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Roger Craik reading First Journey

Roger Craik reading First Journey from his book Down Stranger Roads. This video was made for the Kent State alumni Journal. Enjoy!   

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a new book trailer for Notes on a Past Life by David Trinidad

Enjoy this new book trailer for David Trinida's new book, Notes on a Past Life!! 

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Anne Gorrick's Artistic Flow

 

Anne Gorrick's Artistic Flow - Featured in the Hudson Valley's publication, Chronogram!!


Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale - FRANCO VOGT
  • by Nina Shengold

The front walk to Anne Gorrick's door has been reclaimed by flowers. As metaphors go, it's a bit obvious, but it does seem delightfully apt that you enter the poet's great rambling ship of a house from the side.

A visual artist as well as a poet, Gorrick's latest collection A's Visuality (BlazeVOX, 2015) cross-pollinates these foci, with two suites of art-themed poems ("FOLIOS" transcribes the texts of 28 artist's books she made from found-object fragments of art criticism; "Chromatic Sweep" riffs on color descriptions from Kingston's R&F Handmade Paints) and encaustic monotypes. Her previous books include the densely brilliant language collages Kyotologic (Shearsman Books, 2008), I-Formation, Book 1 (Shearsman, 2010) and I-Formation, Book 2 (Shearsman 2012); she co-curates the electronic journal Peep/Show with Lynn Behrendt. If this body of work suggests an avant-garde wraith in SoHo black layers and high-concept shoes, think again.

Gorrick opens the door in a loose-weave sweater and blue jeans, trying to corral an exuberant black lab named Einstein, more often called Tiny (he isn't). Her eyes are hyacinth blue, her smile infectious. After a high-exclamation point tour of the home she shares with husband Peter Genovese, she sits in the kitchen, popping up almost immediately to pour Cup of Joy chocolate-mint tea. The fragrant steam blends with the heady scent of home-tapped maple sap evaporating on the stove. 

It's one of those Hudson Valley households: Wherever you look, something creative is happening. It might be a partially restored vintage rosewood piano, an antique barber chair, a glass-front cabinet of perfume ingredients next to a writing desk made from a motor-repair bench. There are framed prints on the walls (Cynthia Winika's as well as Gorrick's), work boots next to the woodstove. Two stacks of books line the table: Cassandra Danz's Mrs. Greenthumbs series ("kick-ass gardening books") and several volumes on Greek mythology. 

One of Gorrick's new projects involves googling Greek gods and goddesses for pop culture and home product namesakes to plunder for poems. "There's an Aphrodite II double-wide mobile home," she exults. "I'm just entranced. I'm beside myself with how much fun this is." 

Gorrick is a frequent flyer in cyberspace, often using the "terrible Internet translator" BabelFish to "pour text back and forth into about 20 different languages." The results are a springboard for high-diving poetics. 

Does she worry about accessibility? "I think it's okay for people not to be interested in my work," she says. "There's a million other flavors out there." She's a fervent believer in "doing work to please your best, highest self instead of the marketplace;" her nine-to-five job as a college administrator pays the bills so her art doesn't have to. 

Gorrick was born in Poughkeepsie. Her parents moved there from northeastern Pennsylvania when the local coal economy collapsed. Gorrick's father was hired by IBM (which ironically also collapsed); her mother taught science. Gorrick attended Spackenkill High School, where she played competitive tennis and studied classical piano. She describes her love of the arts as a "switched at birth" fluke in her science-prone family. "It was not a household with a lot of poetry books," she says drily. 

The gateway drug was Sylvia Plath's Ariel, which she read in junior high. "I didn't even know what she was talking about, but it was so powerful," Gorrick recalls. "I didn't know you could do that with language. It gets into your skin like a scar." Then she discovered Tristan Tzara's Dada poems, which opened a door to experimental poetics. She pursued a traditional English degree at SUNY New Paltz, but had "the nagging sensation there must be something else." She found it in Clayton Eshleman's seminal periodical Sulfur: A Literary Tri-Annual of the Whole Art. "I thought, this is the community I want to be writing in."

It seems safe to say that she got her wish. Gorrick and poet Sam Truitt just edited In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill of Barrytown, 2015). Featuring 64 area poets and spanning nearly 400 pages, it's a mighty watershed of a book. 

Even at a glance, it's clear we're not in Kansas anymore. The first offerings are three documentary poems by Mark Nowak, a photo-and-text excerpt from Carolee Schneemann "ABC—We Print Anything—In the Cards," and a 10-word poem by Sparrow; the last, L. S. Asekoff's "Yangshuo in a Drizzle," consists entirely of punctuation. There are poems written sideways, shaped into spirals, spaced across pages or printed in side-by-side columns. "Station Hill's Susan Quasha did a great job with the design—that's a lot of disparate work to fit under two covers," Gorrick says. In a preface, she and Truitt explain that they sought "poets whose work either shows originality of form or makes use of poetic conventions in new ways: old bottle/new wine; new bottle/old wine; and, sometimes, new bottle/new wine."

Read the whole article here

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Un/Wired by Stephen Bett Now Available!

