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Articles by Clarice Waldman :

Scholarship by Joe Safdie Now Available!

Joe Safdie's new book exists in a place where poetry joins with other forms of thought & knowledge - "history, myth, politics, autobiographical narrative, criticism, prose," as he lists them elsewhere - to make a new hybridity in place of what has been kept apart & alien for far too long.  In doing so, he joins a select company of poets for whom nothing human is foreign & everything observed or imagined can enter the field of the poem. That he does it with boundless humor & grace is also worth noting.

 
Jerome Rothenberg
 
Poet Joe Safdie is at his best as he refreshes and renews the ancient story of Orpheus, which opens his new book Scholarship.  Eloquent in his personal yet classic presentation of history, myth, politics and autobiography, he writes with an accomplished yet easily accessible voice that segues through time to the news of the moment, presenting an intimate and politically astute personal view of the ordinary events that make up the classic past and immediate present of poetry.
 
—Joanne Kyger
 
Postmodernism’s bifurcating canyons are notoriously intimidating to all but self-appointed practitioners. For mere bitcoins of close attention, Joe Safdie’s Scholarship will generously guide you both up and down river, and reward you with the knowledge you need to strike out on your own. Never will the sight of a well-stocked library be so alluring and welcoming as when you’ve finished this long-awaited book of poems by one of the most insightful and subtly witty poets working on (and beyond) the West Coast since the 1970s.
 
—Bill Mohr
 
The great Jack Clarke used to load hermetic epigraphs, quotations, and borrowings onto and into his texts. They were (still are) detonations of a sort, opening shafts for difficult thought down and through the rubble of poetic protocol and complacency. Poetry as Scholarship . . . Joe Safdie, whose first full book you hold, is of this secret, somewhat unlicensed poetic company – off on his own, under the Po-biz radar, he follows in Clark’s wildcat tradition, working patiently, with older, tried and true tools, unconcerned with the fads and foibles of the Field. He’s been bringing strange minerals back from below since he learned some of the how as one of Ed Dorn’s closest students back in the day. No doubt if Dorn were here, the back cover of this book would have been occupied by his words, celebrating and calibrating this magnificent work.
 
—Kent Johnson
 
 
 
 
Joe Safdie lives in a coastal community north of San Diego with his wife Sara and his cat Cody, teaches English at a local community college, and petitions the emperor to lift his exile. (Who is the emperor? Good question.) He’s published the chapbooks Wake Up The Panthers (with the assistance of Kayak Press), Saturn Return (Smithereens Press), Spring Training (Zephyr Press), September Song (Oasis Press), and Mary Shelley’s Surfboard (Blue Press); other poems, essays, reviews and opinions about literary matters are floating in the virtual universe and occasionally assume form.
 
 
 
Book Information:
 
· Paperback: 118 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-164-1
 
$16
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Scholarship by Joe Safdie Book Preview

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Geoffrey Gatza interviewed on the Huffington Post

Geoffrey Gatza interviewed on the Huffington Post

 

The Art of Conceptual Poetry: Interview With Geoffrey Gatza

by Loren Kleinman 

Posted: Updated: 

Geoffrey Gatza is an award-winning poet and editor. He is the author many books of poetry, including Secrets of my Prison House (BlazeVOX 2010), Kenmore: Poem Unlimited (Casa Menendez 2009), and HouseCat Kung Fu: Strange Poems for Wild Children (Meritage Press 2008). He is also the author of the yearly Thanksgiving Menu-Poem Series, a book-length poetic tribute for prominent poets, now in it's tenth year. His visual art poems have been displayed in the gallery showing Occupy the Walls: A Poster Show, AC Gallery (NYC) 2011 occupy wall street N15 For Ernst Jandl - Minimal Poems with photography from the fall of Liberty Square; and in Language to Cover a Wall: Visual Poetry through its changing media, UB Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY) 2011/12 Language for the Birds. Geoffrey Gatza is the editor and publisher of the small press BlazeVOX. The fundamental mission of BlazeVOX is to disseminate poetry, through print and digital media, both within academic spheres and to society at large. He lives in Kenmore, NY with his girlfriend and two beloved cats.

Loren Kleinman (LK): Why write Apollo? Talk about its premise? What's the goal of the book? What are the main conversations?

Geoffrey Gatza (GG): I was drawn to write Apollo after falling in love with chess. While studying the game, I realized Marcel Duchamp, arguably one of the 20th century's most important and influential artists, was an intriguing figure in the chess world. Apollo traces the central strategies and themes of Duchamp's work. Movement, displacement, doubling, isolation, pun, and metamorphosis are the tactics used by Duchamp to estrange the ordinary. More than just a collection of poems, this book is a readymade, taking the form of a souvenir ballet program detailing a one-night-only performance of Apollo by Igor Stravinsky to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show in New York, in which Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 caused a sensation during its exhibition. At its heart, this book is about Marcel Duchamp but it is also about chess. It was thought for a long while that Marcel Duchamp gave up art to play professional chess. However, this was found to be not true with the revelation of his last major artwork, Étant donnés.

Using the form of a ballet, this work calls attention to the acts of performance, movement and choreography as well as the rhythms and balance of dance. These ideas are also found in chess. The conversation between dance and chess runs through this work. Each character is represented by a chess piece and their movements are conveyed and correlated as dance, thus the reason this book takes the form of a ballet. Marcel Duchamp, his female alter ego Rrose Sélavy, Dorothea Tanning, Leornona Carrington, and Gertrude Abercrombie perform the ballet. Max Ernst leads the orchestra and Dizzy Gillespie performs a special solo.

