In the introduction to Matthew Goulish’s new book The Brightest Thing in the World: 3 Lectures from the Institute of Failure (Green Lantern Press, 2011), collaborator Jane Blocker recalls the premise for a reading-based compositional exercise* Goulish used in his class: “What does it do and what can you create with it?” A few possible answers gleaned from this book include: how to mourn a blur, analyze “an accident shaped like an umbrella”, or create a lecture that thinks like a poem. This book sets itself up to fail, calling itself “The Brightest Thing in the World.” And then suddenly, it is.
So what else have I felt that way about recently? Definitely Trinie Dalton’s Escape Mushroom Style (The Corresponding Society, 2011) and Rosmarie Waldrop’s essay, “The Ground is the Only Figure” in Dissonance (if you are interested). I plan to disappear into The Journals of Denton Welch just as soon as they arrive by post.
* “employing criteria of your choice, select and extract a total of 8 excerpts, each exactly 6 consecutive words in length from the texts. Print out your 8 excerpts as a sort of 8-line poem, with 6 words in each line. Write 8 footnotes, one for each line, in which you explain why you chose these particular selections. The footnotes may each be a maximum of 100 words in length. Consider them miniature essays in response to the extracts.”
Have you read The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry yet? What are YOUR thoughts on the uproar it’s causing in the literary world? The Chronicle of Higher Education is running an article (see link)http://chronicle.com/blogs/pageview/bloodletting-over-an-anthology/29876 which explains the trouble began with a review in the New York Review of Books by Helen Vendler, “often cast as a sort of “grande dame” of American poetry criticism. [...] Vendler faulted Dove for a dubious and incoherent selection from the country’s last century of verse, and for poor interpretation of its history. In college-paper terms, she gave a crushing C-minus to a straight-A pupil.” Do you think Dove was “right” to exclude Sylvia Plath, as one example? Do you think Vendler was “right” in her assessment of the anthology, and if so, why? If not, discuss your thoughts supporting Dove’s choices (and/or omissions).
Folke Koebberling and Martin Kaltwasser turned this Peugeot car into two bicycles.
They also recently converted a Saab 900 Turbo.
EVENT> Poetics of Place | January 12, 2012 | 6 PM to 8 PM | Yeshiva University Museum, New York, New York
Featuring readings by Wikswo and other prominent fiction and poetry authors from renowned New York literary magazines such as Drunken Boat, Tin House and Conjunctions.
At the moment, the top of the reading pile has the latest issues of Asterisk, the four-fold heavy-stock finely-pressed series from Jess Mynes’ Fewer & Further Press — Number Nine with Harriet Tarlo’s Yorkshire siting of Ponge’s Pré and the others with thrilling work by Stacy Szymaszek and Mynes himself. Next is José Eugenio Sánchez’ chapbook Suite Prelude a/h1n1 (from southern California’s Toad Press), about the political sociology of the plague to come, in a pitch-perfect idiomatic translation by Anna Rosen Guercio. Then Snow Sensitive Skin, by Taylor Brady and Rob Halpern, which had been published by Michael Cross’ sumptuous Atticus/Finch Press back in 2007 and has now been reissued in a trade edition by Displaced Press. They’re all balanced on top of MimeoMimeo #5, edited by Jed Birmingham and Kyle Schlesinger, which gets better and better with each issue — I’m already impatient for Number Six. And finally, the third volume of Friedrich Kerksieck’s fun Memphis-based Matchbook (Small Fires Press), the micro-journal bound in a vintage matchbook cover (!) keeps getting lost somewhere around here as well.