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 24, 2010

Terence Winch


Terence Winch [USA]
1945

Terence Winch, originally from the Bronx, New York City, has lived for much of his life in the Washington, D.C. area. In the early 1970s he was associated with DC's "Mass Transit" poets and closely associated also with the New York writers connected with the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church in lower Manhattan.

Winch, the son of Irish immigrants, has also been associated with the Irish-American literary and musical traditions. Some of his poetry and other writing takes its subject matter from his upbringing in a Bronx immigrant neighborhood.

Winch has published four books of poems, a collection of short stories, and a book of non-fiction pieces that center on his experiences playing traditional Irish music. His first poetry collection, Irish Musicians/American Friends (Coffee House Press, 1985), won an American Book Award and was the subject of a piece on NPR's "All Things Considered." His second book of poems, The Great Indoors (Story Line Press, 1995), as chosen by Barbara Guest for the Columbia Book Award. These collections highlight how Winch uses language in two distinct ways in his poetry—the plainspoken, flat narratives of Irish Musicians/American Friends and Boy Drinkers versus the denser, more structurally complex works in The Great Indoors and The Drift of Things.

Joan Retallack writes of his work: "The music, humor, flat-out declarative, highly nuanced formal tone of Terence Winch—too full of love to be ironic—is propelled in light-dark metacognitive play by an urgent desire of the mind."

His work is included in over 30 anthologies, among them The Oxford Book of American Poetry; Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry; Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present; From Totems to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas; and three appearances in Best American Poetry. Winch has received an NEA Fellowship in poetry, as well as grants from the DC Commission on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Commission, and the Fund for Poetry.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Total Strangers (West Branch, Iowa: Toothpaste, 1982); Irish Musicians/American Friends (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1985); The Great Indoors (Brownville, Oregon: Story Line Press, 1995); The Drift of Things (Great Barrington, Massachusetts: The Figures, 2001); Boy Drinkers (Brooklyn: Hanging Loose, 2007); Lit from Below (Dublin: Salmon Press, 2013)
  

Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2006-2007




Saving Face

I waited too long. Everything I did was wrong.
I didn't know how to make sense of time.
I have no idea where I was when Kennedy was shot.
What you didn't see is what you got.

So I came down here to be alone with the phone.
I was sick to my stomach, waiting for your call.
I used to drink red wine and eat cheese in cheap hotels.
Bite off more than you can chew, then swallow it.

Everyone waves goodbye to me, even though
I have no plans to go. I am waiting for the snow.
I hate the spring. I don't want anything to grow.
The apple falls far from the tree.

We are told that light is too far away to see.
You cannot hide any more in the refrigerator.
The neighbors will never learn their lesson in the dark.
People in glass houses continuously walk around in circles.

So fare-thee-well, valiant comrades of the revolution.
We all showed up for the rally that night with our guitars
and sang a Joan Baez song about rivers and stars.
Give a man a fish that will last forever.


_____
Reprinted from New American Writing, No. 24 (2006). Copyright ©2006 by Terence Winch
.

June 23, 2010

Mark DuCharme


Mark DuCharme [USA]
1960

Mark DuCharme was born in Detroit in 1960 and grew up in its suburbs, the only child of a divorced mother who worked as a secretary. He earned a BA from the University of Michigan and, later, an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.

He self-published a rather large chapbook in 1990 with which he later became dissatisfied. Numerous chapbooks have followed, as well as three books: Cosmopolitan Tremble (2002), Infinity Subsections (2004) and The Sensory Cabinet (2007). All of these contain “serial poetry” as well as “individual” poems. Beginning with The Found Titles Project (published in 2009 but written earlier in that decade) he abandoned serial poetry in favor of what he calls writing projects. The bulk of his work from this point on has been in the context of various writing projects. Since 2008, he has been at work on a project called The Unfinished.

In addition to poetry, DuCharme has published numerous poetics essays. In 2006 he won the Neodata Endowment Grant in Literature, and he has also been selected for the Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry from Sun & Moon Press. DuCharme was a coordinator of the Left Hand Reading Series, the archives of which can be found on the University of Pennsylvania’s PennSound website. He now curates the Stratford Park Reading Series in Boulder, Colorado, where he lives.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Life Could Be A Dream (Ann Arbor, Michigan: last generation press, 1990); Emphasis (Peacham, Vermont: :that: [issue of :that: magazine], 1993); i, a series (Cleveland: Burning Press, 1995); 4 sections from Infringement (Ra'anana, Israel: Oasis Press, 1996); Contracting Scale (Morris, Minnesota: Standing Stones Press, 1996); Three Works (Invasive Map) (Amman, Jordan: Oasis Press, 1998); Infringement (electronic publication: Light and Dust Books, 1998); Desire Series (Boulder, Colorado: Dead Metaphor Press, 1999); Near To (Brooklyn: Poetry New York/Meeting Eyes Bindery, 1999); Anon [with Anselm Hollo, Laura E. Wright and Patrick Pritchett, with illustrations by Jane Dalrymple-Hollo] (Boulder, Colorado: Potato Clock Editions, 2001); Cosmopolitan Tremble (Columbus, Ohio: Pavement Saw Press, 2002); Infinity Subsections (Brooklyn: Meeting Eyes Bindery, 2004); The Crowd Poems (Boulder, Colorado: Potato Clock Editions, 2007); The Sensory Cabinet (Kenmore, New York: BlazeVox Books, 2007); The Found Titles Project (electronic publication: Ahadada Books, 2009)


Winner of the PIP Gertrude Stein Awards for Innovative Poetry in English
2006-2007

Because


Because I could not stop for
What was no longer hidden
After the addictive necessity
Therefore I do not speak

Because I can, or whisper
Into the opening which could resubmerge
You in darker nights than we’d conceal
Encasing what was strange

Even turbulent, for a moment, because
I could find you, not there, but real, before
Drawing breath in order to linger
There because I could find you yet

We still could be submerged in
It, it does not matter where
It was, no more, turnabout to image
Image which is constant change

Because I could not stop, but dared
To inform the speaker of the matter
Matter which encompasses us
Do I find you here, up to the wicker

Steeped in lucent trafficking
For death, death to remain active in
A texture, an accidental barrier
& I cannot stop until then


____
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, III, no. 2 (April 2006). Copyright ©2006 by Mark DuCharme.

June 22, 2010

Joanna Klink


Joanna Klink [USA]
1969

Joanna Klink was born in 1969 in Iowa City, Iowa, where she grew up. She attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and later earned a Ph.D in Humanities from the Johns Hopkins University and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Iowa.

Her first book, They Are Sleeping, won the Contemporary Poetry Series through the University of Georgia Press and was published in December 2000. Her second book of poems, Circadian, takes as its guiding vision circadian clocks, the internal time clocks of organisms that regulate rhythms of sleeping and waking. Affected by the presence and withdrawal of light, these clocks influence, among other things, the opening and closing of flowers, the speed at which the heart pumps blood, and the migratory patterns of birds.

Klink is also writing a book length lyric meditation titled Strangeness. A hybrid of forms—prose poem, essay, and biography—Strangeness is at once an introduction to the life and poetry of Paul Celan; an extended reflection on Celan's search for a reader; an exploration of the strangeness of poetry in general; and a defense of the obscure or difficult poem in an age in which more straightforward poems tend to be popular.

A recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer's Award in 2003, Klink teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Montana.


