Check out one of my poems, “Commute #2,” live now at The Southampton Review!
Erasure and material poetry artist Jenni Baker (please read our wonderful conversation, and have a look at her incredible erasures) invited me early this year to make a rolodex poem. It was a fantastic experience that had me, each morning, really studying a letter, a through z. The result was an austere project, but one of which I am incredibly proud–especially as it takes place with extraordinary projects by M. NourbeSe Philip, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Micheal Leong, Evan Kleekamp, James W. Moore, Barbara Balfour, and Collier Nogues. I would love if you have a look at the project and a few of my thoughts about it here.
Or you can just watch my weirdo promotional video, in which I sing the alphabet:
I’ve been working on a long poem, which I very much view as an entrance into a new modality, titled “Season / Dogma / Ghost.” I’ve been very judicious about what to do with it, and in fact have only sent it to one place, Anomalous Press (the re-up of Drunken Boat). I am so thrilled that it has been accepted as a finalist! See it tucked here with an incredible roster of finalists. No matter what, some great things are about to be published.
The opening poems of Alan Felsenthal’s Lowly suggest a collection that will fall squarely within a familiar subgenre of contemporary poetry: newly crafted myths, fables, and parables. Taking up classic modes of speech and story-telling, many poems of this subgenre operate according to a fairly defined mechanic, developing tight, logical sequences that utilize inversion, tautology, and other structural maneuvers to arrive at illuminating surprises—often with a bit of jesting. . . . But as we progress we begin to see quickly that Felsenthal is interested in something more complex than the mere crafting of postmodern parables. By the fifth poem, “If You Need a Ride,” it’s clear that we are in a much broader project. . .
Read the review at Newpages.
Hong Kong poet Wawa writes from an extraordinary intersection. Her poems in Pei Pei the Monkey King, a book set within a city where enormous shopping malls and historic temples stand one next to the other, where pet birds sing from cages in city parks while Umbrella activists protest for universal suffrage, capture an urgent and tumultuous sense of change in a place hurtling toward its future—specifically, 2047, when Hong Kong will be fully absorbed into mainland China. And yet, these poems also serve as an astonishing preservation of childhood imagination, delivering raw fables alive with animal immortals and magical forces, in which caterpillars enter our bodies through our navels and flying trees whisk us away on starry evenings. . .
Read the interview at Michigan Quarterly Review
I was so thrilled to join my old friend Kathleen Glasgow (author of Girl in Pieces) and my new friend Andria Williams (author of The Longest Night) for a first books reading at our alma mater, The University of Minnesota. Poojah Shah conducted a stimulating interview with each of the three of us–for a little wiff of light on our books, have a read of it.
To undertake a cycle of poems on the life of Helen Keller is to throw oneself at an interesting poetic problem: how to capture the perspective of one who lived in a wholly different perceptual world than most other people. To be sure, there are plenty of fine collections on the experiences of disability—Nick Flynn’s startlingly original Blind Huber comes to mind—but Helen Keller is a singular historical figure who, in our cultural imagination, bears a particular burden as the standout radical subject who, as if through magic, was able to speak from beyond an impassable veil.
It is with an acute sense for Keller’s abilities that Jeanie Thompson works in her book, The Myth of Water. . .
Read the review at NewPages.