November 27, 2010

Franklin Bruno

Franklin Bruno [USA]
1968

Born in Pomona, California in 1968, Franklin Bruno was from a family of Italian immigrants. All four of his grandparents had come from Italy, and both his grandfathers grew grapes and boysenberrys in the area. His father taught psychology at San Bernardino College, and wrote several textbooks and popular reference works.

Bruno received his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1990 from Pomona College, and a Master’s degree from Claremont Graduate School. He is currently completing his doctoral dissertaton in philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles. Although his philosophical training has primarily been within the Anglo-American tradition, he personally resists the notion of an unbridgeable gap between that tradition and Continental philosophy. At UCLA he has taught courses on property rights and symbolic logic.

Although Bruno describes himself as mostly self-taught with regard to poetry, he was influenced by courses at Pomona with Jed Rasula and Dick Barnes. He began writing seriously in the early 1990s, and published his first work in Paul Vangelisti’s Ribot in 1995. He also participated as one of the writers contributing on a regular, monthly basis, to Vangelisti’s Lowghost. Since that time, he has contributed to numerous journals, and has had one small collection published by Guy Bennett’s Seeing Eye Books, AM/FM (1999). He has also completed a full-length collection, “Rhododactyl.”

Other than poetry, Bruno is very active in music and music criticism. A guitarist, he has been the primary singer and songwriter for the rock trio, Nothing Painted Blue. The group has released four albums to date, and have another, Taste the Flavor, planned for 2004. He has also been involved with other recording artists such as Jenny Toomey and The Extra Glenns. Music criticism of his has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, Spin, Time Out New York, and CMJ Music Monthly.

He describes his poetry as “arranged” or, preferably, “accumulated” rather than written. The work often deals with music and other elements of popular culture.

BOOKS OF POETRY

AM/FM (Los Angeles: Seeing Eye Books, 1999)

To read poems by this author, click below:
http://www.greeninteger.com/pdfs/Franklin_Bruno.pdf

W. S. Rendra [Willibrordus Surendra Broto / Wahyu Sulaiman Rendra] (Indonesia) 1935-2009

W[illibrordus] S[urendra] Broto/Wahyu Sulaiman Rendra (Indonesia)
1935-2009 

Born into a Roman Catholic family in Solo, West Java, in 1935, Rendra was baptized as Willibrordus Surendra Broto, but changed his name to Wahyu Sulaiman Rendra when he embraced Islam upon his marriage in 1970 to Sitoresmi Prabunigrat, his second wife. Throughout much of his life we he was known simply as Rendra.
     He studied English literature and culture at Gajah Mada University in Yogykarta in central Java, but did not graduate, being involved in his first theatrical production for which he was employed. He staged his first important play, Dead Voices, in 1963. Rendra was fascinated by theater since it could embrace both his interest in religious ritual and Western-influenced avant-garde experiments. His sometimes audacious readings and his own poems and the outrageousness of his theater performances brought him wide attention throughout the sixties and into the 1970s. The press gave him the name "Burung Merak," the "Peacock."
 

     Increasingly in the 1970s and 1980s, Rendra moved away from his controversial innovative experiments to an embracement of multi-ethnic cultural expressions throughout Indonesia. In a 1969 drama, he required his actors to give up dialogues, using only their bodies and simple sounds such as "Bib bop," "zzzzz," and "rambate rate rata," performances which journalist poet Goenawan Mohamad described as "mini-word theater."
      Among Rendra's 1970s plays were Mastodon, The Condors, The Struggle of the Naga Tribe, and The Regional Secretary, some of which were banned because of their criticism of the second President of Indonesia, Suharto.
      He also performed Western theater such as works by Shakespeare, Brecht, and the Greeks. Looking younger than his years, Rendra played Hamlet into his late 60s.
     During the Suharto reign, Rendra lived in a poor district of Jakarta, visited by artists from around the world. He was increasingly involved in poetry during this period, using both his performances and readings as a way to gather the masses. In 1979, during a reading at the Ismail Marzuki art center in Jakarta, agents of Suharto threw ammonia bombs onto the stage and arrested the poet. He was imprisoned in the Guntur military prison for none months, kept in solitary confinement.
     After his release from prison, Rendra continued performing and reading, starring in his own eight-hour long play, Panembaha Reso, a work centered on the succession of power in Indonesia. 
     In his later years, Rendra received numerous literary awards, including the Art of the Indonesia Government award in 1970, the Prize of the Academy Jakarta, and the Main Book Prize of the Ministry of Education and Culture in 1976. He was often mentioned as a possible choice of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
     Rendra's poetry is narrative and colloquial, sometimes employing sounds and rhythms such as those he used in his theatrical productions. 
      Rendra died of coronary heart disease in 2009.

