November 28, 2010

Michael Gizzi

Michael Gizzi [USA]
1949-2010

Born in Schenectady, New York, Michael Gizzi has lived the majority of his life in Providence, Rhode Island and Lenox, Massachusetts. He earned degrees in English and Creative Writing from Brown University. He spent the next decade as a licensed arborist in southern New England. He was during this period closely associated with the poets surrounding Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop’s Burning Deck Press, which published three volumes of his poetry: Bird As (1976), Avis (1979), and Species of Intoxication (1983).

Gizzi moved in the early 1980s to the Berkshires in westernmost Massachusetts, where he began teaching. For the next twenty years he coordinated many poetry readings, most notably at Simon’s Rock of Bard College and at Arrowhead, the former home of Herman Melville. These readings included among others: Robert Creeley, John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, James Schuyler, Bernadette Mayer, Clark Coolidge, Michael Palmer, Lyn Hejinian, Susan Howe, Rosmarie Waldrop, Harry Mathews, and Emmanuel Hocquard.

Throughout the 1990s Gizzi edited Hard Press and lingo magazine. The press published a variety of titles, among them Bernadette Mayer’s classic Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters, Merrill Gilfillan’s poetic travelogue Burnt House to Paw Paw, and Trevor Winkfield’s resplendent art book Pageant. Gizzi has continued in this publishing vein with Qua Press, which he co-edits with poet Craig Watson in Jamestown, Rhode Island.

Gizzi has collaborated on a number of projects with Clark Coolidge. Hard Press published their Lowell Connector: Lines and Shots from Kerouac’s Lowell in 1993. John Ashbery said of Gizzi’s No Both (1997), “Razor sharp but also rich and generously compelling, Michael Gizzi’s poetry lambastes as it celebrates, bringing us finally to a place of poignant irresolution.” He is presently a visiting lecturer at Brown University, where he coordinates the Downcity Poetry Series.

Gizzi died in 2010.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Bird As (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck, 1976); Avis (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck, 1979); Species of Intoxication (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck,1983); Just Like a Real Italian Kid (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures 1990); Continental Harmony (New York: Roof Books,1991); Gyptian in Hortulus (Providence, Rhode Island: Paradigm Press,1991); Interferon (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures,1995); No Both (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures/West Stockbridge, Massachusetts: Hard Press,1997); Too Much Johnson (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures,1999); Cured in the Going Bebop (Providence, Rhode Island: Paradigm Press,1999); My Terza Rima (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures, 2001); The Depths of Deadpan (Providence, Rhode Island: Burning Deck: 2009); The Collected Poems of Michael Gizzi (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Firgures: 2015)


╬Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
1994-1995
A Brodeyak (1942-1993)

It's not humility I'm after nor the pit of my gums
that change verbose signals in this cocoon I keep decoding
call it Opera Buffo just stay the hell away from my noses
they're too rheumy for the harpoons you swallow

Consider the swabby who shares me to you
from perfect glottal yodelling in the next-to-nothing sense
Davy Jones hipflask in the john forsythia
53 rounds with the storied Mazeppa
ballpeen on the lens infiltrating looks waving glemas

And I think how your nails must feel
stuck in a magazine trollop
your sunny likeness misfit to this undertow elongating
thirst for disintegration that lines the sides of shadows
emitting phosphor atop replays one stops to ignore

The child swing ruffian giddyap truck tire rascalings
in grey air as if crystal clicked into memory tic
crystallized names and fallen trees
fallen as this passion inside of me
as you drop to your knees for a taste from another sun


____
Reprinted for Object. Copyright (c)1994 by Michael Gizzi



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

Chimes at Midnight

The father in exile
stripped of his sundial
borrows the equator for a belt

the son in translation
misrules on a run-through
for eternity

noon would love to behave
like midnight
for once

the past
rides out of houses
green with red breath

only the billowing overcoat
is left everything else
is made up




PERMISSIONS
_____
Reprinted from Big Bridge, III, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Michael Gizzi.

November 27, 2010

Standard Schaefer


Standard Schaefer [USA]
1971

Standard Schaefer was born in Houston, Texas in 1971. His father was an office furniture/equipment salesman and eventually became a fanchisee for an office supply manufacturer. His mother was a teacher, translator, and a secretary for a Chilean based pipeline manufacturer.

In 1992, after working for the Public Broadcast Systems, Schaefer moved to Los Angeles to attend Occidental College. There he encountered the poet Martha Ronk, and studied poetry and fiction with Dennis Phillips and Douglas Messerli. He graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature in 1995. In 1997 he took a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California. In 1998 he worked temporarily as an editorial assistant for Filmmaker Magazine, and throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s he worked for various small businesses from wine importers to dog grooming. In 2001 he developed his own marketing and ad copy business, Schaefer Enterprises, concentrating on food distribution and real estate development. More recently, he joined the staff of Just Dissent, an organization that protects civil liberties. He also teaches at Otis College of Art.

