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Articles by Clarice Waldman :

The Hunger in Our Eyes by Jared Demick Now Available!

 

 “In The Hunger in Our Eyes, Jared Demick presents poetry that traverses a rugged terrain of memory, history, agriculture, race, and culture to unearth narratives long or recently forgotten. The speakers in these poems listen intently with open ears; have tongues that have no hairs, and are witnesses ready to offer testimony to truths, desires, and thoughts that are often unspoken. Lines of verse stay with the reader with poignant poetic reality: ‘But ghosts still stay, they hang in the air thicker than humidity.’ A marvelous debut collection!”

—Sean Frederick Forbes, author of Providencia: a book of poems


Jared Demick's The Hunger in Our Eyes is a little bit country and a whole lot of cross-country(ies). The shape-shifting Americana here scores a playfully re-visionist choreography that brings into focus what imperial eyes typically miss: the accidents of landscape, the histories of food, the body's crossings. With extended meditations on cassava and honky-tonk (!), this book seeks out its own uneasy roots in a prickly and code-twitching vernacular, in an alternative We somewhere between solidarity and irony, between selfing the other and othering the self. (See Williams's In the American Grain: “We are, too, the others.”). From Dust Bowl to diaspora and dance floor to truck stop, the re-making of Americans here is all about movement: all jittery lines and portmanteau puns (as in Oliverio Girondo's moremarrow) and a careening, class-conscious stridentity politics (“swallow these miniwage peeon blooze”). Still, this is a poetics limber enough to find meaning in strategic silences, in the “awhereness” of “our undelved / selves.” “We’re / osmotin’ / peoples,” sings the poet (a.k.a Demick); the rest is academic.

—Urayoán Noel, author of Hi-Density Politics and In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam


“Between mornas & blues, between masato & bathtub gin, The Hunger in Our Eyes is a book of in-betweens that sets in motion an intercontinental vernacular, as funky as it is folksy & as ludic as it is informative, without resorting to any formula or formulating another ars poetica. Driven by historical, agricultural, musical, & gastronomical findings, Demick’s poetry discovers & multiplies, it digests, reverberates, & recasts. The thematic breadth of this collection—from the tapioca/manioc/yuca permutations to the “question everyone’s hurting to ask, but don’t want answered”—is deftly balanced by the poet’s tonal agility, reminding us of the rare qualities poetry can have when it’s written without a platform.”

—Joseph Mulligan, translator of Gustavo Faverón Patriau’s The Antiquarian and César Vallejo’s Against Professional Secrets

Jared Demick is 6’3”. He works at the University of Connecticut as a PhD student & the Assistant Director of the Creative Writing Program. He also edits The Jivin’ Ladybug: A Skewered Journal of the Arts. He has published poems in BlazeVOX, Sugar Mule, Long River Review, OMEGA, & Gastronomica. If stuck on a desert island, he hopes there would a case of Yuengling & Simpsons reruns.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-183-2

$16

 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Landfill Dancers by Mary Kasimor Now Available!

 

In The Landfill Dancers, Mary Kasimor feasts and fetes us on precision in freedom and pleasure in disequilibrium via “sounds to dream” and “unspeakable/art that reflect[s] ourselves.” An organic whole of refined beauty and sophistication, these lapidary artifacts of rigorous & disciplined experimentation offer a dazzling array of delicate yet potent expansions of lyric’s intellectual, aesthetic, & emotional potential via a web of variations on Kasimor’s invented forms, crafted and turned to frameworks of implication as sharp and graceful as razor wire lace. Rich with “the sound of broken beauty,” “tight and magnificent” as a futuristic skyline of architectural masterworks, these expectation-defying constructs manage to be both whimsical and sound. Like the gleaming city-scape of an idealized future, The Landfill Dancers is populated by one perfectly executed and imaginatively liberated structure after another, adding up to a remarkable whole that is diverse yet unified, richly textured, and precise – a sharp and soaring verbal landscape to study and admire.

—Susan Lewis, author of How to be Another

Woven, organic typographies, project lullaby hallucinations in the library. Squeeze dioxides of anatomic losses, wounding the quiet blood of the afternoon naps, born of cotton innocence. Survival with no music, a piano plays the brain. Mary Kasimor makes a mannequin smile on a day of daffodils, of many colored techno screams, a young machine running into the forest needing creation, as bone and skin and minutes slip from the shoulder. The Landfill Dancers: I’d copy here all of those lines. This poetry’s the stuff.

—Jared Schickling, author of The Pink

Monks, nuns, crows, saints, mimes, phantom fire-eaters, dogs, and "selves without a string" dance through the surreal pastoral of a postmodern world. Human and other animate bodies eat, scatter, dream, reflect, and sing in a fugue of fragmented voices. In this memorable collection, Mary Kasimor enacts an "image drama" and "performance burlesque" across every poetic line, surprising the reader with a new "species of FORM." Watch your step because The Landfill Dancers will take you where the wild is always open.

