prior to the publication of Linda Norton’s 2007 Etherdome Press chapbook, Hesitation Kit, and her 2011 Pressed Wafer book, The Public Gardens: Poems and History, which was a finalist for the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, many readers didn’t know that Norton had already exerted a quiet influence on them in her work as a poetry editor at the University of California Press. Since the 1980s Norton has made her living as a publicist and editor for a variety of publishing houses. Today, she works at the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, California.
A Gertrude Stein renaissance is afoot. It is difficult not to think how celebrated Stein is, to paraphrase her Stanzas in Meditation.During the past two years, she made a cameo (played by Kathy Bates) in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, and several exhibitions of her art collection circulated at major museums.
Most welcome and necessary are these two collections of new essays on the poetry of Robert Duncan and Frank O’Hara, respectively. Poets of literary imagination of the first rank, each has contributed divergent but complimentary perspectives to American poetry of the latter half of the twentieth century. Ezra Pound is daddy to them as much as Gertrude Stein is momma. Play, mirth, and wit with plenty of informal as well as formal reading and study inform the gridwork anchoring the poems and lives of these poets.