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Megin Jimenez
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DL, apologies for this late reply, but I wanted to say thank you for your thoughtful comment. It was wonderful to hear a positive response after launching these missives into the vast internet space and not being sure who is reading. I was thinking of Sontag's "Notes on Camp" when I titled this, as I felt a similar attitude (she describes herself as being both attracted to and repelled by "camp", which was part of her need to write about it).
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1. "Perhaps the most interesting characteristic of the time now labeled The Sixties was that there was so little nostalgia. In that sense, it was indeed a utopian moment." Vivre sa vie That's a thought from Susan Sontag, in an essay from 1996, in which reflects on Against Interpretation, 30 years after its publication. (The whole piece is available here.) She later notes with irony that the spirit of dissent of the early 60s has been quashed, even as it has become "an intense object of nostalgia." 2. I used to think of nostalgia as a pleasant bittersweetness, a safe... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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While my first-person singular takes a breather, unaccustomed as it is to public blogging (like a frog), I'll use this opportunity to share some of my prized catches from the ocean of the Internet. HOT LINKS Interviews with creative people * This interview with one of my favorite weirdo poets, Russell Edson, contains his own thrilling account of his poetics. (His answers make a lot more sense than the questions, you probably don't have to read the questions if they become too impenetrable...) * Poetry people will no doubt have come across this profile of another of my favorite weirdo... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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In yesterday's post, I suggested that women have emerged as the big fiction readers of our time because they are less bound to masculine or feminine identity. I was thinking this through based on my own experience of reading fiction as a young person, free of the constant gender radar that has to classify books "for girls" or "for boys" (i.e., meant for me or not meant for me). The other side of the story, or another side of the story, is that the magical full surrender to the voice in the book wasn't the same when I began to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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I was startled into a new thought when, in college, I presented one of my teachers with a translation of Neruda's poem, "Ritual of My Legs." He was surprised by a line where the poet is staring at his legs "as if they had been the legs of a divine woman, / deeply sunk in the abyss of my thorax", or rather, surprised by the thought of me translating those words. He wondered what those lines would make me feel as a young woman. "What the Water Gave Me," Frida Kahlo I was startled because it created a sudden rift... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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I like it when someone doesn't like a movie (a novel, a painting, a poem). I like it so much more than anyone's bland acceptance, like the word "good," when presented with a manmade creation. A friend's passionate aversion to a work of art conjures my defense of it. Sometimes it changes my mind. It pushes me beyond sitting silently with only my unformed experience of the book (the play, the album). "Connoisseur" by Norman Rockwell Having a less-than-favorable opinion about a work of art does not mean you don't respect the artist, or that you can't recognize effort exerted... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2013 at The Best American Poetry
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Melissa Broder + Martine Bellen April 16, 2012 Reading starts at 7:30 Hosted by Megin Jimenez and Matthew Yeager Admission is FREE www.KgbBar.com 85 East 4th Street Melissa Broder is the author of two poetry collections, Meat Heart (Publishing Genius, 2012) andWhen You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother (Ampersand Books, 2010). Poems appear or are forthcoming in Guernica, Redivider, Court Green, The Missouri Review online, Barrelhouse, The Awl, and Drunken Boat. She edits La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series at Cakeshop in NYC. By day, she is a publicity manager at Penguin. Broder received her... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
UPDATED: John Deming + Christopher Salerno March 5, 2012 We regret to inform that Sampson Starkweather is unable to read tonight. Hosted by Megin Jimenez and Matthew Yeager Reading starts at 7:30pm Admission is FREE www.KgbBar.com 85 East 4th Street * New York, NY ***** John Deming's chapbook 8 Poems was published by Eye For an Iris Press, and his four-song Tugboat EP, which features members of P-Funk, was released in 2011 by BozFonk Music. Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, FENCE, Verse Daily, Tarpaulin Sky, POOL and elsewhere. He is Editor-in-Chief of Coldfront Magazine, lives in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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In one of her brilliant essays, poet and novelist Fanny Howe proposes the diary as the ultimate subversive genre: anarchic, directionless, unconcerned with narrative or context. (I believe it's in the collection The Wedding Dress, I will insert the quote when I'm near the book.) Not every diarist is writing for a reader other than herself, but there is something curious in that activity: manifesting thought through writing - what does that change inside the self? In her journals (published in 2008), Susan Sontag justified reading a lover's diary by saying one keeps a diary, in part, in to have... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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Not much time to blog tonight, but I will share some assorted tidbits while I have the chance. The Count, 2011 VIDA: Women in Literary Arts just issued The Count for 2011, a breakdown in hard numbers of "the rates of publication between women and men in many of our writing world’s most respected literary outlets." There is still a shocking amount of disparity. Check it out. I would also encourage you to poke around the site, there are some really thought-provoking pieces to be found there, including Eileen Myles' essay, called "Being Female", which she wote after seeing The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks, everyone! Stacey, you've now made me very curious as to what publication you were writing for ("a very different demographic"...hmmm...)! I felt I had more to say, too, I had to dash this off in about an hour between activities, but the thoughts have been in my mind for years. So satisfying to have it online, instantly, though! Thank you for the encouragement, I will think about taking time to make it a longer piece...