BOOKS OF POETRY 

Ballada Orang-Orang Tercinta (Kumpulan sajak); Blues untuk Bonnie; Empat Kumpulan Sajak; Sajak-sajak Sepatu Tua; Mencari Bapak; Perjalanan Bu Arminah; Nyanyian Orang Urakan; Potret Pembangunan Dalam Puisi; Disebabkan Oleh Angin; Orang Orang Rangkasbitung [help is sought in obtaining the city and publisher and the dates of these books) 

POETRY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATION 

Ballads and Blues, trans. by Burton Raffel, Harry Aveling, and Derwent May (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1974); featured in Contemporary Indonesian Poetry, ed. and trans. Harry Aveling (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia: University of Queensland Press, 1975)

A public performance: Rendra and Kantata Takwa, "Puisi Kecoa Pembangunan, live performane 1998

Sermon

 

Fantastic

One hot Sunday

in a church full of people

a young priest stood at the pulpit.

His face was beautiful and holy

his eyes sweet like a rabbit's

and he lifted up both his hands

which were lovely like a lily

and said:

"Now let us disperse.

There is no sermon today."

 

No one budged.

They sat tight in their rows.

There were many standing.

They were stiff. Refused to move.

Their eyes stared.

Their mouths hung open

they stopped praying

but they all wanted to hear.

Then all at once they complained

and together with the strange voice from their mouths

which had to be quickly stifled.

 

"You can see I am still young.

Allow me to care for my own soul.

Please go away.

Allow me to praise holiness

I want to go back to the monastery

to meditate on the glory of God."

 

Again they complained.

No one moved.

Their faces looked sad.

Their eyes questioned.

Their mouths gaped

wanting very much to hear.

 

"This people ask for guidance, Lord

God, why have you left me at this moment?

Like a flock of hungry lazy jackals

they hang their mouths.

It is hot. I piss in my pants.

Father. Father. Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

 

Still no one moved.

Their faces were wet.

Their hair was wet.

Their whole bodies were wet.

Sweat poured onto the floor

because it was so hot

and of the misery they bore.

The stench was extraordinarily foul

And their questions took stank foully.

 

"My brothers, children of the heavenly father.

This is my sermon.

My very first sermon.

Life is very difficult

Dark and difficult

There are many torments.

So in this regard

the wise way to live is ra-ra-ra

Ra-ra-ra, hump-pa-pa, ra-ra-ra.

Look at the wisdom of the lizard

the created God loves most

Go close to the ground

For:

Your souls are squeezed between rocks

Green

Mossy

Like a lizard ra-ra-ra

like a centipede hum-pa-pa."

 

All spoke together:

Ra-ra-ra. Hum-pa-pa.

With a roar everyone in the church:

Ra-ra-ra. Hum-pa-pa.

 

"To the men who like guns

who fix the flags of truth to their bayonet-points

I want you to listen carefully

to lu-lu-lu, la-li-lo-lu.

Lift your noses high

so you don't see those you walk on.

For in this way li-li-li, la-li-lo-lu.

Cleanse the blood from your hands

so as not to frighten me

then we can sit and drink tea

and talk of the sufferings of society

and the nature of love and death.

Life is full of misery and sin.

Life is a big cheat.

La-la-la, li-li-li, la-li-lo-lu.

 

They stood. They stamped their feet on the floor

Stamping in one rhythm and together

Uniting their voices in:

La-la-la, li-li-li, la-li-lo-lu.

Carried along in the strength of their unity

they shouted together

precisely and rhythmically:

La-la-la, li-li-li, la-li-lo-lu.

 

"Now we live again.

Feel the force of the flow of the blood.

In your heads. In your necks. In your breasts.

In your stomachs. Throughout the rest of your bodies.

[See my fingers shaking with life

The blood is bong-bon-bong.

The blood of life is bang-bing-bong.

The blood of the common life is bang-bing-bong-bong.

Life must be lived in a noisy group.

Blood must mix with blood.

