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Archive for May 2013

Responsibilities of the Obsessed by Goro Takano reviewed at QLRS

The Singaporean poet/critic Cyril Wong reviews Responsibilities of the Obsessed by Goro Takano on Quarterly Literary Review Singapore.

Fragmented Quest
A search for love through a surrealist landscape 

By Cyril Wong

Responsibilities of the Obsessed 
Goro Takano
BlazeVOX (2013) / 102 pages / USD16

If all reality is unimpeded, interconnected dreaming, then what use is left for words like 'real' or 'dream'? It is, I believe, a fair question — one that poet Goro Takano answers in leaps and bounds from the flowering of his own private and troubled dreaming. Responsibilites of the Obsessed is his latest offering, a collection of 'narrative' (I use the word very loosely) poems born out of the interstices of consciousness. Surrealism is still an underrated art, especially in poetry — a dangerous realm within poetic discourse which even poets do not dare to engage with for too long. If contemporary poetry has been criticised for being too obscure (i.e. demanding too much of the reader's intelligence and interpretive investment), surrealist poetry scares even more 'regular' readers of poetry away. If 'regular' or more accessible poetry frames us within mostly predictable parameters of linguistic conventions, combined with the safe comforts of semantic surprises through metaphor and analogy, surrealist poetry yanks the rug from under our feet, stealing even our feet and leaving us suspended with little left to stand on, or twisting wildly in mid-air.

Read the whole review here

Check out Goro's book here

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Leah Umansky reviewed in the Brooklyn rail and a reading tour schedule


From Jeffrey Cypers Wright on the Brooklyn Rails' Rapid Transit: 


Leah Umansky
Domestic Uncertainties
(BlazeVOX, 2013)

Leah Umansky admits impediments. In fact, her topos of a marriage-gone-bad is previewed on the cover (she did the collage). A wedding cake couple floats above rocks under a stormy sky framed by flaming red curtains. The poetry is much more subtle but no less vivid.

[ read the whole review here, along with great reviews of new work by Rob Cook and Marjorie Welish.]


Umansky on Tour

Published on Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Leah Umansky has just added new reading dates in support of her debut collection, Domestic Uncertanties(BlazeVox, 2013).

July (Northwest USA)

Umansky’s August dates are still TBA. Keep up with all the latest dates and locations by checking here.

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The new issue of GALATEA RESURRECTS #20 (A POETRY ENGAGEMENT) is out and we have two of out titles in this issue. Do check out the whole issue as it's a real hoot.





+ jim mccrary reviews BLAME FAULT MOUNTAIN by Spencer Selby



+ Eileen Tabios engages PRIOR by James Berger






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An Interview with Kristina Marie Darling by Lightsey Darst


Read a wonderful interview at Word Riot with Lightsey Darst and Kristina Marie Darling. Here is a smal clip. Hurray! 

An Interview with Kristina Marie Darling by Lightsey Darst

Kristina 1Kristina Marie Darling is the author of nine books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), The Moon & Other Inventions: Poems After Joseph Cornell (BlazeVOX Books, 2012), and (with Carol Guess) X Marks the Dress: A Registry (Gold Wake Press, forthcoming in 2014). Her writing has been honored with fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Ragdale Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. Her newest poetry collection, Petrarchan, was be released by BlazeVOX Books in February.

LD: How did you find your way to this form? When you did, did it just run away with you? What, for you, marks off one project distinctly from the next?

KMD: I became interested in fragmented forms because of what they allow the writer to leave unsaid. When I was much younger, I used to write lyric poetry in the most traditional sense. But it was so difficult for me not to seem lofty or clichéd. Once I started writing footnotes, glossaries, and other types of marginalia, there was no turning back. I loved that these forms leave space for the reader’s imagination, allowing them to take part in the work of the poet.

LD: You note your sources at the end of the book—Petrarch, of course, and Anne Carson’s Sappho. What’s the role of source material? Do the poems find their way to sources or vice versa? If it’s vice versa, to what extent do you see yourself doing a kind of creative research? I’m wondering to what extent there might be a thesis. . .

Read the whole interview here

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Krystal Languell – Two Reviews and Four Readings!

Krystal Languell – Two Reviews and Four Readings!

 Here is some great news! Krystal Languell’s book, Call the Catastrophists, has two excellent reviews out. One at Starr Review  and the other at H_NGM_N .

Upcoming readings are as follows: 
May 25, 6:30pm
with Robbie Wendeborn
Casa Libre
228 N 4th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705
May 28, 6pm
with Robbie Wendeborn
Marfa Book Company
105 S Highland
Marfa, TX

May 31, 6pm
with Robbie Wendeborn
Diane Tapes Series
Maple Street Book Shop at Bayou St. John
3122 Ponce de Leon St
New Orleans, LA

August 19, 7pm
with Becca Klaver, Marisa Crawford, Sarah Bridgins, Barbara Henning and Anna Sequoia
Bluestockings Bookstore
172 Allen St
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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr