In 2002, the late American Kyoto-based expatriate poet, Cid Corman (1924 -2004),gifted Fred Jeremy Seligson, an American poet living in Korea, a collection of his notebooks as a token of his appreciation for the financial support that Seligson had provided to him during some particularly difficult years. These “Uncollected Kyoto Notebooks” span the crucial period from 1960 to 1975, a time in which Corman was establishing himself both as a poet and as a skilled editor; his poetry journal Origin garnered much attention for the poets it published, including Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Lorine Niedecker, and Gary Snyder.
These excerpts are from The Uncollected Kyoto Notebooks of Cid Corman, Selections: 1960 to 1975. Selections were made by Fred Jeremy Seligson and Gregory Dunne and submitted with the permission of Bob Arnold, Literary Executor for the Estate of Cid Corman. Inquiries concerning Cid Corman can be addressed to email@example.com and copies of Corman's books are available for purchase at longhousepoetry.com.
Aldon Nielsen, William J. Harris, Tyrone Williams, hosted by Al Filreis, convened in the Arts Café of the Kelly Writers House, before a live audience, to discuss Aldon’s poem “Tray.” There are 29 sections in the poem; the group discussed the first 6. In the book titled Tray, published by Make Now Press in 2017, the title poem takes up the first 37 pages; the sections we discussed run to page 14. Usually, of course, we play an audio recording of the poem from we’re about to discuss as archived in PennSound, but on this day, because we had the honor of Aldon’s presence we asked him to perform those sections.
There are many chairs and no tables in this depressingly uplifting play, Help, which is about a new table we need right NOW, “NOW that is the ‘n-word,’” as the play says: a kind of roundtable, virtual and actual, where we can all sit around to talk “us,” cohabitus, especially the souls of White folks.
In the course of Keston Sutherland’s Scherzos Benjyosos, inarticulate pain is transformed into elegy, and elegy, at the last, into love song. This is first and foremost a prosodic achievement. I do not mean by this simply that prosody offers figures or symbols for the poems’ thematic and narrative content — that the book’s tormented passage from pain to love is echoed and illustrated by the shapes and sounds of the text on the page and in the ear (though to some extent this is true). Rather the pressure that prosodic constraints exert on the poet’s language, and therefore upon his thinking, exposes seams of pain and of potential happiness which could not have been anticipated nor, perhaps, discovered in any other way.
In the course of Keston Sutherland’s Scherzos Benjyosos, inarticulate pain is transformed into elegy, and elegy, at the last, into love song. This is first and foremost a prosodic achievement. I do not mean by this simply that prosody offers figures or symbols for the poems’ thematic and narrative content — that the book’s tormented passage from pain to love is echoed and illustrated by the shapes and sounds of the text on the page and in the ear (though to some extent this is true).
A stingray doesn’t know the word for “pathetic.” A saint does not care if prayer renders her pathetic. Poets are pathetic because they devote themselves to form in the face of formlessness. (Are they? Do they?) These kinds of formulations and queries arise in reading Pathetic Literature, the momentous anthology edited by Eileen Myles and released by Grove Press in November 2022.
At the beginning of chapter 6 of Poetics of Liveliness, titled “Clouds,” author Ada Smailbegović engages in an “experiment of description” aimed at enacting the “vaporous dynamics” of the Blur Building, a temporary media installation that drew up the waters of Lake Neuchâtel to spray into being an architectural structure composed entirely of water vapor and mist. Smailbegović’s experiment is respiratory, a tidal form of positive feedback intensified through a litany of movements, forms, and visuals that partake of the hazy encumbrances and billows of a planetary atmosphere, a “dynamic site of gradual transformation” (198) that affectively embraces the instability and transience of cloud: “The vapor begins rising again from the left corner of the frame, filling and filling the space until no discernment is possible between the shape of the cloud and the sky” (228).
In this interview conducted by Teresa Villa-Ignacio, the poet, translator, filmmaker, and activist Sarah Riggs recalls how, upon moving to Paris in the early 2000s, she began translating French poets including Isabelle Garron, Marie Borel, Etel Adnan, Stéphane Bouquet, and Ryoko Sekiguchi. Riggs also discusses how this translation work impacted her own poetry, including the books Waterwork (Chax, 2007) and Autobiography of Envelopes (Burning Deck, 2012), and describes opportunities for poetic translation exchanges she has facilitated through the organizations Double Change and Tamaas. The interview was recorded on June 8, 2013, in Paris.
What is an ostrakon? And what does an ostrakon have to do with the work of N. H. Pritchard? Norman Henry Pritchard was a member of the Umbra poets in the Lower East Side in the 1960s and a self-avowed “transrealist” who blended visual and sound poetry in many of his poems, some of which might be termed quasisurrealist or quasi-imagistic.