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Doug Holder Interviews Poet Alexis Ivy author of Romance with Small Time Crooks

Alexis Ivy is a poet and worker in a homeless shelter in Cambridge, Mass. She recently completed her B.A. in English from Harvard University. Her most recent poems have appeared in Main Street Rag, Off The Coast, Spare Change News, Tar River Poetry, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Eclipse, Yellow Medicine Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, J Journal and upcoming in The Worcester Review. Her first poetry collection, Romance with Small-Time Crooks was published in 2013 by BlazeVOX [books]. She is finding a home for her next collection, Taking the Homeless Census which has been a runner-up for University of Wisconsin's Brittingham & Felix Pollack Prize. Holder interviewed her on his award-winning Somerville Community Access TV show Poet to Poet Writer to Writer.


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Barbara Henning reading at the Poetry Project

Barbara Henning & Ed Pavlić

For More Information Head to the Poetry Project 

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Workshop with Barbara Henning at the Poetry Project


Chronology of Mind Workshop — Workshop with Barbara Henning

Over the years, I’ve developed a long list of approaches and experiments that
have helped me generate poems (and novels) and also helped me think differently.
Most of these experiments (or constraints) engage autobiographical material
(the self extending into the world) while at the same time disrupting or redirecting
an easy chronology. Some of the assignments will include: walking/writing meditation,
sequential quilting, prose sestinas, research/layering, a line an hour, thinking the opposite,
etc. The class will function as a workshop; we will read and discuss your writing. We will
also spend part of the time considering writing by others, such as: Matsuo Basho, Harry
Mathews, Jack Kerouac, Harryette Mullen, William Carlos Williams, Helene Cixous, Bill
Kushner, Bernadette Mayer, and Ed Sanders.


Barbara Henning is the author of three novels and seven collections of poetry, her most recent is 
A Day Like Today(Negative Capability Press  2015). Others include A Swift Passage (Quale Press), 
Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists).
She is the editor of 
Looking Up Harryette Mullenand The Collected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins. 
Barbara lives in New York City and teaches for 
writers.com and Long Island University in Brooklyn.
More information about her work can be found at 

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Nine by Anne Tardos Reviewed in Jacket2


Stu Watson: A Review of NINE by Anne Tardos

· Paperback: 148 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-226-6


Anne Tardos’s Nine is a sequence of nine-word lines grouped in nine-line stanzas. This metric which involves the counting of words rather than accents or syllables has a radically leveling quality. Suddenly “temporomandibular” and “I” are of the same metrical value, based on their simple, monadic quality as “words.” As employed through Tardos’s artistry, this form, sometimes referred to as “counted verse,” feels appropriate to our historical moment. It is as though these nine-by-nine grids are architectural blocks, constituent elements in a particular kind of linguistic structure. In its porous inflexibility the form mirrors the empirical reality of infrastructure, of the walls that separate our homes and the streets and subway tunnels that convey us through the world—the commonplace yet all-but-invisible concrete around which our lives are constructed. But it also parallels our desire for ratiocination and “numbers”—“more data”—on which to base our political or personal decisions. The meaning of these poems is often generated by the resistance, dissonance, and lateral freedom they demonstrate within such bounds.

This dissonance leads the poems to express a curious kind of self-referentiality aimed at their form. And so we see concluding lines that offer statements like: “The ninth line is often problematic, as we see.” “The ninth often gets to deliver a punchline.” “The ninth usually knows the way out of here.” Each line of each poem is end-stopped, which further delimits the language, yet Tardos at times follows up a line in such a way so as to hint at enjambment, as in “It’s So Quiet Somehow”:


It’s so quiet today—don’t know what to say.

The uncertainty of the uncertainty and then the uncertainty.

Is the road we take imagined or already given?

Are we inventing our lives as we live them?

Why do we ask questions no one can answer?

Have we finally found a groove, you and I?

A modus vivendi that’s livable for both of us?

Don’t you hate a poem that’s full of questions?

Shouldn’t I try to answer some of them somehow?


