Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Marble Mouth Press

3 poems up at La Vague, they are watery poems. So delighted to be a part of the inaugural issue:
http://www.lavaguejournal.com/lavague01/cohen.html

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Open Letter to Mark Edmundson / Harper's


Dear Mark Edmundson,

I read your article, “Poetry Slam,” in the latest issue of Harper’s and I’d like to respond directly to your “slam” of contemporary poetry by offering the same audience an alternative perspective:

Using only brief fragments of single poems from only 9 living poets (including 1 Canadian, 1 Irish, and 1 actually dead)(endnote 1), Mark Edmundson lambasts the current state of American poetry. I think it’s important to bring to the attention of a larger readership the recent misdirected and lazy criticisms lavished upon contemporary poets that distract from the depth, diversity, and relevance of the work itself. Yes, some readers actually seek out and find poetry that is intellectually, emotionally, and relationally vital.

There are two basic cause/effect accusations in “Poetry Slam” that are worthwhile to dissect to show the dubious connections and terrifying implications:
#1 Because contemporary American Poetry is too “hermetic,” “private,” “oblique,” “equivocal,” it consequently “has too few resources to take on consequential events”:
#2 Because Contemporary American poets lack “ambition,” they do not “light up the world we hold in common,” i.e. they don’t reflect my own worldviews that make me feel like there is a singular “fundamental truth of human experience.”
Unfortunately, what emerges in this article is a desire for singular type of poem. A poem that a) provides unique images that simultaneously relate to obvious cultural referents (“the TV show, the fashions, the Internet”), b) sublimates most poetic techniques to present direct arguments in the form of revelations c) that respond to “the events that began on September 11, 2001 and continue to this moment.” In sum, every poem should be a humanist poem of epiphany with blatant political/cultural references to post-9/11 living. Does this sound like a great way to enliven all American poetry to you?

While many wouldn’t bother, I want us to seriously consider these criticisms (as far as we can in a blog post) as well as confront the assumptions that they bring to the literary table. Ultimately, though, I want us to re-think the very questions being posed so that we can move past them to more productive conversations. While I’m not addressing all of the problems (some are too inane/insane to confront) in Edmundson’s article, by breaking down and reframing these 2 cause/effect arguments we can reorient ourselves as more culturally active citizens that embrace the multiplicity of contemporary poetry.

#1 Because contemporary American Poetry is too “hermetic,” “private,” “oblique,” “equivocal,” it consequently “has too few resources to take on consequential events”:
A) Let’s Question Why We Read The Way We Read
Many of the adjectives Edmundson conjures are a matter of opinion, I suppose, but I think that all of them stem from a particularly closed and surface approach to reading text. Let’s think about how we can approach reading so that we don’t so quickly blame the body of work we’ve just read for our frustration. We need to consider why we’re frustrated and where that feeling comes from.

Part of the challenge and pleasure of reading poetry is that it sets forth to offer the reader something radically new, and in turn, we have to re-train ourselves to read. Writing that tries to de-stable standards of normalcy cannot use the syntax, the language of this very normalcy. It is a language of fracture and fragment, a language that breaks down meaning to regenerate it, to reinvigorate it. A language that tries to collapse boundaries, to free us from constraints, to help us form new relationships with people, objects, places, time, and our own imaginations. As Lyn Hejinian writes, it’s a language that “invites participation.” I think it’s immensely important to take what we learn in daily life, whether that means our jobs, childrearing, conversations, or academic studies and experiment with how these histories and ideas can be explored creatively. It trains us to be open and active readers and to develop agency as thinkers and as citizens in this world.

I love this Stevens line that goes, “the life of the poem in the mind has not yet begun,” because I think it embodies the challenge and joy that many students face when they begin reading poetry. In high school or in their jobs, they’re often taught that there is a single answer they need to discover, that there is a singular and correct way of reading a text. Poetry can show students/readers that the pleasure of the text comes from reading it numerous times and each time, gleaning more nuanced and diverse meanings. That, yes, “the life of the poem in the mind” can blossom with the multiplicity of interpretation. Play with the poem and let the poem play with you.

B) Let’s Look at Ashbery, Who Edmundson Claims Has “No Precise Sense at All”
So, Edmundson, poets are “programmatically obscure” in their “opacity” and “evasion” and this prevents them from writing pieces that “take on consequential events”? Since Ashbery is one of the main poets he attacks with these umbrella terms, let’s discuss him a bit. Ashbery has published approximately 25 books of poems (not including re-prints, collections/selections, essays, or translations) and Edmundson quotes only two sentences of his entire oeuvre to assert, “Ashbery’s work is perpetually hedging.” It might be worth exploring what else, besides hedging, Ashbery is doing that has been brushed aside in the Trashbin of Opacity and Evasion. One of many angles into his work might be through how he questions the attributes attached to masculine stereotypes in literature and lived society with his gender-destabilizing pronouns, embrace of waste, and unexpected poetic source material. His poems shape a response to contemporary culture that repositions the male gender as observant, engaged, receptive to change, anti-authoritarian, anti-homophobic, and desiring of multivalency.

With the use of collage technique and unique choice of text-material for the basis of “Europe,” Ashbery’s first long poem in his second book, The Tennis Court Oath, challenges the hierarchical and authoritarian expectations of male gender norms. Unlike modernist male poets who quoted a myriad of foreign languages and included numerous references to other established literary traditions, and more similar to Moore, who incorporated mass media excerpts in her poems like Reader’s Digest and National Geographic. Ashbery embraces children’s literature as a genre acceptable to recycle in his own poetry (and he continues his interest with girl-focused sources, explicitly in his 1999 book, Girls on the Run). A book geared to young female audience, titled Beryl and the Biplane, is the textual material Ashbery chooses to manipulate for “Europe.” The juxtaposition between base-text (kid lit) and titular subject matter (the complex and daunting Europe) forces the reader to reconsider appropriate sources of authority that inform interpretations of a continent. The decision to consult and manipulate a book aimed at an audience of female children is an active rejection of more standard genres such as academic history books or European newspapers, usually controlled by and geared at men. Building his poem from the vocabulary directed at a younger audience also mocks and collapses hierarchy based on age and thus, paternal authority.

