chapbook festival Tag

disclaimer, from Ana:  "if you need a word about why I am featuring a novelist as a poetic influence; her work is poetic to the point of absurdity." et alors... --- I, YOUrcenar. None of my friends seem to give a shit about Marguerite Yourcenar. Sure, someone’s father read her in the 80s—probably Memoirs of Hadrian—and there was an interview in the Paris Review with her just then—just at her death. Naming her as an influence has been taken at times (dans mon cas) as an affectation. {This is supposed to be personal, so I’m making it so. But what isn’t? There’s no person, so person’s everywhere.} So this is what I can tell you about Marguerite Yourcenar & “I” (“L’être que j’appelle moi”/the person I call myself, as she puts it): That - it was my father who introduced me to her. And started me toward owning most of her books. - “I” passed her novella of incestuous love, Anna Soror, around my Croatian high school like the mind-porn that it sure was. - “I” translated parts of her Fires, a reimagining of antique myths—especially the one about Sappho—and made an offering of them to a young woman. This was my idea of courtship; should’ve read Plato’s Lysis first. - when “I” had a blog for four years, called Quoi? L’Eternité. it was named thus after Yourcenar’s memoirs, not Rimbaud. She also introduced me to Yukio Mishima. That’s enough now. But from a current vantage, it’s incredibly ironic that Yourcenar’s writing should have served as a queer f-to-f offering – considering the fact that though she quite likely was queer, she was also very oblique about it – what I’ve heard called “old school.” Here’s a passage from that Paris Review interview cited here without value judgment – neither for Yourcenar nor her interviewer and his “deviance:”

The Faces of Influence - John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper Faces or facets? Am I being facetious in considering fact a species of essence, even essences, precipitate—from the lot conjoined—a chemical residue, like water, plain oxygen: and if residue what of, why not, feces? Fax—is this, are they—iteration of facsimile? Effect, then, whether spelled—particularized—with e or a, Classical byproduct: aeffect,a lode of Pindarian award for aesthetic gain or distinction. I first saw—first beheld—Hala Alyan in the dark. She half sat, upright in the darkness familiar from unknown places. No pitch, the tentative sensual isolation adheres to bodies, but another vividly sensuous through which perception nears to the material: where Eros does prevail—palatial imagining, short-lived, with Psyche. Thanks, if such issue exist, conceded apology, acknowledgment, ripening gratitude flow from the misunderstanding, sundered conjunction, memory, recall, facsimile, fable (weakness of memory at maximum componential strength), influence.

I encountered Libby Scheier’s work for the first time in my late teens, when I first moved to Toronto. It was a perfectly synchronous moment – I was so hungry for directness, and Scheier serves it up in spades. I devoured everything of hers I could get my hands on, treating the collections as guidebooks on possible routes to the places I wanted to go in my own work. She wrote so angry, and so tender, and candidly addressed relationships, violence and agency in ways that are paint-strippingly clear.      

In November 2011 H_NGM_N Books reissued In Baltic CirclesPaul Violi's first book of poems, originally published in 1973 by The Kulchur Foundation. This resulted out of funny circumstances: after seeing a review by Matt Hart of his last book, Overnight, in Coldfront Magazine, Violi sent Hart a photocopy of the original book with a handwritten note saying, "I like to think it's not all juvenilia!" In Baltic Circles is hardly that – even as an early book it encompasses so much of Violi's essence. What does that mean? For one, if there were ever code of ethics for the poetic form, you also could count on him to violate it in a poem – and he did so in such an elegant and charming way that you could never hold it against him. This is his edgy cleverness, accompanied by a romantic streak and a surreal awareness of the everyday... They are qualities that also radiated like the sun from his personality.

Interview with the Self by Jacob Perkins & Matt Nelson   Q: In what way has Paul Legault improved your sex life? A: It’s a tough question. We’d like to point out that we didn’t get into sir Legault on our own. Like any good relationship it takes, at the very least, two. Our friend read from his book in the subway and all she had to say was, “This guy will turn you inside out,” which he of course didn’t. No one can do that to you and if they try, you should call the proper MTA authorities. But he did turn us outside in, as in what the ufkc? His poems trick you into thinking you’re reading multiple voices shouting in a space where shouts can echo, colliding with each other and creating new sounds. But the intellectual gift is that all the voices are thrown. There is only one Wizard in this Oz. Legault takes control of your equilibrium and maintains a kind of trustless navigation that is impossible to follow on first read. Q: What method of Paul Legault’s language turns you on and why? A: Well, if you are one of those who can pick out patterns, Mr. Legault, at least in The Other Poems, which, by the way is titled on the sub-title tacked to most collections of poetry, sticks pretty close to what we would describe as a format. In our own work the format relies on a series of folds (literal) which we attack as a unit, one space at a time, passing our work back and forth without verbal cooperation. This results in a timing based on mutual challenge and uncomfortability. It is unpredictable but refreshing, the rhythm. Paul (can we call him Paul?) discomforts the supposition that what you read before was what was you read before. Every line, every word is a question game. When did the adjective turn into a noun? How can time be turned into space with just the tiniest turn of a preposition? These are the types of strange knife twists Paul manipulates causing a poetry hemorrhage, showing you the insides of words.

Welcome to the first Exit Strata poetry month celebration! As we announced recentlyin our call for participants, what we’re looking for via this exercise is shared brea(d)th: to have this month introduce our community to the universe of poetry that affects and alters ourselves and our colleagues, others with whom we may share a practice but whose influences are vastly different than our own.As we read and write this work, other poets become important to us for a million different reasons, often ones we could never entirely anticipate or explain — in observing our community one quickly notices that each person’s own relationship with poetry has grown in diverse and unexpected ways, with little known, local, foreign, or forgotten poets taking up solid and subtantial residence in the heart, mind, and psyche of each — in turn, altering inestimably our relationship to craft.When we are in school or in workshop, perhaps even more than from the didactic intention we glean from our *community* a richness ofengagement and influence, as density of dialogue provides each of its participants an unending supply of suggestions — names, books, poems, movements, and so on.
An introduction to an entirely new voice that speaks to you, as an adult out of these systems, is a rare and potentially life-altering gift… one that Exit Strata’s international creative network has the chance to offer all of us, as we replicate that atmosphere here in the virtual Commons. I am *very*, shakingly, jumpingupanddown excited for the brilliant and gorgeous poets we have "playing" with us this month. These people stepped right up to the plate with fervor and love, to bring a range of inspiration to our shared table that will blow your minds. I'm going to kick us off today by totally drooling all over Mina Pam Dick, who ousted my old friend Paul Goodman from this spot when I saw her read for EAOGH at the chapbook festival the other day. (Goodness do I ever love Goodman though, too! we'll come back to him and why he changed my life another day.) This week we'll be hearing from: Pete Reilly, Bill Considine, Tishon Woolcock, Caits Meissner, Gregory Crosby, and Frank Ortega, with many more to come. BOOMTIME! __ Mina/Traver Pam Dick (commence drooling) is, per her boiler-bio-plate, "a writer, artist and philosopher living in New York City. She's a native New Yorker. She received a BA from Yale and an MFA in Painting as well as an MA in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota. Her writing has appeared inTantalumBOMB and The Brooklyn Rail, and is forthcoming in The Portable Boog Reader 4 and Aufgabe#9; her philosophical work has appeared in a collection published by the International Wittgenstein Symposium (Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria)." Reviews of her first book, Delinquent, are smattered with praise like this apropos nugget: "Like a gender-errant Benjamin, Mina Pam Dick constellates recombinant philosophies, aesthetic forgeries, and the intertextual detritus of the big slithering city. The poems and prose that pack Delinquent’s sucker punch are weighted with the freight of excess baggage, which means they are the very work of today" (—Vanessa Place)

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