The Annual Boston Poetry Marathon 2018

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We’re pleased to announce that it’s Boston Poetry Marathon time again!

This year's event takes place at Outpost 186 in Cambridge, MA on Friday, August 10, 7-10:30pm, Saturday, August 11 12:00-10:30pm and Sunday, August 12 12-6pm.

100+ poets read for 8 minutes a-piece, all weekend long. A wonderful time of year!

For  more information: www.facebook.com/bostonpoetrymarathon/

Reading this Saturday and more...

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A quick reminder that I’m reading with the great Fanny Howe at Outpost in Inman Sq., Cambridge, at 4:00pm on Sat., Feb 3. I hope to see some of you. http://www.outpost186.com/

I'm also happy to have poetry in the upcoming WoodCoin online magazine. http://www.woodcoin.net

Lastly, I’ve be invited to read at Amherst College in mid-October in a new, exciting poetry series organized by some of the innovative poets of the Pioneer Valley, who are putting that part of Mass. on the poetry map.

The Home School

Last week I attended, well, half attended, The Home School in Hudson, NY, because I thought it was time to shake things up. There, I became a student for the first time in decades, & it was useful to note how various poets led their poetry workshops. Harryette Mullen was my favorite, a reminder to ‘be yourself,’ do a sophisticated analysis of a poem yet be simple in your discussion of writing—If you enjoy it, do it, she reminded them. Wild CA Conrad developed/gave ritual workshops every morning which helped ground us, however wacky they seemed, involving touch, sight, fast writing, and listening. Myung Mi Kim was the hit of the week—doing groundbreaking work in poetry—more on that another time. Jorie Graham came up to read & to my joy says she’d be happy to come to my class this year. Adam Fitzgerald’s reading was so fast & contained so many contemporary references--younger generations have access to worlds and languages I do not—but at least that got me thinking about what might happen next. Got all sorts of ideas for my own poetry workshop, so we’ll see this term what happens.

The Phillip Whalen Award

The winner of the Phillip Whalen Award this year is Ruth Lepson, for her book of poetry, ask anyone, from Pressed Wafer.

The award was created 3 years ago to recognize outstanding works of literature that seem to embody qualities Phillip Whalen brought to poetry, a projectivist practice with great flow, elements of surprise, and a sense that everything is just as it has to be. Previous winners have been Kyle Schlesinger and James Yeary, and Phillip Sultz.

There are no guidelines or applications for the award; rather, it is selected by Chax Press and friends (Chax books are ineligible) out of the books that come into our purview during a year, with the award then announced some time between April and August of the ensuing year.

There is no particular benefit from this award other than recognition; however, if anyone wishes to donate to or endow this award for the future, please contact us.

You may order ask anyone directly from Pressed Wafer, The Grolier Poetry Book Shop, or Small Press Distribution.
 

Numéro Cinq

Coming in March. It's the Magic Box issue. With fantastic work by the Egyptian ceramics artists Michel Pastore and Evelyne Porret (Porret Pastore) and new art work from Anne Hirondelle. Also essays by Rikki Ducornet (on Gnosticism), Timothy Ogene (on Ruth Lepson), Yannis Livadas (on experimental aethetics), and Steven Moore (on the American avant-pop novelist J. P. McEvoy). And a brilliant interview with the Costa Rican-born Puerto Rican novelist Carlos Fonseca by Jessica Sequeira. New fiction from Kelly Cherry, Ben Slotsky, and Sean Preston. Poetry from Fleda Brown, Maura Stanton, and Sue Elmslie. Plus poetry in translation from the fantastic Spanish writer Agustín Fernández Mallo. Reviews by Jason DeYoung, Carolyn Ogburn, Mark Sampson, and Linda Chown. And for our Irish series this month, a gorgeous childhood memoir by Amanda Bell.

Upcoming events this week

I’ll be reading pages from Bill Berkson’s memoirs and from his emails to me, this Friday at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop, for the spoKe journal new issue reading, 7:00PM.
On Friday I will also be speaking about Robert Creeley to prospective students & their parents at The New England Conservatory of Music. The Day before I will be talking about George Oppen in one of my classes.

Good luck to me! A pleasure, really.

Grolier Poetry Book Shop: Staff Picks to Bring You Peacefully Into The New Year

You can purchase any of the following at: grolierpoetrybookshop.org

Small Ceremonies
by Cynthia Snow / $17.00

"The "Small Ceremonies" of Cindy Snow's marvelously unafraid poems are the liturgies of Eros and Thanatos,  of sex and love and birth and aging and death. The book itself works a kind of sympathetic magic, telling stories of everyday encounters in ways that reveal their essential strangeness, and casting the powerful light of imperfect, sensual, living bodies upon the hidden life of the spirit.  
-Patrick Donnelly                                                   

Hanging Loose 107
by Donna Dennis / $11.00

Features an art portfolio by Donna Dennis and exciting new work from Rosalind Brackenbury, Liuyu Chen, Harley Elliott, Gerald Fleming, Joanna Fuhrman, Gardner McFall, Maureen Owen, Ron Padgett, Tim Robbins, Mark Terrill, and many more, including our regular section of wonderful high school writing.