The one hundred and eleven sections evade a standard, masculine, linear narrative. “Europe” presents a fragmented and disjointed portrayal of people moving through an ephemeral, curdling landscape, a “strong, sad half-city,” where voices merge and scatter like “the noise of the engine in the sky” (97). This world, as a “war won out of cameos” (97) offers the reader images of jewels flung at blurred faces and politicians briefly appearing to announce victories for battles in which they didn’t directly fight. Unfurling with leaps and fractures, the poem rejects linearity as the undivided phallic, stable identity of heteronormativity. “Europe” ends with a complete refusal of linearity, lacking even punctuation to signify an end: “ slowly sweeping in a circle / the breath” (113). Ashbery leaves us without an escape-hatch: mid-action, devoid of a chronology that indicates a reliable or hopeful future. While Ashbery’s later poems abandon the collage approach, many of his books continue to embrace the plurality of ambiguous pronouns, perpetuate concentric, disruptive, and digressive movement in opposition with the inherently masculine sense of ordering and chronological representation, and undermine male-dominated capitalist culture through attention to its concurrent decay, waste, and by-products. Yes, I guess you could read this as “obscure” and “opaque” or we could read it at deliberate strategies that openly investigate social and “political issues” (which Edmundson demands are absent in current poetry). It’s hard for me to imagine how Edmundson could claim that Ashbery has “too few resources to take on consequential events.” Or, would Edmundson claim that the politics of gender, war, and patriarchy are not “consequential events”?

C) Why Are You Defining “Resources” Solely as Cultural Symbols or Name Brands?
For Edmundson, poetic “resources” are, surprisingly, “the icons of pop culture,” “ad-speak,” “rock lyrics” and “politicians’ posturing.” Edmundson confirms, “The TV shows, the video games, the ads, the fashions, the Internet, movies, popular culture: to read a good deal of contemporary poetry you would imagine these things never existed and don’t make up our collective environment.” One implication I simply won’t engage here is that all poetry should be continually tackling unnamed “consequential events.” I mean, is there a list of approved “consequential events” that a poet must choose from in order to create an ambitious poem? Why not provide the list, then? Another strange implication here, that is a little more worth discussing, is that to write about “consequential events” poets must directly reference brand names, icons, etc. to situate the reader in the contemporary.

I think a basic assumption about poetry or literature at large is that it purposefully uses certain linguistic devices and conceptual strategies to investigate life/history/space/time. Referencing Coca-Cola or mentioning Benghazi are not the only way to address the present moment (let’s just ignore Edmundson’s demand that poetry solely be about contemporary life). Enjambment, juxtaposition, alinearity, ungendered pronouns, fragmented phrases, absurdist sequences (etc) could all confront some of the hallmarks of postmodern American life (for example: flexible accumulation; vertical disintegration leading to financial centralization; and an increase in consumption represented not only by the “mobilization of fashion en mass,” but by a turn toward the “consumption of services” in addition to tangible goods) (endnote 2). As a starter, I recommend to Edmundson that he reads State of Union: 50 Political Poems, an anthology from Wave Books that might help him re-think alternative ways to confront “our collective environment.” This anthology includes a wide range of writers like John Ashbery, Anselm Berrigan, Juliana Spahr, John Yau, Mathias Svalina, and Lucille Clifton.

But even if Edmundson doesn’t want to think about “alternatives,” let’s actually consider some poets who do directly reference the “resources” he mentions. He could dip into the genre of poetry called Flarf. This poetry uses the Internet as a practice to generate work, and he could look at books by Nada Gordon or K. Silem Mohammad or simply check out the July/August 2009 issue of Poetry Magazine, which has a special section dedicated to this genre. If Flarf is not for him, he could try Conceptual Poetry. What about Kenneth Goldsmith’s book, Day? This book actually transcribes The New York Times from September 11, 2001. I am surprised Edmundson did not mention this book. Or how about Documentary Poetics, which calls into question the boundaries between fiction/nonfiction, objectivity/subjectivity, and the private/public through incorporating advertisements, legal transcripts, reportage, and even warnings on medicine bottles enact the materiality of social speech. Try CD Wright’s One Big Self or Brenda Coultas’ A Handmade Museum. Other poets deeply engaged with our contemporary lexicon are Sueyeun Juliette Lee, (That Gorgeous Feeling) Sampson Starkweather (The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather), Arianna Reines (Mercury), Joe Wenderoth (Letters to Wendy’s) Sommer Browning (Either Way I’m Celebrating).

I recently reviewed Carmen Giménez Smith’s The City She Was, and I think this title thoroughly immerses the reader in pop culture, politics, commodification. Here is the first paragraph of the review: We have the terror of collectivity. And then we have the joy of collectivity. Carmen Giménez Smith reminds me that frenemies lurk around the Hard Rock Cafés of any city. But she also reminds me that we don’t have to go to the mall alone to pierce our ears and I’m relieved. And when we return to our homes and look at our freshly pierced ears in our solitary mirrors, Giménez Smith’s poetry forces me to confront the fallibility of the self, how “the houses project their occupants.” Her poems are riddled with both acerbic acceptance and sincere longing for transformation, so they live in a constant or conflicted state of attentive revision. She writes: “We’ll live off the grid. We’ll live sort of off the grid and spend too much money on organic marmalade.” She writes: “Some of it will be true and some of it will test what we know.” Giménez Smith’s newly released fourth collection of poetry, The City She Was, tests what we consider comfort, how we approach or appreciate disguises, how we recognize forgiveness, and whether smugness is our nation state.

2) Because Contemporary American poets lack “ambition,” they do not “light up the world we hold in common,” i.e. they don’t reflect my own worldviews that make me feel like there is a singular “fundamental truth of human experience.”:

A) Let’s Deal with The Conflation of Ambition and American Humanism
Oh dear. Edmundson conflates ambition with some sort of American humanism. While Edmundson admits that “any modern poet who thinks of [her]self as creating a full-scale map of experience would be dismissed as hubristic” he also demands that this same poet “must be willing to articulate that what is true for her life is true for all.” This is the only way to be ambitious (and what is ambition, anyway?)?

