Saturday, July 28, 2012

What Are the Best Poems of the Past 25 Years?

Reblogging Big Think: some days the way blogging rolls, especially with a workout challenge. My goal is daily blogging here and on other primary blogs. If that means more sharing, so be it. Call it content curation: I'm putting my languages and literature degrees to work. 

Agree with choices or not, the full length piece is worth reading for the great poetry links. Disagree? Post your reasons and choices in comments. Here, there or both...

In 2006 the New York Times asked a select group of literary sages: “What’s the best work of American fiction of the last 25 years?” The results of the poll stirred chatter, passions, and healthy controversy. Toni Morrison’s Beloved emerged as the voters' favorite, followed by Don DeLillo’s Underworld, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, and John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has yet compiled a similar list for poetry. I find this slightly surprising: whereas it might take a reader years to plough through the fiction list, anyone can consume an equivalent number of poems in a single afternoon, and so feel encouraged to join in the parlor game. Besides, while the contemporary fiction canon is fairly well established (most people interested in the Times list would already have been familiar with Beloved), contemporary poetry is a vast hodgepodge through which critics have only just begun to wade. Kvetch if you like about the reductiveness of literary “canons”: in this case, a little winnowing couldn’t hurt.

To find out what poems Book Think aka Austin Allen picked, you'll have to read the rest of What Are the Best Poems of the Past 25 Years? | Book Think | Big ThinkMore about Big Think's Book Think, 81 Posts since 2011
Book Think is a guide to "dead trees," live Web fiction, and everything in between. It features book news, reviews, literary essays, and commentary on changes in the publishing industry.  
Austin Allen is a poet and adjunct professor of creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a former editor at Big Think. He lives in Baltimore.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Project Gutenberg Self Publishing

…a new open, free self-publishing resource and alternative to commercial operations that can present their own complications and ethical challenges. Although not suiting every writer's publishing and distribution needs, this new project, still under development, is worth a look. 
From Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free eBooks, now comes the free Authors Community Cloud Library, a social network Self-Publishing Portal. This Portal allows authors to share their works with our readers as well as allowing readers to provide comments, reviews and feedback to the authors. Every eBook has its own Details Page, Star Ratings, and Reader Comment area.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reminder: NM Jazz Festival #Poetry Reading: A.B. Spellman & Hakim Bellamy

outpostJuly 29, 2pm, free at the Outpost Performance Space 210 Yale SE. Phone: 505-268-0044 . 

SPELLMANA.B. Spellman, whose Meet the Artist sessions have become a New Mexico Jazz Festival tradition since its inaugural year in 2006, brings his own work to audiences in a special poetry reading shared with New Mexico’s most recently named Poet Laureate, Hakim Bellamy

New Mexico Jazz Festival Poetry Reading: A.B. Spellman & Hakim Bellamy - Events - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Syntax as Music: on Zukofsky

All credit to Penn Sound, that marvelous poetry website and online archive that hosts free and downloadable recordings of poets reading their own work. An ultimate sound wallow. I'm just the messenger. Want more? Subscribe to PennSound Daily on your fave feed reader. It's on YouTube, iTunes, Twitter and Facebook, plus regular updates at the Poetics list. 

Here's another recently-added recording from the archives of David Levi Strauss that very nicely complements the newly-segmented Louis Zukofsky reading that we highlighted in last Friday's PennSound Daily.

Recorded on April 22, 1988 at SPD, "Syntax as Music," is a nearly two-hour-long presentation on Zukofsky's life and work featuring Levi Strauss, Ronald Johnson and Michael Palmer, who read from the poet's collected writings, share their own appraisals of his work — in the process providing a broad contextualization of contemporary critical responses to it as well — before engaging their audience in a Q&A session. This fascinating document now joins the other recordings of critical symposia and discussions of Zukofsky's work catalogued in Friday's entry.

"Syntax as Music": Johnson, Levi Strauss and Palmer on Zukofsky

Now back to Coursera's massive open online Science Fiction and Fantasy course, and getting acquainted with at least some of my many classmates from around the world, ages 17 to 70. Come September, it's modern poetry with (speaking of Penn Sound) Al Filreis. Intrigued? I'll blog more about it all separately. Fwiw ~ not too late to join either class. More than a few writers in the SF class too.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fixed & Free #NMpoetry reminder ~ Thurs July26

…featuring Debbi Brody & Rachelle Woods. Host Billy Brown writes, 

Dear Poets and Poetry Lovers, I am pleased to remind you of the July 2012 Fixed and Free poetry reading featuring a wonderful pair of Santa Fe poets Debbi Brody and Rachelle Woods. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 6:45-9:00 pm at The Source, 1111 Carlisle SE, Albuquerque (SW corner of Carlisle & Anderson) in The Garden Room. Hosted (as ever) by Billy Brown (401-8139). Although always free, donations are gratefully accepted for pastries, to help cover the $20 charge for the venue and pay the featured poets. The rules are simple: 5 minute limit on the open "mike." Food/drink: There will be pastries for sale – 50¢. Water is available in the Source's kitchen for tea.

