Commentaries - May 2011

TLS's J. C. on "Attack of the Difficult Poems"

NB logo

 On April 8 and 15, J.C. in his NB column in the TLS took up one of the keynote essays in Attack of the Difficult Poems, “Against National Poetry Month as Such.”

Works received


WAY IN 1 WHY ALWAYS THIS WAY?                                                                                                           It’s that week at the college where I work. Lawn blowers commenced on Monday. Weed wackers, riding mowers. Symmetrical rows of white chairs began to appear yesterday, radiating outwards from a mound of flowers planted in the shape of a giant M. This happens every year. I’ve got something like 6 cases of wine in the trunk of my car for tomorrow’s year-end celebration. I do not know if I am coming or going.

'Why are White Editors so Mean?' (My AWP talk on race and inclusivity in the publishing world)

For last year's AWP, I was supposed to be on a panel called "Poets and Editors on Race and Inclusivity." Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the conference due to back problems. Since the issue of the panel is important to me, I've posted the talk I was going to give below. Please feel free to share: 

Good morning,

My name is Craig Santos Perez, and you may remember me from last year’s acclaimed AWP panel “American Hybrid and its Discontents,” where I presented a paper titled “Whitewashing American Hybrid Poetics.”  I asked: why would white poets want to be hybrid when hybridity theory is soooo nineties. The answer was simple: if you weren’t hybrid then you had no choice as a white poet but to become either Ron Silliman or Robert Penn Warren.

You may be asking, when did I become such an expert on White-American poetics? Well, I have a B.A. in Literature and MFA in Creative Writing from USAmerican institutions, which means that I’ve only been required to read White-American poets.

Recently received for review

The J2 week began, as it usually does, in Philadelphia at Kelly Writers House, with a parcel from Belladonna* books (which I opened while listening to PennSound's new Belladonna* reading series archive, spanning 1999-2009).  And then, I went on the road (thinking of it as, instead, "The Wide Road") to do some poetry readings and workshops in Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago and Iowa City, where I met editors from Rescue Press and Lightful Press who handed me review copies.  Now, back in the J2 offices, I have a lovely stack of new titles from presses including Shearsman, BlazeVOX, continuum, Reality Street, FSG, Carnegie Mellon and Starcherone (pictured below) I'll post details about shortly. 

Susan Bee: Recalculating -- New Paintings

at A.I.R. in Brooklyn, opens 5/26

May 25-June 19, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 26, 6-8 pm
A.I.R. Gallery, 111 Front Street, #228, in DUMBO, Brooklyn

Digital preview:
thirty-seven new paintings now on-line