First, we need to ask why confirming the readers’ worldview or confirming some universalism is fundamental to good poetry. Edmunson begins his article by applauding Lowell’s content, “He was calling things as he believed them to be not only for himself but for all his readers. And he was looking into the future.” In a world that is growing increasingly diverse, why would we seek out writers that homogenize both the vibrancy and the conflicting perspectives that compose our daily habitat? I called out to poets on Facebook for their immediate reactions to this conflation and here are a few of the responses I received:

from Kathy Goodkin: “How about the ‘ambition’ of contemporary American poets to assert that ‘human experience’ can't and shouldn't be homogenized, that a voice constructed from a cultural lexicon of privilege can't speak for the multiplicity of lived experiences? That if we make assumptions about ‘the world we hold in common’ we neglect to honor all the ways we differ, the varied kinds of meaning-making in which we engage?”

from Jonathan Minton: “I think Edmundson might have it backwards. I just finished reading Cole Swensen's Gravesend and it struck me as very ambitious precisely because it explores the uncommon and uncanny that's buried in our histories and our language.”

from Christopher Kondrich: “Edmundson's sense of ‘ambition’ seems to stem from a lack of ambition on his part. Striving towards ‘common’ ground and universal humanity through poetic eloquence is all well and good, but this is reductive and restrictive to the polyphony of idiosyncratic voices that makes contemporary poetry so startlingly alive. This polyphony of voices also performs an all-important questioning of what ‘common’ means, a necessary performance indicative of a world far more diverse than Edmundson cares to admit. Resultantly, Edmundson's ‘ambitious’ poetry would get terribly dull with such a limited view of humanity. It also speaks to the notion that poetry is only necessary when the common reader needs revelation, which should not be limited to times post-trauma. Poetry is needed to address the trauma of everyday life, a trauma too menial for Edmundson, too uncommon to the ‘common’ Edmundson has in mind.

from Cynthia Arrieu-King: “I think the new ambition has been to capture multiplicities as the new common experience. This is on-going and difficult and creates a sense of people being on the inside and the outside, which means the project has failed or is failing but doesn't mean it isn't going to be achieved.”

From Sueyeun Juliette Lee: “"Ambition" and poetry are antithetical. To me, ‘ambition’ suggests either socially upward desires (which means colluding with status quo structures of things) or some devotion to "greatness" that needs to be examined.”

Edmundson blames Theory for the reason poets are afraid to use “we”—that they are afraid to speak for everybody. I’m not going to launch into a criticism of humanist thinking, but I hope the above comments might get at why actual, living, contemporary poets are wary of Edmundson’s “universal we.” Why is he afraid to bring diversity to the foreground, to explore variance and expand who/what the “we” encompasses.

B) Edmundson Believes that A Lack of Ambition Is Due to Poets Focusing Too Much on Developing a Unique Voice
Edmundson does seem to recognize that we’re living “At a time when collective issues—communal issues, political issues— are pressing.” Yet, he believes that “our poets have become ever more private, idiosyncratic, and withdrawn” because “[they] put all of their energy into one task: the creation of a voice. They strive to sound like no one else.” Holy moly, there is a lot to parse here and I can’t address it all but we can consider a few things.

First, we don’t tend to criticize American fiction or nonfiction writers who have a distinct “voice” (by “voice” I assume Edmundson means something like tone/style/pattern of syntax): Faulkner, David Foster Wallace, Joan Didion, Baldwin, Pynchon, Ellison, Junot Diaz, Toni Morrison, Donald Barthalme. Usually this is why we gravitate toward the writer, because their writing has various identifiable distinctions. So I’m not entirely sure how this is a valid argument?

Second, nor do I understand how any of these writers would then produce inherently “private” or “withdrawn” work. This is a bizarre conflation.

Third, I also think that “private” and “withdrawn” might be code for “complex syntax or unexpected metaphors” (let’s not forget that Edmundson attacks Ashhbery for being too academic when personifying a city, “cities grew out of loathing / Into something forgetful, although angry with history”). Ultimately, Edmundson keeps prioritizing certain aspects of poetry over others and in the process, forgets or does not understand that these elements are constantly working together in shifting ratios. An argument can be made through syntax, tone, and enjambment. These techniques do not inherently hide or dilute argument, they can be fundamental to how an argument is created.

Let’s add a third argument of Edmundson’s to the discussion. Originally I avoided it because it seems vague and uneducated. #3: Our “prominent American poets” write in a “bland, circumscribed mode.”

There are a few ways to approach this. One would be to create a rather sad analogy: How often, in the music industry or visual arts do we turn to people in their 50s and 60s for innovation (i.e. anti-blandness, unpredictability)? What I mean is, you don’t have to look toward the established for the new, when there are hundreds of independent presses in America publishing startling books every day by talented writers. Instead of HarperCollins or Penguin, try Octopus Books, Black Ocean, Ugly Duckling Presse, YesYes Books, Subito Press, Factory Hallow Press, Noemi Press, LetterMachine Books, Bloof Books, and Birds LLC. Instead of The Southern Review or Threepenny Review you could check out any one these journals: jubilat, DIAGRAM, typo, Banango Street, The Chicago Review, Tin House, Black Warrior Review, notnostrums, The Volta.

Another less quippy response would be to acknowledge that the very few poets Edmundson focuses on like Pinksy and Graham might, in fact, not be the most interesting poets out there. I want to point you, the reader, in the direction of more “established” poets who do continue to evolve as innovators. Try Alice Notley, Ann Lauterbach, Peter Gizzi, Elizabeth Willis, Bin Ramke, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Keith Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop, Arthur Sze, Joshua Clover, Harryette Mullen, Anne Waldman, Eileen Myles, Lyn Hejinian, Eleni Sikelianos, and Bernadette Mayer.

OR what about: Here are the names of other poets who use alternative “resources” and are making starling contributions to American contemporary literature: Heather Christle, Jennifer Denrow, CA Conrad, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Shane McCrae, Kate Greenstreet, Timothy Donnelly (end note 3).

By focusing on a particular vein of “mainstream American poetry,” Edmundson does not destabalize and reorient a readership away from “poets who now get the balance of public attention,” the same poets he accuses of “casting unambitious spells.” In fact, this article does not let him escape these poets. So, let’s offer the public more poets that they can pay attention to that are casting ambitious spells. Let’s look at those spells. As an editor of the Denver Quarterly, I look for poetry that surprises me and that I hope will encourage our readership to view the world slightly differently, with a slightly altered sheen, when they finish reading the issue. Stein asserts that “words have the liveliness of being constantly chosen,” and I think that as readers we must not forget we, too, have a choice in the depth we bring to contemplating those words.

So Where Do We Go From Here?
A) Let’s Re-Think The Questions We’re Asking about Poetry!
I think that the authors of articles like this ask misguided questions because it is easier to light a straw man on fire (poetry) than try to extinguish the flames of burning haystacks (our education system or the value we place on deliverability/economic gain as opposed to, say, the value of reflective thinking). Might it be more productive to question why so much of the American population seems averse to complexity? Why are our youths not developing the critical thinking skills and the excitement to engage work that asks them to question their positioning in the world or to investigate their relationship with objects, people, places, assumptions, emotions, etc? Why did Obama in his State of the Union address only mention supporting the math and sciences programs in our education system and what does this say about our priorities as a country?