[cover art] cover of Central Avenue  A PERSONAL COMMENT: I've looked through all the issues of Central Avenue (2002-7) and was astounded at how many poems I found by our two July featured poets – about 75! With 60 issues during those 5 years, that's an average of 1.25 poems per issue from this powerful pair of Santa Fe poets. I am reminded that Central Avenue, my poetic home for those 5 years, was such an inspiring monthly publication/event, thanks to the brilliant work of the two founding editors Dale Harris and Cathryn McCracken, as well as the prodigious production work of Robert Arthur Reeves. I am deeply grateful to these three for all they did in support of New Mexico poetry.

Shakespeare’s Satirical Sonnet 130, As Read By Stephen Fry

 “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” begins Sonnet 130 by William Shakespeare. But why read the rest when you can see and hear it, in the video from Stephen Fry?

Open Culture via UTNE Altwire – Shakespeare’s Satirical Sonnet 130, As Read By Stephen Fry

Saturday, July 21, 2012

You've got to sell your heart

Advice for good now as it was in 1938...

Late-1938, eager to gain some feedback on her work, aspiring young author and Radcliffe sophomore Frances Turnbull sent a copy of her latest story to celebrated novelist and friend of the family, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Before long the feedback arrived, in the form of the somewhat harsh but admirably honest reply seen below.

(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters; Image: F. Scott Fitzgerald, via.)
November 9, 1938

Dear Frances:

I've read the story carefully and, Frances, I'm afraid the price for doing professional work is a good deal higher than you are prepared to pay at present. 
Read the rest of the letter and Fitzgerald's advice: You've got to sell your heart

Thursday, July 19, 2012

SPAM Poetry

…cleaning out drafts folder leftovers…still trying to wrap my mind around knitting spam into visual poetry…notquite Tomato Surprise but related

Here's one option for all the SPAM clogging up our inbox.

SPAMpoetry is a series of knitted works containing visual poetry created from SPAM. It is a collaboration between Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet Sola who are "interested in bringing together digital culture and traditional handicraft." It was undertaken as an artist-in-residency project at MU in Eindhoven.

First they put the word out that they needed people's SPAM, then they converted it into a pattern and uploaded into a tweaked knitting machine.

The process illuminates the stark contrast between the rapid pace of the digital world and the slow, careful knitting process. More photos here and a video.

More at SPAM Poetry, from the Book Patrol

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Upcoming & Other Important Stuff

…like jobs, readings, dimes & other good timesvia Merimee Moffitt & the ubiquitous Facebook feed in my mailbox


KUNM is looking for an On-line Auction Coordinator! This is a great opportunity for an organized, self-motivated guy or gal with online auction experience to earn money while doing a job that helps our local public radio station!
DO YOU DO DIME STORIES? So what is a DimeStory? Watch the video. Plus, more info below. Online too (of course)

Call for Submissions: Quiet Machine/Wild Mouth

Reblogged in its entirety from Local Poets Guild (so go on over there, check out the other treasures of LPG, leave a comment). The conference (and call for submissions) poses the question, 

"What truths can be found at the threshold where nature is becoming technology and technology is reshaping nature?"
 Lisa Gill continues, 

Send one-page poems with your take on the theme of “Quiet Machine/ Wild Mouth” to (subject line Machine Wilderness) by Oct 1, 2012 and we’ll consider them for our “Public Reading Project.” International submissions are welcome with English translations. This rather unique publication opportunity is sponsored by Local Poets Guild, in conjunction with 516 ARTS and the 18th Annual International Symposium of Electronic Art, which is being held in Albuquerque this year.

What do you get if selected?
  1. Selected poems will be exhibited as projections  in a silent open mic.
  2. A few poets from the region will be invited to perform as part of the  spoken interludes.
  3. Possible publication.
Lisa Gill, author of five collections of poetry with two more forthcoming, designed this project after thoroughly enjoying a “silent open mic”  at a Seattle Poetry Festival in the 90′s.  There, throughout the festival, a dark and silent room was available to sit down and take respite from the noise while still enjoying poetry–visually–as projections. For this variation on a theme, Lisa  invited  Sari Krosinsky (author of “god-chaser” and editor of Fickle Muses –an online journal of mythic fiction and poetry) to help curate the selection process for projections and quietly host the event, which will also include spoken interludes and projected visual/text works by Andreas Maria Jacobs of the Netherlands. Andreas won the e-poetry residency which Local Poets Guild offered for ISEA 2012.]
on November 10th, at 516 ARTS from 3-5pm, poems will be projected in silence for audience members to read and contemplate.  A few poets from the region will be invited to perform their poems during brief spoken interludes. The night will also include comments and a reading by co-curator Sari Krosinsky and projections of work by Andreas Maria Jacobs of the Netherlands.  Some authors will also have the opportunity to be published online at Fickle Muses: An Online Journal of Myth and Legend, which Sari edits, and other blogs and publications to be announced.
ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness is  a symposium and series of events exploring the discourse of global proportions on the subject of art, technology and nature. The ISEA symposium is held every year in a different location around the world. Albuquerque is the first host city in the U.S. in six years.

