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Archive for June 2013
BRUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling Now Available!

BRUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling Now Available!

How does one footnote vanishing? In Brushes with Kristina Marie Darling draws our attention to where love and light - their most delicate details - once were. In their place lie darkly gleaming, refracting essentialized remains. Shattered glass and devastated porcelain hands divine a poetics of the charnel grounds. Darling’s work reminds that after such vanishing, there is something: a gift, the book itself.
—Selah Saterstrom, author of The Meat and Spirit Plan
Some facts: there is "white residue" on a windowsill. In a novel on the brink of being written, someone walks out the door then reappears on the edge of a lake. To "recollect." To "glide." To "wake up." In a work that is reminiscent of Jenny Boully's The Body -- a blankness accompanied by footnotes -- Darling's Brushes with performs a narrative of sexual betrayal and peculiar [excruciating] loss with a delicate and pressing hand. In the appendix that closes the collection, the "interior of a burned house" is transposed with the figure of a sky filled with "dead stars." Is the heart a burial ground for domestic desires? Darling has written a work of caked trace in which the longing for a shared world is already a part of the counterfeit, damaged and "circling" past. Trace, in other words, does not function in the usual way. It is not light. It is not something you can look through, like holding an ice shard up to the sun. On the contrary, it is "unsightly." It is a dark weight in a little book that felt, at times, like an act of beautiful revenge.
—Bhanu Kapil, author of Humanimal
If Wolfgang Iser believed that within the gaps of a text lies meaning that the reader must create, then Darling’s collection Brushes With is the film negative composed of those gaps. Therein lies the creative energy and genius of Darling’s work. As we enter the text, we begin to construct a narrative from interstices of information that comes in the form of gemlike footnote poems. These footnotes are deliciously loaded and sensual—whispers from a friend who just can’t tell you the whole story. The footnotes provide the type of glimpse we get into any relationship—spotted, occasional, fragmented, flawed. Darling is a prolific writer (a word rarely applied to a poet so young), a writer who has a multitude of material and approaches to her intelligent vision of what poetry can also be. She surprises us and proves time and again to be the real thing. Darling is a writer to watch. 
—Andrea Witzke Slot, author of To find a new beauty
In a manner that is near and dear to me, Kristina Marie Darling beautifully constructs a land of seeming quicksand where every loved thing disappears as quickly as it appears. Houses burn, stars extinguish, love diminishes, a dress can no longer be worn. In this metatextual affair, Kristina invites us to take her keys, her legend to her poetic map to unlock and chart absence alongside her.
—Jenny Boully, author of The Body: An Essay
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of ten previous 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, forthcoming in 2014). Her work has been recognized with nominations for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, the San Francisco State University Poetry Center Book Award, and the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Book Award. Kristina’s books have also been reviewed widely in literary journals, which include The Colorado Review, Writers’ Digest, Bookslut, The American Literary Review, Pleiades: A Journal of New Writing, Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century, Stride Magazine (U.K.), and The Hiram Poetry Review. Within the past few years, 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. Kristina is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at SUNY-Buffalo, where she holds a Presidential Fellowship. 
Book Information:
· Paperback: 54 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-146-7

BRUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling - Book Preview

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Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch by Kenneth Warren Reviewed on Big Bridge

Captain Poetry's Sucker Punch: 

A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole, 1980-2012

Kenneth Warren

460 pages. BlazeVOX Books. $25.00

Dark Times Filled with Light

Review by Alec Marsh

Aye, Aye Cap'n!

"The whole creation concerned with 'FOUR'"
Ezra Pound, Canto 91 (91/630)

  Any reader of Jung would twig to that: mandala, order, cosmos; the center, individuation. Kenneth Warren is much concerned with four. He wrote me once, "When working occulted and tabooed domains, sometimes one must use blinds. The purpose of any critique is to spin from center of the mandala-out/in/up/down toward energetic encounters with each complex." No accident, his collection of thirty years worth of essays and reviews Captain Poetry's Sucker Punch: A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole, 1980-2012 is divided into four sections. He takes Jung's typology of sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking as cardinal directions-out, in, up, down-- in steering a course through the work of numerous poets and poetries. Specifically, Warren's book is organized as a guidebook that enables the reader to "pursue poetic aspirations and punk protrusions through four records of interactive knowledge: (1) Semiotic Sobriety; (2) Archaic Sexuality; (3) Alchemical Precision; (4) Pharmacological Utopia" (17).

Following Jung, Warren sees poetic work as the work of integration. Our psyches are ships blown from any quarter, but there is a prevailing wind-different poets have different temperaments symbolized by different archetypes. Theorizing his approach using sophisticated revisions of the Jung-inspired Brigg-Myer personality typology, Warren is able to gain deep insight into the perceptions and confusions in contemporary poetry and poets because he believes that "an encounter with souls in the modern imagination becomes the proximate matter for poesis"(448). Poetry that matters comes from the unconscious depths, out of the dark, like the dead. Poetry is soul-making.

Read the whole review here @ Big Bridge

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Gradually the World: New and Selected Poems, 1982 – 2013 by Burt Kimmelman reviewed!


Gradually the World: New and Selected Poems, 1982–2013

David Cooper, Untitled, New York Journal of Books (22 June 2013),

David Cooper, Untitled, examiner.com  (24 June 2013),


If a Tang Dynasty Chinese poet were reincarnated as a 21st century American poet he might write a poem such as “After the Rain, Autumn” by Burt Kimmelman:

“Blue flowers bow
over the walk
after rain—leaves,
too, have fallen.”

Here Mr. Kimmelman emulates the Lushi verse form with parallel imagery (flowers and leaves) in successive couplets and the same number of words (3) and syllables (4) in each line. Chinese words are monosyllabic, so in a Chinese line of verse the number of words and syllables are the same, and each of is represented by its own character. Most English words are polysyllabic, so Anglophone poets can only approximate Chinese prosody.

Most of the poems Mr. Kimmelman has written since the turn of this century have employed syllabics. Unlike many of his contemporaries who emulate Japanese syllabic forms that vary the number of syllables per line, such as haiku’s 5-7-5, Mr. Kimmelman emulates Chinese verse forms in which each line of a poem has the same number of syllables; at least one of his syllabic poems has only three syllables per line, a few have as many as eight, and most have a number in between.

Basil King, some of whose brushstrokes resemble those of traditional Chinese painters, illustrated this handsome paperback with black and white reproductions of his abstract paintings.

Read the whole review at the New York Journal of Books

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PeTRARCHAN by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed on Coldfront Magazine



Published on Thursday, June 13th, 2013

by Kristina Marie Darling
Blazevox Books 2013
Reviewed by Jeremy Brett

“’rooms opening inside a single room.’”

Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter is a translation/interpretation of Sappho – whose poetry is almost entirely, maddeningly incomplete – that uses gaps, ellipses and white space to emphasize which fragments of Sappho we do and don’t have and thus creates a literature of implication. Carson’s brilliance lies in her ability to identify what’s behind the existing language and to use her inner vision and imaginative power to create a new text from what’s missing. Kristina Marie Darling, who cites Carson in her “Notes on the Text” in her new work Petrarchan, writes very much in the same tradition.

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr