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Archive for February 2015

Kristina Marie Darling interviewed at Writers Digest!

 

Kristina Marie Darling: Poet Interview

Confession: I don’t really keep records on Poetic Asides, but I’m pretty sure Kristina Marie Darling has the record for most poet interviews in PA history.

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling

If this is your first time hearing her name, Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over 20 books, which include VowPetrarchan, and Scorched Altar, all available from BlazeVOX Books.  Her writing has been recognized with fellowships from Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation.  She was recently selected as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

Visit her online at http://kristinamariedarling.com.

It’s been fun watching her writing evolve over the years, and in Darling’s collection Scorched Altar: Selected Poems & Stories 2007-2014, it’s now possible to get a sampling of her writing from 12 different sources.

Here are a few of the pieces you will find:

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Recreating_Poetry_Revise_PoemsForget Revision, Learn How to Re-create Your Poems!

Do you find first drafts the easy part and revision kind of intimidating? If so, you’re not alone, and it’s common for writers to think the revision process is boring–but it doesn’t have to be!

In the 48-minute tutorial Re-Creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will learn how to go about re-creating their poems with the use of 7 revision filters that can help poets more effectively play with their poems after the first draft. Plus, it helps poets see how they make revision–gasp–fun!

Click to continue.

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What are you currently up to?

I’m getting ready to leave for a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and couldn’t be more excited. I’ll spend my time there working on a new collection of erasure poems, which examines the egregious amount of gender violence in Shakespeare’s tragedies. The fragmented, elliptical poems ask reader to consider whether the literature we’ve inherited has normalized gender violence, since plays like HamletKing Lear, and Othello are so present within the public imagination.

Part critique, part excavation, the poems are intended to redirect the focus of scholarly and readerly attention. It is when we become conscious of underlying beliefs and assumptions in culture, and their roots, that change emerges as a real possibility.

scorched_altar_selected_poems_stories_kristina_marie_darlingScorched Altar is a collection of selected poems and stories published by BlazeVOX [books]. How did this collection come about?

That’s a great question. I initially contacted Geoffrey Gatza, the fabulous editor in charge of the press, to inquire about the possibility of a Selected Poems.

It turns out that Geoffrey had the same idea himself, and I simply e-mailed first. Since I had worked with BlazeVOX on numerous previous collections, I knew that my Selected Poems was in very good hands.

Was the process of selecting pieces from previous collections different than putting together a new collection?

When I compiled the poems from my previous collections for Scorched Altar, it was a much different process than working on a brand new collection. For me, writing a new poem or poetry book is an intuitive process, and I don’t reflect much on what I’m doing, at least in the drafting stage. If I allow myself to become too self-aware, that allows me to become self-critical, and then no writing gets done at all.

What I really enjoyed about the process of compiling Scorched Altar was that it prompted me to reflect on my body of work as a whole, to see patterns emerge from my writing over the past seven years, and to see progress and growth. The act of examining my poetry over the course of several years also helped me see what ideas, obsessions, and literary forms I returned to most frequently. And as a result, I came away from the process with many ideas for new projects, experiments, and poems that were completely different from anything I’d ever written before.

In many ways, the act of examining my body of work showed me what is possible within it.

Many of your pieces, especially in collections like Correspondence and Fortress, have a very visual element to how they’re arranged on the page. Do you ever perform these in readings? If so, do you have to explain how they’re set?

I think every poetry reading has some element of performance. Whether the poet shouts their poems, or sings them, or invites audience participation, I’m positive that all writers have a constructed persona, which is an extension of the work itself. With that in mind, I love performing my footnote poems at readings.

I typically read them in a completely flat, monotone voice, almost like the bad math professor that just about everyone had in college. I love seeing the audience lulled into a sense of comfort by the unexciting presentation of the work, only to be surprised by the wildly imaginative content.

You’re an active literary critic. Does this inform your writing? Help? Hinder?

I’m glad you asked about my reviewing and involvement with literary criticism. I love reviewing books, because it exposes me to poetry that is completely outside my comfort zone. This is great because it helps me question and interrogate what I normally do in my own writing. It pushes me to try new things and experiment more within my own practice. And it helps me see more clearly where my poems fit within the larger literary community.

The best thing about reviewing, though, is that it helps build relationships within publishing and writing. I’ve met friends, collaborators, and even mentors when working on reviews. And there’s nothing better than free books!

Read the Whole Interview Here 

Read More about Scorched Alter here

 

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Against Misanthropy by Eileen R. Tabios Now Available!

 2015 marks the 20th year anniversary of Eileen R. Tabios’ “career switch” from banking to poetry. AGAINST MISANTHROPY presents her life as a self-educated poet—from, as a newbie poet, reading through all of the poetry books of her local Barnes and Noble as she scratched her head over what poetry is supposed to be … to more recently creating a poetry generator capable of making poems without additional authorial intervention. Along her journey, she also released about 30 poetry collections, two fiction books and four prose collections with the help of publishers in eight countries. Ultimately, however, her so far 20-year poetry journey has taught her that poetry’s greatest gift is the means by which to forge a new life as a better person. As one of her Facebook friends Maxwell Clark told her, and she agrees, “The best person is the best poet.”