ask anyone
by Ruth Lepson / $12.50

"ask anyone is the record, think disk, of Ruth Lepson's encounters with some of the musicians she has taught at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music.  For twenty years, she has worked in a world where words meet music and the results lead, often as not, to performance. At the Conservatory she befriended her colleague, the great soprano saxophonist and lover of poetry, Steve Lacy, who long collaborated with her poet-hero Robert Creeley. Creeley is ask anyone's guiding spirit, but the book's looseness, stretching out and swing is all Lepson. In ask anyone Lepson honors her lineage by bringing it into the here and now. Lend an ear."
-Pressed Wafer

"I have this theory (burp) that every poet, including me, wants to write like the proverbial "ancient Chinese" one on a mountain top; to write clearly, whether passionate or wise or both (can one be both?), to simply tell. Well, you're a model of that. Only Joe Ceravolo of my generation came anywhere near.
 - Bill Berkson

THREAD
by Michael Palmer / 15.95

"Thread presents eighty-six new poems by "the foremost experimental poet of his generation, and perhaps of the last several generations" (The Poetry Society of America's 2006 Wallace Stevens Award citation).
 "Michael Palmer's new collection is structured in two parts, "What I Did Not Say" and "Thread", subtitled "Stanzas in Counter light." It begins with a beautiful suite of poems featuring The Master of Shadows (first glimpsed in his 2006 collection The Company of Moths). The counter light of the title section shines in shafts of Palmer's ever-surprising ironic wit, which is given to sidelong parallel leaps. Several poems in Thread directly address our endless wars, yet even in sorrow and rage the poems still glow with wonder. In multi phonic passages, voices speak from a decentered place, yet are grounded in the central rootedness of the whole history of poetry and culture that has gone before. In his new poems, signature palimpsests create complex cycles of thought, "returning and returning" via echoes to what he has called "the layering process, the process of accretion and the process of emergence."
- New Directions website


It Takes One To Know One
by Michael Lally / 18.95

"Michael Lally, winner of a 1999 American Book Award for his sensational debut Black Sparrow volume, It's Not Nostalgia, evinces the same stunning honesty and self-analytical clarity in this powerful new collection of autobiographical poetry and prose. Retracing his wandering life-path from a rough Irish-Catholic boyhood in a working-class suburb of Newark, N.J., through turbulent years of radical political engagement in Washington, D.C., struggling-poet bohemianism in New York and elusive brushes with movie-star fame in Hollywood, Lally finally circles back to his home turf of South Orange, an older and wiser man."

"If in the chapter, "Lally's Alley," the author's large family "owned" the eponymous block on which they lived, so too does Lally own this work. The book's melange of vignettes, poems, tracts, and reminiscences is daring to say the least; still, sprawling like the Lally clan, these variegated ruminations manage quite nicely to cohere."

"Lally is a fierce writer and intellect. His Irish-American heritage is a recurring theme, but it provides a jumping-off point for exploring the American Way and the different American zeitgeists the author has witnessed, rather than acting as a limiting agent. Though his "Newark Poem" explains that the speaker has waited all his life in Jersey for the great cities of the world to come to him, It Takes One to Know One rises above New Jersey and indeed even America as Lally plumbs the soul of his people, his country and himself."
- David R. Godine, Publisher

 

COME CELEBRATE WITH US!!

Supplement v.1 launches this evening (6PM) at Kelly Writers House, with new work from: Rachel Blau DuPlessis, CA Conrad, Jason Mitchell, Rae Armantrout, Joseph Massey, Paolo Javier, Alex Tarampi, Anne Tardos, Davy Knittle, Mark Johnson, Zhimin Li, Yolanda Wisher, Laynie Browne, Juliana Spahr, Nicole Peyrafitte, Zohar Atkins, Mel Bentley (Speak Wright), William J Harris, Kyoo Lee (Q), Erica Kaufman, Christopher Soto (Loma), Jen Scappettone, Susan Bee, Rachel Levitsky, Julia Bloch, Tsitsi Ella Jaji, Charles Bernstein, Rachel Zolf, Michael Davidson, Patricia Spears Jones, Bob Perelman, Tracie Morris, Thomas Devaney, Katie Price, Stephen Ross, Francie Shaw, Ryan Eckes, Rob Fitterman, Chris McCreary, Anna Maria Hong, Pierre Joris, Amy Catanzano, Kevin Killian, Cindy Arrieu-King, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Jim Krull, Michael Leong, Ruth Lepson, Jake Marmer, Joe Milutis, Rivka Weinstock, Nick Montfort, Jena Osman, Jerome Rothenberg, Kristen Gallagher, Frank Sherlock, Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, Ron Silliman, Rodrigo Toscano, Kaitlin Moore, Travis Macdonald, Jason Zuzga, John Yau, Anna Yin, Rob Halpern. Eds. Orchid Tierney, Julia Warner, Ariel Resnikoff.