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Archive for September 2014

Such Conjunctions: Robert Duncan, Jess, and Alberto de Lacerda Now Available!

                        “In the mysteries of human paths, such conjunctions!”

                                                —Robert Duncan, “A PrePreface for Alberto” (1977)


After meeting in November 1969 at the International Festival of Poetry in Austin, Texas, the Portuguese poet Alberto de Lacerda (1928-2007) developed a trans-Atlantic friendship with the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan (1919-1988) and his partner, the artist Jess (1923-2004). This book celebrates that friendship by bringing together from the Duncan and de Lacerda archives reproductions and transcriptions of all their extant correspondence in addition to the many inscribed publications, books, magazines, photographs, poems, drawings, and artwork that they shared with each other. Together, these items document not only the story of the relationship between these three men, including their subsequent visits together in San Francisco, Boston, and London, but also many of the significant events in each figure’s life during the years 1969 to 1989. Edited by Mary Porter de Sousa and Luís Amorim de Sousa, de Lacerda’s longtime friend and literary executor, and James Maynard, Associate Curator of the University at Buffalo’s Poetry Collection, which houses Duncan’s papers, this collection features essays by de Sousa, Maynard, and Scott Laughlin, a former student of de Lacerda’s.

Book Information:


· Paperback: 110 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN:  978-1-60964-167-2





Such Conjunctions- Robert Duncan, Jess, And Alberto de Lacerda Book Preview


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Tony Trigilio reads at The University of Kansas


Visiting poet writes of vampires, aliens, Lee Harvey Oswald

Thu, 09/18/2014

LAWRENCE — Tony Trigilio’s poems tell stories about alien abductions, vampiric soap operas and Kennedy-assassination conspiracy theories. Trigilio, a professor of creative writing at Columbia College Chicago, will read from his work at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in the English Room of the Kansas Union. The reading is free and open to the public. There will be a question-and-answer period afterward, and then Trigilio will be on hand to sign copies of his books. For his latest project, the poet is watching all 1,225 episodes of the 1960s horror soap opera “Dark Shadows.” As a child, Trigilio says, “I slept with my shoulders hunched to ward off vampires” as a result of watching the show daily with his mother. He calls the project “a gigantic experiment in poetry and autobiography” as well as “an act of radical endurance.” The first installment of his project, “The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 1,” was recently released. His previous book, “White Noise,” collages words from Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel of the same name with Internet chatter from the 2000s. His work in progress deals with the alleged UFO abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in 1961.

“I think [Trigilio] is one of the most versatile writers in the U.S. today,” said Joseph Harrington, professor of post-1900 American poetry in the Department of English. “He’s stretching not only poetry, but narrative as well. His books have various forms, voices and topics. You never know what he’ll do next.”

Trigilio is also the author of “Historic Diary,” and the critical work “Allen Ginsberg’s Buddhist Poetics.” He is editor of the journal Court Green, producer of the podcast “Radio Free Albion” and is drummer for the Chicago-based band Pet Theories.

The event is part of the English department MFA program’s Visiting Writers Series.

For more information, contact Joe Harrington, 785/424-3556 or jharrington@ku.edu.


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Reflections of Hostile Revelries by Jennifer C. Wolfe Reviewed in Savay Verse and Wit


Reflections of Hostile Revelries by Jennifer C. Wolfe

Source: Poet Jennifer C. Wolfe
Paperback, 108 pages

Reflections of Hostile Revelries: A Collection of Political Poetry Musings by Jennifer C. Wolfe is another collection of political poetry ripped from the headlines, as the narrator comments on the mistakes made by our political leaders and political campaigns gone wrong.  These poems read more like critical essays, rather than verse, using a narrative prose style that grabs a headline and picks it apart with a fine-toothed comb to unveil the unsupported facts of today’s political platforms and the flip-flopping of candidates eager to please the masses.  She covers topics ranging from immigration enforcement to the “nanny” state laws, and some of these poems are hilarious in their re-appropriation of pop culture.

Read the whole review here

Explore this book here

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Transversales by Michael Gessner featured on Verse Daily


Today's poem is "Magnificat" 
from Transversales

BlazeVOX [books]

Michael Gessner, a former Andrew Mellon professor at the University of Arizona, and Honors Program director at Central Arizona College, lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, and their dog, “Irish.” His work has been featured in American Letters & Commentary, American Literary Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Oxford Magazine, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Web del Sol, and others. His poems have been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and as finalists for “Distransversalesy”/The Nation, and the Pablo Neruda Award.