Thank you for taking the time to comment, Caroline and Amy, it's so nice to hear some responses! Caroline, it is the sweetest photo, it makes me wonder what they were talking about, strolling along the beach. The book of their correspondence is on my "to read" shelf. Amy, that's a lovely change to witness! Writing was always so private for me, but I'm realizing more & more that it's important to figure out ways to live it out in the world of other people, though it's hard.
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A few years ago, when I was working as a Freelance Everything (writer, editor, translator), I spent some time as a copy writer at Victoria's Secret, two days a week for about a year. It felt like Megin's Secret, because I was coming from the non-profit world, specifically international organizations working for women's health and rights, whose philosophical roots were grounded in questioning traditional gender roles. And then there I was, in the glossy offices of a gigantic corporation. My task: make the clothes and shoes in the famous catalog (its many many editions over the course of a year)... Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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At the reading last night, I heard several people talking about this big conference coming up. Perhaps it will be of interest to readers of the blog. It's called something like "AWB"? Yes, yes, the largest gathering of the residents of Poetryland (as Jordan Davis usefully referred to it last week) and other literary lands will be starting soon, and we will no doubt be hearing dispatches from writers in Chicago on this very site and across the web. I'm not going to AWP this year, and I haven't been to AWP. I am a little curious, as the common... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks, Larry and Bill! I will have to check out the one you recommend, Bill. It's an important little map to keep in your head, the one with the bookstores. I have this image of Manhattan in the 60s with record stores and book stores abounding. It didn't used to seem far-fetched, but it gets harder to imagine over time, as the city landscape changes. Would like to know what the bookstore map looked like in 1967...
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A few notes on poetry readings (gotta make it quick today): Reminder to NYC poetry people/poetry people in NYC that we are hosting Martha Rhodes and Lynn Emanuel at KGB Bar tonight, 7:30. Here is a taste of Lynn Emanuel: from Dream in Which I Meet Myself Dear Diary, here in New York City, the snow descends. The days go on forever. Hash made my mind from my fingertips stream out. My brain was tapped, under surveillance by the eyes of the traffic lights jewelling the foreheads of the avenues. Inside my red dress I was a sunset. I lingered... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
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First of all, many thanks to Stacey Harwood and David Lehman for this opportunity to share a few thoughts and for hosting this community. I enjoy reading the broad range of voices represented here and am happy to take part. (Recent guest posts that have stayed in my thoughts include Robert P. Baird's thoughts on how poetry "spends it all" and Amy Glynn Greacen's week of posts on Rome, language, chance, loss.) Today is Sunday, day of looking out the window, day of strolls, day of meditational cleaning, day of loafing, day of reading. Sunday is the day I often... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2012 at The Best American Poetry
SEASON FINALE Tonight! December 12 Hosted by Megin Jimenez and Matthew Yeager Reading starts at 7:30pm Admission is FREE www.KgbBar.com 85 East 4th Street Shelley Stenhouse won the Pavement Saw Press Award for her collection, PANTS; was a finalist for the 2009 National Poetry Series; received a New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellowship; an Allen Ginsberg Award; two Pushcart Prize nominations, and three residencies at Yaddo Art Colony. Her poem, “AIDS,” has been quoted in Poet’s Market. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in The Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Third Coast, Margie, and New York Quarterly... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Monday Night Poetry at KGB Bar is proud to host three of this year's National Book Award judges. Tonight! November 14 Hosted by Megin Jimenez and Matthew Yeager Reading starts at 7:30pm Admission is FREE www.KgbBar.com 85 East 4th Street Thomas Sayers Ellis received his M.F.A. from Brown University. He is the author of The Maverick Room (2005), which won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award. His poems and photographs have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Callaloo, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001 and 2010), Grand Street, The Baffler, Jubilat, Tin House, Poetry, and The Nation. He is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Tonight! November 7 Hosted by Megin Jimenez and Matthew Yeager Reading starts at 7:30pm Admission is FREE www.KgbBar.com 85 East 4th Street Star Black is a poet, photographer, and collage artist living and working in New York City. Her books of poems include, Velleity’s Shade, Double Time, Waterworn, October for Idas, Ghostwood, and Balefire. She has taught at The New School and Stony Brook University, and lectured at the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her collages in hand-made books were recently exhibited at the Center for Book Arts. Miranda Field was born and raised in London. Her first book, Swallow, won the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
KGB Monday Night Poetry is pleased to present... Tina Chang + Angie Estes Tonight! October 3 Hosted by Megin Jimenez and Matthew Yeager Reading starts at 7:30pm Admission is FREE www.KgbBar.com 85 East 4th Street Tina Chang was raised in New York City. Newly appointed Brooklyn Poet Laureate, she is the author of the poetry collection Half-Lit Houses (Four Way Books) and co-editor of the anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond (W.W. Norton, 2008, with Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar). Her work has also been anthologized in Identity Lessons, Poetry Nation,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
KGB Monday Night Poetry is pleased to present... Michael Dumanis + Mathias Svalina October 3 Hosted by Megin Jimenez and Matthew Yeager Reading starts at 7:30pm Admission is FREE www.KgbBar.com 85 East 4th Street Michael Dumanis was born in the former Soviet Union and lived there until 1981, when his parents were granted political asylum in the United States. Since then, he has lived in Boston, Buffalo, Rochester, Baltimore, Iowa City, New York, Bulgaria, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Nebraska, and Cleveland. He is the author of My Soviet Union, winner of the 2006 Juniper Prize for Poetry, and the co-editor, with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Monday Night Poetry will be back at KGB Bar starting September 26. We're quite proud & unabashedly excited to present our Fall 2011 line-up below. Mark your calendars, & we will see you soon! In solidarity, Megin Jimenez & Matthew Yeager Co-Curators **** September 26 Kathleen Ossip + Susan Wheeler October 3 Michael Dumanis + Mathias Svalina October 10 Tina Chang + Angie Estes October 17 Gabrielle Calvocoressi + Timothy Donnelly October 24 Bruce Covey + Emily Kendal Frey November 7 Star Black, Miranda Field + Mark Wunderlich November 14 Thomas Sayers Ellis, Amy Gerstler + Roberto Tejada November 21... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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March 28, 2011. A few personal highlights from an evening too packed for me to give a just chronicle: Matthew Yeager launches his reading with a long poem, "Sleep Mothers," which makes everyone spontaneously burst into applause after he's done. The poem is a kind of inverse lullaby, verses to all mothers, sleeping everywhere. His reading is an incantation, the title is apt, it's like a Catholic prayer, weaving the threads of the words "sleeping" and "mothers." (Matt tells us during the break that it came from the experience of walking around sober in the wee 2-4am hours, thinking about... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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March 14, 2011. Elizabeth Fodaski dips a toe and then takes a nervy leap into work with a personal edge. Nervy for her, I think, because her poems would not be classified as "lyric," but are rather the sort that test out words to see what they could possibly do beside each other. (As in much of her new book, Document: "A palimpsest of fruity horizons harangues the interloper"). She starts with an elegy to her father ("reader, I married him to my memory"), followed by poems from Document. She then reads a kind of minuet on the couple, with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2011 at The Best American Poetry