In 1997 he began, with Evan Calbi, an important Los Angeles literary magazine, Rhizome, which lasted for four issues through 2000. Like many other Angeleno publications, it combined a wide range of American poetry with the work of international figures and contained extensive reviews. With the closure of that magazine, he worked as co-editor, with Paul Vangelisti, for Ribot: A Journal of the Arts. He also edited Vangelisti’s selected poem for Agincourt in 2001. He is currently the non-fiction editor of the Otis College of Art & Design journal, The New Review of Literature.

In 1999 his book of poetry, Nova, was selected as a winner of the National Poetry Series and was published by Sun & Moon Press in 2001. His second book, Water & Power, appeared in 2005. His poems, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Nova (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 2001); Water & Power (New York: Agincourt Press, 2005)
To read poems by this author, click below:

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

Rob Stanton

Rob Stanton [England]
1977

Born in Bishop Auckland, County Durham on August 11th, 1977, Rob Stanton spent his childhood in Solihull, Birmingham. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wales, Cardiff, an M.A. in American Culture and a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds. He has worked as a postgraduate and then postdoctoral teaching assistant at the School of English, University of Leeds since 2001 and is currently thinking about becoming a high school teacher.

From 1999-2001, he edited the University of Leeds-based Poetry & Audience. In 2005 he was short-listed for an Eric Gregory Awards. His poems have appeared in can we have our ball back?, Fascicle, Great Works, Octopus, The Rialto, Shampoo, Shearsman and Stride. Critical writing has been published in Canadian Literature, Jacket and How2.

From an ars poetica in process, Stanton writes: “Operational metre/Inexplicable orchard….Sing, thing, and / set to off: go blam…. Language is vast. Vast and obvious…. Bite-size interaction. Mind- / found micoscapes. Marks made…. Nuts. Bolts. Let flower…. ‘To jangle and confute the English tongue.” ….Outta breath. Exegetes / speak for themselves. The dad / do not speak…. Our piece our poem…. Any source legitimately yours…. Concussive sun, percussive between bars. The fence occludes (all fences do)…. Good / tread. Sound / system…. Late student of beginnings. I have favourites. ‘I’m no / one to talk.’ ….You yourself your captive audience. The / turn. Nail maker. Splurge rightly. Duck.”

Click below for the poem:
http://www.greeninteger.com/pdfs/Rob_Stanton.pdf

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 8, 2010

Ange Mlinko

Ange Mlinko [USA]
1969

Ange Mlinko was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She earned her under-graduate degree in Philosophy and Math-ematics at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Brown University.

In 1996 Lift Books published a chapbook, Immediate Orgy and Audit. It attracted the attention of the Boston-based publisher Roland Pease, whose Zoland Books brought out her first full-length book Matinees in 1999. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was named one of its Best Books at the end of that year.

Her second volume, Starred Wire, was selected for the 2004 National Poetry Series by Bob Holman for Coffee House Books . It was also a finalist for the James Laughlin Award, and garnered mentions in national publications.

Mlinko's poetry is often linked to the influence of Frank O'Hara and John Ashbery, with its love of language and urban contemporary life, but she thinks of herself as reverse-engineering the New York School back to Marianne Moore, Stevens, Williams, and Crane and then bringing it all back to the very brink of the present.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Immediate Orgy and Audit (Boston: Lift Books, 1996); Matinees (Boston: Zoland Books, 1999); Starred Wire (Minneapolis: Coffee House Books, 2004)



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



Everything’s Carousing


Even the baroque gets lost in it.
Grass vests the dirt lest wind, twanging the skyscrapers

that merely sleeve the elevators, as we go sleeveless
except for the atmosphere, file it under Oceans.

Recalling the equations derived for ballistics —
aiming cannonballs is not like squaring lintels,

and skyscrapers are all lintel.
There isn’t a straight line amidst all these that never meet;

I will write away for it. A sound that breaks
“the record and the tie with the most singles in a season.”

Sparrows petulantly, like petals, adding subtracting
to crumbstrewn cafe tables, then boarding the ferries.


____
Reprinted from Jacket, no. 28 (October 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Ange Mlinko.

Connie Deanovich


Connie Deanovich [USA]
1960

Born in 1960, Connie M. Deanovich received her B.A. in English at Columbia College in Chicago in 1983 and her M.A. at DePaul University in Chicago in 1990. From 1983 to 1988 she worked as a publicity coordinator at The Poetry Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon receiving her M.A., she became a full-time instructor at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois and, from 1992-1993, an adjunct instruction at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois.

In 1997 she was awarded the Whiting Writer’s Award. She had previously received a General Electric Foundation Award for Younger Writers in 1990. In 2000 her work was anthologized in American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Universit Press).