Excerpts from AGAINST MISANTHROPY:

I think the human race is on a suicide path.…where are the moments of joy, of beauty, of grace within this doomsday path humans are on? From where or how do we come up with reasons that make it worthwhile to continue living? To rush out of our beds to greet the day? To smile? To laugh? Well, for me, these moments would occur through the positive interactions made possible by love and respect for other people, creatures and the environment….I look at these moments, and if I bear in mind my own apocalyptic forecast for the human race, I view these moments—the stubbornness of their continued existence against all odds—as poetry in the sense that poetry's task is not to affirm the (unjust) status quo but to disrupt it.

—from ARDUITY’s Interview of Eileen R. Tabios

...the moment, the space, from which I attempt to create poems. In the indigenous myth, the human, by being rooted onto the planet but also touching the sky, is connected to everything in the universe and across all time, including that the human is rooted to the past and future—indeed, there is no unfolding of time. In that moment, all of existence—past, present and future—has coalesced into a singular moment, a single gem with an infinite expanse. In that moment, were I that human, I am connected to everything so that there is nothing or no one I do not know. I am everyone and everything, and everything and everyone is me. In that moment, to paraphrase something I once I heard from some Buddhist, German or French philosopher, or Star Trek character, “No one or nothing is alien to me."

—from Eileen R. Tabios’ “Babaylan Poetics”


Eileen R. Tabios loves books, and has released more than 20 print, five electronic and one CD poetry collections; an art essay collection; a “collected novels” book; a poetry essay/interview anthology; a short story collection; and two experimental biographies. Forthcoming 2015 books include two poetry collections: I FORGOT LIGHT BURNS and INVENT(ST)ORY, a Selected List Poem collection. She has also exhibited visual art and visual poetry in the United States and Asia. Recipient of the Philippines’ National Book Award for Poetry for her first poetry collection, she has crafted an award-winning body of work that is unique for melding ekphrasis with transcolonialism. Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Tagalog, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, computer-generated hybrid languages, Paintings, Video, Drawings, Visual Poetry, Mixed Media Collages, Kali Martial Arts, Music, Modern Dance and Sculpture. She also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized ten anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays in addition to serving as editor or guest editor for various literary journals. She maintains a biblioliphic blog, “Eileen Verbs Books“; edits Galatea Resurrects, a popular poetry review; steers the literary and arts publisher Meritage Press; and frequently curates thematic online poetry projects including LinkedIn Poetry Recommendations (a recommended list of contemporary poetry books). More information is available at http://eileenrtabios.com


Book Information:

· Paperback: 172 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-207-5

$16

 
 
 
 

Against Misanthropy, A Life in Poetry (2015-1995) by Eileen R. Tabios Book Preview

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Three Plays by Deborah Meadows Now Available!

 


A Los Angeles-based play, Guide Dogs rejects the triad of smog, traffic, and earthquakes for an exploration of reading and interpretation through civic unrest at city hall, the texts of LA figures (literary critic Marjorie Perloff and social critic Mike Davis), and the “Lightning Field” by Walter de Maria. 

Some Cars, an embodiment, holds out against “the architecture of containment,” inflecting the hard surface of Kienholz’s art in a drive to uncover tragic action deferred through a small windshield, imperfectly.

Speech Acts with Trees is an inside-out Western that takes apart “narrow specializations with commanding views,” landscape tradition and conquest. Is a parable of sacrifice an obsolete railroad by the time conventional knowledge sets up shop in the “new” town? Are these Three Plays really one play along a topological fold?

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“Meadows brings a rare musicality to her writing for the stage, and her eye for the telling discontinuities of contemporary life animates these plays with vivid and unsettling tensions.”

—Guy Zimmerman, artistic director, Padua Playwrights


“Wry and observant, Deborah Meadows' ambivalent oracles and philosopher-clowns seek "a nourishing shape that one could live in without tiring of its perimeter", but find just as readily an anthroposcenic welter, marked by false flags and the untidy promise of myriad revolutions – each adjacent, reluctant, and imperfectly contained.”

—Andrew Maxwell, Poetic Research Bureau director, Candor is the Brightest Shield author


“A philosophical autopsy performed on the event horizon of a perpetually collapsing world made language. Painstaking yet abandoned, Meadows teases language to spill its secrets, cracking a harrowing case: this.”

—Juli Crockett, playwright, lead singer of the Evangenitals

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Deborah Meadows teaches as an Emeritus faculty member in the Liberal Studies department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles’ Arts District/Little Tokyo where she serves on the board of LARABA (Los Angeles River Artists’ and Business Association). She was nominated Los Angeles Poet Laureate in 2014.

