Monthly Archives for January 2016

WHERE IS OUR BLACK AVANT GARDE? ON CREATING A NEW CANON, AND RESPONDING TO OLD DENIALS by Zinzi Clemmons at Lit Hub

“Appropriation and hybridization are two of the hallmarks of Black art forms (think of sampling in hip-hop) which is also true of experimental art. How come Black art isn’t seen as synonymous with experimentation? And how come the opposite is so often true? Why are Black artists, along with other racial minorities, usually excluded from the so-called avant garde?”

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ANNE BOYER ON “GARMENTS AGAINST WOMEN” in REAL PANTS

“Anne Boyer’s Garments Against Women (Ahsahta Press, 2015) is filled with prose as lyrical as it is engaged. And it topped SPD’s bestseller list for three separate months accordingly. In this week’s Revisionings, Boyer reveals a deleted passage from the book and considers the task of revising a manuscript of uncertain genre.”

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Spotlight: Morgan Parker in Coldfront Magazine

“Morgan Parker has made a strong, swift, and warranted entrance into the New York City poetry scene with her first book, Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night(Switchback Books 2015). She shows no signs of slowing, albeit plenty of aggravation and fatigue with our culture’s weak points.”

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Second installment of Nick Sturm’s piece about the art writing of Ted Berrigan in Fanzine

“The combination of a hectic, disorienting surface paired with a colloquial vision of representational depth was one of Berrigan’s own poetic modes.”

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Stuck behind bars, a writer found a way to connect to the world

“Reginald Dwayne Betts grew up an honor student with hopes for college, but went to prison at 16 for carjacking, his first run-in with the law. Reading, and poetry in particular, became a comfort and gave him a new identity. The writer, who is now a law student and a prison reform advocate, sits down with Jeffrey Brown to discuss his work and his journey.”

 

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NEW FROM ACTION BOOKS: Kim Yideum’S FEMME fATALE, cHEER UP

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“In Kim Yideum‘s elegant and grotesque poetry, objective cool, violence and despairing megalomania all rage with the crystal-clear bitterness of vulnerability. When you read her beautiful, terrifying poems, you will go to pieces.”

– Aase Berg

 

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Rickey Laurentiis on the Late Night Library Podcast

This week we feature Rickey Laurentiis’s Cave Canem Poetry Prize-winning debut, Boy with Thorn, published by University of Pittsburgh Press. Judge Terrance Hayes says, “Rickey Laurentiis fills history with his ‘crucial blood,’ his ‘stubbornness,’ his ‘American tongue’; and history, in return, fills him with crucial muses (from Auden to Hayden), stubborn ghosts (such as Emmett Till), and manifold expressions of culture (southern, sexual, spiritual). The result is an extraordinary, and ultimately, irreducible debut. To paraphrase something Einstein once said, the true magic of this book can only be found inside this book.

Act 1: Host Amber Keller covers entertaining book culture news and cool new debuts

Act 2: Terrance Hayes and Rachel Eliza Griffiths discuss Rickey Laurentiis’s debut

Act 3: Terrance Hayes speaks with Rickey Laurentiis about Wallace Stevens, questioning the old masters, and the hardest line to write

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Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of Blackacre, which is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2016, Ignatz, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Barter. She teaches at Princeton and in the Warren Wilson and Sarah Lawrence MFA programs. A former lawyer, she lives in New York.

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INTERVIEW: POET CHRISTOPHER SOTO at Queen Mobs Teahouse

“RQ: Your poems resound with pain but the experiences you describe moved me to what you call “contentedness & meaning.” The last stanza of this collection is overwhelming and beautiful:

But all I own are these little lips.
They kiss, then close [like the lid on
A casket]. Please, let me die alone.

What makes you content and what do you find meaningful?

Loma: Thanks, I was debating for a while about cutting the last poem altogether. I feel like it’s a necessary closing though. It’s an exit poem, a conclusion. It was me afraid and feeling unprepared to love other individuals because of my trauma. I was pushing others away, after sharing a moment (a chapbook) of intimacy with them…”

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Roger Reeves & “The Work of Art in the Age of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston”

Poet Roger Reeves delivers a craft talk called “The Work of Art in the Age of Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston” at Poets & Writers Live Chicago.

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Valerie Mejer & Daniel Borzutzky

Painter and poet Valerie Mejer was born in Mexico City. Her poems explore containment and fragility, layering loss and possibility over a once-familiar landscape. She is the author of the poetry collections Rain of the Future (2013), translated by C.D. Wright, Forrest Gander, and Alexandra Zelman; de la ola, el atajo (2009); Geografías de Niebla (2008); Esta Novela Azul (2004), which was translated by Michelle Gil-Montero as This Blue Novel (2013); and Ante el Ojo de Cíclope (1999). Her book De Elefante a Elefante (1997) won the Spanish Government’s “Gerardo Diego 1966” International Award. Her etchings appear in Raúl Zurita’s Los Boteros de la Noche (2010), and her paintings appear in Forrest Gander’s Ligaduras/Ligatures (2012) and in Antonio Prete’s Menhir (2007) and L’imperfection de la Lune (2007). Mejer is also the recipient of two CONACULTA grants as well as a grant from Sistema Estatal de Creadores for her translations of Australian poet Les Murray’s work.

Daniel Borzutzky’s books and chapbooks include, among others, The Performance of Becoming Human (2016); Memories of my Overdevelopment (2015); In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (2015), Bedtime Stories For The End of the World! (2015), Data Bodies (2013), The Book of Interfering Bodies (2011), and The Ecstasy of Capitulation (2007). He has translated Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks (2015) and Song for his Disappeared Love (2010), and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (2008).  His work has been supported by the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pen/Heim Translation Fund. He lives in Chicago.

This work by Valerie Mejer and Daniel Borzutzky was written in concert for and performed bilingually at MAKE MAGAZINE’s Lit and Luz Festival in Chicago (October, 2014) and Mexico City (February, 2015).  Lit and Luz is an ongoing collaboration between writers from Chicago and writers from Mexico.  We thank Sarah Dodson of MAKE Literary Productions for supporting this work.

VIDEOS EDITED by Oriana Camarena Mejer and Paul Cunningham

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