Bong-bong-bong. Bang-bing-bong."

 

The people exploded with the passion of the lives.

They stood on the pews.

Banged with their feet.

Bells, gongs, door-pailings, window panes

If it made a noise they pounded on it.

With the one rhythm

In accompaniment to their joyous shouts of:

Bong-bong-bong. Bang-bing-bong.

 

"We must exalt love.

Love in the long grass.

Love in the shops of jews.

Love in the backyard of the church.

Love is unity and tra-la-la.

Tra-la-la. La-la-la. Tra-la-la.

Like the grass

we must flourish

in unity and love.

Let us pulverize ourselves.

Let us shelter beneath the grass.

Let us love beneath the grass.

Taking as our guide:

Tra-la-la. La-la-la. Tra-la-la."

 

The whole congregation roared.

They began to dance. Following the one rhythm

They rubbed their bodies against each other

Men against women. Men against men.

Women with women. Everyone rubbed.

And some rubbed their bodies against the walls of the church.

And shouted in a queer mad voice

shrilly and together:

Tra-la-la. La-la-la. Tra-la-la.

 

"Through the holy prophet Moses

God has said:

Thou must not steal.

Junior civil servants stop stealing carbon.

Serving-girls stop stealing fried chicken bones.

Leaders stop stealing petro.

And girls, stop stealing your own virtue.

Of course, there is stealing and stealing.

The difference is: cha-cha-cha, cha-cha-cha.

All things come from God

which means

everything belongs to everyone.

Everything is for everyone.

We must be one. Us for us.

Cha-cha-cha, cha-cha-cha.

This is the guiding principle."

 

They roared like animals:

Grrr-grrr-grrr. Hura.

Cha-cha-cha, cha-cha-cha.

They stole window panes.

They took everything in the church.

The candelabra. The curtains. The carpets.

The silverware. And the statues covered with jewels.

Cha-cha-cha, they sang:

Cha-cha-cha over and over again

They smashed the whole church

Cha-cha-cha

Like wet panting animals

running to-and-fro.

Cha-cha-cha, cha-cha-cha.

Then suddenly the shrill voice of an old woman was heard:

"I am hungry. Hungrry. Hu-u-unggrryyy."

And suddenly everyone felt hungry.

Their eyes burned.

And they kept shouting cha-cha-cha.

 

"Because we are hungry

let us disperse.

Go home. Everyone stop."

 

Cha-cha-cha, they said

and their eyes burned.

 

"Go home.

The mass and the sermon are over."

 

Cha-cha-cha, they said.

They didn't stop.

They pressed forward.

The church was smashed. And their eyes flashed.

 

"Lord, Remember the sufferings of Christ.

We are all his honored sons.

Hunger must be overcome by wisdom."

 

Cha-cha-cha.

They advance and beat against the pulpit.

Cha-cha-cha.

They dragged the priest from the pulpit.

Cha-cha-cha.

They tore his robes.

Cha-cha-cha.

A Fat woman kissed his fine mouth.

And old woman licked his pure breast.

And girls pulled at both his legs.

Cha-cha-cha.

And thus they raped him in a noisy throng.

 

Cha-cha-cha.

Then they chopped his body to bits.

Everyone at his flesh. Cha-cha-cha.

They feasted in the strength of their unity.

They drank his blood.

They sucked the marrow from his bones.

Until they had eaten everything

and there was nothing left.

Fantastic.

 

Translated from the Bahasa Indonesia by Harry Aveling

 ______ 
Copyright ©by W. S. Rendra; English language copyright ©1975 by Harry Aveling Reprinted from Harry Aveling, ed. and trans. Contemporary Indonesia Poetry (St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia: University of Queensland Press, 1975.


November 20, 2010

Daniel Bouchard


Daniel Bouchard [USA]
1969

Born in Cincinnat, Daniel Bouchard grew up in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and an M.A. from Temple University.

Two books of his poetry, Diminutive Revolutions (2000) and Some Mountains Removed (2005) were published by Subpress, a collective of which he is a founding member. He is editor of The Poker, a poetry journal, and co-curates the Union Square Poetry Reading Series outside of Boston. His pomes have been translated into French and Italian. He is currently employed by The MIT Press and lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Wrackline (New York: Situations Press, 1999); Diminutive Revolutions (Honolulu: Subpress, 2000); Sounds Swarms & Other Poems (Somerville, Massachusetts: Slack Buddha Press/La Perruque Editors, 2004); Even Song for the Lost Pollinators (New Haven, Connecticut: Phylum Press, 2004); Some Mountains Removed (Oakland, California: Subpress, 2005)

Click below for the poem:

July 7, 2010

Ethan Paquin


Ethan Paquin [USA]
1975

Ethan Paquin was born in Nashua, New Hampshire, and raised in Londonderry in the same state.

