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Archive for November 2013

Thanksgiving Menu Poem - 2013 has been declined



For the past twelve years we have had a Thanksgiving menu-poem up and available for you to read and enjoy on Thanksgiving. Beginning in 2002 with a poem to honor Charles Bernstein, I began a series of poems, using a menu that I could prepare, in a feast of words that could be presented if we had a table large enough to fit all of our poetry friends.


This is year is no different and we had a poem ready to go, however the poet who we were to honor this year kindly declined. Being from another country whose ideas on thanksgiving are different from our own, if not very similar, he felt that he could not support this holiday. We have written a nice note explain his position which is posted below and on our Thanksgiving Menu-Poem page.


Since the project was completed and presented to our guest of honor, who wishes to be left nameless, there was little time to begin on a new work. So we decided it was best to keep this honor in place and announce his wishes. His ideas are very important to understand and devour while we sit and consume. We should also understand the cost this feast represents. We will certainly be back next year with a new, full menu poem! Hurray! 



Thanksgiving 2013 Menu-Poem declined


This year we chose to honor a wonderful poet but this honor has been declined for sincere political reasoning. This poet has been a deeply committed animal rights activist for three decades and anything associated with meat eating, homophobia and generally reactionary nationalist politics would not be something that would be in keeping with his strong beliefs and practices. The thought of this holiday, for this poet, is insulting to indigenous peoples. And in the end, the prospects are all too distressing. To honor this poet, a man of strong integrity and conviction, in the best way we can, this year we will not have a menu-poem. Thank you and we’ll see you next year.



Thanksgiving Menu-Poems Archive


            Bill Berkson 2012

            Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop            

                 and 50 years of Burning Deck Press 2011

            David Shapiro 2010

            C. D. Wright 2009

            Anne Waldman 2008

            Ron Silliman 2007

            John Ashbery 2006

            Robert Creeley 2005

            Kent Johnson 2004

            Forrest Gander 2003

            Charles Bernstein 2002




Even though we are not celebrating and we still might want to have something to read, to the right is a list of our previous eleven Thanksgiving Menu-Poems. But, if you are looking for something new and fun to read, here is a sneek peek of my new book, Apollo. 



It has often been said that Marcel Duchamp gave up art for chess. Geoffrey Gatza has reversed the process, and produced a sumptuous “souvenir program” of a performance of Stravinsky's ballet Apollo, framed by an elaborately-plotted chess game between Duchamp and his female alter-ego, Rose Selavy. The results are stunning.    —John Ashbery 

This book will be released in the Spring and you can frind more information and pre-order it here  

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Kristina Marie Darling interview at The Bellingham Review


Kristina Marie Darling

ALR PhotoInterview

by Carol Guess

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of twelve books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and (with Carol Guess) X Marks the Dress: A Registry (Gold Wake Press, 2013). Her work has been honored with fellowships from Yaddo, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Kristina is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at SUNY-Buffalo, where she holds a Presidential Fellowship. She edits Noctuary Press.

Carol Guess is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose. She teaches at Western Washington University. Follow her here at: www.carolguess.blogspot.com.


X Marks the Dress - Book Cover - 2-1Carol Guess: How did you become interested in writing and publishing hybrid forms? 

Kristina Marie Darling: I’ve was initially attracted to hybrid forms because they allow one to manipulate and undermine the reader’s expectations of narrative in interesting ways. When a reader sees prose on the page, they often assume that the text will unfold in a certain way:  a linear narrative will appear, filled with clear explanations of what things mean. I’ve always loved working against these kinds of readerly expectations, creating texts that challenge our assumptions about what prose should be.

With that in mind, I think of hybrid writing as an attempt to question the limitations we place on literary texts as a result of their form, their genre, or their orientation on the printed page. Hybrid writing has a unique ability to expand what we as readers think is possible within a literary text, and to foster more open-minded reading practices.

I’m passionate about publishing hybrid writing by women because of the gender politics inherent in these assumptions about what’s possible in a literary text. So much of the time, socially dominant groups decide what counts as “fiction,” “poetry,” or even “narrative.” I’m very interested in documenting, and bringing visibility to, writing that challenges prevailing ideas about what’s possible (or not possible) within a literary text.

