napowrimo Tag

HO! TRIBE! April 1st brought us poetry month, and on that day of inauguration and celebration many members of this community came together for POTLATCH 2012 to share and co-create. (Photos, updates, and CoCo content to come -- follow link above for gallery). We read, we shared, we sang, we broke bread, we laughed, and we felt -- well, I'll speak for myself -- I felt in my very cells a shift towards what can be possible when a community commits to themselves and each other, and the work we make individually and together. The elation, the purity of relaxation into common purpose, the love and mutual respect has carried on not only from this event but from this week's posts, kicking off Exit Strata's wholehearted effort to serve as a platform for this love-in and value creation via virtual space. 

I’m going to level with you; I know nothing about Turkey and I know even less about Turkish Poetry. Luckily, I have Buké, my sole Turkish friend. Buké is tiny, smokes cigarettes, and speaks with a directness that can sometimes be mistaken for rudeness. It is she who introduced me to the Turkish poet Orhan Veli Kanik (1914-1950). I can’t speak to Kanik’s stature but, like Buké, his poetry is about as direct as a poet can get. Like the work of William Carlos Williams or, more contemporarily, Billy Collins, Kanik’s poems have been described as the kind of poetry that convinces readers they, too, can write a poem. Take, for example, “The Hill”.
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THE HILL

In the next life, after the factories end their work If the road taking us home In the evenings Is not So steep Death Is not a horrible thing At all. It reads like something your grandfather might say and that’s what makes it so effective. A good poem is a story that never gets old. It stays with you and no matter how often you tell it there remains the same spark of truth. In “People”, Kanik expresses a single thought simply and profoundly. The profundity is apparent upon first reading but the genius of it is a slow burn.

Elinor Nauen: An Appreciation
Bill Considine
Elinor Nauen has written a remarkable book, So Late Into the Night, from Rain Mountain Press (2011). The book is a long poem in 8-line rhyming stanzas, the ottava rima of Byron's Don Juan, with some medieval variations and half-hidden games.
Perhaps you'd like to hear more of Byron - My master, my love, my poet, my guy - And the traits that draw me to him: iron- Y, for one, as modern as any high- Tech gadget, and as assured. The siren Allure of sympathy, thrills and sex. Why He's not everyone's fave poet I don't Get. He isn't for anyone who won't Admit humor and human narrative To the pantheon of poetic purpose.Ms. Nauen too has the range and fluid speed of Byron's verse, the humor and... the plain-enough diction, Smart allusions and dead-on depiction In his characters and types. The poem is autobiography, a life in full with frank insights. It's the voice of a poet, a woman, a wife, a devoted friend, a child of the prairies and an East Village artist. She muses deeply and turns flippant. She has fun, and that's one of the joys of the poem. The form is in masterful hands and knows it and shows it. She plays with words, for laughs and for the Word. At times the tone is instructive; she means to share what she's learned, as well as what she's loved.

Today we begin the community portion of our Poetry Month: Inspiration, Community, Tradition series with Peter Reilly writing on Mary Oliver's poetry and its influence on his work. PR: Mary Oliver's gift is to describe the natural world simply, in a way that reveals the deepest secrets of our human heart. She is grounded in the reality of survival - life and death - predator and prey; yet never loses her eye for the eternal, for amazement, and for the magic of transformation. From "Wild Geese" You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.   [caption id="attachment_434" align="alignright" width="300" caption="photo: Brian Reilly"][/caption] But little by little as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper  into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do - determined to save  the only life you could save.

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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