He graduated from Plymouth (NH) State University and the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he studied with Dara Wier, James Tate, and Tomaz Salamun. In 1999 he founded the influential online literary journal Slope (www.slope.org), and in 2001 co-founded the nonprofit poetry press Slope Editions with Christopher Janke.

Paquin is the author of four books of poems, including The Violence (Ahsahta Press, 2005), which was runner-up for the Poetry Society of America William Carlos Williams Award. A fifth book, tentatively titled Cloud vs. Cloud, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press.

His poetry has been anthologized in Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2005); Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Wave Books, 2002); French Connections: A Gathering of Franco-American Poets (Louisiana Literature Press, 2006); and Joyful Noise: An Anthology of American Spiritual Poetry (Autumn House Press, 2007). His chapbooks are Deafening Leafening (Pilot, 2009), a series of collaborative sonnets written with Matt Hart; and Nineains (Hand Held Editions, 2008).

After teaching and residing for a time in Buffalo, NY, Paquin moved back to New Hampshire, where he currently instructs at Plymouth State University and Rivier College. An avid hiker, he is currently pursuing several New England peakbagging lists, a pastime around which an ongoing creative nonfiction project revolves. He lives with his wife and children in Nashua.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The Makeshift (Devon, England: Stride Publications, 2002); Accumulus (Cambridge, England: Salt Publishing, 2003); The Violence (Bosie, Idaho: Ahshta Press 2005); My Thieves (Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2007); Nineains (South Bend, Indiana and Brooklyn, New York: Hand Held Editions, 2008); Deafening Leafening [with Matt Hart] (Florence, Massachusetts: Pilot, 2009)

Federico García Lorca


Federico García Lorca [Spain]
1898-1936

Raised in the Moorish city of Granada, Federico García Lorca grew up enchanted by puppets, toy theaters, and theater in general. He attended the University of Granada, where he earned a law degree in 1923. But it was an interruption to his university studies, when he traveled to Madrid where he haunted the Residencia de Estudiantes, that he discovered his true talents. There he met the poets Pedro Salina, Jorge Guillén, and Juan Ramón Jiménez and the painter Salvador Dalí, creating lasting friendships.

It was also during this period that he published his first book of poetry, Libro de poemas (Book of Poems) in 1921. Canciones followed in 1927, much of it written during this same period. In 1929-1930, García Lorca left Spain to live in New York (on the campus of Columbia University), and it was there he wrote the important collection, Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York), published after his death. After a short visit to Cuba, he returned to Spain, becoming the head of the theatrical company, La Barraca, an experimental student group set up by the Unión Federal de Estudiantes Hispanos, with subvention by the Republican government.

The company performed a classical repertoire, and further involved him in theater writing. In early 1920, his first play, El maleficio de la mariposa (The Butterfly's Evil Spell) was performed. Although that play was unsuccessful, he followed it with several others in the the late 1920s up until the time of his death. His most notable works include Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding), first performed in 1933; Yerma (performed in 1934); and La casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba), performed after his death.