In 1996, she published her first collection of poetry, Watusi Titanic and in 1999 Zoland Books published her Zombie Jet. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Watusi Titanic (New York: Timken Publishers, 1996); Zombie Jet (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Zoland Books, 1999)

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


Though We Wanted It to Stay

the building’s audition
was its demolition
lit from beneath by cop cars
an industrial octopus squeezed it to pieces
the orphans clustered by the pay phone
except for the one was smoking
he and his hat sat bow-legged
on the steps

just try breathing normal here

the time is always twilight
the assassins cold as a coin
with a foreign hole in the middle

just try

we may fling out our arms
“this is our world!”
but the world ignores such distractions
its machines go on fluently
like gorgeous quick-footed doctors
and we observe the operation

soon behind a turquoise curtain
we’ll need more food
something simple on a disposable plate
a glass of cold milk to wash it down with
a glance at the sunflowers out back
57 yellow heads
their seeds not yet vanished inside crows

just try making slow go fast go slow

air changes when it wants to
passing from one symphony to another
like a string of sailor’s whistles on a ship departing
massively at first
across the ocean that envelopes it

___
Reprinted from New American Writing, no. 23 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Connie M. Deanovich.




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

Carter Ratcliff

Carter Ratcliff [USA]
1941

Born in Seattle, Washington, Carter Ratcliff grew up in Michigan and Ohio. In 1963, he earned a B.A. in English from the University of Chicago. By 1967, he had settled in New York and found his way into the milieu of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project. His poems first appeared in The World, the Poetry Project magazine. Early in the 1970s, he conducted one of the Project’s poetry workshops.

With the publication of his gallery reviews in Artnews, in 1969, Ratcliff joined the ranks of those New York poets who pursue a second career as art critics. Since then his art writing has appeared in major art journals in the United States and abroad, and in catalogues published by major American and European museums.

His books on art include John Singer Sargent (Abbeville Press, 1982); Robert Longo (Rizzoli, 1985); The Fate of a Gesture: Jackson Pollock and Postwar American Art (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1996); Out of the Box: The Reinvention of Art, 1965-1975 (Allworth Press, 2001); and Andy Warhol: Portraits (Phaidon Press, 2007).

Ratcliff has received a Poets Foundation grant, 1969; an Art Critics grant, NEA, 1972 and 1976; a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1976; and the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Art Criticism, College Art Association, 1987. His editorial positions include Editorial Associate, Artnews, 1969-1972; Advisory Editor, Art International, 1970-1975; Contributing Editor, Art in America, 1976 to the present; Contributing Editor, Saturday Review, 1980-1982; Editorial board, Sculpture Magazine, 1992 to the present; and Contributing Editor, Art on Paper, 2001 to present.

Though Ratcliff has said, “My poems are all love poems,” his poetry ranges over many themes and subjects, among them landscape and, in particular, the American sense of space; the interplay of poetry and painting; politics, with an emphasis on questions of individual agency; the nature of narrative, as exemplified by such genres as the detective story and the political thriller; figures of ancient myth and tragedy; and the characters of the commedia dell’arte. “A quality of language brings with it an intuition of character,” says Ratcliff. “When I put my sense of another’s voice into play I am brought by a roundabout path to the full range of my own interests. This is anything but mysterious. The dramatic monologue is about as transparent as a fiction can be. To elaborate it—to speak in a variety of obviously made-up voices—is to stay alive to something we all know, that meaning is not only a work in progress but a perennial collaboration between oneself and all the others who inhabit one’s landscape.”


BOOKS OF POETRY

Fever Coast ( New York: Kulchur Press, 1973); Give Me Tomorrow [with art by Alex Katz] (New York: Vehicle Editions, 1983); Arrivederci, Modernismo (New York: Libellum Press, 2007)


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



The Raven Was Right

The earth circles the sun,
not the sun the earth. I suspected as much,

though I can’t imagine what circles the raven
or what the raven circles, and, oh, I forgot,

your ex-boyfriend called,
he wants you back.
He wants to be your shadow.

Love is hard,
and harder still to classify. Is it an object, a theory, a form
like a sonnet or form like a villa or a palindrome? Who knows,

and why not? Are we all too hopelessly eroded
by whatever the measure of charisma we still possess?
Is everything the fault of the motion picture camera?

sigh the powers that were
and would like to regain their old preeminence, the glamor
and the glory of the one that flings the many into shadow, and, oh, I forgot

your ex-girl friend called, she wants to be your many shadows
and I guess you must know, by now, your old place is for rent again,
and all that is fair in love is still too stubborn to give war a chance, still refuses
to give even name, rank and serial number.

Is that because love is so rare,
so unlike other things, or is it, au contraire,
too like all those other things?

Leaving the arcade and turning south,
the personage stumbled but never fell, never
came anywhere near falling, in song or story, despite the moral disaster

the world underwent just then, more by coincidence
than for any reason that need engage a mind as dreamy as yours,
my darling, my pretext for opening my eyes
in the morning, in the evening, whenever I want, because why not?
I leave it to the moth who circles my head like a flame

to remind me that you left me
years ago, before time began and reminders
were ever necessary, and I can’t imagine who reminds the moth of her task,
what infinitely versatile thing takes the trouble to do so, to be the world

that invites us to love the truce that we have made with it.

____
Reprinted from Vanitas, No.1 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Carter Ratcliff.

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/