Among the joys of working as the reviews editor for a poetry magazine that has international readers and writers: packages of books you probably won't find in any domestic bookstore. Since the beginnning of May, Jacket2 has received new titles from presses including Shearsman (UK), Fremantle Press (AU), Brick Books (CA) and Reality Street (UK):
Tim Jacobs clarifies a point made by Kaplan Harris is an article we recently published:
In Kaplan Harris's “The Small Press Traffic school of dissimulation,” a statement I made in my 1970s column in the Poetry Flash is mentioned in a favorable light, yet I must take issue with Harris' aside that I filled the column with “snarky comments.” “Snarky comments,” were, if ever, seldom the case — ask Joyce Jenkins, Lewis MacAdams, David Highsmith, or any number of poets who were in the San Francisco scene back then. I tended to do as much reportage on readings and books as I possibly could, in attempting to do justice to a literary culture that was very diverse and growing rapidly.
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.
Since I started work as reviews editor in February 2010, the office I share with Writers House director and Jacket2 associate publisher Jessica Lowenthal has been transformed into a library of recently published poetry books and chapbooks. With the help of Jacket2 editorial assistants, including Emily Orrson and Sarah Arkebauer, 500 presses were contacted, more than 4,000 emails were exchanged, and nearly 750 books and chapbooks have been received, catalogued, and shelved. Sometimes it feels like Borges’ Library of Babel in here, and other times, like when the middle bookshelf broke in half and books by poets from Barbara Henning to Erín Moure tumbled onto the floor, it feels more like Richard Brautigan’s constantly expanding library in The Abortion.
Marjorie Perloff visited the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia for most of four days this week – as a Kelly Writers House Fellow. For three hours on Monday, she met with 21 undergraduates in the so-called Writers House Fellows Seminar; they had read and discussed her writings for the previous five weeks. That evening – April 25, 2011 – she gave a 55-minute talk that, in part, offered the full context for Marcel Duchamp's attempt to exhibit his pseudonymous readymade, "Fountain" (1917).