BOOKS OF POETRY

They Are Sleeping (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2000); Circadian (New York: Penguin Books, 2007); Raptus (New York: Penguin Books, 2010)


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

Into the Kitchen a Light

Into the kitchen a light
rays down quiet. A private
sense of absence in my everyday
patterns—of disservice, breath,
or words pulled into my ribs
prying apart my errors from
the hopes that made them—
and outside the window coated
in soot from winds that come
all winter, some process has
ceased—although birds
drop and lift off the roof,
aerial sweeps, or just bursts of
feather, wings, claws, and the leap
of heart I would have,
should I be so brightly altered
with the chances of life,
a reparation I feel gathering
in my lungs, zero in the pitch,
scarlet wing, most unnatural
sound held in the dim
threshold of my throat—
or am I less than I was—
and fear I can't distinguish
the delicate blue current inside
the light from the pain in my voice
or the early morning fog laid over
the grass from the voice
that underlies everything


____
Reprinted from Crowd, V, nos 1-2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Joanna Klink.

Guy R. Beining


Drawing by Guy Beining / "Something Is Coming, Something Is Coming"

Guy R. Beining [b. England/USA]
1938

Born Guy Robin Nicholas Beining on September 26, 1938 in London to an aristocratic mother from Russia and a middle class Norwegian father, Beining arrived in New York City in spring of 1940. Throughout his youth he lived mainly in Connecticut.

From 1951-1954 he suffered bouts with rheumatic fever, which caused him to have to take school courses later from the University of Indiana (1955-57). He attended the University of Florida between 1958-1960, enjoying classes with Barry Spacks and novelist Andrew Lytle.

After leaving the Army in 1963, Beining settle in New York City, where he remained until 2000, with a few escapes to New England. A 1965 novel, rejected by Athenaeum Press, drove him to write poetry. He first chapbook was printed in 1976, followed a year later by City Shingles, published by Sun & Moon Press as a chapbook.

In September 1978 he began his longest series of poems, Stoma (Selected Poems 1985-1989), published in 1990, and Stoma of 1994.

In 1995 two more poetry collections appeared, Carved Erosion and Axiom of a Torn Pulley (appearing in a limited edition of just 30 copies). He also had two prose poem chapbooks published, Too Far to Hear (Part 1) (1994) and Two Far to Hear (Part II) in 1997.

His most recent publications have leaned toward the visual, although, he observes, "after a five-artery by-pass, I have written a substantial number of poetry books, which are now making the rounds."

BOOKS OF POETRY

Razor with No Obligation (Michigan: Arbitrary Closet Press, 1976); City Shingles (College Park, Maryland: Sun & Moon Press, 1977); The Ogden Diary (Newburyport, Massachusetts: Zahir Press, 1979); Backroads & Artism (La Jolla, California: Moonlight Publications, 1979); Ice Rescue Station (New York: Gegenschein Press, 1980); A New Boundary & Other Pieces (Wisconsin: Woodrose Editions, 1980); Waiting for the Soothsayer (East Lansing, Michigan: Ghost Dance Press, 1982); The Raw-Robed Few (Long Beach, California: Applezaba Press, 1982); Stoma 1322. Haiku Pieces (Toronto: Curved H&Z Press, 1984); Stoma: All Points & Notions (New York: Red Ozier Press, 1984); Stoma (East Lansing, Michigan: Ghost Dance Press, 1989); Collectables (Toronto: The Horse Press, 1990); No Subject but a Matter (Toronto: Pangen Subway Ritual, 1991); Upper & Lower Translation of Beige Copy Text (Toronto: Nietzsche's Brolly, 1991); 100 Haiku Selected from a Decade (Houston: O!!Zone Press, 1993); Damn the Evening Garden (Toronto: The Berkeley Horse Press, 1994); Too Far to Hear (Buffalo, New York: Leave Books, 1994); Stoma (Huntington, West Virginia: Aegina Press, 1994); Curved Erosion (Seattle: Elbow Press, 1995); Axiom of a Torn Pulley (Elmwood, Connecticut: Poets & Poets Press, 1995); Too Far to Hear II (Morris, Minnesota: Standing Stone Press, 1997); Beige Copy II & III (Toronto: Nietzsche's Brolly, 1997); Inrue (2008); Word Pig 1-34 (2010); Out of the Wood into the Sun (Stockholm: Kamini Press, 2011); nozzle 1-36 (Rockford, Michigan: Presa:S: Press, 2011)


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


seerstuckher

scene I

on a beach, one branch
level with eyes, holds a
copper bird that chirps into
grease of afternoon.
the owner of the eyes
is chewing on a string
that comes from a ball
of yarn that is placed
a picture book away.

scene II

light bows from corners, cracks,
& holes in curtains.
the common ground of this metaphor
has scratched away all distance.
floss mixes with dust & balls up.
the book on war has been erased
once again during this feverish silence.

_____
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, III, no. 1 (October 2005), Copyright ©2005 by Guy R. Beining.

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.

Michael Riley

Michael Riley [Australia]
1972

The youngest of five children, Michael Riley was born in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. He spent most of his childhood moving from city to city, town to town. “My father didn’t like being in the one place too long.” when Michael was eight his parents divorced. In 1982 his mother settled in Townsville, a tropical city in far North Queensland. Michael hated school so much that he left at the age of thirteen. Ten years later he went back and obtained his High School Certificate.

In 1999 he graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature. In 2001 he moved to Melbourne to pursue a career in the creative arts. Riley has been writing poetry for only two years. In that time he has had some fifty poems published in major literary publications and anthologies in Australia and overseas. He is currently working on his first book.


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


Anwrothia

civilian casualties in his lower left jaw
left him more akin to leafy suburbs than palomino
his name was Anwrothia after the pelican
that bit off his father’s cock
his wife hid the cheese grater in her robe
having earned her husband’s respect
his work mate worked her over
while he worked his shift
in Paris that summer
she filled her socks with metered rhyme
and sniffed a pair of knickers stuck to a knife
Anwrothia rusted inside enmity

_____
Reprinted from Aught, no. 14 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Michael Riley.

Allyssa Wolf

Allyssa Wolf [USA]
1971

Allyssa Wolf was in born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1971, and raised in rural Pataskala, Ohio, a student of the bible and Christian missionary until she was thirteen. At age ten she became a poet after reading Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.

She moved to New York at seventeen and continued to move across the country for several years, working dead-end jobs, living in places including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Florida, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and Ohio, where she attended the University of Cincinnati for two years.

After Carroll, other early literary influences were Beckett, Pirandello, Plath, Kathy Acker, Rimbaud, James Wright, Burroughs, and Spicer. She was mostly disinterested in what she knew of contemporary poetry until reading an essay by Leslie Scalapino in the American Poetry Review titled “The Canon.” It was in searching out other work by Scalapino on the web that she discovered the Los Angeles journal Ribot, and sent her first poetry submissions to editors Paul Vangelisti and Standard Schaefer. The work was accepted blind, but eventually led to friendships, as well as an open invitation to sit in on poetry workshops at the Otis College Writing Program where she worked with Norma Cole, Scalapino, Vangelisti, and Schaefer.

Her work has or will soon be included in Fence, Versal (The Netherlands), No-Tell Motel, The Bedside Guide Anthology, Octopus, Ribot, Poesia in Azione (Italy), The New Review of Literature, Cutbank, Montana, Fascicle, The New College Review, Volume I, and Soft Targets.
She is editor of a chapbook series, Gateway Songbooks, and online magazine, Ghost Play. Her first collection of poems, Vaudeville, was published by Seismicity Editions early in 2006. She is currently at work on her next two poetry manuscripts: Prisoner’s Cinema and Pure Waste.
She now lives in San Francisco, in the area called variously the Tender, Nob and the Theater District.


BOOKS OF POETRY

M, the Dancer (Grand Forks, North Dakota: Gateway Songbooks, 2004); Vaudeville (Los Angeles: Seismicity Editions, 2006)


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

First Doll

Rather this or that says one,
As another sings low

I would have grown sound even
In the rich sick
Of the Earth
I would have grown

Within a crowd crying
What won’t exist?
A rose on the rod
With this I look on you now

A spike of light?

Is it an anger which turns
My face to yours?

(scrubbed hand in red fogged sun
shock of grey hair gently
placed on dry earth


____
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, III, no. 1 (October 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Alyssa Wolf.

