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Radha Says

The final collection by award-winning poet Reetika Vazirani, published by Drunken Boat.

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Annotations of contemporary poetry edited by Lisa Russ Spaar, published by Drunken Boat.


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Because Drunken Boat is based on the East Coast, we’re going to be delaying the launch of DB#14 until Monday the 5th. We’ll post as soon as the issue has gone live, so we promise you won’t miss it!

Hope you’re all well and dry.


The Editors of Drunken Boat

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Published Aug 31, 2011 - Comments Off on DB#14/Hurricane Update

As part of the ENG 488: Hypertext, Graphic Novels & Pulp Fiction class at CCSU, English majors and graduate students are writing responses to some of the work in prior issues of our journal, underscoring the usefulness of electronic literature in the classroom.

I-Pledge provides the audience an opportunity to rewrite the Pledge, proclaiming allegiance to individual principles and values. As a collection of user-created material, the project is an amalgamation of discrete pieces which follow the established format of the Pledge of Allegiance. This creates an experience for the viewer: scrolling through the massed submissions becomes a monotonous exercise punctuated by some exceedingly poignant statements about contemporary cultural values. These statements demand moments of reflection, goading the viewer into an introspective examination of each pledge, accepting or rejecting every submission to refine his or her own potential pledge.

The simple interface makes the project approachable, but ultimately limits the user’s access to the available submissions. This decision seems calculated, both to appeal to the casual viewer and as a reflection of thematic implications. Just as the audience is not (or should not be) expected to read every pledge, it is inconceivable for any single individual to fully understand the desires and motivations of every member of his or her society. In this way, I-Pledge walks through a crowded party, shaking hands with each guest in turn and asking the question, “To what do you pledge allegiance?” As such, I-Pledge is an expression of each contributor’s identity, a series of aspirations and allegiances of varying levels of attainability.

The project itself is both interesting and ambitious, and it relies heavily upon the faith of its audience and contributors. While perusing the work, one can never be certain that the author of any particular pledge is being honest. This may bear more heavily on the viewer, but it is an ever-present reminder of the prominence of sarcasm and ennui in contemporary society. The project encourages the audience to weigh each submission against his or her own values, to consider the motivations behind each author’s statement, to repeatedly formulate his or her own pledge, and to define the relationship between the individual and the society-at-large.

by Steven Nelson

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Published Aug 30, 2011 - Comments Off on Who are we kidding, the kids rock.

Passed along by one of our favorite genderqueer poets, we’re excited about this.


Dear Author,

We want your words.

What is the project: We are creating an anthology. An anthology of the best poems out there by trans and genderqueer writers and we would love to include your work in the book. Our assumption is that the writing of trans and genderqueer folks has something more than coincidence in common with the experimental, the radical, and the innovative in poetry and poetics (as we idiosyncratically define these categories), and with your help we’d like to manifest that something (or somethings) in a genderqueer multipoetics, a critical mass of trans fabulousness.

This anthology is edited by TC Tolbert and Tim Peterson (Trace)—both trans-identified poets. It will be published by EOAGH Books in early 2012, and you can bet it will be widely distributed!

Deadline for Submissions: Nov 30, 2011
What to Submit: 7-10 pages of poetry, and a prose “poetics” statement (see below)
Where to Submit: email us at transanthology@gmail.com

Why is this anthology important: While trans and genderqueer poets have existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, there has never been a collection of poetry exclusively by trans and genderqueer writers that also highlights a diverse range of poetics and other marginalized identities. Each particular understanding of self and gender creates an essentially complex and rich multipoetics that undermines any sort of universal trans aesthetic. Inherently multi-vocal and anti-hegemonic, a singular trans experience simply does not exist and, frankly, we don’t want it to. For this reason, an anthology is the most conducive venue for undoing any attempted whitewashing and/or homogenizing of an imagined trans voice. As we said, we want your words. The words, syntax, perspective, lyric, narrative, image (or the disruption of any of these) that could actually only come from you.

Full info at transanthology.com.

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Published Aug 27, 2011 - Comments Off on Open Call for Trans/Genderqueer Anthology

Ravi Shankar Launches Deepening Groove In An Evening of New Poetry

Writers and Readers Series
Thursday, August 25, 2011 | 6 PM
$5/FREE Real Art Ways Members

Hartford, Connecticut – Real Art Ways’ Writers and Reader Series is pleased to announce an evening of new poetry with acclaimed poet, Ravi Shankar, who will launch his new book Deepening Groove, winner of the 2010 National Poetry Review Prize. Three notable authors will join Shankar each reading from their new works- Joel Allegretti, Susan Frischkorn and Lisa C. Taylor.

