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Archive for September 2013

a great review of Petrarchan in The Columbia Poetry Review

 

Review of Kristina Marie Darling’s Petrachan

petrarchan-cover-final

Darling’s latest, Petrarchan, is an unwritten work. Its poems, non-existent, allude to themselves through interwoven footnotes, which frame the empty pages so richly, it feels as though the verse were pared down to the most incidental, stirring self-realizations. Through them, Darling explores the land-scape of her psyche – a “house by the sea.” Its archetypal fiber weaves the numerous and obscure corridors of her soul out of domestic imagery. A necklace beneath a stairwell glimmers as the steps catch fire.

To Darling, we are fragmented by the secret rooms of the heart and the life-blood they quietly gestate, which, when discovered, upsets the balance of our identity – the underpinning question: “What is a relationship with the self?” This is strikingly revisited in her erasures of Petrarch’s sonnets, whose meanings are altered – in some cases, empowered – by Darling’s cuts. The sonnets explored become volatile – a few words, isolated, expose infinite possibilities for meaning.  Petrarchan reconfigures identity as a reaction to what we do not know. Self-awareness becomes an anxiety and acceptance of chance arrangement – meaning emerges as a chaotic intersection of experiences whose halls we feel through blindly, but trust.

Read the whole review here

Check out Petrarcan here

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Alexis Ivy's Upcoming Reading Schedule

Alexis Ivy's Upcoming Reading Schedule

ALEXIS IVY'S UPCOMING FALL READINGS

  
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 7PM
POETS UNDER 35 SERIES
THE MARLIAVE
10 BOSWORTH STREET
BOSTON, MA



OCTOBER 15TH, 7PM
POETRY READING
NEW ENGLAND MOBILE BOOK FAIR
82 NEEDHAM STREET
NEWTON HIGHLANDS, MA


NOVEMBER 12TH, 7PM
WITH CHARLES COE & DENNIS DALY
NEWTON FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY
330 HOMER STREET
NEWTON, MA



NOVEMBER 22ND, 7PM
EMERGING POETS SERIES
WITH ERIC HYETT, SPENCER THURLOW & SARATH REDDY
BROOKLINE BOOKSMITH
279 HAVARD STREET
BROOKLINE, MA

Read a sample from her latest book, Romance with Small-Time Crooks 

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Brushes with, by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed on Poet Hound

 

Kristina Marie Darling's Brushes With

Kristina Marie Darling strikes again with creating a surreal and memorable journey through her particular style of writing in Brushes With, a collection that captures a romance that is no longer, scenes and footnotes that entice and leave the reader curious and wanting more. The works themselves provide enticing instances of foreshadowing for the doomed relationship. Darling contrasts light and dark, physical space versus the words inside one’s mind, memories and imagery delicately entwine. Below I am happy to share some samples:

Cartography

We were no longer in love. The sky, too, was beginning to show its wear. A silk lining could be seen through every slit in the dark green fabric. 1
I started to wonder where we went wrong. You were holding a map of the constellations.2 Each of the minor stars had been assigned to a square on a little grid. The map seemed scientific so I approached you.3
You kept looking down at your compass. The needle spinning beneath a little screw. Maybe this is where we went wrong.
Above us, the sky is still wearing its green dress. The most delicate strings holding it all in place.

1. The photographs portray this dress as one of the most violent manifestations of the heroine’s femininity.
2. At the edge of the map, she could discern a cluster of minor stars. Their incessant movement seemed difficult to comprehend, let alone to document.
3. “I had wanted to understand the cause of this fearful disturbance. Within my compass the needle kept spinning and spinning.”

*I apologize that my footnotes’ numbers do not appear like they should, that is the limitation of trying to transfer her work to a blog post. I will say that I love how she creates her text and ties footnotes to them, along with pages of just footnotes. In this piece the overwhelming darkness and the avoidance of eye contact depicts a couple avoiding each other even while present in each other’s lives. The comparison of the sky to dark green fabric with silk lining is romantic and delicate, so delicate that strings hold it in place and threaten to smother the couple should the fabric break free. Whether that was the meaning behind Darling’s piece I do not know, I only know that it is how I picture it for myself. Darling is a master at creating a visually stimulating piece weighted with more emotion than you initially read into. 
Read the whole review here
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PETRARCHAN by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed Petrarchan over at The Rumpus

 

Petrarchan

PETRARCHAN BY KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

REVIEWED BY 

Released this past February by BlazeVOX Books, Kristina Marie Darling’s Petrarchan continues the poet’s study in footnotes and fragments. Don’t expect to find neatly arranged stanzas here; rather, Darling prefers to tell her love story in broken-apart thoughts, small but vivid details and ample white space.

As its title suggests and the author’s notes confirm, Petrarchanis a work in dialogue with the famous Italian writer of sonnets. The chapter titles are taken from Petrarch’s bibliography, and the appendices are composed using only found text from Petrarch’s sonnets. Darling also mentions Anne Carson’s translation of Sappho as an inspiration. In a May 2013 interview with Word Riot, Darling talks about the role these source materials played in writing Petrarchan:

I feel like all poetry arises from the writer’s life as a reader. I think of poetry as a conversation, in which the poet appropriates, revises, and recasts what has been said before her. But with Petrarchan, there was more of a “thesis” than with my previous projects. I love Petrarch’s work, but it’s so problematic for me as a female reader. His writing, perhaps more than any other one person’s work, has been associated with the male gaze, the silenced beloved, and various master narratives about what love should or ought to be. Petrarchan is my attempt to reconcile Petrarch’s sonnets with my enduring interest in feminist reading practices.

But while Petrarchan does indeed wrestle with the problematic romantic ideal put forth by Petrarch, the reader doesn’t need to be well versed in Petrarchan sonnets and surrounding literary theory to connect with this writing. Petrarchan doesn’t even require that its reader be well versed in Darling’s own oeuvre (the prolific poet has released several books in the last few years), although it helps — Darling remains as much in dialogue with her past work as with the work of other writers.

Read the whole review here

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Boston Review Microreviews Counting Sheep Until Doomsday by Carlo Matos

Boston Review Microreviews Counting Sheep Until Doomsday by Carlo Matos

 

Microreview: Counting Sheep Until Doomsday, Carlo Matos

September 11, 2013
Counting Sheep Till Doomsday
by Carlo Matos
BlazeVOX Books, $16 (paper)

 

The prose poems in Carlo Matos’s second collection engage questions about the nature of free will: How does one discern fate from one’s choices? To what extent will one’s life be circumscribed by the actions of others? Amidst all of this, what is the purpose of violence? As the book unfolds, answers to these questions multiply, suggesting the impossibility of claiming such knowledge. For example, Matos writes at the beginning of a sequence called “Fate*,” “You’re gonna’ go out. You’re gonna’ start a fight with a bear, and you’re gonna’ lose.” These sentences imply at first that one is capable of discerning fate from freely made choices. Perhaps more importantly, Matos suggests that this knowledge manifests through an engagement with language. The sequence shatters these initial expectations as the poet re-inscribes the same images with myriad possibilities for interpretation. Language becomes unstable, equivocal. He writes, “Elija asked god to send she-bears to tear the teeth from the children who mocked him bald—so many stones pulling the skulls.” Here Matos revisits the bears, imbuing them with a religious dimension not present before, and the bears become a figure for providence.

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Photos on flickr