Rodrigo Toscano

Rodrigo Toscano [USA]
1964

Born in San Diego in 1964, Rodrigo Toscano moved to San Francisco in 1995, where he lived for four years, working as a social worker and labor activist. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York, working in Manhattan at the the Labor Institute.

Toscano’s first book, Partisans, was published by O Books in 1999 to great acclaim, and when his second book, The Disparities, appeared he was recognized as a significant contemporary poet. Since then he has published three further collections. The most recent, Collapsible Poetics Theater, received the National Poetry Award.

Toscano has read his work across the country, and has won several awards, including inclusion in the 2004 Best American Poetry anthology and in the Criminal's Cabinet: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction.

Artistic Director and Writer for the Collapsible Poetics Theaer, he has performed his polyvocalic pieces at the Redcat Theater in Los Angeles, the Ontological-Hysteric Poet's Theater, and the Poet's Theater Jamboree.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Partisans
(Oakland, California: O Books, 1999); The Disparities (Los Angeles: Green Integer, 2002); Platform (Berkeley, California: Atelos Press, 2003); To Leveling Swerve (San Francisco: Krupskaya, 2004); Collapsible Poetics Theater (Albany, New York: Fence Books, 2008).


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


dream-construct of a dream constructed


dry trees
bronze sky
iron earth

come down
nutritious rain

lone plotted figure

loping

taser at the side

a satchel of I.D.s

tulips looking on

the house cannot get in
the house cannot come in
the house cannot stay out
the house cannot get out

standing outside the reach
of grapes
and cannot

shorn hand

shorn ear

(alternate translation:
something about "the brain itself
had shrunk")

look afar

transport class B ship
undocks
globonians
still greeks
in eclectic clouds

—and away!

they shall eat
of your
eating of their
fruits

in the middle of all nations
bear the mockery
gray figure

"loping"

"splotches"
be on your roots now

the very air's
dismayed indifference

broken stones amassed

agit-pebbles
they prop up the house
and get into it

all the time now

beyond "uncomfy"
disclosure-discourse

behold!

a newer row
of figurines

a buzzing and buzzing
flies buzzing all around

figure 1.
stands on the stair elevator moving upward modernity
descending is civility's staircase next to it

befallen
corpulent
book-quoting

figure 2.
looks up at
dead trees, so many
slugs would be coins
dropping

abyss city

as was before
encircled—compositional
be not
too dashed

rows of chairs—no "figures" in them
stab you in the throat—post-verbally—

profile of an old clan

profile of another
and another
and another

que muera la raza

images to all sides repeat
splotches legacy

s'gray all around them
s'green somewhere beyond

white, next image, scrollback

sheep, cattle in jaws of
moonlike-colored mandibles
and the barley stalks, yellowy swerve

line goes across and the crowd above it—a minimalist image
penciled-in hash marks—"hope"

well then, pink figure, well then, at first, then
get to more pinker goin' on red
purple beyond red
fading into black

so much for the collectivist principia

volucris

horrible sand surrounds

hunched
gray

devourers

slanted figures looking on
behind

behind the wall also
devoured

secret gray slab
and a shadow
and now
two crimson trees

to 7 in an arced golden
hand in hand
circle
collapsed

the old stone pissing-wall a-shattered on either side
the dome of ball-lickers not far off
the rock of geezer turds
contended over
in there

the house cannot get in
the house cannot come in
the house cannot stay out
the house cannot get out

a low cost shag while you shop
something for the kids to bang at with a pickaxe perhaps

an inscription on such stone found recently
something about "yeshua"
a one brother of a one james of one son of a
bisquit gone dry

as to why two newer schlockhunds
divide the waters
hunched down near two figures
hapless

stabbing at each other

in the throat

uploaded
corrupt dossiers
from swiss bank accounts

glare clouds not fulsome gray but orange against yellow

gas

swirls a figurine is a wool god a crinkled low-grade burlap god, is a swirl around the maypole
violent god

notice the arms

are limp

notice
sun across slant moon across slant book to look at

my son
what has thou snaked of late

bench
you can wait here

we can talk about

watch clouds

the snowcapped mountains
laughing uproariously

where our dust-devil sniveling gods swooped down from

simple anthropologic perspective
undoes the tale?

rumbling
globonian
approach

dzzz...why, jonah, I thought I stabbed you last night

dzzz...why, kemin, I thought I stabbed you last night

thundering clouds
scollpaper
screensaver

a fully-automatic
subjectivity
borne once
a webday

begin to scatter

globonian forces sweeping in

the true inheritor:
second-generation chinese (half haitian) french ex-national tranny
from the favelas of north sao paolo

the true inheritor

globonian

re-charterize state

lineages
intra-contanamixed
betrixed
ad infinitum

interests
intra-contaminixed
betrixed
ad infinitum

the children's pickaxe
amusement
itself
to be re-done
as

the point is

to transform it

beyond recognition


____
Reprinted from Milk Magazine, no. 6 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Rodrigo Toscano.

George Stanley



George Stanley [USA/Canada]
1934

Born and raised in San Francisco, George Stanley was part of the 1960s poetry scene often described as the San Francisco Renaissance, which included figures such as Robert Duncan, Robin Blaser, and Jack Spicer, the latter of whom Stanley was a close friend.

He moved to Vancouver, Canada in the 1970s, becoming associated with New Star Books and the underground newspaper, The Grape. Over the past several years he has continued to be involved in Canadian politics, unions and alternative media, and was a long time educator in Terrace, British Columbia.

Stanley has described his own influences: “I was influenced by Spicer's poetry, by (Robert) Creeley and I was influenced by (Louis) Zukofsky and all of these I think were not particularly good influences on me; they sort of narrowed my poetry down, made it more tight….” My real influences, summarizes Stanley were early T. S. Eliot, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, and Robert Lowell.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The Love Root (San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1958); Tete Rouge/Pony Express Riders (San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1963); Flowers (San Francisco: White Rabbit Press, 1965); Beyond Love (San Francisco: Dariel Press, 1968); The Stick: Poems, 1969-73 (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1974); You: Poems, 1957-67 (Vancouver: New Star Books, 1974); Opening Day: New and Selected Poems (Lantzville, British Columbia, Canada: Oolichan Books, 1983); Temporarily (Prince George, British Columbia: Tatlou/Gorse, 1986); Gentle Northern Summer (Vancouver: New Star Books, 1995); At Andy’s (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2000); A Tall, Serious Girl: Selected Poems, 1957-2000, ed. by Kevin Davies and Larry Fagin (Jamestown, Rhode Island: Qua Books, 2003); Seniors (Vancouver: Nomados, 2006); Vancouver: A Poems (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2008)



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


Common Areas

The common areas are where we meet
but don’t meet.

Somewhere I read, or was told,
I should smile.

An error here
might reflect on my right to be here.

*

We meet here, on our way
from the inside to the outside
the outside to the inside,
in this place that is neither in nor out,
this common place given for us to use,
coming in or going out.

When my fellow tenant and I are both going out,
we are each going into the world,
into our secret lives.


When we are both coming in that is worse,
we each know the other is going to his apartment,
where he has grave duties to perform.

When one is going out and the other in,
there is a sense of irrelevancy;
this non-meeting might as well take place
outside, on the street.

*

There are halls and walls
and carpeting.

And the doors that swim by
the eyes.

I recognize the old man
(the other old man).
He gives me a friendly greeting
but a little too quickly.

I give a friendly greeting
too quickly too.

I recognize the couples.

Yearly, they melt
into other couples.

I recognize the burly man in a gray t-shirt
with a big open face
who says hello.

I say hello.

to make an error here –
not to say hello, not to smile –
might lead the other tenant to think
you longed for his annihilation –

to be the only one –
to not have to hide
behind the smile.

*

There is a stairwell that goes down
past the lobby
to the garage.

There is an elevator that goes down
past the lobby
to the garage.

I have a parking space
but no car.