The ten sequences in Apollo are performed in poem sections unfolding with specific functions towards the production and appreciation of the creative act. Duchamp famously said, "The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act." This book establishes a more active role for the reader, who is asked to participate in creating meaning from the text. The work becomes collaboration between the audience, the poet, and the tradition that they've all inherited. The diversity of these works echoes the complexities of the subject, but together they posit something specific, the heightened relationship between the interior self and the exterior world.

LK: Is Apollo a conceptual poetry collection?

GG: Indeed, this is a conceptual collection; conceptual with a lower case 'c.' I say this to distinguish this book from some of the Conceptual poetry being written by Kenny Goldsmith, Vanessa Place and Divya Victor.

The whole book is an art object, taking the form of a souvenir program of a ballet performance that never took place. In the proper spirit of the performance, I sent out invitations to the ballet, giving an address and performance space that did not exist. The text of the book needed to move beyond the ordinary form of poetry, so a Stravinsky ballet was chosen to act as the template/stage for the work to happen.

Opening with an introduction narrated by Duchamp's female alter ego, Rrose Sélavy sets the stage for the evening's performance and as hostess for the evening, tells the story of Tiresias. The first tableau details the birth of Apollo and how Apollo created the game of chess for Caissa in an Ovidian style of mythic writing. This is followed in turn by the myth of how Duchamp gave up painting for other forms of more engaging art.

A dada chess poem and a photo ballet of a chess game are used to illustrate the moving perceptions of chess. Highlighting Duchamp's work, forms a relationship with it, and gives relative weight to the subject.

Three long poems look at the work of three prominent female surrealist painters. Dorothea Tanning's painting, Birthday, is contemplated in "The Twelve Hour Transformation of Clare," a story of a woman who disappears into words. Leonora Carrington's work is thought through in "Recipe for Water," a poem of time and contemplation of relationships within a mystical space. The Ivory Tower by Gertrude Abercrombie is enacted in a retelling of the Lady of Shallot.

Duchamp Draws Rrose Sélavy is a three-act play that sets up an imaginary scene between Marcel Duchamp and his female alter ego Rrose Sélavy. They play a game of chess in the final moments before Duchamp completes his last major piece, Étant donnés. At the end of the play, the audience is trapped in the tableau of Étant donnés, left in a museum. To complete the book, the ballet takes the form of a complaint letter to the director of the Albright Knox. Detailing the true story of how I was kicked out of the museum for carrying an umbrella, the ballet ends on the outside steps with the author anticipating the redundancy of death.

Read the whole interview here 

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Kristina Marie Darling, Interviewed and Reviewed!

 

Hurray! Kristina Marie Darling has a lot of media out there this week. Have a look and be sure to check out all of her book on BlazeVOX [books]

 

+ A new interview about her book, Vow, at The California Journal of Women Writers:

 http://tcjww.org/2014/01/29/interview-kristina-marie-darling/

 

 

+ A new review of Music for another life at American Microreviews and Interviews:

 http://www.americanmicroreviews.com/#!kristina-marie-darlings-music-for-anoth/cke1

 

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BrUSHES WITH by Kristina Marie Darling Reviewed in The Rumpus

 Brushes with

BRUSHES WITH BY KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

REVIEWED BY 

Kristina Marie Darling’s latest collection of writing —her tenth!—takes as its premise the notion that every love story is, to quote David Foster Wallace, a ghost story; what we know and understand about our lovers is inevitably comprised of wispy half-truths and sensations, ones not so much acknowledged as intuited, felt.

At its core Brushes With depicts a romantic unraveling; “Cartography,” the first poem in the collection, begins, “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 ” (13). From that opening, then, the details and figurations of the speaker’s relationship with her former paramour slowly shape into focus, maneuver into place. What was once idyllic and ideal is now tarnished beyond repair; all that is left of the speaker’s relationship with her lover is a perplexing sense of foreboding. In the poem “Feminism” Darling asks, “What is love but a parade of memorable objects, a row of dead butterflies pinned under glass?” (20). Elsewhere, in “Martyrdom,” she writes, “I never imagined love as a cause for suicide. But there we were, surrounded by all of the tell-tale signs: a breadknife, a withered corsage, a white dress with some ruffles along the bottom (30). Simultaneously sorrowful and beatific, ponderings of the aforementioned nature pervade throughout the entire collection.

Read the whole Review HERE

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Many BlazeVOX connections in the new issue of Galatea Resurrects

  

Hurray, the new issue Galatea Resurrects has just been released. We have a list of BlazeVOX books that have been reviewed and featured. Do have a look at
 
 
 
 
Mary Kasimor reviews THE  PINK by Jared Schickling
 
 
CHELTENHAM  and APPARITION POEMS, both by Adam Fieled
 
 
Eileen Tabios  engages THE  UNFINISHED: BOOKS I-VI by Mark DuCharme
 
 
Eileen Tabios  engages BIG  BAD ASTERISK* by Carlo Matos
 
 
Tom Hibbard  reviews BLAME  FAULT MOUNTAIN by Spencer Selby

 
 
Allen Bramhall  reviews GRADUALLY  THE WORLD: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1982-2013 by Burt  Kimmelman
 
 

THE CRITIC WRITES  POEMS

Mary  Kasimor
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Photos on flickr