B) What If Magazines/Newspapers with Wider Audiences Print More Poetry Along Side Their Other Contents?
There are a number of magazines/newspapers that publish short stories or excerpts from forthcoming novels (or review said novels and short stories) while ignoring poetry. Do you not trust your readership to understand the complexity and, if so, why not situate your self as a magazine that encourages and facilitates your readers to encounter such complexity? The Boston Review does this incredibly successfully. Instead of occasionally publishing articles that attack poetry, why not solicit an article about the thriving, diverse poetry communities in New York City, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tucson or many other cities across America? Why not offer a column in each issue that takes an innovative contemporary poem and asks a different poet or critic to discuss its multilayered interpretations/meanings? Basically, why discourage readers from a genre of writing that they are unfamiliar with before they have made up their own minds about it when you, yes you, have the opportunity to expose readers and invite them into this conversation.

C) What If, Complexity and Critical Thinking Aside, We Just Enjoy Whatever Parts of the Poem We Enjoy?
What I mean is, you don’t need to read a poem multiple times. You can read it once. You can read it once and feel like you understood it or NOT feel like you understood it. You can read it again if you want to, but you don’t have to. You can read it and fall in love with a single line and ignore the rest. That’s okay. I love this Gwendolyn Brooks line “a girl gets sick of a rose,” I love this Zachary Schomburg line “what I plant I bury,” I love this line by Jennifer Denrow, “You were the white field when you handed me a blank sheet of paper and said you'd worked so hard all day and this was the best field you could manage,” and this line by Seth Landman, “What is good? My curiosity sways on an island with sounds,” I love this line by Elizabeth Willis, “I swim to shore everyday.” I love these lines for many different reasons. They make me feel something. They make me think about language. They make me think about human potential and human fallibility. Like there is no “right” way to write a poem, there is no “right” way to find pleasure in reading a poem. When I go to a museum and stand in front of a Jasper Johns painting or a Rothko, I don’t pretend to understand all of its meanings or implications—but that doesn’t make me afraid or bitter. I might come back and sit in front of it again, and see if I glean something new or different. Or I might not. I’ve gained something from the experience, and it’s okay if that “something” is indefinable. As Sommer Browning writes, “either way I’m celebrating.”

Edmunson has a new book coming out titled Why Teach? and I am both curious and terrified to see what reasons he suggestions. The tone of his article is belittling in both its vague generalizations and lack of true engagement with contemporary poetics. His article advocates for a poetry that is easy to understand, an accessibility that curtails the triumphs of our imagination. His article advocates for a poetry that speaks for us all. His article advocates for a poetry that confirms our beliefs instead of challenges us. He gives us the green light to seek out validation as readers while actively negating ourselves as diverse, critical, and imaginative thinkers. Why teach? Well, I teach so that our students learn to be more self-reflective and to question texts, facts, and each other; I teach so that our students learn to write and verbally communicate cogently, confidently, and with originality; I teach so that our students gain a stronger sense of agency and will not be afraid of textual or philosophical innovation. And I write poetry and edit poetry journals with the hope that there will be a growing community of readers who recognize the liveliness, strangeness, and imaginative possibilities of the work available to them.

I realize that the above statement is a bit of a low blow toward Edmundson and those who easily agree with him. I actually think this response, though, goes easy on him. If this article was published somewhere else, maybe to an audience of poets, it wouldn’t be worth responding to. However, because many of the people who will read “Poetry Slam” do not read a wide variety of contemporary poetry (at least not in Harper’s) and this article does not recommend any (other than Tony Hoagland—a straight, white male), it seems worthwhile to get at the larger concerns. The aim of this response is not to blame anyone person or any institution per say (my own background with an MFA and PhD in Literature does not position me as the ideal person to discuss Late Capitalism or even the specific pitfalls of our K-12 and higher education systems). I do hope to nudge us toward having many conversations about resistance toward complexity (What about McDonaldization of Society?), why we want poetry to function in a certain way, and what pleasures we can derive from expanding the list of authors we read. I would like this to be a conversation with educators, politicians, scientists, marketers, artists of all mediums, with you and you and you.

Edmundon, like a small boy locked out of a warm house, feels shut out of contemporary poetry. Maybe he holds the wrong key. A key that turns all poetry into “poetry of our climate” only if it speaks in the plural, with commodified symbols of our society, to directly address post 9/11 issues. But the door is not locked. Please enter. Together we can re-think the diverse “our” of our climate and the myriad ways we can engage the imagination.

Yours Sincerely,
Julia Cohen, PhD
Associate Editor, Denver Quarterly

[These views are my own and not those of the Denver Quarterly)

Endnotes:
Note 1: The American poets are Hass, Pinksy, Merwin, Ashbery, Muldoon, Graham. Anne Carson is Canadian and Seamus Heaney, who was born in Ireland, currently lives in Dublin. I’m not sure why these two poets count as “American” simply because Americans read their work. In a critique of American poetry, should we also consider the Slovenian poet Tomaz Salamun on the premise that we happen to like him? Edmundson also mentions Adrienne Rich as though she is currently engaging with contemporary issues, but, unfortunately, she died in 2012. Other Romantic and Modernist poets are mentioned briefly, but they are clearly dead and not “contemporary.” Tony Hoagland (a straight, white, male) is the only poet he believes is writing the “right” kind of poem.
Note 2: Nicol, Bran, ed. Postmodernism and the Contemporary Novel: A Reader. Edinburgh,
England: Edinburgh University Press, 2002. Print.
Note 3: Look, this list could go on and on. There are so many amazing poets writing right now. I'm traveling as I write all this so I don't have my library to reference, but I'd also list Joyelle McSweeney, Cathy Park Hong, Farrah Field, Evie Shockley, Arda Collins, Noah Eli Gordon, Brandon Shimoda, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Emily Pettit, Leora Fridman, Brian Foley, Eric Baus, Anselm Berrigan, Clark Coolidge, Andrea Rexilius, Joshua Poteat, Allison Titus, Claudia Rankine, Lily Brown, Danielle Pafunda, J. Michael Martinez, Kim Gek Lin Short, Kazim Ali, Kristi Maxwell, Brandon Downing, Christopher Stackhouse, Natalie Lyalin, Cathy Wagner, Tina Brown Celona, Lisa Ciccarello, Cathy Lin Che, Lynn Xu, Stephanie Anderson, Timothy Yu, and on and on.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Random & Indulgent Photos Press



This last one is like "Starry Night" but in muddy water. right?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Masts Are Made of Lightning; Your Ship Is Made of Waves Press

