Al Filreis

Monastiraki in Montreal

One of the real delights of my recent visit to Montreal: visiting Monastiraki and meeting Billy Mavreas. Above is a photo of Billy in the shop. The offer fine prints, art and gig posters, small press, zines, and art objects by some of Montreal’s most unique artists. Overflowing with paper ephemera and vintage found treasures, the space is an assemblage of things Billy and his colleagues love. The shop has been very supportive of the community of experimental poets.

Close reading of two poems by Harryette Mullen (video)

Left to right: Lily Applebaum, Dave Poplar, Al Filreis, Camara Brown

Here is a link to an edited/condensed version of our original thirty-three-minute ModPo video featuring a close reading of two poems from Harryette Mullen’s Sleeping with the Dictionary. It has been added to the main syllabus of ModPo, the free, open, noncredit online course on modern and contemporary US poetry.


detail of Bob Cobbing’s Midnight Press edition of Kerouac’s ‘Old Angel Midnight’

Recently I released an episode of PoemTalk in which Clark Coolidge — who has long advocated that Jack Kerouac be taken seriously as an experimental poet, indeed a sound poet — and others joined me to discuss a few sections of Kerouac’s Old Angel Midnight. I usually try to understand general responses to new PoemTalk episodes. For this one I was especially keen. How is Kerouac viewed within the poetry community? Doubtfully, I would think.

On Ayukawa's dark wartime poem 'Man on a Bridge' (1942)

New ModPo video with Yosuke Tanaka

New ModPo video just posted — in which Anna Strong Safford and I talk with Yosuke Tanaka about a dark, wartime poem by Ayukawa Nobuo called “Man on a Bridge” (1942). Click the link (to view the video you must be logged into ModPo — registering is free and open to all):

Here is a link to the text of the poem.

Listening out the collectivist window: 'Okay, my name is so-and-so ...'

Here are two facing pages from Rob Fitterman’s This Window Makes Me Feel. Written in the long shadow of 9/11, this book of prose poetry “replaces the individual poet’s response to catastrophe with a collective, multi-vocal chorus of everyday” expression. Parts of the work have been published before, but this Ugly Duckling Presse edition is the first time the whole poem has been printed as one. It is one of the earliest examples of a long poem solely composed with repurposed language taken from the web. We at ModPo will be filming a short video about this excerpt (see below) of Fitterman’s work. I received my copy the other day and cannot stop reading and rereading the sentences.