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Puddles of an Open by Paige Melin Now Available!

 Charles Bernstein once argued that in a well-crafted poem, form acts as an extension of content, particularly as the subject of the work is enacted through the behavior of the language itself. Paige Melin’s writing not only utilizes hybrid forms to mirror content, but rather, form and content become seamlessly intertwined as the book unfolds. We as readers are invited into the heroine’s psyche, made to experience the beauty and terror of thought itself. Through her provocative syntactic ruptures and stream-of-consciousess narrative style, Melin subtly and gracefully interrogates the boundaries between interior and exterior, subject and object, self and world. Puddles of an Open is a stunning debut, as innovative in its technique as it is in its philosophical assertions.

—Kristina Marie Darling


Paige Melin’s literary laboratorial imaginations, Puddles of an Open, moves to expose the sociological prejudice and the political capacity inherent in dictionary words as they, these things of letters, are casually exchanged between us. Her assemblages are ensembles of a harmonious breach with the quotidian and sublime suburban poem of our time. In Melin’s ruptured poetry, compliant poetry becomes poetry of applied use, and with hope, a poetic tool for reassignment.

—Michael Basinski


[cant enter or move out of away from]  Puddles of an Open occurs in a suggestively uncomfortable space between entrance and exit that is never fully within. about to be said and already retracted, Melin’s suspended [story] remains untold: as it resists coherence as representation of events, it captures instead a self-fragmenting fugitiveness in articulation. raising awareness around speaking and narration as decision – precisely by refusing this decision – Melin plays on the slipperiness of memory and the language of telling [eyes] [ice] while lingering on aporias of consent, admission, desire, and feeling besetting the underlying matters spoken of. is this a trauma or a dream (or both)? whose words are in whose mouth? [funny to awaken when youve never been sleeping] come skim with Melin along this uneven surface: seduction is a text that doesn’t give up (its secrets)…

—Judith Goldman


Poet, editor, and intersectional feminist Paige Melin is currently pursuing her M.A. in English at the University of Maine. Her writing has been published in NAME, Yellowfield, and Stolen Island, and has won awards through the Academy of American Poets and the Albert Cook, Mac Hammond, and John Logan Prize for Poetry. Along with her partner, Vincent, she co-founded and edits steel bellow: a purely Buffalo literary magazine, and she is currently the Editorial Assistant for Paideuma: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.


Book Information:

· Paperback: 36 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-236-5

$10

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Puddles of an Open by Paige Melin Book Preview

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Those Godawful Streets of Man by Stephen Bett reviewed in Pacific Rim Review of Books (10th Anniversary Edition)

 

Those Godawful Streets of Man by Stephen Bett
reviewed in Pacific Rim Review of Books (10th Anniversary Edition)
Reviewed by Richard Stevenson


I love what Stephen Bett is doing with language in his latest opus. I call it word jazz: poetry generated as much by sound association as image association; what Charles Olson called Projective Verse—proprioceptive poetry that lives in the moment and leaps playfully through word association nets not so much to create a thing, as to arrest the movement of the mind as it moves through microcosms and macrocosms of the cityscape, reflecting on and refracting what the poet finds.

Let me lay my cards out. I’ve been in a long love affair with English language haikai poetry (haiku, senryu, tanka, kyoka, zappai, renku); Kerouacian “pops” and Ginsberg’s “American Sentences”; trad to avant garde ‘ku; imagism; found poetry; realist and neosurrealist styles. So, after a bout of jazz poetry and performance in homage to Miles Davis, and performing cryptocritter/alien poems at kidlit conferences and local bandshell/gazebos (Frank Zappa for Tweens) with my jazz/rock troupe Sasquatch, I’ve been getting low and digging wit, irony, humour, epiphanies, bumper snicker spam-ku, scifaiku, for a good ten years or more.