*

There is a lobby with mirrors & tile floors
& mailboxes.

There is a door that leads to the street.

When I walk through that door,
the common areas continue.

Corridors
unmarked in air.

Walkers east,
walkers west.

I know this man coming towards me
(with the glasses & ball cap).

There’s no reason I should dislike him
just because I’ve seen him
so many places
so many times.

It’s like he was another tenant

but a tenant of what?

*

Would heaven be
total anonymity?


____
Reprinted from The Poker, no. 7 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by George Stanley.

June 16, 2010

Maruyama Kaoru

Maruyama Kaoru [Japan]
1899-1974


Maruyama Kaoru is read little today in Japan or abroad, in part because of Japanese readers' dismissal of him as an "intellectual" poet and because much of his work has been unfairly labeled as "sea-poetry." Maruyama did attempt to check lyricism and sentimentality in his work, and due to his life-long fascination with the sea, he wrote a great many poems about the ocean and voyages; but his work overall is quite varied and the controlled surface of his works often are belied by highly emotional content.

Born into a family of a high ranking bureaucrats, Maruyama spent much of his early years adapting to new surroundings, as his father was transferred numerous times to different locations. In the tightly-knit social structures of Japan, such displacement obviously had its effects; throughout his life Maruyama felt separated and apart from the Tokyo-centered poetry circles.

Living in the port of Yokohama in 1911, he was taken on class trip to see the ships in the harbor. The blue eyes of the Scandinavian sailors amazed the young boy, and from that incident, Maruyama dates his fascination with the sea. Despite strong opposition from his family, he sat for the entrance examination to the Merchant Marine Academy. Failing the examination, he enrolled in Tokyo preparatory school in order to retake the tests the following year. In 1918 he passed the exam and entered the Academy.

However, at the academy his dreams of becoming a ship captain were dashed as he discovered his fear of heights; the intense physical activity of the Academy, moreover, caused his legs to swell, and he received a medical release. Under his mother's guidance, he took the examination of the Third Higher School in Kyoto, where he entered in 1921 in French literature. By the time he entered Tokyo University in 1926, he had already determined to become a poet. Influenced by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde and others, including the Japanese master Hagiwara Sakutarō, Maruyama determined to use his education as literary stimulus rather than as a goal towards a bachelor's degree.

During this period he met Takai Miyoko, with whom he fell in love and married in 1928. Upon their marriage he rented a luxurious residence in Tokyo and later invited his mother to move in with them. He also dropped out of the university to concentrate on writing.

The collapse of the Japanese economy in 1930, meant difficult times for the family. Forced to move again and again, Maruyama found it difficult to concentrate on writing. But in 1931, his wife found a job in downtown Tokyo with sufficient pay to support his concentration on his art. His first collection, Ho—Ranpu—Kamome (Sail—Lamp—Gull) appeared in 1932. Soon after, he joined with other poets in publishing Shiki (Four Seasons), which involved him, for the first time, in the Tokyo poetry circles, and helped in the development of his poetic aesthetic. In particular, the theory of his fellow university student and poet Hori Tatsuo (1904-1953) and the writings of Rainier Maria Rilke highly influenced him in his attempt to balance objective observation and intellectual truths of the mind.

In 1935 he published two books, Tsuru no Sōshiki (Funeral of the Crane) and Yōnen (Infancy). The second book won the Bungei Hanron poetry prize, which brought much needed money and request for new manuscripts.

The following year, however, tragedy struck as his sister-in-law, with whom had developed a close friendship, died of consumption. His fourth collection of poetry, Ichinichishū (A Single Day) contains a section devoted to her memory.

An invitation to write on midshipmen's experiences at sea, finally realized Maruyama's boyhood dream in 1941. Those experiences were collected in poetry in 1943 in Tenshō naru Tokoro (Hear the Ship's Bell).

The Japanese war effort disrupted Maruyama's activities in the year's following, and in 1945 he and his family escaped into the "snow country" of the north, where he remained until 1948, when moved to his wife's home city of Toyohashi at the age of fifty. There he settled into a lectureship on modern Japanese poetry and began to write the books of his last years: Seishun Fuzai (1952, Lost Youth), Tsuresarareta Umi (1962, The Hostage Sea), Tsuki Waturu (1972, Moon Passage), and Ari no iru Kao (1973, Face with Ants). He died of cerebral thrombosis at the age of 75 in October 1974.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Ho—Ranpu—Kanome (Daiichi Shobō, 1932); Tsuru no Sōshiki (Daiichi Shobō, 1935); Yōnen (Shiki Sha, 1935); Ichinichishū (Hangasō, 1936); Busshō Shishū (Kawade Shobō, 1941); Namida shita Kami (Usui Shobō, 1942); Tenshō naru Tokoro (Ooka Sha, 1943); Tsuyoi Nippon (Kokumin Tosho Kankōkai, 1944) [author refused to acknowlege this work]; Kitaguni (Usui Shobō, 1946); Senkyō (Sapporo Seiji Sha, 1948); Aoi Kokuban (Nyûfurendo Sha, 1948); Hana no Shin (Sōgen Sha, 1948); Seishun Fuzai (Sōgen Sha, 1952); Tsuresarareta Umi (Chōryū Sha, 1962); Tsuki Wataru (Chōryū Sha, 1972); Ari no iru Kao (Chūō Kōron Sha, 1973); Maruyama Kaoru Zenshū (Kadokawa Shoten, 1976-77).

ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS:

Self-Righting Lamp: Selected Poems, translated by Robert Epp (Rochester, Michigan: Katydid Books, 1990).



Into Clouds on the Hill

I pet my dog
neck to back
back to tail

Ears lie flat
Coat glistening
belly bent in a bow

Ah my petting hand wind in motion
the dog's tance bending into my strokes
the dog's dashing through its stance

I unleash him into clouds on the hill
The dog bounds off full speed
like a flung stone you can't call back


Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Busshō Shishū, 1941)



Into the Future

The father said:
Look! at this picture
at the sleigh dashing swiftly on
at the wolf pack in pursuit
see the reinsman frantically whipping the reindeer
see the traveler taking steady aim with a rifle
from behind the luggage
now a scarlet flash from the muzzle

The son said:
One wolf's downed right?
Oh another sprang at the sleigh
but tumbled over backward covered with blood
It's night the endless steppes buried in snow
Can the traveler hold out?
How far has the sleigh to go?

The father said:
The sleigh flies like this till dawn
slaying yesterday's regrets one by one
dashing like Time into tomorrow
Soon beyond the path that sun will climb
streets of the future will glimmer into view
Look!
Sky on the hill already turning white


—Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Namida shita Kami, 1942)



A Poet's Words

The late Nakahara Chûya said
"You find no mermaids in the sea
In the sea
are only waves"

These words from some strange reason
remain vivid in my mind
If I chant them three times
mermaid faces peer out from between the sounds
If I mutter these words to myself
as I think back on a past cruise through southern seas
countless merman arms and tails appear and disappear
into sea's high blue swells

Or if I think dreamily of these words
when standing on a rock shore under overcast skies
splashes of foam that dash against crags
sound like mermaid's singing

The late Nakahura Chûya's legacy to me:
The word wave has become mermaid
The word mermaid
has become wave

—Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Tenshō naru Tokoro, 1943)


Carossa and Rilke

In his Romanian Diary
Carossa wrote as follows
about a young girl suffering from consumption
in the aftermath of war's destruction
"The scant oxygen in her entire body seemed
concentrated in those hugely opened eyes"
If at that moment
he had inadvertently approached her with the flame of love
her eyes would have burnt away in an instant
and she would have gone to heaven

They say Rilke's eyes were always limpidly blue
profoundly absorbing imagery
without harboring even a hint of a shadow
What if we had sailed a boat on a lake of that hue?
Dread would quickly have driven us insane

Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Hana no Shin, 1948)


News from the Cape

Over the last two or three days here
the sea has been intensely transparent
the sky pure blue

Turning up my heels
each day I dive
deep into the sea and
marvelous! marvelous!
before I know it I'm in the sky
Through my diving goggles
I can see the sun between a cleft in the rocks

Holding my spear high
I rush toward the light
Then somewhere
a harp starts singing serenely
and a file of fish circles the sky
as in an ancient Egyptian mural

Reaching out gingerly
I pry off sea mussels and abalone
from behind the sun


—Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Seishun Fuzai, 1952)





A Crane

A crane soars
over the blue sea

like a sooted and shabby umbrella
singing sadly

That bubble reputation
so long enjoyed
turns to shadow slips away
mirrored black
on crases in the brine.

Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Maruyama Kaoru Zenshū, written 1955)



The Tree in Me

I don't know when it began but a tree has taken root in me
It grows through my growth
Spreading branches from my growing limbs
its leaves thicken into shapes of grief

I no longer go out
I no longer speak to anyone
not to Mother not even to friends...
I'm becoming the tree in me
No no I've already become that tree

I stand quietly far beyond the fields
Whenever I greet morning sun
whenever I look off after clouds fired by sunset
my silence glitters
my solarity self sings

Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Maruyama Kaoru Zenshū, written 1956)



Illusion in the Reef

The chalk coral grove
comes floating transparently to the surface
like a sunken image
deep within a poem
A single baby shark undulates
through coral tips sunlight streaming everywhere
No that's a boot
an airman's book already beginning to dissolve
like a shadow like kelp

—Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Tsuresarareta Umi, 1962)


Minato Ward, Nagoya (Memo on the Isé Bay Typhoon)

Mackerel bob up from the kitchen
enter the alleyways through a window and revived
swim down the street between slanting utility poles
heading vigorously for the estuary for the sea
Deep under riled-up eddying waters
women
children
old people
who had instantly exchanged their souls with the fish
surface here and there and towed off on rafts
pass again today
under twilight eaves holding their breath
Tomorrow creamation under sunny skies


Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Ari no iru Kao, 1973)



Face with Ants

Ants crawl over eyelids
Then that nearby hollow suddenly gathers shadows
as though engraved

Ants lick the inner corners of the eyes
From there they go straight down the cheek
—and as I watch that nearby hollow
deepends as though scooped out

Ants circle that mole by the mouth
Then they scurry into breathless nostrils
They won't show themselves again
They may never reappear

Oh the shame of staring so
Oh the shame of being so stared at


Translated from the Japanese by Robert Epp


(from Ari no iru Kao, 1973)





PERMISSIONS

"Into the Clouds on the Hill," "Into the Future," "A Poet's Words," "Carossa and Rilke," "News from the Cape," "A Crane," :The Tree in Me," "Minato Ward, Nagoya," "Illusion in the Reef," and "Face with Ants"
Reprinted from Self-Righting Lamp: Selected Poems, trans. by Robert Epp (Rochester, Michigan: Katydid Books, 1990. Copyright ©1990 by Katydid Books; English Language translation copyright ©1990 by Robert Epp. Reprinted by permission of Katydid Books.

June 15, 2010

Ralph Angel


Ralph Angel [USA]
1951

Ralph Angel is a second-generation American from Seattle. He attended inner-city public schools there, and, while working freight trains for the Union Pacific Railroad, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Washington. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Irvine, and has lived in and around Los Angeles ever since. Since his early college days, he has traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, and Central and South America. He is currently Edith R. White Chair of English and Creative Writing at the University of Redlands, and is a member of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing faculty at Vermont College.

His first collection, Anxious Latitudes (1986), was widely praised and reviewed. And his second, Neither World (1995), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, garnered him national prominence. A third book, Twice Removed (2001), was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards. His most recent literary awards include a gift from the Elgin Cox Trust, a Pushcart Prize, the Willis Barnstone Poetry Translation Prize for his translation of García Lorca’s Poem of a Deep Song, a Fulbright Foundation fellowship, and the Bess Hokin Award of the Modern Poetry Association.
Angel’s work has been lauded for its extraordinary abstract lyricism and wry philosophical wisdom. It also has been noted that his collections differ dramatically from one another, about which he has stated: “Poetry is the language for which we have no language. Given that I have only two tools—the language in which I compose and the fact of my reality—it’s my job to find the language that enacts the fact of my reality. If my poems have changed and evolved over the years, they are testimony to how my life and orientation to language have changed and evolved. It’s my job to make absolute presence possible.”


BOOKS OF POETRY

Anxious Latitudes (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1986); Neither World (Oxford, Ohio: Miami University Press, 1995); Twice Removed (Louisville, Kentucky: Sarabande Books, 2001); Exceptions and Melancholies: Poems 1986-2006 (Louisville, Kentucky: Sarabande Books, 2006)


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



Untitled

for Betty Ong

Something stayed in the mind there.
The most credulous birds. An indifferent
road.
That
that future is ashes
and a kiss on the cheek. This cup
of coffee goes down like chocolate. A footbridge
the eye leaves among cliff sides
of steam.

There is no shame
in failure. No lost
or blue unfurling courtyard. You are transparent,
in the basement,
by way of all exits.


___
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, II, number 2 (April 2005). Copyright ©2005
by Ralph Angel.

Kelvin Corcoran


Kelvin Corcoran [England]
1956

Born in England in 1956, rose to prominence with his first book of poetry, Robin Hood in the Dark Ages, published in 1985. Eight subsequent collections were equally enthusiastically received, and his work has been anthologized in both England and the USA.

Corocoran’s New and Selected Poems was published by Shearsman press in 2004. His recent sequence, Helen Mania, was made the Poetry Book Society choice in 2005.

He lives in Cheltenham, where he is Deputy Head of a large Comprehensive School.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Robin Hood in the Dark Ages (Permanent Press, 1985); The Red and Yellow Book (London: Textures, 1986); Qiryat Sepher (Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Galloping Dog Press, 1988); TCL (Durham, England: Pig Press, 1989); The Next Wave (Twickenham, England: North and South, 1990); Lyric Lyric (Sussex: Relality Street Editions, 1993); When Suzy Was (Cullompton, England: Shearsman Books, 1999); Your thinking Tracts or Nations (Sheffield, England: West House Books, 2002); New and Selected Poems (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2004); Roger Hilton’s Sugar (Nottingham, England: Leafe Press, 2005); Backward Turning Sea (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2008)


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


The Unpainted Hiltons

You see I am surrounded by these things
a medium like breathing under water,
the Royal Bokhara, the pictures on the wall
I wave as I float by with transparent hands.
My wife's sexy dress hanging there
taken off like a season transformed,
and the organic food jumps into my mouth
as your warm arm falls across me.
The light from the floor landscapes your sleep
and those would be cabbage roses descending,
like red kisses on your perfect cunt
around the dim margin he is on his knees.
Then the great secret settles on everything,
you're sleeping and I launch out into darkness;
ivy pours into the courtyard, I'm half drowned,
face emerging in Spring - Dionysus.

*

Even the island I speak from is painted by Hilton,
to the rhythm of dropped seeds into instant oleander
and open mouthed cats into swaying boughs;
the riot of ants know the plan
and blue drips from the mighty swimmer.
Interior darkness dissolves in the air
and perfect weather wraps us bodies;
hand in hand like nerve ending sex
my eyes have seen the glory
riding in on a big clam shell.
Let the breeze stir and sing,
lift the shirt off the girl with ample breasts
and cool the hairy god slumped in the breakers;
the two master is trim, we're ready to leave,
the white circuit snaps and ignites.
The all-sea shines lit from below,
childrens' voices scud across the bay
quick ripples enskied in acrylic;
- will you wait for me there?
on the shore of the morning world.