Traveling around Santa Fe this weekend. Road hair:

Today I went to a flea market and held some fossilized clams; to see the St. John's College campus; and to Museum of International Folk Art, which had the craziest dioramas I have ever seen in my life.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Live Every Day Like It Begins With a Walk of Shame Press

Here are the intros from the last Bad Shadow Affair reading of the season:

When I read Kathy Goodkin’s poems I feel like I’m a five year old in love with all the things most adults can no longer access. I think this has to do with a willingness to interact with wonder instead of stifling it with names. Her poems play TV tag and Red Rover with ghost-soldiers. But these poems don’t just hang out in the playground, they’re slipping into the woods behind the gym to smoke, they’re changing outfits in the bathroom stall, they’re beheading daffodils like an early frost before the first bell rings. Kathy’s poems access the unpredictability of movement, they are the eyes blinking at you from within the recess of a black tree.
Link: http://www.jetfuelreview.com/?page_id=1094

Laura Eve Engel’s poems rub up against you but not like a cat does to your leg. More like a new kind of planet made from the vapors of snake venum, ransacked museums, the breath you use to melt the ice in the keyhole. This new kind of planet does not hesitate or demur; its proximity will scare astronomers and astrologers, politicians and businessmen. But not you, you who let this planet press letters into your back with its meteoric fingers, spelling out how admission is different than confession as a thousand milkweeds explode.
Link: http://www.inknode.com/users/lauraeve
I love this one: http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/features/you-love-desperately/

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Jennifer Pilch sent me this painting by Clare Grill and I LOVE IT because it's within a frame and too much all at once:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

You Just Got PreSchooled Press

Just found this poem written by a 4th grader from when I did Writers in the Schools in 2010. Kids are the best poets:

Ode to Hammocks
By Jake

Hammocks have the insane power to cure thoughts
like surgeons can fix a patient.
Hammocks are a rainbow of colors in the sky.
A hammock is a pirate ship on the open sea.
Hammocks are like a tough spider web.
A Hammock can catch prey and hold the prey
for hours like a prison can hold prisoners.
Hammocks are my favorite place to be.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Something like Springtime Press

Shadow play / friends on planet Mars / backyard necklace siesta:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Entrance for Crushers Only

Thanks to Sampson Starkweather, Paige Taggart, Ben Mirov, and Selah Saterstrom for reading at our Bad Shadow Affair series last night. You crushed it.

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This is what it looks like when I get ready for an interview with all my notes:


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I have the word honkytonk stuck in my head. Yes, it's one word.



Monday, April 22, 2013

Olga NightPony Press

Have a chalky poem on a blackboard up here:
http://www.flying-object.org/2013/04/its-my-decision-41/
Thanks, Flying Object (And Guy Pettit & Keith Newton). I believe I tagged Andrea Rexilius so a poem of hers should be up on this site soon, too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wonder Was Born in 1914 & Died in 1981 Press

Sommer Browning took me to a diner & then the oldest cemetery in Denver. Then we spent some time in a Walgreen's parking lot before meeting up with the lovely poets Jennifer Denrow, Kathy Goodkin, Tina Celona to go to the Walnut Room and the Mile High Distillery. How are so many awesome writers in Denver? Glory, clearly.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Did I Lend You My Copy of Beasts of The Southern Wild? Because I Need It Back, Please Press

I hope you come to these two events today. Because an audience would make the event noticeably better:



Renowned poet and critic Rachel Blau DuPlessis will visit Denver University tomorrow Wednesday, April 10. We are very excited to have her. She will give a talk and reading. Hope to see you there!


Talk - 4pm: On Drafts, Sturm Hall 281

Reading - 8pm: Sturm Hall 281


Rachel Blau DuPlessis is the author of the long poem Drafts, begun in 1986, and collected recently in two books from Salt Publishing-- The Collage Poems of Drafts (2011), Pitch: Drafts 77-95 (2010). Her newest book is Surge: Drafts 96-114 , published by Salt in 2013. Transcending poetic schools and binaries in poetics with an odic verve and analytic intensity, Surge is the provocative, open-ended ending to Drafts, DuPlessis's twenty-six year project in the long poem.

Other volumes include Torques: Drafts 58-76 (Salt Publishing, 2007) as well as Drafts 1-38, Toll (Wesleyan U.P., 2001) and Drafts 39-57, Pledge, with Draft unnumbered: Précis (Salt Publishing, 2004). Her recent book Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2012) is part of a trilogy of works about gender and poetics that includes The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice and Blue Studios: Poetry and its Cultural Work, both from University of Alabama Press. She has published three other critical books on modern poetry, fiction and gender, eight other books of poetry, and three co-edited anthologies as well as editing The Selected Letters of George Oppen. She has been awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a residency for poetry at Bellagio, and has held an appointment to the National Humanities Center. DuPlessis is Professor Emerita of English at Temple University.

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I teach during the reading but I will be there for the talk.

New Denver Quarterly TOC is being copy edited. The latest issue, Spring 47.3, should be romping inside your mailbox right now. I need to update the DQ website this week.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

PolyEaster Press

Why am I swayed by vitamins advertised as "better tasting"?

I like to weave avenues when I walk. If you don't you're not from the east coast. There was some serious weaving going on tonight. Which is to say, thank effing god it's finally warm enough to take night walks.
Which is to say, if you haven't listened to Allen Toussaint's "Night People" you are missing out on a song that is amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJZXg3fQkUo

Photos from my weekend:

Friday, March 29, 2013

PonyBoyIceShip Press

What do you think about this?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Iris Idle Identicle Idoltary Press

Sometimes you have to hang out with a baby pygmy goat:


I have a lyric essay in the new issue of Puerto del Sol. Maybe you could buy a copy. Maybe?
http://www.puertodelsol.org/current.html
All these rockstars are in it too:
Matt Bell
Steven Ramirez
Robin Lee Jordan
James O'Brien
Brenda Rankin
Shome Dasgupta
Lisa Estus
Sonya Huber
Julia Cohen
Joelle Biele
T Kira Madden
Jennifer Buxton
Max Somers
Britt Melewski
Matthew Wimberley
Sheryl Luna
Dani Sandal
Eric Morris
George David Clark
Noah Eli Gordon
Myronn Hardy
Catherine Kasper
David Romanda
Nora Hickey
Sally Wen Mao
Megan M. Wong
Kelsie Hahn
Sessily Watt
Jeanine Deibel

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Recently discovered this blog: blackgirldangerous.org/

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Thoughts I've had today:

If I could get paid for eating grits...

Am I supposed to print out this Group-on?

