FACE OUT: Maximizing the Visibility of Emerging Writers, Reading & Reception, 6/12/13


Julie Buntin, the Director of Programs & Strategic Outreach for CLMP, says, “We’ve got a lovely reception planned with enough food and drink to feed an army of starving writers–or just hungry ones.”

I hope that the refreshments–along with the diversity of poets and presses represented–will provide enough incentive to go. Do come by if you’re free and around.

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby Street
New York, NY 10012

This celebratory event features short readings from exceptional emerging writers supported through CLMP’s FACE OUT program, which grants publisher/author teams funding for technical assistance to help spotlight independent, experimental titles. Readers include: Cynthia Cruz (Four Way Books), Farrah Field (Four Way Books), Michael Leong (Black Square Editions), Albert Mobilio (Black Square Editions), Jon Leon (Futurepoem Books), Francis Richard (Futurepoem Books), R. Erica Doyle (Belladonna Books), LaTasha Diggs (Belladonna Books), Dan Magers (Birds, LLC) and Ana Bozicevic (Birds, LLC). The FACE OUT program is supported by a generous contribution from The Jerome Foundation and the New York Community Trust.


Sentences and Fragments: Prathna Lor’s VENTRILOQUISM and Myriam Gurba’s WISH YOU WERE ME

Okay, I know, weekends are terrible times to post things on the Internet, and apologies to the Big Other crew for posting like twenty million things in one day. But, moving on:  I’ve been meaning to buy Prathna Lor’s little chapbook from Future Tense for a while, but it wasn’t until I went to the site to buy Myriam Gurba’s that I snapped it up. I want to talk about each of these in terms of this study of sentences I’m doing here.

Prathna Lor’s Ventriloquism

There are about 40 little prose poems in this chapbook, and many of them are only one sentence long. For example, one of my favorites, “Wind Instrument”:
“If you blow into a bird holding its wings slightly tilted toward the sky you will dramatically alter its register.”

What I like about this sentence is that it really isn’t a fragment necessarily, because there’s nothing larger surrounding it. All we have is this single sentence, so it must stand alone. But there are questions I feel could be answered, not that I want the answers, and not that I’d want the poem to answer them. Actually, I like that the poem makes me ask questions, and this, for me, is the experience of reading a single-sentence poem. The questions I have are: Who would do this? Who would think to do this and have the expertise to know to tilt the bird slightly? Why is it important to know that its register will be altered dramatically? At first, I thought maybe the speaker is some sicko. But on second thought, maybe it’s a scientist or naturalist. Maybe it’s important to know this fact about birds for some reason. So, what I’m saying is, this single sentence is very suggestive and effective. It is, in fact, a fragment, but it is also pretty complete.

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