*


I think of the fields at night,
the compact Celtic geometry
laid over with darkness
and the black sea rising.
The Gulf of Sleep invades my room,
waves rise with each breath
drowning thought under the door,
go down you beasts, you bastards.
In the compass of the sea
I am abandoned, absolute,
but let me keep the way
of talking to my children.
The lights on the other side
shine out clear and bright,
my boat is one word sent
in the language of my painted hands.
The shape of morning rises,
white ribbons of light
unravel across the sliding waves,
momentary chart of all the sea lanes of the world.

*

If this window opens on the world of free running senses;
your filthy mind in the cart pulled by my bonny horse
—see she carrapaces, treading the liquified air
falling like amber on us sorry bodies,
so that our limbs are restored, magically proportioned,
and we lie and roll and walk in one another,
the anthropometric secret in our hands at last
as easy as talk floats out of the bedroom door
across the evening laid out in this land of good weather;
the game is up - and if the window doesn't etc the game is up:
we must settle for the living creatures we have about us,
and that would be the Hilton in this earthly paradise
awake in a sea of trees breathing underground,
ambidextrous, prolific and grinning.


__
Reprinted from Stride (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Kelvin Corcoran.

David Levi Strauss


David Levi Strauss [USA]
1953

David Levi Strauss was born in Junction City, Kansas in 1953, and grew up just down the road in Chapman, where his grandfather was a blacksmith and his father a mechanic. His mother, Viola Lee, worked as a secretary for the local school district. After writing and distributing a political tract critical of the school’s administration, he was denied a high school diploma, but enrolled in Kansas State University anyway, where he spent two years studying political science and philosophy before being asked to leave after organizing a march on the ROTC building to protest the Cambodian bombings and a student strike to protest the firing of a radical history professor. At age 19, he traveled around the world on a floating university, collecting children’s art in Japan, China, Indonesia, India, and Africa, and studying the radical pedagogy of Paulo Freire. After returning to the US, he studied philosophy and photography at Goddard College in Vermont, and at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York.

In 1978 he moved to San Francisco, where he studied in the Poetics Program at New College with Robert Duncan, Diane di Prima, Michael Palmer, David Meltzer, and Duncan McNaughton, and edited and published ACTS: A Journal of New Writing (1982-90). ACTS published books on Analytic Lyric (1987), Jack Spicer (1987), and Paul Celan (1988), all co-edited with Benjamin Hollander.
In 1993 he left San Francisco for New York’s Hudson Valley, where he now lives with his wife, the artist Sterrett Smith, and their daughter Maya.

He is the author of two books of essays, Between Dog & Wolf: Essays on Art and Politics (Autonomedia, 1999) and Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (Aperture, 2003), and Broken Wings: The Legacy of Landmines (in Cambodia and Mozambique, with photographer Bobby Neel Adams). His essays have also been published in a number of recent books, including monographs on Carolee Schneemann (Cambridge & London: MIT, 2002), Leon Golub and Nancy Spero (NY: Roth Horowitz, 2000), sculptor Donald Lipski (Vienna; Bawag Foundation, 1999), photographer Francesca Woodman (Zürich: Scalo, 1999), Brazilian artist Miguel Rio Branco (NY: Aperture, 1998), Alfredo Jaar’s works on Rwanda (Barcelona: Actar, 1998), and the sculptor Martin Puryear (Milan: Electa, 1997). His writings on aesthetics and politics have been translated into thirteen languages. In 2003-04 he received a Guggenheim fellowship to work on his next book, Image & Belief. He currently teaches in the Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and in the new graduate program in Art Criticism and Writing begun by Tom McEvilley at the School of the Visual Arts in New York City.
In his introduction to Between the Eyes, John Berger wrote, “Strauss, who is a poet and storyteller as well as being a renowned commentator on photography (I reject the designation critic) looks at images very hard . . . and comes face-to-face with the unexplained. Again and again. The unexplained that he encounters has only little to do with the mystery of art and everything to do with the mystery of countless lives being lived.” And Luc Sante wrote, “David Levi Strauss brings an eloquent and deep moral seriousness to his examination of photography. Again and again he makes the ringing point that trying to separate aesthetics and politics can only result in vacuity. He is photography’s troubled conscience.”

BOOKS OF POETRY

Manoeuvres (San Francisco: Aleph Press/Eidolon Editions, 1980); poems in 49 + 1: Nouveaux Poétes Américains, edited by Emmanuel Hocquard and Claude Royet-Journoud (Paris: Un bureau sur l’Atlantique and Editions Royaumont, 1991)



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



Viola Lee


Du lebst zu naha ans Wasser
she said—“You live too close to the water,”
And she was right, again,
from the Smoky Hill to the Snake to the Hudson,
the water comes unbidden and fierce,
for common sadness, Twin Towers,
and the unforgiving.

In the last weeks, the skin
of her face stretched taut
against her skull, and
all superfluity was burned away.

It was her true face,
never before seen
in this world,

As radiant,
and singular,
as the Sun.

____
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, II, no. 2 (April 2005). Copyright ©2005 by David Levi Strauss.

Ian Seed


Ian Seed [England]
1956

Born in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Ian Seed spent his childhood in Yorkshire, Wales and Leicestershire. He gained a B.A. Honours Degree in Philosophy from Nottingham University in 1979. For more than twenty years, he worked in Italy, France, and Poland as a teacher, translator, technical writer, and project manager. He returned to the United Kingdom to take an M.A. in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in 2003, and he now teaches poetry and creative writing.

Seed began publishing poems in magazines in 1974 while still in high school. His first collection was Into Rolling Red, 1975. This was followed by Excerpt, 1979 and Flung into Dust, 1980. He began writing prose poems in 1981 and published A Man of Some Influence in 1987. There was a long gap until The Stranger appeared in 2000 and Rescue in 2002.

His future plans for publication include a book-length sequence of innovative prose poems and a translation of Pierre Reverdy’s Le Voleur de Talan.

Ian Seed’s poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in dozens of magazines in the UK, US, and Italy, and his work has been translated into Dutch.

Seed is the editor of Shadowtrain (www.shadowtrain.com), an on-line poetry magazine.

BOOKS OF POETRY

Into Rolling Red (Leicester, England: privately printed, 1975); Litter (privately printed, 1976); Excerpt (Cornwall, England: Kawabata Press, 1979); Flung into Dust (Cornwall, England: Kawabata Press, 1980); Fivepenny Poems (Aberdeen, Scotland: Granite Books, 1980); A Man of Some Influence (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 1987); The Stranger (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 2000); Rescue (Derby, England: Moss & Flint, 2002); Anonymous Intruder (Exeter, England: Shearsman Books, 2009)


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


Encoding

The hand moves away, contemplating the end of the tunnel, abandoning the page in a hotel room. No time but dust on water in a glass, the imperfection of paradise, to be cut where cut is possible. The difference resides in feasibility, rife with forgetfulness, swept away knowledge. The blue of the eyes sharpened by a thick dark beard are strangely familiar. It doesn't have to be like that. The insight disappears on waking. Persistent otherwise, the room is renumbered, a cave of hair around him. And that one there, when you were another, pale brown light, ash down to where you could be forgiven. Nothing to be renamed in spite of this, nothing outside the room.


____
Reprinted from Stride (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Ian Seed.

June 14, 2010

George Murray

George Murray [Canada]
1971

George Murray spent his earliest years living in rural southwestern Ontario on the shores of Lake Eerie. His family later relocated to a rural environment north of Toronto where he attended high school. He dropped out of university after one year in a theatre program, traveling North American by thumb off and on for a few years. He later returned to school and earned his degree, a B.A. Honors in Creative Writing, summa cum laude, from York University (Toronto). He won several academic and writing awards.

After graduating he taught at several schools in Canada and Italy, including Humber College (Toronto) and Canadian College Italy (Lanciano). On returning from Italy, he married and moved in 2000 to New York City, where his partner began pursuing a PhD in Sociology (studying poets, no less). He was asked to teach at New School University and had his first play for children, The Swan Chronicles, produced in Manhattan by Locomotion Dance Theatre. He returned with his partner and new child to Toronto in 2003.