Carol: Your current academic research is focused on H.D. What’s the interplay between your academic work and your creative projects?

Kristina Marie: To some people, H.D. might seem like an unlikely choice for a writer interested in hybrid genre work. But I’ve always been fascinated by her use of the poetic image to lend unity to book-length projects. I feel I’ve learned a great deal from H.D. that I can apply to my own craft.  In Helen in Egypt, for example, several recurring images recur throughout the book: seashells, the ocean, and a lyre. H.D. has shown me that a single image can be inscribed and reinscribed within a long poem, acquiring myriad possibilities for readerly interpretation as the book unfolds. The poetic image generates meaning, rather than being limited to a single fixed meaning. This technique is certainly something I’ve emulated in my own long poems, Petrarchan and Melancholia (An Essay).


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BRUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed in WORD RIOT



Brushes With by Kristina Marie Darling

Review by Ben Moeller-Gaa

There are many different kinds of books out there. Some ask questions. Some answer questions. And some lie in between. Kristina Marie Darling’s books fall into the latter category. Her work actually goes a step further and requires the reader to ask their own questions and search for their own answers. Darling is a master of empty spaces, both being unafraid to leave most of the physical page of a book empty, giving us only footnotes to decipher, but also for allowing empty space within the text that allows you to enter into it and make of it what you will. It takes guts to do this and great skill to do it right. When reading Brushes With, her guts and skill quickly become evident.

This is a book of flash fiction consisting of 8 short titled pieces/chapters that don’t quite fill up a single page along with two illustrations that serve up as the Appendix. These pieces are not told in chronological order and are impossible to decipher without the footnotes. Each piece contains anywhere from 5 to 17 footnotes. The footnotes are the keys to unlocking the text even as they spin it on its head. Whether the footnotes are based on factual real world truth or simply part of the fiction is up to you to decide. Either way, they speak to the truth of the book. For example, in the piece titled “ANTARCTICA”, we have the following lines:

So I sit down and try to carve a man from a block of ice.
In every direction, the same snow-covered fields. 24

These are footnoted with the following:

24. Throughout the nineteenth century lyric poetry, the heroine’s desires are
projected onto the meadow itself.


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BRUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling featured in Extract(s)

Brushes with by Kristina Marie Darling is featured at Extract(s): Daily Dose of Lit.  Here's the link:


Kristina Marie Darling is the author of fifteen books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012),Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014).  Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation.  She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.

Brushes With is available now from BlazeVOX[books].

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Romance With Small-Time Crooks by Alexis Ivy reviewed in PANK


REVIEW - Romance With Small-Time Crooks by Alexis Ivy

~by Anne Champion



BlazeVOX Books

90 pages/$16.00

The cover of Alexis Ivy’s debut collection depicts a scattered stack of cards and a hand overturning the Queen of Diamonds and the Eight of Clubs.  The Queen of Diamonds, of course, denotes power, royalty, and adornment, while the eight is a common symbol of infinity: all of this is embedded within the gamble, a game of chance, risk, and luck.  Similarly, these themes seem to trail the speaker of this collection in poems that take risks resulting in big payoffs.  These poems travel through the seedy underbelly of American life, exploring characters bound by their own self destruction embedded in a world of sex, drugs, liquor, and crime and a speaker that’s attracted to the scarred, the imperfect, and the dangerous.   While redemption and happy endings seem impossible in this collection, the poems refuse pity, instead transforming gutters into places of magic, insight, and growth.

Many poems in the collection recall still life paintings in their vivid imagery and details.  However, these still lifes illustrate ruin and utter desolation.  “So I Got Stoned,” depicts the actions and backgrounds of a speaker who has plummeted into silence.  The poem begins “I sorta wasn’t talking,/I sorta didn’t talk./I didn’t talk.”  These lines reveal the speaker’s reluctance to speak even now, as it takes several tries before anything can be said with any certainty.  Then, the still life gets painted through several sharp, compelling details, and the poem ends with the speaker’s reflection:

Wasted under
the willows at the Charles River,
chain smoking so I wouldn’t be
just sitting there.

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr