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Cara Benson
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This will be thoroughly negligent and absolutely incomplete. Some of these are new; some are from my ever-growing wish I could get to every book I like in a sort of Faustian manner list. In no particular order, rhyme, reason, or otherwise here are just ten: Cleopatra: A Life- Stacy Schiff The Matter of Capital: Poetry and Crisis in the American Century - Chris Nealon Poeta en San Francisco - Barbara Jane Reyes Herso: An Heirship in Waves - Susana Gardner The Black Automaton - Douglas Kearney Stealth- Samuel Ace and Maureen Seaton Event Factory- Renee Gladman The Cows -... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Kristin Prevallet is the author of four books of poetry, including I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship and a PEN translation fund award. She teaches Trance Poetics (an ongoing writing and somatic process workshop) and combines integrative methods of hypnosis, energy psychology, and life coaching in her work with clients at her office in Manhattan. Recent poetry and essays are forthcoming in Fourth Genre, Spoon River Review, and the anthology “I' ll Drown My Book”: Conceptual Writing by Women. Go to for more information on the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
A bit of talk on verbosity here this week, from a comment on Derrida, who seemingly always took ten words to do the work of one, to an article containing advice on legalese and brevity. With that in mind, I decided to see just what I might do about the length of a few texts around. This will be my shortest post to date. Isn’t Coming question of accent? foreigner. Of with, program, the were question question. of also in person of from situation, ourselves way in (xenos) think by the our shakes being though of the of length. basically... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Me, too, admiration for teachers. It's a tightrope walk some days. Okay, most. I remember once, literally, I got a rejection letter one year and two months to the date of submission. As a sometime editor myself now, I get it!
While conversation often takes a certain turn in various social interactions outside of literary gatherings when the word "poet" rings out in response to the sooner-or-later query "what do you do?" (which usually stands in for what do you do for a living, which isn't actually what I do for a living, poet, but it is my vocation, unless you count teaching which isn't, as we know, the actual writing - I digress...), soon as it comes out that I teach poetry in prison even the ice clinking in glasses comes to the proverbial stop. So I started collecting bits... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Akilah Oliver at Millay Colony for the Arts "Grief is a complicated emotion but also an inadequate word in many ways." --Akilah Oliver I stumble over tense. Akilah knew that face. There is one face on every face when grief strikes. From A Toast in the House of Friends: go often now when i imagine life i think of what should be finite, the guise of limitability, the desire for stop are there greeters there [are you one] when we former ghosts arrive is this sea deceptive, as if alive or an actor, the world masked in my own way... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Sam, I love the distinction you make between "cu" and "whole"! My worries are moving targets. And then there's O'Hara "But how can you really care if anybody gets it, or gets what it means, or if it improves them. Improves them for what? For death? Why hurry them along? Too many poets act like a middle-aged mother trying to get her kids to eat too much cooked meat, and potatoes with drippings (tears)."
Two recent essays/tracts of mine include embedded poems of protest. Poems that urge action beyond the reception of the poem. These pieces consider the role of the poem in politics and politics in the poem. I’ll excerpt briefly from both here: from "nobodyislisteninginginginginginginging" [forthcoming in a massive section Jonathan Skinner edited for Interim Magazine in which he asked that we poets read poems as pieces of advocacy to our politicians about the corruption and disaster of big oil] “Of course this is the crux of [Jonathan’s] call – of the concern (of some of us) for the human(ities). Grappling with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Well there goes my all Derrida all week plans....
He did seem to get off on the wrong foot with folks a fair amount...
I’ve been thinking about blogging and being a guest and l’étranger and Derrida “On Hospitality” and Adorno “On Lyric Poetry and Society” and thinking about this space (language) as a threshold. An entry point. A door which gives up passage to something. This post, or a poem, as Derrida’s “private sociality.” (I am not asking what you are wearing.) Or personal and public. How the social is rendered in my internal now external or, depending on how fast I type, simultaneously now both. Words. Uploading and spellchecking and revision, notwithstanding. Which is bunk. I clean for company. (Up into the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Jun 8, 2011