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Rob Crawford
Brooklyn, NY
Editor and Writer
Recent Activity
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In this third and final installment of poets/reading series interviews, I speak with Douglas Piccinnini (photo, right, by Stephanie Thompson), founder of the CROWD reading series. Topics include starting a reading series to bring poets to you, Douglas's secret past life as a jock, and how readings are different than rock concerts. A secret life as a writer and musician RC: So you're the founder of CROWD reading series. What made you decide to start the series, and did you have a certain goal in mind? "Maybe just a selfish way to bring people out to Bushwick" DP: At the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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"I write every day, on a good day, for more than ten hours. I have always had low-impact, get-by jobs and relish unemployment and am comfortable in poverty. I remember near the end of the sky position I had crazy twitches and cramps in my hand, and then I knew I was finally getting somewhere as a writer." —Tom Blood Pre-trimmed cover of The Raccoon, which functions as both a table of contents and as a poem Tom Blood reading last week in Portland, backed by heckling and haunting strings Tom Blood is an eccentric poet who lives in Portland... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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In the second installment of our poets/reading series interviews is Chris Hosea. He and Cecily Iddings are married poets who publish the poetry newsletter The Blue Letter, which has recently been expanded into a reading series as well. We discuss the early impact of e.e. cummings' capitalization as well as an eccentric performance reading at Ugly Duckling. ("So I was removing all these different articles of clothing that were brands, I was naming those.") "This doesn't rhyme, it doesn't have capitalization, what's going on here?" RC: So Chris tell us about The Blue Letter and how you came to expand... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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On a busy, damp evening this week I interviewed by phone or in person three prominent younger New York poets who also run poetry reading series—Steven Karl, Douglas Piccinnini, and Chris Hosea. Enjoy the interviews, and it's been a pleasure blogging with you all this week. Steven Karl co-leads the Stain of Poetry reading series and is the author of the three chapbooks . Among other things, in this interview you will learn of his change of heart for Emily Dickinson, as well as elusive mysteries about grapefruit. "There's really no money in poetry." RC: How do you see the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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When that I was and a little tiny boy, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, A foolish thing was but a toy, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came to man’s estate, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, ‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut the gate, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came, alas! to wive, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, By swaggering could I never thrive, For the rain it raineth every day. But when I came unto my beds, With hey, ho, the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
Thanks for your comment. There is certainly some controversy surrounding the recording, and your link looks like a helpful resource on this. I should note for readers though that the Walt Whitman Archive features the recording: http://whitmanarchive.org/multimedia/index.html
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What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than with Walt Whitman reading from his poem "America." (First four lines are preserved; click through for poem text.) He reads so slowly! And afterwards, he gets naked. America Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old, Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love, A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother, Chair'd in the adamant of Time. This recording—a cassette of a 1951 radio broadcast of an 1889 or 1890 vertically cut Edison wax-cylinder—was found in the apartment... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Here we'll look at two important books of poetry that share the unlikely status of being unavailable from an American publisher. Firstly, Douglas Crase's The Revisionist is a truly exceptional collection of poems. When published by Little, Brown in 1981, the book received astounding acclaim—quotes on the back cover are from James Merrill, John Hollander, and John Ashbery. More than this even, Crase was named a MacArthur Fellow in recognition of his achievement. The book interfuses many elements, including a pastoral attunement to the natural world, a unique coloring that recalls a sense of early America, powerful apocalyptic tones, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Excellent readings at KGB tonight by Matthew Zapruder and Eileen Myles. An especially full house listened to their work with close attention—prompting Zapruder to note in appreciation between poems, "I really like how quiet it is in here. A lot." Myles engaged the audience just as fully and during a few pieces had to combat the added challenge of a recurring siren on East 4th—a true New York reading. Zapruder read primarily from his new book Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon), with highlights including "Aglow" and "Never to Return." His work features a strong lyricism that is willing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Friday afternoon I dropped by McNally Jackson to find Anatomy of Influence on the shelf at last, a book I’ve been looking forward to for over a year. As Bloom’s student and friend, I’ve often wondered at the shift from his early gnomic studies of poetic influence through to large popular bestsellers like Shakespeare and The Western Canon. Recently turned eighty, he says this latest will be his final major critical study. As a synthesis of two sides of his work, a focused return to his most characteristic subject, and in many ways his ultimate critical statement, Anatomy of Influence... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Hi everyone -- below are some event highlights for the week. Monday KGB Bar – Matthew Zapruder and Eileen Myles Poetry Project – Rachel B. Glaser & Amy Lawless Tuesday New York Public Library – The Little Magazine Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow POD (Brooklyn) – Douglas Piccinnini and Zach Barocas Wednesday Poetry Project – Elaine Equi and Ron Padgett Thursday Metro Rhythm (Williamsburg) – Lasky, Guez, Schoonebeek, Brandt & Helms Friday Supermachine (Brooklyn) – Paige Taggart, Justin Marks, Jeannie Joag, Andrew James Weatherhead Saturday Yardmeter (TBA) Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2011 at The Best American Poetry
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Apr 10, 2011