If you're making an appointment with me to "just go over grammar and punctuation" then you're really meeting with me to talk about structure of your essay, what a topic sentence is, what a transition sentence is, what a signal phrase is, how to incorporate in-text citation....

I don't have any friend with a pet rattle snake.

Yet...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You Will Eat the Shadow & You Will Be Eaten by the Sea Press

Thanks S and J for sending me this link. If this doesn't make you cry, I don't honestly know what will:

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.
http://zengarage.com.au/2013/03/marina-abramovic-and-ulay/

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Noses of Mount Rushmore Press

Got a lovely email about the new issue of Fou being ready for you. Yes, you:

Dear Friends,

After some time away--births, jobs, continents, marathons, Camembert--we decided to rally and get our fourth issue of Fou out into the world and webscape. We hope you'll take a look, spend some time with the spectacular poems in the creeptastic habitat that Brad Soucy made for them, and pass it along.

Featuring work by: Christopher Brean Murray, Jackie Clark, Farrah Field, Brian Foley, Chris Tonelli, Karyna McGlynn, Emily Pettit, Matthew Lipmann, Brennen Wysong, Nate Pritts, Tricia Taaca, Geoffrey Nutter, Michael Earl Craig, and Alex Cigale

www.foumagazine.net


Good News Press

Exciting new about my lovely friend TaraShea Nesbit:

Bloomsbury’s Nancy Miller took world English rights, at auction, to TaraShea Nesbit’s debut novel, The Wives of Los Alamos. Agent Julie Barer brokered the deal, and the book, set for publication in winter 2014, will present stories about the men who created the atomic bomb from the viewpoint of their wives, told in what Bloomsbury called their “collective voices.”

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tether Ball Honky Tonk Swim Suit Press

Hello, Sunday sunshine. Well, I had to leave the sunshine for the Writing Center today, but I know it's out there and I'm pumped about it. Also, before I came to the WC I went to the Dollar Store. I cannot tell you how much I love the dollar store. And I hung out with a 90 pound dog this morning & ate avocado toast with eggs & fake sausage. So, Sunday is sunny in other ways.

This is the best article I've read so far about the new pope:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/pope-insanity-mxlv-selected,31656/?ref=auto

This is the best music video I've watched all day:


This is the best painting I've seen all day:


If I had a TV, I might be excited about the reality show Preacher's Daughters. How did that show get made?

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Happy Birthday Megan Whitman!

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Love Vida Press

The 2012 stats for sex ratios in established and widely circulated journals and magazines have been released:
http://www.vidaweb.org/the-count-2012

It seems not much has changed between 2010 and 2012, even with these numbers out in the open. For example:


In 2010, women were underrepresented in The New Yorker, where men authored 449 pieces, compared to 163 by women. In Harper’s Magazine, men writers outnumbered women writers by nearly 3 to 1. In The New Republic, 256 pieces were authored by men, while only 49 were written by women. In The New York Review of Books, men wrote 462 pieces and women 72. Even with these statistics out in the open, established publications have made little attempt to rectify this blatant gender imbalance. In 2012, Harper’s reviewed 54 books by men and 11 by women. The London Review of Books reviewed 203 books by men and 74 by women. And in Poetry Magazine, men outnumbered women 207 to 166. In a culture where the most widely recognized and “prestigious” journals and magazines continually marginalize the work of female writers, what poetic investigations and experiments are being ignored?

Tons.



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Here is Leora Fridman interviewing herself as part of The Next Big Thing project:
http://leorasf.tumblr.com/post/45420121189/the-next-big-thing-interview-project

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I Basically Ate a Baby Press

I'll be stationed at the Denver Quarterly AWP table Wed-Saturday. Please come hang out with me. I will do a little jig and show you Denver Quarterly high lights.

Oh YOU MUST ATTEND THE READING THURSDAY NIGHT:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Parade of Ants, a Parade of Parting Waves Press

I forgot to mention that earlier this month a review I wrote of Paige Taggart's book went up at HTMLGIANT. Thanks HTMLGIANT. Click this link, yo: She Makes Dinner Her Vocabulary: On Paige Taggart's Polaroid Parade.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

House Collision Press

Kids bring bubbles to the beach:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Midrift Oasis Press

I've got my gloves on. You know what I'm saying?

Do you?

Like, indoors-style.

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Excited to hear Ross Gay and Erika Meitner read their work tonight in WV.

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Thanks so much to Seth Landman, Leora Fridman, and Oren Silverman for reading on Saturday for the Bad Shadow Affair series in Denver. And for the special guest appearance of Jen Denrow while she introduced Seth. I'm pasting my intro below for Leora:

Leora Fridman’s poems pull on the loose thread of your sweater until it unravels, until it reconstitutes as a bird’s nest. Her poems dissect the toaster oven and rebuilt it as a spaceship. You can eat toast in outerspace with Leora. What I mean is, her poems investigate not to offer you an instruction manual but to get you lost inside a single atom. They encourage you to consider what your emotional relationship is to your cardigan. What’s your emotional relationship to a tree trunk or a candy striper? She writes, “I am not performing what
you can and cannot allow.” Her poems are not about allowance so much as an openness that mysteriously tends to find the intangible in the tangible and vise versa.
Check out some links to her work here:
Who Wins A Sailboat On Television.

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

You Can Take The Face Out Of The Lake But Not The Lake Out Of The Face Press

Finishing the critical introduction to my dissertation. There is a stack of Alice Notley in bed with me in the place a human body should be.

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Thank you for making January's Bad Shadow marvelous! What a wonderful audience.

As your reward, you are invited to the next Bad Shadow Affair, Saturday February 16th. We promise it's going to be one of the baddest!

It will feature readings by Seth Landman, Oren Silverman, Leora Fridman & Wendy Xu.

Many of these people are from the EAST COAST.

See you there!


Saturday, February 16th
Promptly at 7pm
Lost Lake Lounge
3602 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, Colorado 80206

Your loving curators,
Sommer & Julia



Sunday, February 3, 2013

They weigh and measure roses with roses in a bazaar of roses, nothing but roses press

I went to a performance art show this weekend. Twice. It was interactive.




...I came and beheld the palace of my Sultan
it was full of roses, nothing but roses.
The crown and throne of the Sultan, His garden and walls
were roses, nothing but roses.
They buy roses, they sell roses,
They weigh and measure roses with roses
in a bazaar of roses, nothing but roses.
White and scarlet rose raised and paired together in one garden.
Ummi Sinan came to this dwelling of nightingales and roses, nothing but roses.
--Ummi Sinan, Turkish poet 11th century

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Tree Is The Right Kind of Green But The Wrong Kind of Fake Press

Here are my intros from Saturday's Bad Shadow Affair. Thanks everyone who came!