In February 1936, the new Spanish elections brought to power the Popular Front, an alliance of liberal and leftist parties. An increasing polarization between the right and left was the immediate result, and when a coup d'état failed, civil war began. García Lorca had already made his leftist political positions quite apparent the years just prior to this. In early July, he decided to leave Madrid for a visit to his family in Granada. He arrived in Granada on July 14th; the Spanish military uprising in Africa took place just three days later, and on the 20th the Granada garrison declared their support of Franco and together with the rebel generals took control of the city. A political purge followed, resulting in hundreds of "official" executions, which took place on the city cemetery. On August 16th, after taking up supposedly safe haven in the house of his poet-friend Luis Rosales, Lorca was arrested. As a leftist, a homosexual, and a man of the arts, there was little question in the minds of the Franco supporters that he was a threat. The date of his death by execution is uncertain. But on August 18th or 19th, at the age of 38, he was murdered.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Libro de poemas (Madrid: Maroto, 1921); Canciones (Málaga, Spain: Litoral/Imprenta Sur, 1927); Primer romancero gitano (Madrid: Revista de Occidente, 1928); Poema del cante jondo (Madrid: Ulises/Iberoamericana, 1931); Oda a Walt Whitman (Mexico City: Alcancía, 1933); Llanto por Igacio Sánchez Mejías (Madrid: Cruz & Raya/Arbol, 1935); Seis poemas galegos (Santiago de Compostela, Spain: Nós, 1935); Primeras canciones (Madrid: Héroe, 1936); Obras completas, 8 volumes, edited by Guillermo de Torre (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1938-1946); Poeta en Nueva York (Mexico City: Séneca, 1940); Poemas póstumos (Mexico City: Mexicanas, 1945); Diván del Tamarit (Barcelona: A.D.L., 1948); Siete poemas y dos dibujos inéditos, edited by Luis Rosales (Madrid: Cultura Hispánica, 1949); Suites, edited by André Belamich (Barcelona: Ariel, 1983).

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS

Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (London: Heinemann, 1937; New York: Oxford University Press, 1937); Poems, trans. by Stephen Spender and J. L. Gili (London: Dolphin/New York: Oxford, 1939); The Poet in New York and Other Poems of Federico García Lorca, trans. by Rolfe Humphries (New York: Norton, 1940); Gypsy Ballads, translated by Langston Hughes (Beloit, Wisconsin: Beloit College, 1951); The Selected Poems of Federico García Lorca (New York: New Directions, 1955); Poem of the Gypsy Seguidilla (Providence, R.I.: Burning Deck, 1967); Diván and Other Writings, trans. by Edwin Honig (Providence, R.I.: Bonewhistle, 1974); Songs, edited by Daniel Eisenberg (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1976); Poem of the Deep Song (San Francisco: City Lights, 1988); Ode to Walt Whitman and Other Poems, trans. by Carlos Bauer (San Francisco: City Lights, 1988); Four Lorca Suites, trans. by Jerome Rothenberg (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1989); Sonnets of Love Forbidden, trans. by David K. Loughran (Missoula, Montana: Windsong, 1989); Federico García Lorca: Selected Verse, edited by Christopher Maurer (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1994); Suites, trans. by Jerome Rothenberg (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2001)

July 5, 2010

David Barnett

David Barnett [England/lives Wales]
1929

Born in England in 1929, David Barnett was educated at a boys’ grammar school and, after National Service in Germany, at Oxford University, where he read Modern History. He took a variety of odd jobs before sailing to Malaysia and Thailand, where he spent six months with mostly remote tribal people.

After a spell in advertising, he traveled around the world for several years, with long stays in India, Australia, Tahiti and Mexico. He later taught in the inner London schools of ten years before moving to Wales to run a community whole foods shop.

Barnett describes himself as a vegan who eats mostly raw food. He runs a marathon and walks prodigiously through the beautiful Welsh countryside, dancing frequently and celebrating with his friends. He lives in a remote farmhouse on a moor.

Barnett has been writing poems for more than 30 years, and has published several books, including Bent in Water and All the Year Round. He is currently preparing a new collection of poems for publication. He has had more than a hundred poems in magazines and has won several literary prizes.

His poems, he observes, “are about many things—the natural world, dance, tribal people, the land of Wales and its amazing past, other creatures, the Holocaust, love and death. The genesis of each poem comes from elsewhere. Important to me are the sound of words and the rhythm of a poem which should approach to the condition of music. I’m taken, too, with symbols. A true poem suggests as well as says. Its inner truth must be teased out.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Bent in Water (Spectrum, 1985); Fretwork (Passenger Pigeon Press, 1990); All the Year Round (Envoi Publications, 1993)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006

from Dance your Dance

(xi)

On this isle, yam-friendly,
dancing—palm with palm—
leavens. Hips hula, drum-
cued. Soles tamp
the land that slews,

spreads its jasmine breath to ruck
the bark-cloth of those
who, paddle-stopped, pirogued here
to squat a tropic. Week
a braid a hut,

months for the dance, pliant
as the dove’s, tide-
floss across a lagoon-cleft,
a kelp-tassels, sucklings’
gums. Parties

are bound to dance in the whorl
of their fortune, lavish
like click-beetles, folklore,
fish-spring, dusk’s
colours. Further

birth for the ageless hours
when a fit galliard
makes love, crams gatherings
with the conch-songs
in the glaze

on a reef’s scales. Blest
settlers, hoped, matched
with their porpoise swell. Till frigates—
iron-prowed—jib.
Their freight death.

