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Jason Schneiderman
Jason Schneiderman is a poet living in Brooklyn. You can find him at Schneiderblog
Recent Activity
In yesterday’s blog, I was talking about Poetry Citizenship—an idea I should probably do more to articulate—and one of the things that kept lurking at the edges of both the post and the conversation about the post was the question of how much is too much? If a journal can’t get a readership or funding or sponsorship, does that mean that it should just quietly die—wave to us on the shore as it drowns? I’m sure that the success rate for journals is roughly that of small businesses—which is to say, extremely low—and that’s why a journal that makes it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
A minor blogosphere dust-up over reading fees has made me think a lot about the economy of money and attention—particularly as it relates to poetry. The blog battle went something like this—The New England Review had announced that it would be charging $2 to read submissions that were sent via the internet. The NER has been struggling financially, and I daresay institutionally. I responded to a call to write letters in the summer of 2009 asking the administration of Middlebury College not to withdraw their funding, and Middlebury College did not close the doors… but it did demand that The... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
It's official! Striking Surface is out!! Thank you to Ashland Poetry Press for publishing it! Thank you to Sarah Wells & Stephen Haven for being amazing editors and managers. Thank you to Elton Glaser for picking it! Thank you to Linda Gregerson & David Trinidad for blurbing it! Thank you to Claudia Carlson for the gorgeous cover design! Thank you to Dannielle Tegeder for the gorgeous image! Thank you Ada Limon & Jennifer Knox for sustaining me through this! Thank you Michael Broder for believing in me! Thank you Richard Siken & Tom Sleigh & Wayne Koestenbaum for reading it!... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
The morning that August Wilson died, I was teaching Joe Turner’s Come and Gone to undergraduates. None of my students had heard about Wilson’s death, and when I mentioned it to them, I did sadly. But my sadness was the not the sadness that comes when someone you loved dies. Had I seen August Wilson at a party, I doubt I would even have recognized him. My sadness was that his death meant there would be no more work by August Wilson. With his death, his corpus had closed. As I said to my students, he will never again get... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
Welcome back from the weekend! In honor of John Giorno, I'm starting the week with my sound poetry experiments. His signature recording style was his work being read by a male voice, followed by the same poems being read by a high pitched female voice at about a two second delay. I'd never really been interested in sound poetry until I heard his "Give it to Me Baby" on the album "10+2:12 American Text Sound Pieces". And after reading it, I kind of wanted to do it. I had a hard time opening these in the preview, but if you... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
OK, a few final thoughts to wrap up my week of blogging. Thank you everyone for reading these posts! I’ll see you back up on BAPBlog in the Fall when my book Striking Surface (winner of the Richard Snyder Prize from Ashland Poetry Press) comes out. So, loose ends: 1) About taking care of each other Two organizations have been called to my attention (thanks to Elizabeth Macklin & Patricia Spears Jones) that do work to help poets take care of each other. The first is Poets in Need & the second is PEN's Emergency Writers' Fund So please donate... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
My friend Linda Neiberg was a close friend of Rachel Wetzsteon, and I asked her to write something about Rachel. Linda is a Renaissance scholar and a Renaissance woman, someone I admire greatly. Thank you Linda! It's a wonderful piece. Remembering Rachel Wetzsteon In the week-and-a-half since my friend Rachel Wetzsteon was discovered dead in her apartment, my feelings have been many and varied. There is, of course, the surreal and deep sense of loss. I have many memories of her, one of which is the keen interest she took in the lives of people around her. She had such... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
A few years ago, I was working at an arts center for an afternoon. I’d been infuriated by a slew of editorials coming out against special high schools for Queer youth. One had been by a young man who had come out while in a regular high school and toughed it out (so everyone can right?), and the rest of the editorials and letters had followed suit, insisting that young LGBTI folk just gotta learn to face the “real world.” What wasn’t being said in any of these editorials was that these kids are often in very real danger in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
A few years ago, I was talking to a poet a few years older than me who was telling me about a conversation she’d had with a poet a full generation older than us. After her highly acclaimed first book, he asked her what she was working on, and she explained the project she was developing for her next book. As she reported it to me, he said, “Oh yeah, that’s what you young poets do, right? You write projects.” In part, I get what Mr. Older Poet was saying—that people who are facing down tenure committees and grant proposals... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
I owe a debt to Cher. It’s quite possible that every gay man owes a debt to Cher, but I’ll only speak of mine, since it’s the one I know best. In 1999, I was in a bad place. I’d just broken up with Aleksei the Evil Surgeon, or rather I stopped seeing him after it turned out that Sergei the Championship Skier was actually his boyfriend. Which made me not his boyfriend. Of course there’d been signs. I was ready to break up with him when it turned out that Leeza the Violin Player was in fact his girlfriend,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
When I was 16, I read “13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?”—mostly because it promised to be about me, and since there was no sociology class in my high school, I thought I should give it a go. Yes, I thought like that in high school. That’s how I ended up this way. Also because I didn’t pick up Durkheim, I picked up pop sociology. I worked in a library. I had first pick of what came in. The book was cool because they had posted the book online (before the web!) and had comments from Gen X-ers in the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
I was at a reading a few months ago, where a friend was reading from his new memoir. I’ve known him for a number of years as a poet. He’s been subject to a Lucy Grealy-like sequence of surgeries for neurological trauma, though unlike Lucy’s, his surgeries have never interfered with his stunning good looks (though it has impaired his vision—he doesn’t get to enjoy those good looks himself). The memoir is about how he was a golden boy living a charmed life until his first stroke. His poems are mostly about his experiences with cancer. The narrative arc is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2010 at The Best American Poetry
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Jan 1, 2010