Nick Gulig:
If there are 7 billion people, then there are seven billion versions of the world. If there are ten quintillion insects, then let’s not forget about their versions, either. The world you experience is your world. This could get lonely. Or confusing. But Nick seems to embrace variance as an outcome of the imagination and this is a certain kind of faith. That the imagination, too, can collapse this distance. Sometimes his poems want to hold your hand on a beach and sometimes they want to push you into a busy street, but either way, he takes away the distance we feel when he gives us the waves surrounding the beach or the city surrounding the street. Maybe this is how we’re forgiven, or simply how we forge. I think his work experiments with different versions of faith: in space, in objects, that the “you” in his poems is a version of the real. Check out his work here:
http://textasinstinct.blogspot.com/p/work-on-line-my-own.html

Lawrence Giffin:
The architecture of a wing or wound, the architecture of religion, your name, a feral child living in milkweed & mud. Giffin’s poems are intricate constructions that reveal our artifice as well as intuitive desire. His scaffolding seems to cover everything, pulling a stanza about a book of political philosophy into the same poem with holiday shopping and a housing project. They acknowledge the inextricable. What surprises me in these poems is that sometimes the observations feel mediated by the distance of history and paper and at others, like someone is sitting on your toilet, watching you take an unjustifiably long, hot shower. Giffin writes, “My fear is that time will heal the wounds before I’ve had my chance to finger them.” In reading his new book from Ugly Duckling Presse, Christian Name, I’ve learned to accept if not love the scrutiny we’re cast under. Check out his work here:
http://www.uglyducklingpresse.org/catalog/browse/item/?pubID=215

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Gloves Cover Two Pulsing Hearts Press

Whenever I pass National Jewish Health in Denver-- NJHealth as the posters have it---I always misread it as NinjaHealth. And I get excited.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Poetry Is Alive, Deal With It Press

People on Facebook seem to be pissy or just sad about the Washington Post blog about how useless poetry is and how no one cares about it. But no one seems to be actively engaging the comments section of the WP. So, here is a link to the article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2013/01/22/is-poetry-dead/

Here is a link to my comments.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2013/01/22/is-poetry-dead/?commentID=washingtonpost.com/ECHO/item/1358889626-721-795
And I'm pasting them below, too:

Part of the challenge and pleasure of reading poetry is that it sets forth to offer the reader something radically new, and in turn, we have to re-train ourselves to read. Writing that tries to de-stable standards of normalcy cannot use the syntax, the language of this very normalcy. It is a language of fracture and fragment, a language that breaks down meaning to regenerate it, to reinvigorate it. A language that tries to collapse boundaries, to free us from constraints, to help us form new relationships with people, objects, places, time, and our own imaginations. As Hejinian writes, it’s a language that “invites participation.” I think it’s immensely important to take what we learn in academic studies or in our jobs and everyday life and experiment with how these histories and ideas can be explored creatively. It trains us to be open and active readers and to develop agency as thinkers and as citizens in this world.

When I teach poetry, I want my students to generate a body of work that feels and sounds like their unique personality but that also surprises them in the complexities and linguistic leaps they’ve accomplished over the course of the semester. I love this Stevens line that goes, “the life of the poem in the mind has not yet begun,” because I think it embodies the challenge and joy that many students face when they begin reading poetry. In high school and in some of their college courses, they’re taught that there is a single answer they need to discover, that there is a singular and correct way of reading a text. Poetry can show students/readers that the pleasure of the text comes from reading it numerous times and each time, gleaning more nuanced and diverse meanings, that “the life of the poem in the mind” can blossom with the multiplicity of interpretation.

Panic Heart Press

In proofing the spring issue of the Denver Quarterly, I realized that I didn't know the correct spelling of "dormouse." If you were ever in love with the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland as a kid, you might think it's "doormouse." Anyways, I searched the term on Google, which promptly brought me to this ridiculous video. This is how I learn how to spell now, I guess:

Yes, I learn how to spell by listening to rodents snore.

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Also, I do love lists like this:
14 words with no English Equivalent:
http://theweek.com/article/index/238751/14-wonderful-words-with-no-english-equivalent

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Drive-by Feelings Press

New Bad Shadow Affair reading happening Saturday the 26th. Head's up, you should come:

Friends!

It is 2013 now! Bad Shadow Affair: Please come hear Dan Beachy-Quick, Nick Gulig, Michelle Naka Pierce, and Lawrence Giffin next Saturday, Jan 26th, at 7pm.

It will be nice to see everyone!
Bad Shadow Affair @ Lost Lake Lounge
3602 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, Colorado 80206
We'll start promptly at 7pm!!!!!
Saturday, Jan 26th

Bios:
Born in Japan, Michelle Naka Pierce is the author of Continuous Frieze Bordering Red (2012), awarded Fordham University's Poets Out Loud Editor's Prize; She, A Blueprint (2011); Beloved Integer (2007); and TRI/VIA (2003). Pierce is associate professor and director of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.

Lawrence Giffin is the author of Get the Fuck Back into that Burning Plane (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), Sorites (Tea Party Republicans Press, 2011), Ex Tempore (Troll Thread, 2011), and a split chapbook with Lauren Spohrer, Just Kids (Agnes Fox Press, 2012). He lives in Durham, NC.

Born in Wisconsin, educated in Montana and Iowa, Nicholas Gulig currently lives in Colorado where he is PhD candidate at the University of Denver. He is the recipient of awards for poetry from CutBank, Red Hen Press, Camber Press, and the Black Warrior Review, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship to Thailand in 2011. His first full-length collection of poems, North of Order, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in the September.

Dan Beachy-Quick is a poet, writer, and critic. He is the author of four collections of poems, most recently, Circle's Apprentice (Tupelo Press), and A Whaler’s Dictionary (Milkweed Editions), a collection of essays about Moby Dick. His honors include a Lannan Foundation Residency.

Over and out,
Julia & Sommer

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Also, next weekend and the weekend after (when I will go), this performance piece is happening. Strongly encourage you to come with me Feb 1st or 2nd:




Saturday, January 19, 2013

Strange Breakfast Days Press

I've been so busy lately I forgot to stock my house with breakfast food. For someone else, this might mean that he/she just got ready for work and 1) skipped bfast or 2) stopped by a fastfood place or grocery store en route to work. For me, this means I rummaged through my fridge and put anything that existed into the oatmeal.

