Commentaries - March 2014

Frank Sherlock on radio

On March 5, 2014, Frank Sherlock was interviewed by Marty Moss-Coane in WHYY's “Radio Times,” aired by NPR. Here is your link.

Geomantic riposte: 'Kerosene'

Recipient of the Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, Jamella Hagen grew up in Hazelton, BC and has lived in Vancouver, Brazil and South Korea. Her award-winning poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies across Canada. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and is a former editor of PRISM international. Hagen teaches at Yukon College and makes her home in Whitehorse, where she is an active member of the Whitehorse Poetry Society.

Erasing the third dimension

Tan Lin's moving 'Echo'

One of the ways an experience of time is produced in poetic contexts requires engaging our body's memories, such as how we hear a sound. The way sound decays in a space, or how it moves and dimishes across a duration of time, engages our ability to take note of the unfurling present moment. It's a particular attention, fixated on a deeply embodied phenomenon that reinvigorates our ability to locate ourselves in the world. To invoke a sound is to invoke the body in present time. 

I find this link between sound, the present, and the body richly explored by Tan Lin's digital poem, “Echo,” archived at UbuWeb. An echo reflects sound waves back to the listener, often in a diminished manner.

R.U. Sirius

The dog door to the observatory projecting a live-feed of Sirius
The dog door on the observatory projecting a live-feed of the dog star Sirius from a telescope mounted on the roof of The Franklin Institute. From Demetrius Oliver's installation, Canicular, at The Print Center in Philadelphia.

It is not every day that after your science-oriented literary reading that you, the other writers who read, and the audience climb through a dog door into a small, astronomical observatory that was constructed in the art gallery where the reading took place to see a live-feed projection of the dog star Sirius — the brightest star in the night sky and so nicknamed due to its containment in the constellation, Canis Major — from a telescope mounted on the roof of a nearby science education center.

Panorama Reading at the Queens Museum of Art

Cecilia VIcuna drapes a fabric near the World Trade Center.

Queens poet laureate Paolo Javier created a day of poetry at the Queens Museum of Art, bringing poets and presses into the newly renovated museum for "Eterniday." Exhibited presses included Ugly Ducklng, Tender Button, Litmus, Nightboat, and Futurepoem. I curated a reading in the spectacular Panorama, with Cecilia Vicuan (top), Tracie Morris, Julia Patton, Shelley Hirsch, Tracie Morris, Tan Lin, and me.