The way the second and third lines abut suggests a continuity, as though “uncertainty…Is the road we take…” but the poem resists this interpretation in its syntax, as the third line instead “resolves” into a question. The final seven interrogatory lines modulate between concrete images and abstract musings before concluding by turning on their own need for questioning—and raising the specter of an “answer” that, by virtue of its appearance in the terminal ninth line, cannot be offered. Just as an individual, when faced with some bureaucratic encumbrance will sometimes comply but do so unhappily, so these poems always reach their appointed end, but are not always “happy” in doing so, and they let us know this.

Read the whole review here

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An Apparently Impossible Adventure by Laura Madeline Wiseman Now Available!

Laura Madeline Wiseman has created a strange and wondrous world in this ambitious new collection. In deft turns, Wiseman travels multiple geographies – the world of myth and true fairy tales, the underworld of sketchy hotel rooms and desire, the natural landscape that enchants and confounds, the worlds of want and need and love and loss. Her voice by turns gritty and warm, edgy and elegiac, Wiseman expertly weaves a tale of obsession with the girlish femininity of fairies within the larger story of how women must become shape shifters to navigate the terrain of relationship to the self and to the world. We see what it means to possess and to be possessed. “I think of love--/land, vegetables, fruits, fat and round and free//how some can be spared. There is care, other stories/we can cultivate here, other worlds to see--” Her fairies are by turn gritty and fluffy: they “sit on crates on corners with cardboard signs…Some even keep very small dogs.” By the book’s end, we have emerged from the underworld, the threads of relationship rewoven, restored but deeply changed by the journey.

—Kate Lynn Hibbard, author of Sweet Weight

Laura Madeline Wiseman’s prose is razor-sharp, cutting through all the falsities we cling to, exposing us all hiding beneath the masks we wear, exposing our wounds, our wandering frailties, all that we sidestep, and most deeply, exposing the ‘mists that divide.’ An Apparently Impossible Adventure is a stunning read.

—Karen Stefano, author of The Secret Games of Words

Fairies are sinister creatures, seductive and cruel, as is Laura Madeline Wiseman’s newest collection, An Apparently Impossible Adventure. With her sharp wit and insightful eye, Wiseman takes us on a journey through American consumerism and its numbing dollar store obsessions, across landscapes both lost and rediscovered, into the heart of a marriage tested and torn. In this fine and finely-wrought collection, Wiseman lifts the veils that divide us and incants the magics that bring us together again.

—Liz Kay, author of Monsters: A Love Story

In this book Laura Madeline Wiseman fashions a complex weaving of the inner world and modern relationship difficulties presented in an archetypal retelling of classical hero myth. Are the fairies real? Clearly they represent ego manifestations and the interplay of jinn plane and earthly travail. Whether lost in the fairy forest (illusion or reality?), arguing with lover or caring for motherless nieces the reader will travel along a deep journey of the self and other in today's America.

—Barbara Schmitz, author of Always the Detail

The art of the narrative is alive and thriving in Laura Madeline Wiseman’s An Apparently Impossible Adventure. Here in this world, fantasy juxtaposes reality: fairies and illness, American Gothic and married life, pirates and popcorn. Yet throughout these poems, Wiseman charms us with the specific and the real—whether a mandrake seed unfurls the first white tongue or our heroes that drove without seatbelts, we travel through her world of relationships—both natural and mystical. In grief and beauty, Wiseman’s well-crafted, engaging poems consider the deeper tales we’ve been given—“a promise of packaged life, Just enough magic to cup in your hands”—in a book you will return to again and again.

—Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Hourglass Museum

Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of over twenty books and chapbooks and the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence. Her collaborative book Intimates and Fools is an Honor Book for the 2015 Nebraska Book Award. Her recent books are Drink (BlazeVOX Books), Wake (Aldrich Press), and The Bottle Opener (Red Dashboard). She holds a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has received an Academy of American Poets Award, a Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner Award, and the Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship. Her poetry won the 2015 Beecher’s Contest in Poetry, selected by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs. Her poetry was also a finalist for the 2015 District Lit Poetry Prize, selected by Sarah Vap. Her book Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience was nominated for the 2015 Elgin Award. Her critical reviews have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Calyx, and The Iowa Review. Currently, she teaches poetry in the Red Hen Press Writing for the Schools Program and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-232-7



An Apparently Impossible Adventure by Laura Madeline Wiseman Book Preview by Geoffrey Gatza

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Photos on flickr