1) oatmeal
2) 2 eggs
3) cilantro
4) salsa

Yeah.....I'm telling you this because I am both embarrassed and actually think it tasted fine. Or, is that just another reason to be embarrassed? But guess what, you can't judge until you try it yourself!



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sometimes You Drink Tea Cross-eyed & with a Spoon Press

Good news for you anywhere:

My friend, the nonfiction writer, Ariel Lewiton, has a piece up at Vice Magazine:
http://www.vice.com/read/bottom-line-my-view-of-corporate-collapse

My friend Xander Goldberg made this music video, "Girls," for the band Santigold:

The song will be featured on the HBO show, "Girls."

And if you're in NY:
Mark your calendars for the launch party of Drunken Boat#16, held at the Asian American Writers Workshop next Thursday, Jan. 24th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm - featuring contributors from Trance Poetics, including editor & poet Kristin Prevallet, Edwin Torres, Elena River & Marco Maisto and Caroline DeVane, Fiction Writers Nora Maynard and Rosalind Palermo Stevenson, Open City Fellows Peggy Lee and Celina Su, and a special collaborative performance by award winning US poet specializing in cross-disciplinary ephemeral collaborations Terri Witek & her Brazilian collaborator, Cyriaco Lopes, whose most recent New York show "Crimes Against Love" won a Worldstudio AIGA and RTKL award and was featured on the front page of The Advocate. The event will be MC'ed by Drunken Boat's own Ravi Shankar. http://aaww.org/curation/

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beasts & Burdens Press

Wendy Xu has two lovely poems up at Banango Street, along with translations by Zach Schomburg: http://banangostreet.com/issue3/

Come and get it while it's hot, right? Right, guys?

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I'm incredibly happy to say that my bff Benh Zeitlin received 3 Oscar nominations for his film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. I've known this movie was going to be amazing for years, but it's a relief to see larger money-oriented industries actually support a low budget movie that takes risks with the imagination. I hope more movies like his will receive this kind of attention in the future-- it would be a welcome shift in the public's attention. Maybe what I admire most is that Benh has never been distracted--by money, scripts written by other people, etc-- his vision has always been clear and he's pursued it with avid dedication and joy. There is a scrappy joy to his work that buoys me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Minotaurist Goes on Vacation Press

Happy to let you know I have three poems in the current issue of Ghost Town. It's a print journal but their new website allows you to read everything digitally, too, so:
http://ghosttownlitmag.squarespace.com/julia-cohen

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Been consulting at the Writing Center all day. This evening KJS is making dinner, Michigan style, for me and a few friends.

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This reading is happening Friday night in Denver. Buckle up:

Please come out and support the New Year and celebrate the arts Friday, January 11th at the Deer Pile. Smorg is pleased to host Dani Rado, Will Skinker and Cassandra Smith, all hail Denver writers. C'est magnifique!

The Deer Pile is located above City o City (206 E 13th Ave). Delicious food and drinks available at City o City. Meet there.

Reading starts promptly at 7pm (to make way for the event following ours).

Come early for dinner or a drink and stay late. Hope to see you there!


Dani Rado recently graduated from the University of Denver's creative writing program and currently is an assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University. She's had works published in Harpur Palate, MochilaReview, SNReview, 5th Wednesday, and Clackamas Literary Review, among others.


Will Skinker was born & raised in Marshall Virginia, then moved to Portland OR, and then to San Francisco CA, and then to Denver CO. Auguste Press published his book Mascara in 2007, and Lew Gallery Editions published his small book Feed My Lambs in 2011. He attempts to climb mountains for fun and is writing a long non-fiction work-in-progress about his mountaineering adventures titled We Eat Distance, two chapters of which have been published. His poems appear and disappear in journals here and there and this makes him smile. He moved to Denver in July of 2012 with his wife Yolanda and their two cats. He works for Adam's Camp in Centennial CO, a non-profit organization that runs summer camps for developmentally disabled children and their families.

Cassandra Smith is a visual artist and poet. She works as an editor and book designer for Omnidawn Publishing. She would like to be a museum of lost objects but for now this is only an internet: www.moloprojects.org. She has degrees. She has fire. She lives somewhere in the middle.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Tennis Courts Are Covered in Snow Press

New issue of DIAGRAM is up: http://thediagram.com/12_6

TEXT BY: Ari Banias, A. M. Brand, Rachael Button, Michael Canavan, Taylor Collier, Melissa Cundieff-Pexa, David M. DeLeon, Kevin Ducey, Tessa Fontaine, James Allen Hall, Dale Megan Healey, W. Scott Howard, Ted Jean, Brandon Kreitler, Norman Lock, Will Mackin, Todd McCarty, Steven Moore, JoAnna Novak, Hai-Dang Phan, D. E. Steward, Eric Torgersen, M. A. Vizsolyi, and R. Williams.

Then there are four REVIEWS: Ryan Walsh on Charlotte Pence, William John Bert on Kenneth Reitz, Lawrence Lenhart on Adam Thirlwell, and a review of Arianne Zwartjes's DETAILING TRAUMA.

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New issue of The Volta: http://www.thevolta.org/

Friday Feature lists some of the editors' favorite books of 2012.

Evening Will Come presents Sara Renee Marshall's Feminist Poetics Issue, with her introduction & essays by Sandra Doller, Danielle Pafunda, Arielle Greenberg, Rachel Zucker, Carmen Gimenez Smith, & Dawn Lundy Martin. And Julie Carr interviews Lisa Robertson as well.

The Conversant: conversations and interviews with Jen Hofer & John Pluecker on their Antena project, Jeffrey Williams with Donna Haraway, Virginia Konchan with Cathy Wagner, Leonard Schwartz with Michael Hardt, Andy Fitch with Srikanth Reddy and Evie Shockley, Nature Theater of Oklahoma with Kate Valk, HL Hix with Julie Carr, Noah Eli Gordon, & Eileen Myles, Justin Yockel with Ruben Espinosa, Philip Metres with Dimitri Psurtsev, Andy Fitch with Thom Donovan & Matvei Yahkelevich, as well as Thom Donovan talking with Matvei Yankelevich.

Heir Apparent features a new suite of poems from Ben Mirov and They Will Sew the Blue Sail has new poems by Angela Carr, Clayton Eshleman, & Lisa Fishman.

Tremolo: Brian Blanchfield interview by Ben Rutherfurd

Medium & Arroyo Chico: new videos from Drew Krewer & Laura Maher

The Pleistocene: a conversation with Brent Hendricks
& Lynn Xu Takes Down the Clouds