Her recent collections of poetry are Translation, the bass accompaniment – Selected Poems (Shearsman Press, 2013), Saccade Patterns (BlazeVOX books, 2011), How, the means (Mindmade Books, 2010), Depleted Burden Down (Factory School, 2009), Goodbye Tissues (Shearsman Press, 2009). Other works of poetry include: involutia (Shearsman Press, UK, 2007), The Draped Universe (Belladonna Books, 2007), Thin Gloves (Green Integer, 2006), Representing Absence (Green Integer, 2004), Itinerant Men (Krupskaya, 2004), and two chapbooks, Growing Still (Tinfish Press, 2005) and “The 60’s and 70’s: from The Theory of Subjectivity in Moby-Dick” (Tinfish Press, 2003). Her Electronic Poetry Center author page is located:  http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/meadows/

Poetry Foundation site:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/deborah-meadows

 

Book Information:

· Paperback: 122 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-199-3

$16

 
 
 
 
 
 

Three Plays by Deborah Meadows Book Preview

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Susan Lewis interviewed in Grab The Lapels

 

Meet the Writer: Susan Lewis

I want to thank Susan Lewis for answering my questions. She is the author of several books, including This Visit and How to Be Another.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve always been a voracious reader. When I was seven years old, I read a collection of haiku by Basho. I was entranced, and became passionate about writing Japanese forms. I went on, as a child and adolescent, to write all kinds of poetry, as well as short stories and plays.

How have you developed creatively since then?

I still consider my writing identity a work in progress, and I suspect I always will! After high school, I didn’t write at all for a number of years. When I turned back to it, I wrote short fiction, which is what I worked on for my MFA. Later, I tried my hand at writing a novel. Only after that did I return to my first love, poetry. Over time my poetry has moved from more-or-less traditional free verse lyric to prose and lineated poems that are more fragmented and narratively unmoored. That said, I still write some prose poems that resemble surrealistic parables or fables.

Read the whole interview here

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Kristina Marie Darling interviewed at Blotterature

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

Blotterature was excited when Kristina Marie Darling sent her collection, The Arctic Circle, our way for a review. We see her work widely published in the small press and admire her dedication to her craft–especially when taking risks. In her interview below, Kristina displays her positive attitude–a quality we all can admire.  And we can’t forget to mention that she has the coolest name. Hope you enjoy!

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Blotterature has a strong connection to our place – industrialized Northwest Indiana – and it is reflective in our writing. Tell us where you are and how your place fits into your art. 

That’s a great question. I lived for three years in Buffalo, New York and the snow-covered landscape appears quite frequently in my poems. I’m very interested in the ways that poetry can explore the relationship between one’s inner experience and one’s surroundings, since the two are often inextricable. In many of my poems, the speaker’s innermost thoughts and emotions are projected onto the landscape, ultimately shaping how the reader sees and experiences that particular place. My most recent collection, The Arctic Circle, takes this idea to the extreme, suggesting that an ice-covered landscape houses not only frozen vegetables, but also, frozen hearts and frozen wives.

Who/What has impacted your work the most and how does that come through?

More than anything, my work has been impacted by my experience as a woman in academia. Most people associate academic prose with strict rules, and stricter genre categories. In my creative practice, I work with a variety of prose forms, including prose poems, flash fictions, footnotes, glossaries, and endnotes. I frequently fill these somewhat unexciting prose forms with subversive and unexpected content. By doing so, I hope to show the reader that anything is possible within a literary text, so one should never impose limitations on a piece of writing on the basis of its form or appearance on the printed page.

How do you generate new ideas for your work?

When I have writer’s block, the best thing for me to do is read everything I can get my hands on. I read poetry and hybrid pieces, but also work that would never appear on the syllabus of a poetry workshop. After all, writing itself is just one more way of grappling with the literary and cultural tradition(s) that we have inherited. For me, it’s impossible to write if I don’t have something to engage or respond to.

When have you been most satisfied with your work?

I’m most satisfied with my work when it initiates dialogue between writers, reviewers, or even visual artists and composers. The best part of being a writer is being part of a community, so I’m always excited to see responses to my poetry, whatever form they may take. I was thrilled when Dale Trumbore, a fabulously talented composer, set some of my footnote poems to music. And recently, I participated in an installation project, where my poem was sewn onto a kite. All of art is a conversation, so it’s impossible for me to work (and feel fulfilled in my work) in isolation.

How do you know when a piece is finished?

That’s something that every artist struggles with, I think! In my own practice, I know when a piece is finished after I’ve lived with it for awhile, and I can read it without thinking of revisions, edits, and other things that I would do differently if given the chance.

What has been your biggest failure and what − if any − lessons were learned?

I published my work too soon. While many writers would constantly reprimand themselves for publishing something before it was ready, I choose not to feel bad about it at all. I’m grateful that those editors took a chance on my work, and I’m thankful that those journals helped my work find readers. In many ways, what some writers would consider a failure or a lapse in judgment has taught me the importance of gratitude in any writer’s practice.

Read the whole Interview here 

Check out Arctic Circle here 

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr