Saturday, August 30, 2008

Book of contemporary sonnets

This book looks great (see contributor list). Image and blurb are from Reality Street Editions website. There's a link on the site to the editor's introduction.


Contributors: Robert Adamson, Jeremy Adler, Tim Atkins, Ted Berrigan, Jen Bervin, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Christian Bök, Sean Bonney, Ebbe Borregaard, Jonathan Brannen, Pam Brown, Laynie Browne, Thomas A Clark, Adrian Clarke, John Clarke, Bob Cobbing, Clark Coolidge, Kelvin Corcoran, Beverly Dahlen, Ian Davidson, Edwin Denby, Laurie Duggan, Paul Dutton, Ken Edwards, Michael Farrell, Allen Fisher, Kathleen Fraser, William Fuller, John Gibbens, Harry Gilonis, Giles Goodland, Bill Griffiths, Alan Halsey, Robert Hampson, Jeff Hilson, Anselm Hollo, Lyn Hejinian, Piers Hugill, Peter Jaeger, Elizabeth James, Lisa Jarnot, Keith Jebb, Justin Katko, John Kinsella, Philip Kuhn, Michelle Leggott, Tony Lopez, Chris McCabe, Steve McCaffery, Jackson Mac Low, Richard Makin, Peter Manson, Brian Marley, Bernadette Mayer, Jay Millar, David Miller, Peter Minter, Geraldine Monk, Harryette Mullen, Philip Nikolayev, Alice Notley, Abigail Oborne, Ron Padgett, Bern Porter, Frances Presley, John A Scott, Tom Raworth, Peter Riley, Sophie Robinson, Stephen Rodefer, Maurice Scully, Gavin Selerie, Robert Sheppard, Aaron Shurin, Eléni Sikélianòs, Simon Smith, Mary Ellen Solt, Juliana Spahr, Lawrence Upton, Carol Watts, Ian Wedde, John Welch, Johan de Wit, Geoffrey Young.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Elegy by Mary Jo Bangs

Mary Jo Bangs' recent book Elegy is one of my new favourites. Here's a link to a video of the poet reading from it, from a nifty website with links to many such videos: Rabbit Light Movies: a bi-annual journal of poemfilms

As well, here's a review of the book, which can be found on the Graywolf Press website:

“The loss of a child—especially an only child who is in the prime of life—is one of the most painful experiences anyone can have and one, common sense tells us, almost impossible to render in an age of sensory overload. But Mary Jo Bangs' Elegy is the grand exception. In its insistence on “the inexhaustible / Need to be accurate,” Elegy is wholly absorbing. Avoiding all self-pity, false comfort, sentimentality or finger pointing, Bang’s terse, oblique poems anatomize grief, guilt, and mourning in pitiless detail. Do things ‘improve’ by the end of the year whose progress this heartbreaking book charts? Not really, but the reader is transformed. I know of no contemporary elegy that has its power.” —Marjorie Perloff

Friday, August 8, 2008

two new books

I've just received two books on poetics, which I hope to read this month:

Michael Palmer, Active Boundaries: Selected Essays and Talks (New Directions, 2008)

Rae Armantrout, Collected Prose (Singing Horse Press, 2007)

Armantrout has an essay on Emily Dickinson's and her own poetics entitled "Cheshire Poetics"--perfect title!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More on Spicer's poetics

Here is the first para from an essay on Jack Spicer's poetics. (cf Crackt blog of July 24/08).

Full essay can be found at the blog Harriet at the Poetry Foundation, July 24/08:


Reginald Shepherd

Taking Dictation from a Martian Muse

Jack Spicer’s notion of poetry as dictation is hardly original (and originality is a notion Spicer would quarrel with in any case), but Spicer acknowledges its sources and rings his own changes on them: Yeats’ spooks bringing him metaphors for his poetry, or Cocteau’s Orphée writing down poems broadcast on the ghost radio. That the idea of dictation can itself be read as dictated makes perfect sense. Part of the point of Spicer’s poetics is that everything comes from the outside; there’s no romantic interiority generating poems in the sensitive soul. This is a useful corrective to the fetishization of personal creativity, proposing instead what Robin Blaser calls the practice of outside. As Spicer writes of his posthumous collaboration with Garcia Lorca, “It was a game made out of summer and freedom and a need for a poetry that would be more than the expression of my hatreds and desires. It was a game like Yeats’ spooks or Blake’s sexless seraphim” (After Lorca).

. . . cont.