____
Reprinted from Poetry Wales, XVI, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by David Barnett.



For another poet by Barnett, go here: http://barnettpoems.wordpress.com/



July 2, 2010

Campbell McGrath

Campbell McGrath [USA]
1962

Campbell McGrath was born in Chicago in 1962, grew up in Washington, D.C., and has lived mostly in Chicago, Manhattan, and Miami, where he cur-rently resides with his wife and two sons. He was educated at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, from which he received his M.F.A. in 1988. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and, since 1993, in the M.F.A program at Florida International University, where he is the Philip and Patricia Frost Professor of Creative Writing.

His first book, Capitalism, was a Wesleyan New Poets selection in 1990, and his subsequent books have been published by The Ecco Press. Following the publication of his third book, Spring Comes to Chicago, in 1996, McGrath received a number of honors, including the Kingsley Tufts Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. Three more Ecco Press books have followed, as well as Heart of Anthracite: Collected Prose Poems, from Stride books in England.

His writing often focuses on American history, culture, and landscape because it’s what he knows and cares about most deeply, and because the explanations America owes the world might best be delivered by its poets. He often casts his poems in prose, and does not believe the perceived distinction between “prose” and “verse” is particularly meaningful or consequential. He admires the flexibility of omnivorousness of poetry as a medium for exploring and documenting the world. His heroes include Woody Guthrie, Vincent Van Gogh, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and his future projects include a three-volume poetic investigation of Elvis Presley’s afterlife in purgatory.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Capitalism (Hanover, New Hampshire: Wesleyan University Press, 1990); American Noise (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1993); Spring Comes to Chicago (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1996); Road Atlas (Hopewell, New Jersey: The Ecco Press, 1999); Florida Poems (New York: Ecco Press/HarperCollins, 2002); Pax Atomica (New York: Ecco Press/HarperCollins, 2004); Heart of Anthracite: Prose Poems, 1980-2005 (Exeter, England: Stride Press, 2005)

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006


The Glann Road

Artichoke and thistle: two purples.
Artichoke, thistle, salsify, clover, lavender, loosestrife.
Blue is another country, another realm or province,

blue is a fiefdom unknown to the bees who gang the beds of heather, heads bowed and beaded in [fealty to the Land of Nod.

Clouds are another story altogether,
clouds in their pilgrimage across that starry
demesne, another lifetime, future and past
erased like the rib-blue slate that
floors the lake in sheets as terse as syllables.

Gaillimh: curragh, longboat, hooker. A white horse in the meadow.

Hydrangea the color of melon rind; of indigo, oyster shell, guelder rose.
Hydrangea in the meadow the color of mist, of the piebald mule seeking shelter

beneath the giant oak
islanded in an ocean of black wasps drunk on clover flower.
Joy of the nectar-sated, the smoke-holy,
Kevin in the sanctity of his cold-water tribulation
long before whomever it was
left these ruins of monastic simplicity
marooned amid the heath and ancient yews,
nave, bier, cist,
oracle or temple, scatter of fieldstone, crusheen like a transmitter
pulsing devotion, whatever energy that is, radiant as faith,
quasar or saturnic ring, the stolid earth, its moon,
rocks in a high and lonely place,
six round cobbles from the waters of Lough Corrib,
stones in their orphanhood, their antigravitational hegira,
their lithic ascension
toward fields of hagiographic light.

To locate the self without compass on a lake of many islands,
teal against alum, topaz on shale.
To defend the ancient tower from the piracy of the other, floribunda the color of sea-salt, fist of [the artichoke cloaked in thistle.
To relent. To surrender to the hydrangea. To give oneself over to the blossoming
tendrils of the sweat pea vine,
their vellum prolixity
trellised against a hayrick of rain and a rainbow gone
underground. And the green snake,

vivid as myth, dreaming the spiral of a pre-Celtic divinity,

wild swans in a cove of reeds, a prayer to Saint Francis
Xavier, cerulean offerings to Elatha or Cernunnos,
yesterday's cuttings to propitiate a blue goddess:

zinnia, witches' thimble, chicory, forget-me-not.