Books by Michael Gessner:

Other poems on the web by Michael Gessner
"Washed Out" 
Two poems

Michael Gessner's Website.

About Transversales:

"The poems in Michael Gessner’s new collection, Transversales, are formally dazzling—incisive, witty, and smart—but compassion tempers linguistic brilliance. In a series set in Paris, for instance, a visit (against advice) to the 'labyrinth of tented markets,' the now-dangerous Market of Seine-Saint-Denis, is punctuated dramatically by fragmented quotations from Victor Hugo’s diary kept during the siege of Paris (1871). Quite simply, I am hooked on this book. Gessner’s poems are glory."
—Cynthia Hogue

"There’s music of the mind in Michael Gessner’s Transversales, the investigating intelligence and haunting observations of a flâneur out of Walter Benjamin whose path time travels and intersects the lines of other alienated realities. A deft mastery marks these poems. 'The Markets of Seine-Saint-Denis' is a kind of tour de force; a trip to the 'home of the homeless' where both the past and the present 'are eating the unknown.' I am haunted by his imagery, as when he evokes the rain as 'the patterings of an unknown companion, lost and distant, now returned to wrap this house in sheets of itself.' I am struck by his poetic intelligence, as his lines intersect us with a sense of a beingness that is everywhere 'political, which means the beast is in costume.'"
—Rebecca Seiferle

Check out Transversales by Michael Gessner here

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Kristina Marie Darling interview at The Lit Review by Leah Umansky


An Interview with Kristina Marie Darling


Leah Umansky: Reading Vow, is like peering into someone’s secret past. A woman is said to be married. Her fiancé dies. She is left, bereft and almost-helpless. It reminds me much of Jane Eyre (for what would Jane be without her Rochester?). On the other hand, it reminds me of Charlotte Bronte herself and the way the Bronte Parsonage was both her home and her fortress. She died soon after she was married, too. With this said, how does your poetry lend itself to allusions? Do you find these books and stories are intrinsic to your life as a writer, or do you seek out these connections?

Kristina Marie Darling: That’s a great question. Most of my poems arise out of my life as a reader. I’ve always been intrigued by Marianne Moore’s use of the term “conversity,” a word she coined to describe the dialogic nature of poetry. With that in mind, I envision my poems as a response to the work that came before my own. By that I don’t just mean poetry, but also fiction, visual art, and literary theory. I’ve always thought it was the writer’s job to not only revise and modify earlier texts, but to forge connections between different texts. With Vow, I definitely sought to explore the relevance of these nineteenth century women’s texts to contemporary debates about language, gender and received literary forms.

For me, Vow represents a corrective gesture. In much of nineteenth century literary culture, women’s writing occupied a marginal space. For example, the sketchbook – which consisted of songs, notes, poems, diary entries, and a mixture of many other types of writing — was considered a predominantly female literary form. More often than not, literary forms that were marked as female were relegated to a private space. When writing Vow, I was interested in taking this marginal space, which women’s writing so often occupied, and making it a focal point.

LU: I’m interested in the speaker of these poems. I know you just founded your own feminist press, Noctury Press, so I know you have a clear relationship to gender in writing. What is her connection to the self? She’s strong, yet impressionable. She wants answers. She wants direction. She wants. What governs her? Is it desire? Is it loneliness? Is it the story inside being the bride? Women are expected to be so many different roles, besides being a woman.

For example: She “doesn’t know how” to use her wings.

                        She “doesn’t know how” to wear the dress.

                        She tries “ascending,” but says “it’s hard to know.”

                        She says,“a locked room, but what else?”

KMD: I’m very interested in the notion of the palimpsest, a text that is written, erased, and written over again and again. This is exactly how I envisioned the speaker of the poems in Vow.  She is inscribed and reinscribed with many different roles, expectations, and normative ideas about gender. These range from the complex culture surrounding weddings — the white dress, the ceremony, and the other accompanying rituals — to the myriad beliefs about what a wife should be, and what constitutes failure as a wife. The speaker of these poems definitely feels that she has failed as a wife, and as a result, she has been buried alive by the many normative ideas about marriage that have been inscribed onto her. She is motivated by the desire to erase this palimpsest, and find out what’s underneath the words and beliefs others have imposed upon her marriage and her identity. With that said, she is also interested in carefully documenting everything, for herself and for other women in her position.

Read the whole Interview here

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr