Nothing made of ink (PoemTalk #180)

Lisa Fishman, 'Mad World, Mad Kings, Mad Composition'

At the Poetry Foundation, from left: Lisa Fishman, Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué, Laynie Browne.


PoemTalk went on the road again, this time to Chicago, where Al Filreis convened Lisa Fishman, Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué, and Laynie Browne at the Poetry Foundation. Before a lively live audience, the four discussed seven short poems selected from Lisa Fishman’s recent book Mad World, Mad Kings, Mad Composition (Wave Books, 2020). They are: “Many People have heard” (51); “Others could tell the difference” (65); “Have sent a point” and “Who will confess that …” (73); “Taking a sick day to remember Mr. Fishman” (149); “A line through a forest” (150); and “Steering-wheel-in-the-field” (163). Typically at the start of a PoemTalk episode we play a recording of the poet performing the poems from the PennSound archive, but on this occasion we of course had the poet with us, so listeners will hear Lisa’s performance as part of the mix.

And speaking of mix, we are delighted to note that Chris Martin and Zach Carduner traveled with us to Chicago, helped us to make several new videos for the ModPo syllabus in various parts of the city (including one on Carl Sandburg’s proletarian “Chicago” filmed “on location” under the enormous Union Stock Yard Gate). At the Poetry Foundation Chris handled the complex audio, while Zach worked the cameras. The unedited video is available here (below). The audio was, as usual, edited by Zach. We also want to thank the staff of the Poetry Foundation who on that Saturday hosted us for two public programs.

Click anywhere on the image of the poem just below and you’ll arrive at a PDF copy of all seven of our poems.

To view texts of all the poems, click on the image above.