____
Reprinted from Electronic Poetry Review, no. 7 (June 2005). Copyright 2005 by Campbell McGrath.

H. L. Hix


H. L. Hix [USA]
1960

H. L. Hix was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and grew up in small towns in the south. He earned his B.A. in English and philosophy from Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, whose campus—with its “sward” and “towers”—was once the home of the girls’ finishing school memorialized in John Crowe Ransom’s “Blue Girls.” He took his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin.

Hix taught philosophy and literature for fifteen years at the Kansas City Art Institute, then held an administrative role at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and is now Professor of English and director of the creative writing M.F.A. at the University of Wyoming. Recognitions afforded his poetry include the Grolier Prize, the T. S. Eliot Prize, and an NEA fellowship.

Hix’s dozen books include works on contemporary continental philosophy (e.g. Spirits Hovering Over the Ashes: Legacies of Postmodern Theory), works of practical criticism (e.g. Understanding William H. Gass), and poetics (e.g. As Easy Lying: Essays on Poetry). His book about poetry, God Bless: A Political/Poetic Discourse, was published in 2007.

He reports an inability to decide whether he is trying to write poetry that is sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic, his claims for poetry having included three of these.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Perfect Hell (Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 1996); Rational Numbers (Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2000); Surely As Birds Fly (Kirksville, Missouri: Truman State University Press, 2002); Shadows of Houses (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2005); Chromatic (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2006); Legible Heavens (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2008); First Fire, Then Birds: Obsessionals 1985-2010 (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2010)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006

Winter
from “The God of Window Screens and Honeysuckle”

Stubble rows, four matte, four shiny in morning sun,
show the combine’s direction. What can be preserved
must be preserved as some self other than its own.
Bent cattails mimic stubble in the frozen pond.
Suet nearly gone, chickadees cling upside down
to the feeder. Above it, a hedgeapple wedged
between branches since fall. Past that, changing direction
at once, fast as mackerel, a thousand blackbirds.
Skaters on a pond, we fall into what we know,
drown in disorienting light before we freeze.
In angled afternoon sun, the fence’s shadow
caresses the snow’s contours like tight-fitting clothes.
Even when grass greens to re-enact spring, the snow
will linger, longest in the shadows of houses.


_____
Reprinted from Shadows of Houses (Youngstown, Ohio: Etruscan Press, 2005). Copyright ©2005 by H. L. Hix.

June 27, 2010

Jennifer Burch


Jennifer Burch [USA]
1973

Jennifer Burch was born in Melrose, Massachusetts and spent her childhood in Granby, Connecticut. She earned a B.A. in Fine Arts from Amherst College and an M.A. in English from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches yoga and works in art publishing. Recent work of hers can be seen in Verse, Free Verse, and Sal Mimeo.

BOOKS OF POETRY

No Matter (The Winged Way, 2008)



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006

Wallpaper

Symmetry operations, glide planes and screw axes might occur in an extended object of repeated patterns. These are the room's translations, so I keep moving. One spot elongates, another squats, but they belong to a system or relation of systems. Colors and luster are all that can be seen of the parts holding together. The walls appear to grow fast in all directions, wearing the habit of plates, but only fracturing could tell. If inside are blades and needles, the arrangement's order deceives. Either there's more than one basis and a whole network of lattices, or I'm looking at glass.


____
Reprinted from Free Verse, no. 8 (Spring 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Jennifer Burch.

Sarah Vap

Sarah Vap [USA]
1972

Sarah Vap was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1972, then grew up in Montana. She attended Brown University, receiving her undergraduate degree in English and American Literature. She passed a few more years in Montana, Frankfurt, Germany, and Richmond, Virginia, before moving to Tempe where she completed her M.F.A. in Poetry at Arizona State University in 2005.

While there she studied with Norman Dubie, Cynthia Hogue, Jeannine Savard, and Beckian Fritz-Goldberg. She has taught creative writing at Arizona State University and Phoenix College, as well as to 1st through 12th graders with the Young Writers Program, A.S.U.’s Programs for Talented Youth, and the Arizona Commission of the Arts educational grants.

Currently a poetry editor at the journals 42opus (an online journal) and 22Across (a journal of kids’ fiction and poetry), she also served as co-editor of poetry at Hayden’s Ferry Review. She has won several grants and awards for her poetry, and has published poems in journals such as Field, Barrow Street, Denver Quarterly, Wascana Review, Diner, SHADE, The Fiddlehead, and Natural Bridge.