—Craig Santos Perez, author of from unincorporated territory


Mary Kasimor has been most recently published in Yew Journal, Big Bridge, Certain Circuits, MadHat, The Bakery, Altered Scale, Horse Less Review, Word For/Word, Posit, and The Missing Slate. She received a Fellowship from US Poets in Mexico for the 2011 Conference. She has had several books of poetry published including Silk String Arias (BlazeVOX Books), & Cruel Red (Otoliths Books) and The Windows Hallucinate (LRL Textile Series).


Book Information:

· Paperback: 72 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-173-3

$16

 
 
 

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The Electric Affinities by Wade Stevenson reviewed

  

 

A book worth reading for the life lessons it recalls, in spite of the ironic fact that the protagonists of this story, by nature of their privileged circumstances, seemed to have been largely exempted from the initiations of life’s burdens and responsibilities at this point in their lives.  It’s the reader’s own hindsight that completes this portrait of an era, set in the summer of 1969. The story revolves around the emotions, observations and uninhibited interactions of a group of young and casual socialites that come together in the Hamptons-Sag Harbor scene and end up hashing out their attractions, impulsive philosophies of man-woman relationships, daydreaming and experimenting with a degree of urgency.

The notion of any memoir of what it was like to be young and engaged in the summer of 1969 gets confused with the grandiosity of myths about the counterculture. But here, the author assures us that being an unformed romantic youth, full of yearning and naïve aspirations, self-indulgent and ardently single-minded,  was no different then, than it is now. Friends give you trouble instead of companionship and family seems indifferent to your real métier.

The narrative flow in this novel reminded me of watching an Eric Rohmer film! Here are the quotidian moments of hanging out on the beach but contemplating the attainment of being elsewhere, moving around at vacation pace, but psychologically sprinting. They strain to be intelligent and articulate, winning over the admiration of their peers, but they frequently fail to live up to their own desires to connect with each other.  There is the contrast between what the characters say and what they are actually doing, and how things turn out, that fuels the drama.

I gave it 5 stars because it’s a great study in social collisions, one which perfectly describes why the baby boomers were also wistfully dubbed the me generation.

— Jane Stevenson

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The Electric Affinities by Wade Stevenson Now Available!

 

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The Electric Affinities examines the interior lives and motives of six affluent, artistic friends as they struggle to find love and meaning in the summer of 1969, “the year that changed everything.” Set in the Hamptons and New York City, the novel brilliantly captures the decadent, freedom-loving lifestyles of characters trapped in a “prison of opulence.” Andre, a film director with a volatile temper and Robert, a romantic, yet troubled, Vietnam War veteran, are obsessed with the enigmatic Maya, a former Vogue model; free-spirited Carolina, seeks solace in a quest for spiritual transcendence while her own relationship crumbles; French-born Louise sacrifices her own dreams in a self-appointed role as Maya’s protector; and Ben, the older, wildly successful architect, avoids confronting his own loneliness as he fills his Sag Harbor home with lovely, yet broken souls. The paths these characters take mirror the disillusionment inherent in the late ‘60’s, as they turn inward in a quest for self-understanding that presages the attitudes of the “Me Generation” of the 1970s. The Electric Affinities encompasses the excitement of youth, sexual freedom, mistakes, and ultimate losses that lead to the sober awakening from a dreamlike existence to a clear-eyed understanding of the realities of life.
 
 


A free-love opus set in a bygone era. Ben Steinberg, a successful architect, hosts a collective of artists and free-spirits in his Sag Harbor, N.Y., house in 1969. Among the damaged but earnest people that move through his home are Andre, a director; Robert, a Vietnam War veteran; Carolina, a spiritual youth endeavoring to live without restraint; and Maya, the apex of a romantic triangle that consumes her suitors. The plot follows a fairly straightforward design: As the year progresses, each character wrestles with their own particular demons. Robert’s disenchantment with the world is reified in his aversion to visiting his wealthy grandmother, the woman who raised him; for Carolina, it’s an evolving quest to live as freely as possible that, eventually, takes her away from Sag Harbor. But the plot, as it is, feels secondary here. The real tension comes from within. Working with a true ensemble cast, Stevenson explores the radical aspirations of each of his characters while balancing them against the dramatic irony of a world that didn’t turn out quite the way it was supposed to. Perhaps the best stand-in for the contemporary reader is Robert. He may have been disillusioned by his experience overseas (as readers may have been by the course of history), but he yearns for some kind of meaning in his life, something true to aspire toward. The same goes for everybody in the novel; amid pain and loneliness, they look for some kind of purpose in a world that doesn’t seem prepared to accept them. It’s a familiar enough theme for books set in the late 1960s, but Stevenson’s effortless prose brings a freshness to what could otherwise have easily been a trite tale of hippie naïveté. He laces the story with insightful mantras throughout: “It’s not like cooking—there’s no measuring cup. Freedom has to be unconditional or not at all.” The narrative movements here are subtle, often more interested in providing a full picture of the characters’ struggles than in building a propulsive plot. At times, the pace may feel sluggish for some, but readers willing to stick with it will be rewarded with a stunning resolution. An atmospheric, evocative tale of youth endeavoring to live free.

—Kirkus Reviews

 

I'm enthralled with The Electric Affinities. The bittersweet delight of feeling Maya present through your words... her graceful gestures -- sleek and cat-like, her intense regard, the intensity of her friendship, her ecstatic demand for beauty, the cruelty of her judgments when aesthetic standards were neglected, and her vibrant, sensuous humor. What a whirlwind delight to have Maya as my guide to experiencing the inner and outer worlds.

—Carolee Schneemann, Visual Artist


“I got your magnificent book. Thanks. Reminds me of the parties I used to go to in Martha’s Vineyard. ... Maya with her strange beauty and the incredible clothes that she wore. We would go on Sundays to the Parisian Flea Market where she would buy second hand clothes with which she created fantastic and unique outfits. People would just stop in the street to admire her.”

—Juan Luis Bunuel, artist and film-maker


‘This book reveals, harbors, conceals fraught desire with electrical sparks’

—Ultra Violet


“Maya ---- is French, mysterious and as gracefully evasive as a bullfighter with her bull. Ask about her past, she will answer but you won’t understand what you heard. Her mystery is a magnet that have men wanting to know more. You will enjoy the ‘game’. It’s the riddle of life.”

—Barbara Nessim, artist


Goethe's “elective affinities” transposed into a tale of passion in circumstances that recall the glamour of The Great Gatsby.

—Carolyn Burke, author of No Regrets, The Life of Edith Piaf and Lee Miller, A Life.


The Electric Affinities is emotionally satisfying. More important it lets the reader look at his or her life in a fresh, profound way. Buy this book. Immerse yourself. It is a once in a lifetime experience.

—John Lehman, RosebudBookReviews.com


The Electric Affinities by Wade Stevenson is a luminous cascade of memories. It is a beautifully told, and at times, a heartbreaking meditation on relocation, on life after war, on the troubled paths of inheritance, and on the tangled, fraught ways that lovers survive their love.

The spectrum of lives cast is brave, unnerving, and dazzling. Trying in the gentlest of ways to understand the terrible power of beauty and those who are shaped by it. Stevenson merges the personal and the fictional with seamless grace. Here, truth manifests visually in tender, faded images of war; how our memories lurk and haunt us and cause us to averted our eyes from them, as in the blasting fireworks that begin this book. The mind is like those detonations, flashing here and there with the elusive spark of life. Vividly we come to know the memorable figures of the narrator’s intimate experiences. With remarkable energies that never feel forced, Stevenson creates an intensely wide-ranging world.

With dialog that is razor sharp, tough, funny, unexpected, and refreshing, The Electric Affinities reawaken the wonder of youth, freedom and the quest for liberation, and ultimately our own humanity.

—Geoffrey Gatza, author of Apollo and The House of Forgetting

“Breathe,” Wade Stevenson told me, many years ago, when I asked him how Maya arranged her life, poetically summing up the life of a woman who had a secret biography, who wanted to believe, and make people believe, that she was born from nothing, no place and no time, that her life was only in the present, and wherever she went, in the grip of friendship and loves, of pleasures, she lived with the lightness of those whose feet are truly “off the ground”. And what an anonymous name, Maya, which does not suggest any character, but sums up so many, was it truly her real name? In what country was she born, whose daughter was she? From a bourgeois family, aristocrats, workers? Perhaps the abhorred German, the memory of which she buried behind the other languages she spoke, was her maternal language. If badgered by the curiosity of others, she would evoke an unnamable disaster, twirling her finger in the air, the light in her eyes for a moment going dark. She had a ferocious will to live, to feel the true “weight” of all the emotions, to always search for the beautiful, in art, in love, in friendship, eliminating as much as possible the mediocrity of daily life. She created her own life as an art form, more with what she left out than with what she chose to include, so as not to distance herself too far from a country that she liked to imagine, free of every evil.

—‘Fausta Squatriti, author of “The Nature of Desire,’ and “Forbidden to Enter”


The true accomplishment achieved by Wade Stevenson is the world created, or perhaps re-created, within the novel. You come to know Nineteen Sixties New York as if you are living it. The rarified air of the denizens invoked breathes into you. Maybe it's nostalgia for a thing never known (and what's wrong with that, after all), but I wanted to be a part of the scene Stevenson has painted. ... Realism screams here and it is welcome. The novel is not depressing, it is too full to allow a maudlin skin to cover it. We care for these people. We have empathy towards them. For me their talents override everything. The experience of their stories is worth careful consideration.

— F.T. Donereau, Rebecca’s Reads

 
 
 
Wade Stevenson was born in New York City in 1945 He lived in Paris for many years and has travelled extensively in Asia. He now lives in Buffalo, New York, where he is at work on a novel about his China adventures.
 
 
 
 
 Book Information:
 
· Paperback: 340 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-148-1
·  $18
 

  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Listen to Chapter one of The Electric Affinities by Wade Stevenson
 
 
 

  Listen to Chapter two of The Electric Affinities by Wade Stevenson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Interview with Tim Myers

 

Tim J. Myers author of Dear Beast Loveliness nterviewed on Cupertino cable access
channel about his poetry. Enjoy

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Photos on flickr