Connecticut Poet Laureate Dick Allen will introduce Deepening Groove and has hailed Shankar as “one of America’s finest younger poets.”

Deepening Groove is a collection of poems comprised of detailed observations about animals, trees, flowers, fish, the weather, and the human condition. Many of the poems are set in New England where Ravi Shankar lives. Poems from the collection have been featured by the Academy of American Poets and have appeared in such journals as Blackbird, Barrow Street, Fulcrum, The Mississippi Review and Slope.

Ravi Shankar is founding editor of Drunken Boat, an international online journal of the arts, and Co-Director of Creative Writing at Central Connecticut State University. He has published five other books and chapbooks. With Tina Chang and Natalie Handal, he edited W.W. Norton’s Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond, called “a beautiful achievement for world literature” by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer.

Joel Allegretti is the author of two full-length volumes of poetry from The Poet’s Press: The Plague Psalms and Father Silicon, selected by the Kansas City Star as one of 100 Noteworthy Books of 2006. Poets Wear Prada released his third collection, Thrum (2010) a chapbook of poems, prose poems and poetic essays about musical instruments. Poets Wear Prada will publish his fourth collection, Europa/Nippon/New York: Poems/Not-Poems, in 2012.

Suzanne Frischkorn is the author of Girl On A Bridge (2010), and Lit Windowpane (2008) both from Main Street Rag Publishing. In addition she is the author of five chapbooks, most recently American Flamingo (2008). Her honors include the Aldridge Poetry Award for her chapbook Spring Tide, selected by Mary Oliver, a 2009 Emerging Writers Fellowship from the Writers Center, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

Lisa C. Taylor is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently a collaborative collection with Irish poet and writer Geraldine Mills, The Other Side of Longing (Arlen House/Syracuse University Press, 2011). They were both named 2011 Elizabeth Shanley Gerson Readers of Irish Literature at University of Connecticut. She has a new collection due out in 2012.

Writers and Readers is a social gathering for people who love books. Readings will be preceded and followed by an informal discussion providing an opportunity to talk with others interested in reading, writing and thinking. Newly released publications will be available for purchase.

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Published Aug 24, 2011 - Comments Off on Deepening Groove Launch

As part of the ENG 488: Hypertext, Graphic Novels & Pulp Fiction class at CCSU, English majors and graduate students are writing responses to some of the work in prior issues of our journal, underscoring the usefulness of electronic literature in the classroom.

This is not a negative criticism, but Every Day the Same Dream is boring. Staggeringly boring. The graphics are almost all done in shades of grey, and the gameplay is painfully slow. And this is exactly what the designer wanted it to be.

Every Day the Same Dream (EDTSD from here on) is not a game about epic quests or battling the forces of evil. Instead, it shows us what our daily lives have become. True, EDTSD uses the cliché of the cubicle worker repeating the same routines endlessly, but even those of us who do not work in an office spend our day through the motions. Unless we are lucky, our jobs don’t require much in the way of creativity or independent thought. We wake up, get dressed, we have minimal interactions with our loved ones and co-workers, we lose ourselves in our careers, and wake up the next morning to do it all again. Just like the protagonist of EDTSD. It is telling that the aforementioned protagonist does not have a name or, indeed, and facial features. He is blank, and he is every one of us.

Anton Chekov is credited with having said, “Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out.” And that’s essentially the point of EDTSD. Very few of us will participate in revolutions that will change the face of our lives. Instead, we have to change the little things that we actually have control over. In the game, we can change the course of the protagonist’s day simply by walking a different way to get to our car in the morning, or by stopping to catch a leaf as it falls to the ground instead of blindly plowing past it to get to work. These are the small things, the miniscule revolutions, that can change our lives.

I feel that the web art format was a perfect medium for this message. We are not merely reading about the protagonist or seeing his plight on a movie screen. EDTSD allows us to become the protagonist, and to relate to his monotony as though it were ours. We control his movements instead of watching them; we can consign him to the same routine every day, or we can break him out of his cycle. EDTSD puts the power in our hands, and hopefully, we retain some of that power once we step away from our computers.

by David Lang

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Published Aug 23, 2011 - 1 Comment so far

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