516 Arts forges connections between art and audiences, and their vision is to be an active partner in developing the cultural landscape of Albuquerque and New Mexico. Their values are inquiry, diversity, collaboration and accessibility. 516 ARTS offers programs that inspire curiosity, dialogue, risk-taking and creative experimentation, showcasing a mix of established, emerging, local, national and international artists from a variety of cultural backgrounds. And they never forget literature…

Call for Submissions: Quiet Machine/Wild Mouth... and submit or not, doesn't the proposal sound absolutely fascinating? It also reminds me that I may still have posts on the unusual poetry manifestations (called, I think, something else) still left in drafts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New book on the history of modern American poetry

Thumbnail review and interview by Serena Golden at Inside HigherEd, July 16 201 2

Poetry, John Timberman Newcomb believes, has lost status in recent years. In the introduction to his new book, How Did Poetry Survive? The Making of Modern American Verse (University of Illinois Press), Newcomb argues that American poetry has been "segregat[ed] ... from modern social experience" -- with the result that poetry is hardly even considered "literature" anymore.

This isn't the first time that American poetry's star has waned. In How Did Poetry Survive?, Newcomb traces the genre's changing fortunes at the turn of the 20th century, arguing that poets' engagement with modern topics and "ordinary life" played a key role in their works' return to widely acknowledged cultural relevance.

Newcomb, associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believes that this history merits study not only for the value of the works that have been largely forgotten, but also for the light it sheds on poetry's current struggles -- and its uncertain future.

Now read the interview and comments at New book on the history of modern American poetry | Inside Higher Ed

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The StAnza Digital Slam

Can't wait for August and 2012 National Poetry Slam? Looking for slam novelty? Tried internet poetry performance? Here's something not entirely unfamiliar considering the effective use most slammer make of video. Try a digital slam at "StAnza," a blog described as "news and chat from Scotland's International Poetry Festival.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys, girls, poets and spoken word artists, welcome one and all to the StAnza Digital Slam 2012!
The StAnza judges have worn out their headphones and risked clinical screen-burn to whittle down the wonderful entries to a shortlist of the crème de la crème of internet poetry performances.

The diversity and quality of the entries was staggering. Poems of all shapes and sizes were recorded in bike sheds, forests, graveyards, underneath towers, in front of live audiences, and in recording studios. Poets ranging from their teens to their sixties, award-winning to unpublished, and in a variety of languages, sent in entries from as far away as Denmark and the USA, and as close to home as St Andrews itself.

Entries have been scored by a panel of judges for Content and Performance to produce the shortlist you can see in alphabetical order [at the link] below – but the overall winner will be decided by you!

Watch the videos and then Roll up and vote in the StAnza Digital Slam at the StAnza Blog. More about StAnza: Scotland’s International Poetry Festival. 

StAnza website: www.stanzapoetry.orgemail contact:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Literary Review Newsletter, UK

Reviewing the Review. Tomorrow is Jubilee here in Mountainair, with updates and announcements to post before crashing because, drenched yesterday, today I am creaky and congested (must have rusted in the night). That means today's poetry lit writing blogging is going for worthy but (to appropriate an overused marketing term) low hanging fruit. Time and attention span permitting, I'll check events to post reminders on Facebook. 

Not displaying correctly? View here

An exclusive look at the contents of the July issue of Literary Review. Visit online to see a sample of the magazine online. Follow @lit_review on Twitter.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Poetry, Prose, & Art on the Streets as Modern Broadsides

NOW Broadsiding July, on the streets (and elsewhere IRL) as well as virtually. Broadsiding poets with poetry may not make much sense ~ too coals to Newcastle ~ unless you take it as an invitation to broadside (not unlike what is called "poetry bombing" in the UK). Some months I forget altogether; others, I broadside P&W Picnic's Facebook page by using the Broadside as a cover picture. This month I have something else in mind. Most often I prefer posting elsewhere, reaching those less likely to be habitual and repeat poetry reader. Always virtual ~ blogs, Facebook profile and other pages, RT's, thumbnail + link on signature lines ... considering how to broadside comments and stay on topic. Selecting a poem that is also an appropriate response would be interested; pairing with apropos artwork, a challenge.


Writing by George David Clark
Art by Meghan Keane
Broadsided July 1, 2012

Download the Broadsided file
to print & post (584kb PDF)

Broadsided: Poetry, Prose, & Art on the Streets as Modern Broadsides

Broadsided also broadsides itself virtually on Twitter and the Broadsided Facebook page. You also are always welcome to select past items from the gallery to re-broadside. 
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