In this, his 18th book of poetry, internationally acclaimed Canadian poet Stephen Bett is back to working the sassy, edgy margins of social satire. Divided into four sections, this book opens with humor; turns to soft-edge and then to hard-edge, wicked, hilarious satire of our vapid monoculture; and concludes with a section of poems bringing in the angst of it all.


PRAISE FOR STEPHEN BETT’S MOST RECENT BLAZEVOX BOOK,
Those Godawful Streets of Man: A Book of Raw Wire in the City:

“I love what Stephen Bett is doing with language in his latest opus…

Bett’s his own man here. He’s absorbed the lessons of the Objectivists, Beats, Black Mountain, New York and San Francisco schools; the Canadian Tish poets’ experiments with vernacular phonological phrasing in open form; the studious avoidance of the ‘burnished urn’ Modernist reliance on myth, metaphor, and intellectual conceits, dense allusion, tight boxed containers.

Not that Bett’s poems aren’t marvelously allusive; the bric-à-brac of pop culture is all here: movies, cell phones, the Web, selfies, Tweets and all manner of squawks from the Interface. But there is nothing overtly confessional and the stitches and strophes are utterly comfortable and companionable…

This is minimalism for readers who like their poems fat: rich, but sans impasto or ornament. A book of raw wire in the city: edgy, tense, sharp, angular, dangerous… .

At the heart of the book…is the story of a dissolving relationship, the man too earnest and accepting; the woman raging and fading into madness. But nothing is cloying or mawkish or sentimental, or even confessional; instead we shift easily from a sort of Special Victims Unit episode of macro family skeleton news to deeply personal, eviscerating sorrow―with grace and elan.

Musically, rhythmically, the poet is adroit, fluid, as graceful as Sonny Rollins on a good day. You can feel those tight turns, drops, and ascents as you might on a carnival ride; Bett doesn’t waste a word, but pastes you to the back of your vernacular cage. You are in for the ride.

Line for line, strophe for strophe, image for image, Stephen Bett’s latest delivers the news, along with the tart taste of jazz and blues.”

—Richard Stevenson, Pacific Rim Review of Books

Those Godawful Streets of Man takes an unapologetic, unflinching look into the back alleys and poorly lit areas of the human condition….You will find a voice that is braver than many, and a view of the world that is beautiful in its starkness.”

—Stuart Gill, Front Porch Journal

For reviews of all his books, and for recent interviews, visit stephenbett.com

Stephen Bett is a widely and internationally published Canadian poet. His earlier work is known for its sassy, edgy, hip… caustic wit―indeed, for the askance look of the serious satirist… skewering what he calls the ‘vapid monoculture’ of our times. His more recent books have been called an incredible accomplishment for their authentic minimalist subtlety. Many are tightly sequenced book-length ‘serial’ poems, which allow for a rich echoing of cadence and image, building a wonderfully subtle, nuanced music. Bett follows in the avant tradition of Don Allen’s New American Poets. Hence the mandate for Simon Fraser University’s “Contemporary Literature Collection” to purchase and archive his “personal papers” for scholarly use. He is recently retired after a 31-year teaching career largely at Langara College in Vancouver, and now lives with his wife Katie in Victoria, BC.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 124 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-253-2

 $16
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Un/Wired by Stephen Bett Book Preview

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Hybrid Hierophanies by Clayton Eshleman Now Available!

 from HYBRID HIEROPHANIES:

 

 

Theseus, a tiny male spider, enters a tri-level construction:
look down through the poem, you can see the labyrinth.
Look down through the labyrinth, you can see the spider-centered web.

                                                             Coatlicue
              Sub-incision                Bud Powell
                              César Vallejo
                                          The bird-headed shaman

These nouns are also nodes in a constellation called
Clayton’s Tjurunga. The struts are threads
in a web. There is life blood flowing through
these threads. Coatlicue flows into Bud Powell,
César Vallejo into sub-incision.

                         The bird-headed shaman
is slanted under a disemboweled bison.
His erection tells me he is in flight. He drops
his bird-headed stick as he penetrates
     bison paradise.

The red sandstone hand lamp
abandoned below this scene
is engraved with vulvate chevrons—did it once flame
     from a primal sub-incision?

This is the oldest part of this tjurunga, its grip.

 

 

 

 

Clayton Eshleman’s most recently-published books are Clayton Eshleman / The Essential Poetry 1960-2015 (Black Widow Press) and A Sulfur Anthology (Wesleyan University Press). Hybrid Hierophanies will be included in Penetralia to be published by Black Widow Press in 2017.  Eshleman’s website is: www.claytoneshleman.com. Adrienne Rich has stated: “As a poet and translator, Clayton Eshleman has gone more deeply into his art, its processes and demands, than any modern American poet since Robert Duncan and Muriel Rukeyser.” And Robert Kelly has written: “Nobody is like him in his struggle. At times he makes the wildness of most poetry seem merely effete. I know of no poet who has fed so richly from the thingliness of the world beneath his feet, none who so resists the glamour of beliefs. He is a shaman without a single superstition.”

 

 

 

Book Information:

 

· Paperback: 28 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-252-5

 

$12 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hybrid Hierophanies by Clayton Eshleman Book Preview

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Photos on flickr