Poetry, E-Books, and John Ashbery

Gilgamesh's tablet 11 never looked so good.

Gilgamesh’s tablet 11 never looked so good.

There’s an article in today’s New York Times called “Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly.”  In it, Alexandra Alter reports that even though “[m]ost e-readers mangle the line breaks and stanzas that are so crucial to the appearance and rhythm of poetry” publishers of poetry are starting to do a better job preserving the integrity of the line as they remediate print books into digital form.

Last week, for example, Open Road Media published 17 digital collections of John Ashbery’s poetry, “the first time the bulk of his poetry will be available in e-book form.”  In contrast, Ecco attempted to put out four Ashbery e-books three years ago and “[t]here were no line breaks, and the stanzas had been jammed together into a block of text that looked like prose.”

Check out Open Road’s promo video for Ashbery below:

Duende

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Duende, a new online (and beautifully designed) literary journal run by the good folks in Goddard College’s BFA Program, is accepting submissions for its inaugural issue.  The editors say,

If your poetry is rough-cut diamonds, slightly off-kilter; if your fiction will make us feel more human and less alone; if you enjoy exploration of new forms at the edges of the literary universe; if you can bring us elegant translations of literature from far corners of the globe; if your nonfiction is wild and honest; if your visual art is raw and earnest…show us. We want to see it.

According to one of my favorite poets, Nathaniel Mackey, “One of the things that marks the arrival of duende in flamenco singing is a sound of trouble in the voice, The voice becomes troubled. Its eloquence becomes eloquence of another order, a broken, problematic, self-problematizing eloquence.”  Send your broken, problematic, self-problematizing eloquences for Duende‘s arrival (which is slated for October 2014) by May 15th.  UPDATE: THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO JUNE 1ST.

 

Hyperallergic Weekend: Oct 13th

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A painting by Rick Beerhorst


The current issue of Hyperallergic Weekend has a lot of great stuff. I’ve been enjoying John Yau on Rick Beerhorst and Barry Schwabsky’s wonderfully polemical “Why I’m Not Reading Louise Glück.” In the latter, I love this sentence by Schwabsky, which begins at Point A and ends with Point Z (or rather Point X): “Glück is one of the best-known American poets, a native New Yorker who has won just about every prize and honor available — Pulitzer, National Book Critics Circle, U.S. Poet Laureate — and taught at all the famous places to be taught poetry; better still, as I’ve just learned from Wikipedia, her father helped create the X-Acto knife, a tool I’d recommend to every poet who hopes to carve more precise verses out of the thick and messy matter of our speech.”

I’m also in the mix with a review of Lytle Shaw’s Fieldworks: From Place to Site in Postwar Poetics.

Charlie Sayzz – twitter poem – PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Charlie Sayzz

A twitter poem made from Iraq/Afghanistan war reportage, intercut with quotes from cult leader Charles Manson, will tweet 1 Oct onwards from: https://twitter.com/CharlieSayzz

The poem draws comparisons between psychopathology and foreign policy.

Charlie Sayzz is constructed from incorrect 18-syllable haiku, to be transmitted one per day for the next year. The haiku is a much-abused and appropriated short (17-syllable) Japanese form, often meditative and peaceful. It is chosen here for its very in-appropriateness as a vehicle for war poetry. And yet under the placid surface, haiku surely is angry, because it is now such a colonised poetry. The extra syllable in these ‘bad’ haiku is to create dissonance (in old numerology, 9 is the number of aggression and 18 syllables ie 1+8 = 9).

The poem was devised by Philip Davenport and co-written by him with Richard Barrett, Steve Giasson, Tom Jenks, Michael Leong, copland smith and Steve Waling.  Tom Jenks programmed the twitter feed and shaped many of the haiku as visual poems.

This project is a parallel to Davenport’s novel Charlie Says (2013)

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Blackbox Manifold No. 10 (Summer 2013)

The new issue of the always enjoyable Blackbox Manifold was just launched.  It features work by Billy Cancel, Rick Crilly, Josh Ekroy, Michael Farrell, Joanna Grigg, Bernard Henrie, Joan Harvey, David Herd, Beau Hopkins, Drew Milne & John Kinsella (together), Peter Larkin, Robert Mueller, Sandeep Parmar, Peter Riley, Jennifer Scappettone, Kerrin P. Sharpe, Nathan Thompson, Corey Wakeling, Duncan White and Rachel Zolf; accompanied by a fine essay by Sam Ladkin on Frank O’Hara, and a review of John Matthias by Adam Piette.

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