Murray’s three books of poetry are The Hunger, The Cottage Builder’s Letter, and Carousel, all of which have been broadly reviewed and critically praised. He has published several chapbooks with small presses, and has been widely anthologized and has published poems in numerous journals and magazines in Canada, the US, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany. He won the 2003 New York Festivals Radio and Television Gold Medal for Best Writing for his poem “Anniversary: A Personal Inventory” (commissioned by CBC Radio) and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2003). He has also won awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

Murray is a regular reviewer for several publications, including Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail. A former Poetry Editor for the Literary Review of Canada, he remains a contributing editor for several journals and magazines as well as Associate Editor for Maisonneuve Magazine. In 2004, he was featured on the documentary television program The Writing Life (Bravo). Currently, Murray sits on the Board for One Little Goat Theatre Company (NYC/Toronto), is the editor of the successful literary website Bookninja.com and is working on a book of new poems and some translations.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Carousel: A Book of Second Thoughts (Toronto: Exile Editions, 2000); The Cottage Builder’s Letter (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2001); Who Do You Think You Are? (Toronto: Wayward Armadillo Press, 2002); The Hunter (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2003); A Set of Deadly Negotiations (Victoria, BC: Frog Hollow, 2005)


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


A Moment’s Autograph

Still enough sky-glow left to distinguish
colour, even as the trees descend
through the registers of green and the stoop
becomes shrouded and difficult to discern.

From a crack in the dark wall hang loose wires.
Give a tug and watch society start
to unravel. There’s no real need to begin
worry; just be aware where the pulling leads.

We use the same yellow diamond to sign
elderly cross here as we do falling rocks;
the colossal meteor that astounds
observers burns but a moment’s autograph.

Apprehension may settle around us like dusk,
but the telescopes still capture first light.


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

Aaron McCollough


Aaron McCollough [USA]
1971

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Aaron McCollough was raised in Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. His father is an Archeologist and Cartographer. His mother directs a public mental health clinic in rural Georgia. He earned degrees in English from the University of the South (Sewanee), North Carolina State Uni-versity, and the University of Michigan. He also obtained an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. For the last five years, he has been working on his dissertation and teaching literature and composition at the University of Michigan.

His first book Welkin was chosen by Brenda Hillman for the first annual Sawtooth Prize and was published by Ahsahta Press in 2002. Double Venus, was published by Salt Press the following year. Little Ease, his third book, was published by Ashahta Press in 2006.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Welkin (Boise, Idaho: Ahsahta Press, 2002); Double Venus (Cambridge, England: Salt Publishers, 2003); Little Ease (Boise Idaho: Ahsahta Press, 2006)


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


There It Hurts Me


There where the yellow spot is the finger
Points

There it hurts me

In the hovering house

The form of that thing I’ve fallen in

Or illusions of my doubt

*

Legs in the breach

Gently pressing at the perimeter

Between the greeting and the granting of audience

The yellow spot lines converging
At the mark on the door

The confession you are looking for

I have it here


___
Reprinted from The New Review of Literature, II, no. 2 (April 2005). Copyright ©2005 by Aaron McCollough.

Stephen Cope


Stephen Cope [USA]
1970

Stephen Cope was born in Houston, Texas, in 1970, and lived briefly there and in Ohio before moving with his family to Santa Cruz, California in 1977. He received a B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1996 and a PhD in Literature from the University of California, San Diego in 2005. He currently teaches literature and writing and Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English.

Cope’s publications include three chapbooks: to be alone… (Santa Cruz: We Press, 1991), Two Versions (Buffalo: Meow Press, 1999), and Versiones Vertiges (Buffalo: Meow Press, 2000), although he is perhaps best known for his work with George Oppen’s unpublished “Daybooks” and “Papers,” a critical volume of which he has edited and annotated for the University of California Press. Numerous selections from this volume have already been published — most notably in Robert Creeley’s edition of the Best New American Poetry 2002 — and in 1999 he delivered the George Oppen Memorial Lecture in San Francisco.

Cope is also known for hosting memorable poetry readings and reading series’ in Santa Cruz and San Diego. He served for years on UCSD’s “New Writing Series’” committee and, with Joe Ross, founded the “Beyond the Page” reading series in downtown San Diego in 1997. Cope has previously been an editor at We Press and Zazil magazine, and, with Eula Biss and Catherine Taylor, recently co-founded Essay Press, an imprint devoted to publishing book-length works of innovative non-fiction writing.


BOOKS OF POETRY

to be alone… (Santa Cruz: We Press, 1991); Two Versions (Buffalo: Meow Press, 1999); Versiones Vertiges (Buffalo: Meow Press, 2000)



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


Bellerophonic Sonnet

because desire does decorum one
better are the inverse fragments
one another insufficient parts
issues otherwise for counting
from my mouth sounds addressed
to depart as if alone autonomous

language I am haphazardly identical
with

draw from narrative broken-ness
veneration lawlessly absorbs in
verse my masochism’s cross-dressed
passing on transubstantiation, love
implications hung still upside-down
nonetheless well w/o intention in

to the letter I’m indicted by
with love’s fealty’s recorded

___
Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XL, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Stephen Cope

David Shapiro


David Shapiro [USA]
1947

Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1947, David Shapiro attended Columbia University from 1964-1968, receiving a Merrill Fellowship to study in the United Kingdom, France and Italy during his junior year. Upon graduation he became a Kellet Fellow at Cambridge University in England.

Throughout the 1960s, Shapiro published in numerous literary magazines, receiving numerous literary awards and fellowships including the Gotham Book Mart Award (1962), New York Poets Foundation award (1967), and the Book-of-the-Month Club Fellowship (1968). In 1970 he and Ron Padgett edited An Anthology of New York Poets, which helped to define that group in its early poetic activities.

More recently, Shapiro has written several books on art and poetry, including a monograph on the poet John Ashbery and on the artist Jim Dine.

In 1977 he was a recipient of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Morton Dauwen Zabel Award. He has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Shapiro has taught literature at Columbia University and Brooklyn College and has taught art history and aesthetics at William Paterson College, the Cooper Union, and Princeton University.

BOOKS OF POETRY

January: A Book of Poems (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)); Poems from Deal (New York: Dutton, 1969); A Man Holding an Acoustic Panel (New York: Dutton, 1971); The Page-Turner (New York: Liveright, 1973): Lateness (Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press, 1977); To an Idea (Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press, 1983); House (Blown Apart) (Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press, 1988); After a Lost Original (Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press, 1994); The Burning Interior (Woodstock, New York: The Overlook Press, 2002); Out of My Depths (Tokyo, Japan: Kadensha, 2002)


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


Song for an Envelope

If I were your patient
And you were my
healer
All day you would
heal me
And I would be patient

You tease me Don’t
worry
My act could be fetching
You’d cook me quinoa
And I would eat slowly

Together we’d live
reduced
in a shoe made of
plaster blessings

in a wall house of

rammed earth
in Holland
watery subway

I’d teach you the
cloudy chords
You’d sing
the empty words
Full tigers would calm us
You’d hypnotize the tides

For you the horizon lies
For you green seaglass shines
As a child loves turquoise
shameless songs
end surprisingly

We would heal finally
Fold screens and scientific
fruit
You’d heal me with your hair
your harp
I’d be our first patient always

All day my lucky wounds
would heal
in you bandages
of blue sea algae
Your solar mill would sigh like smoke
our City melt in the friendly suns

You’d offer me those
useless herbs
I’d analyze
even Paradise
You’d heal me
with water not poison
my medicine would be
a cheap accordion


____
Reprinted from No: A Journal of the Arts, no. 4 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by David Shapiro.

Katy Lederer

Katy Lederer [USA]
1972

Katy Lederer was born in 1972 in Concord, New Hampshire. Her father taught English at St. Paul's, an Episcopal boarding school on the outskirts of town. After attending St. Paul's, Lederer attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in English and anthropology. While there, she began writing poetry and studied with Robert Hass, Lyn Hejinian, and John Ash.

