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Mary Kasimor interviewed on rob mclennan's blog

 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

12 or 20 (second series) questions with Mary Kasimor

Mary Kasimor has most recently been published in Yew JournalBig BridgeMadHatHorse Less ReviewAltered ScaleWord For/Word, Posit, OtolithsEOAGH, and The Missing Slate. She has three previous books and/or chapbook publications: Silk String Arias (BlazeVox Books), & Cruel Red (Otoliths), and The Windows Hallucinate (LRL Textile Series).  She has a new collection of poetry published in 2014, entitled The Landfill Dancers (BlazeVox  Books). She also writes book reviews that have been published in JacketBig BridgeGalatea Resurrects, and Gently Read Literature. She considers her work experimental—both her poetry and ink/water colors.

1 - How did your first book or chapbook change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?
My first book or chapbook did not really change my life. It was exciting in a way, but each time I begin a poem I feel as though I am writing  for the first time. What I am saying is that it didn’t increase my sense that I had “made it” in anyway.

My work has become more experimental and organic than my earlier poems, even though I was moving in that direction even with my first book.

2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?
I wanted to be able to write quickly, and that is easier to do with poetry than fiction or non-fiction. I also feel closer to the spirit of poetry, and it is more magical to me. It is also more visual than fiction and non-fiction, and my poetry is visual.

I did not read much fiction for a long time because I wasn’t very interested in fiction. I now enjoy and read novels and non-fiction. I read non-fiction that is philosophical or scientific. 

3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Does your writing initially come quickly, or is it a slow process? Do first drafts appear looking close to their final shape, or does your work come out of copious notes?

I rarely procrastinate when I begin a project. One reason for that is because my writing is usually very spontaneous. It is difficult for me to decide to write about a specific idea or theme, and as a result, my writing is about what is on my mind at the moment. In the chapbook entitled Duplex, I wrote about my children and how I related to them. That book is not as interesting to me as my other books and chapbook because it was somewhat planned and focused. I think that my writing is best when I am not focused on a theme or idea or even style.

My drafts change during the course of my writing. I first write in a notebook and revise in a notebook. Then I transfer it to a computer and revise over and over again. The revision process is important in my writing.
Read the whole interview here
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The Landfill Dancers by Mary Kasimor reviewed on Altered Scale

 

Mary Kasimor's THE LANDFILL DANCERS (BlazeVox)

by Jefferson Hansen


Mary Kasimor’s difficult, but rewarding, poems often create buried narratives, where a story is hinted at but never fully fleshed out. The poems track the perchings and turns of attention on top of these narratives, in forms that emphasize visual process. She uses a variety of poetic techniques—from in-line spacing, to surprising line breaks, to idiosyncratic capitalization—to goad words and phrases into a meaning only poetry could grant them. What’s more, a spirit of experimentalism leaps off the page. Kasimor plays with and in language, moving it into unique and specific witticisms and quiet surprises, all with an eye to visual enactment.
            In the poem “found on page 78” Kasimor explicitly mentions story:
                      found on          page 78
          the story has
                               a toothache when
          they looked           at the corners
          finding bruises
          blue
                        escapes a name          wandering
          skeleton covered           with skin  
The story is “found” on a seemingly random page in a magazine or book, probably in regard to a photograph. This is one of the few places where Kasimor addresses what she’s up to, and even here it is elliptical. For her, stories happen everywhere, are tied together with loose, but exact, strings in the complexity of experience. We don’t know precisely what is going on; bits of insight and guess are as far as we can go. These poems hover in the moments before provisional discernment, before a pattern can be identified or an insight had. They hover in ambiguity, but not ambivalence. They are sure footed, well crafted, even exacting. They have a sheen. So Kasimor writes of the unfinished, the raw, the prior to in, paradoxically, careful and fully formed language.
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This Visit by Susan Lewis reviewed in Poet's Quarterly

  

Review: The Visit by Susan Lewis


Mary Kasimor
This Visit
Susan Lewis
BlazeVOX
Paperback, 104 pages
978-1-60964-169-6
http://www.blazevox.org/index.php/Shop/new-releases/this-visit-by-susan-lewis-384/

In Susan Lewis’ latest collection of poetry, This Visit, she informs the reader of the paradox of being alive in the poem, “Severence:” “the world too beautiful/despite these flaked years.” She repeats this throughout the book, reiterating her passion for existence through metaphors and sleight-of-hand magical language. Lewis creates a landscape of language that shifts meaning and then doubles back to remind the reader of what her main intent is in this collection. I believe that a poet writes from a sense of urgency; that is, a poet looks for the source of life and the meaning of life by writing poetry, and Lewis is accomplishing that in this book. She writes these poems as means to explain and explore the complexities and the fragility of human existence. She explains the inevitable in the poem, “My Life in Microbes:”


But (you say)
      some of my best friends are—

to which I nod:
      decay


It is a simple response to read and enjoy This Visit as a book that is filled with word play, puns, and intellectual maneuvers. However, there is much more to this collection of poetry than one finds in the first reading. Lewis gives the reader a sense of urgency in her poems, even as they come across as being delightfully clever. There is a seriousness written between the lines of these poems, and Lewis is very serious in her intentions in This Visit.


Lewis’ title, This Visit, suggests that someone is going to or has gone “to see” another place on this earth or in someone’s psyche. It can be agreed that we are merely “visiting” the earth and that our visits are temporary and may be occasional. As humans, we try to hang onto life as we know it and as we see and experience it with as much surety as possible. But regardless of our urge and desire to stay, it is only temporary. We try to convince ourselves that we will continue to live forever, and we posture and present ourselves in that way. Lewis tells us this in the poem, “My Life in Sheets:” “strapped & / balanced/ in their come-hither / wrappers, misconstrued & /moribund, mould’ring in / chat chat chat…” As humans, we are firmly entrenched in the idea of always being here, on this earth, but as humans, we also have memory, and we realize that is not how existence continues. It discontinues and is tenuous and fleeting, and it is not at all secure and eternal.

Read the whole review here 

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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

 
 
 

The Landfill Dancers by Mary Kasimor Book Preview

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Extra Pages

Photos on flickr