Hence, I love the paradox of the so-called “wordless poem,” erasure, minimalism in all its modes, modern and post-modern. Bett’s his own man here. He’s absorbed the lessons of Donald Allen’s New American poets—the Objectivists, Beats, Black Mountain, New York and San Francisco schools, etc.; 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 as comfortable and companionable as a Tetley Tea bag or
new silk pyramid of the latest craft tea. The allusions are to pop culture events: post-modern texts, not obscure texts. The reader is invited in—to squalid coldwater flats of yesteryear newly converted for the addicted and down-and-out of the lower east side of Vancouver, with sparking bare wires spitting between poles, maybe—but, no matter: the urban experience touches everyone and the reader will supply his or her own meta-narratives where the minimalist directive of the poet’s overarching narrative allows.

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— in the electrified, computerized grids of cityscape we inhabit, and in the boxes we place each other in and peer out from; pole to pole down the dirty low-rent boulevard, in back alleys, out to suburbia, as we attempt to touch through wires and wireless interfaces, en face, live and in person in an age of celebrity cast-off culture and relationships.


At the heart of the book and appearing late in the accumulating narrative—the overall alienation we 21st-century zombie citizens feel facing globalization and its feral children—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:


Then there was cousin
Billy (Edinburg)
down the shop for smokes
Wife and baby daughter
at home for five
minutes


READ THE WHOLE REVIEW in the Pacific Rim Review of Books (10th Anniversary Edition)

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Nectar of Story: Poems by Tim J. Myers won a 2016 Storytelling World Resource Award

 

Category 7 

Special Storytelling Resources : Honor

The 2016 Storytelling World Resource Awards


This section features the 2016 winners and honors selected from the numerous nominated stories, books, and recordings. Beneath each award title is a short descriptive phrase about the resource contents. The major evaluative criterion was "story- listener appeal" for the items selected in Categories 1-6, and "usefulness for storytellers" for the resources honored in Category 7. 


Read more here 


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Women and Ghosts is reviewed by Lisa M. Cole

 

Kristina Marie Darling's s Women and Ghosts

The essential question in Kristina Marie Darling’s hybrid text Women and Ghosts is posed early on: “If a man turns his head in such a way, who or what is shattered?” As the book’s speaker addresses this quandary, we witness a subtle subversion of the patriarchy, and an upheaval of the male-dominated literary canon. I see the push and pull of a woman who “drowns under the weight of her own dress,” her femininity; her very existence. At the same time, she is reaching towards autonomy; an identity completely separate from the men who stifle her. The men portrayed here are violent and manipulative. The offer no trace of love. She is mired in a rape culture; she is being pitted against a society which does not value the female voice. She asks, “Why is there so much language, so many words I didn’t want.” She doubts the efficiency of language, but barrels ahead; embraces bravery, and speaks out regardless.  

She participates in a conversation spanning centuries with both real and imaginary women: the women reading this text, and the women in Shakespeare’s plays: Ophelia, Juliet etc. Especially pleasing for me is the fact that previous exposure to these texts enhances my experience, but the book is so delicately rendered as to be accessible to even those who have not read the plays.  
Read the whole review here
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Aaron Simon's book Rain Check Poems is reviewed in Publishers Weekly!!

 

Rain Check Poems

Aaron Simon. BlazeVox (SPD, dist.), $12 trade paper (60p) ISBN 978-1-60964-216-7

Simon (Senses Himself) tackles ideas of leaving, longing, and missed opportunity as he creates a sense of urgent questioning in his fourth collection. Owing much to the New York School and displaying hints of Romanticism, Simon's poems are replete with moments of wild juxtaposition that let him reinterpret personal scenes with depth and humor. For example, he combines enjambment and anachronism in the title poem: "O Fates! O Body!/ Rude sirens cause a scene." Simon's formal technique is highly conversational and associative, and the poems are notable for their sparse use of punctuation. Through this mechanism, many lines do double duty as they interact with preceding and succeeding lines. This lends itself to a sense of confusion and a feeling of messy in-between-ness; readers are lost in the fog of existence and the poet's reveling in both how simultaneously maddening and liberating it can be. In "Mendocino," the feeling of love amid ancient redwoods and "cloud banks out of Blake" leads to a sensation of being "an ellipsis/ in a long line of ellipses." Despite the seeming insignificance of the self, what is being experienced still feels vital and important. It's a theme that recurs throughout the collection's mostly brief, occasional poems. Simon manages to be earnest and dreamy while still feeling grounded in the immediate material of life. (Aug.)






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