After a stint in Las Vegas learning poker from her professional poker playing siblings, Lederer attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop as an Iowa Arts Fellow, where she was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize. In her first year at Iowa, Lederer started publishing Explosive Magazine, featuring emerging poets and hand-printed covers designed by the poet and artist David Larsen. She also published the chapbooks Faith (Idiom Press, 1998) and Music, No Staves (Poets & Poets Press, 1998).

After completing her degree, Lederer moved to New York, where she worked briefly for an Upper East Side psychoanalyst and as an administrative coordinator of the Barnard New Women Poets Program before joining the quantitative trading firm, the D. E. Shaw group, where she currently works.

In 2002, she published her first full-length collection, Winter Sex (Verse Press), and in 2003 she published Poker Face (Crown), a full-length family memoir detailing her family's obsession with gambling.

Lederer has been awarded three fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo and a 2005-2006 fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. "The Apperceptive Mass" is from The Heaven-Sent Leaf, her second full-length collection, was published in 2008.


BOOKS OF POETRY

Faith (Berkeley, California: Idiom Press, 1998); Music, No Staves (Elmwood, Connecticut: Potes & Poets Press, 1998); Winter Sex (Athens, Georgia: Verse Press, 2002) ; The Heaven-Sent Leaf (Rochester, New York: Boa Editions, 2008)


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



The Apperceptive Mass

Systemic and assembled with great calm.
On the face of one
Who goes into the silent place—

Who goes into the silent place,
Before the inner temple,
and aspires.

Who goes,
That presence,
In the den,
An even-tempered lens through which the transmittal of all that is
Beautiful goes.

We are hushed in our external sense
Our inner hearts are
Rockets.



___
Reprinted from Crowd, V, nos. 1-2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Katy Lederer.

George Albon


George Albon [USA]
1954

Born in Du Quoin, Illinois, George Albon grew up there and in St. Louis, Missouri. He took a degree in film theory from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. For the last twenty years he has lived and worked in San Francisco, California.

His first full-length book, Empire Life, was published by Littoral Books in 1998. This was followed in 2000 by Thousands Count Out Loud from lyric& press, and in 2003 by Brief Capital of Disturbances, published by Omnidawn. This last title was awarded with four others “Book of the Year” by the Small Press Traffic literary foundation. A book-length poem, Step, is slated for publication at the end of 2005 by Post-Apollo press. Also slated at year’s end is an e-book, Momentary Songs, at the Duration Press website. His essay “The Paradise of Meaning” was the George Oppen Memorial Lecture for 2002.

“There’s a notion in my Oppen talk that, while referencing him, really applies to anyone’s struggle with poetry as I understand it, and that’s the idea of it resulting when a thematic bearing (on the one hand) and a glimmer of potential language-energy (on the other hand) somehow manage to appear to each other. In this context, form becomes the most metaphysical thing imaginable. Not the lattice, form is the horizon of thinking in poetry.”


BOOKS OF POETRY

Possible Floor (San Francisco: e. g. press, 1990); King (Buffalo: Meow Press, 1994); Empire Life (Los Angeles: Littoral Books, 1998); Transit Rock ( Sausalito, California: Duration Press, 1999); Thousands Count Out Loud (San Francisco: lyric& books, 2000); Reading Pole (Los Angeles: Seeing Eye Books, 2000); Brief Capital of Disturbances (Richmond, California: Omnidawn Press, 2003); Step (Sausalito, California: Post-Apollo Press, forthcoming, 2005)



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



I Had

I had a distant youth,
one outside the family.
I had a restless bargaining eye,
an altar to the provider.
I had my father’s dreaminess,
my mother’s soldiers.
I had to cut all the crap
and go straight into the deep end.
I had the mark of the day on me,
condensed to stray events.
I had a desire to be subtle,
but that implies a totality.
I had my eye on his gait,
he left the five and dime.
I had the judges give me a clue,
I encapsulated mystically.
I had a reckless view of the contest,
then an ill-chosen terrain.
I had a fever of computation,
spaces between halting words.
I had a level playing field,
the frenzy of the visible.
I had everything you could want,
roses, a song from the courtyard.
I had a minaret of perceptions
that began to stand in need.
I had a random grace period,
taking instruction from the intermediary.
I had a letter of introduction,
but no knowledge of the watermark.
I had flashes of mundane survival,
exhaling toward the sunlight.
I had one card tucked in,
I could step outside all that.
I had a method of response,
using up the inner self in living.
I had assurances from the victors
to see where the ground lies.
I had a tingle of vocation,
unaware of the subliminal fiat.
I had no money,
and he was such a laugh.



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

June 13, 2010

Elizabeth Cross

Elizabeth Cross [USA]
1966

Born on an American air base in Japan, Elizabeth Cross spent most of her childhood in Biloxi, Mississippi and in the former West Germany. She earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Hope College and a Ph.D. in Literature/Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She taught at the University of Denver and at the University of Michigan before arriving at the School at the Art Institute of Chicago where she currently teaches in the M.F.A. writing program.

Awards include grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute. Her visual poetry has been exhibited in Denver at the Red Shift Art Gallery, the Jewish Community Center, and the Outdoor Museum of Art. In Fort Collins, Colorado, her work appeared at One West Gallery. Publications include American Letters & Commentary, Chain, Chicago Review, and Denver Quarterly.

Cross’s work obsesses over definitions, accumulated research, multiple texts, and the formal devices she invents to explore them. Each poem is (in)formed differently in the process of this accumulation, and as a result, each often looks completely different from another. They do, however, tend toward a few basic questions such as what can language do? What is love? and What is it that generates meaning in our lives both emotionally and intellectually? Since these questions are infinitely unanswerable, the different constructions of the poems becomes a way to keep coming back to those questions, to try again and again to find new answers or possibilities.



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


from Rifle


RIFLE 1. obs. A depredation, sacking, spoliation.
2. A thing acquired by rifling


Gone out the open window I am deceived by things I counted on
rifled by an evening of needles.
The vial emitting sparks now left behind, sucked dry.
Clean is a new hiding a partial erasing of your sound in the floor,
in the vent, on the brand new telephone line,
the message you leave in the garbage to threaten my life.

Around the furnace a ticking under the shouting
above the hidden gun speeding for gain
loss of my eyes on you through the window
faster depredation and pattern in the neighborhood.


PERMISSIONS

Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XXXIX, no. 3 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Elizabeth Cross.

Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner [USA]
1979

Ben Lerner was born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979. He holds a B.A. in political science and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Brown University. A former Fulbright Scholar in Madrid, Lerner co-founded and co-edits No: a journal of the arts.

His first book, The Lichtenberg Figures, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2004. A Lannan Literary Selection, The Lichtenberg Figures was named one of the year’s twelve best books of poetry by Library Journal. Copper Canyon published his second book, Angle of Yaw, in the fall of 2006 which was National Book Award finalist. He currently teaches poetry and literature courses at California College of the Arts.

BOOKS OF POETRY

The Lichtenberg Figures (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2004); Angle of Yaw (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2006)


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



from Angle of Yaw

SEEN FROM ABOVE exposition, climax, and denouement all take place at once. God sees the future as we see the past: through a trimetrogon. In the name of the camera, the film, and the view itself. Simultaneous eternities are superimposed to create the illusion of plenitude, but the transposition of planes is a poor substitute for the transmigration of souls. I think Andrei Rublev says, Nothing is as terrible as snow falling in a temple, because without a distinction between inside and outside, there can be no extra-temporal redemption. That, and how anybody can just lie down an make an angel, even a Tartar. Even an angel.


PERMISSIONS
_____
Reprinted from Denver Quarterly, XV, no. 2 (2005). Copyright ©2005 by Ben Lerner.