Her manuscript Dummy Fire, chosen by Forrest Gander, won the 2006 Saturnalia Poetry Prize and American Spikenard won the 2006 Iowa Poetry Prize.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Dummy Fire (Ardmore, Pennsylvania: Saturnalia Books, 2007); American Spikenard (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007); Faulkner's Rosary (Ardmore, Pennsylvania: Saturnalia Books, 2010)



Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



topsy-

turvy is too sweet a word. grapple,
topmost—as if we carry the fate

of humanity on such-and-such
in a dwindle. that’s better. or,

swirls, that basic. so
happy it’s painful. we kilns

chafe—our secret
plan to redeem the world. and not right

ourselves. low,

then high haunts. supplicants.
when we jump

away from each other, middle
of the night.


____
Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XV, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Sarah Vap.

June 20, 2010

Peter Cater (England) 1955

Peter Cater (England) 
1955 

Peter Cater was born in Hampshire in 1955. His early years were spent in Paris, Germany and then in Kent, prior to gaining an open scholarship to New College, Oxford, to read English in 1973. 
     While there he began to take poetry more seriously, and a handful of his first mature poems were published in university magazines. As President of the Poetry Society he encouraged a wider appreciation of Eastern European poets, including Miroslav Holub and Zbigniew Herbert. Subsequently, he spent six years in Wiesbaden, Germany, where he combined teaching English with the development of his linguistic ability to the point where he could read in the original Kafka and Paul Celan, both formative influences. 


      After his return to the UK in 1986, he took up a career teaching English literature in London, which continues to the present. His more recent work is informed by his passion for music and the visual arts, again with an emphasis on Slav culture, but also by a response to landscape, particularly the unique atmosphere of Dartmoor in the South West of England, with its fascinating and enigmatic pre-Roman archaeology. Other places which have a bearing on his poetry and outlook are Prague, Moscow and St Petersburg, frequent ports of call when not getting away from it all in the Slovenian Alps. 
     A number of poems, largely from his Oxford years, were recently published in Green Integer Review.

June 17, 2010

Anne Shaw

Anne Shaw [USA]
1972

Anne Shaw was born in Tecumeseh, Michigan, and grew up in Lenawee County, Michigan. As an under-graduate, she attended Yale Univer-sity, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in English and psychology. She earned her M.F.A. at George Mason University, where she taught African-American and creative writing. Shaw currently lives as a social activist in Milwaukee. An Assistant Professor of English, she teaches creative writing and directs the Writing Center at Carthage College.

Shaw’s work has appeared in numerous journals, including New American Writing, Phoebe, Haden’s Ferry Review, and 26. In 1998, her poem “Enumeration” received the Virginia Downs Poetry Award. In recent years, she has completed two as-yet unpublished manuscripts. The first is a novella-length collage poem, Monstrosities, which explores the social history of people with medical anomalies and their treatment at the hands of the medical establishment. The second is a book-length collection of poems, Transparence of the Seen.

Dense and lyrical, Shaw’s poetry is profoundly engaged with the physical body and its location in time and space. Her work frequently examines the interconnections between gender, history, and the natural world. Man of her poems interrogate and fracture the language of expertise, seeking to expose its implicit assumptions and juxtapose them with alternate perceptual possibilities. “In my work,” she writes, “I do not necessarily accept the view that the beautiful in poetry is hegemonic, outdated, or useless. Instead, I attempt to carve out a territory in which radically fragmented and lyrically evocative language can coexist.”

BOOKS OF POETRY

Undertow (New York: Perseus Books, 2007)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2005-2006



Shibboleth

A florida I enter in
the name sends out its spikes.
The name is a pod
for the child.
See how the self
rattles around inside?

And such similitude
of love. I am hove up.
A rope to apprehend.
Barnacled. As instinct.
A hand to shuttle forth.

As if our increment were whole:
The pouring-out of waters
over stone,
a shelf of grasses, pressed
beneath the wave.

Or gill note, opalescent
gill. A substance to refute.
Omit the sibling fist
of wind, the hook,
the redundant gale.

Now the tongue will sorrow forth Add Image
its crisp and bloody pod.
The seed is always mute. A cut
exposes the wifely pith.


____
Reprinted from New American Writing, no. 23 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Anne Shaw.