Friday, January 1, 2010

It's 2010 & I'm Viral!: Wheelhouse Review & Interview, & Etc

Belated thank yous are in order.  For the past week I've been "home" for the holidays, among the 20 percent unemployed in Detroit.  Good to see the family.  And tho relative poverty is radicalizing and heartbreaking, it has one (temporary) upside: no internet.  As such I've been offline since last week, and the respite has been fantastic (for me).

Nonetheless, since my temporary blindness, or even (now that I think of it), death, some really nice holiday gifts were put in my inbox.  I found them upon returning this morning:

*The arts & reviews quarterly Prick of the Spindle just published a review of the Wheelhouse Magazine & Press anthology, PRESS: Activism & The Avant-Garde (2009).  A lovely review by poetry editor Eric Weinstein.  Also in this issue there is an interview with me about the founding of Wheelhouse, poetry & politics, and what's in store for the journal and the press for 2010.  A huge thanks to Weinstein and to all the editors at Prick of the Spindle for allowing my presence to be smeared all over the (very good) latest issue.

*Also got word that Thom Donovan (poet, essayist, and editor of ON: A Journal of Contemporary Practice), after having been invited to participate in the new and really fascinating Elective Affinities project, edited by Carlos Soto, named me as one of his five contemporary affinities (among Judith Goldman, Robert Kocik, Julian Brolaski, and Brandon Brown).  I was really touched, as I have a great deal of admiration for Thom, and for Judith, Robert, Julian, and Brandon.   The poems, as usual for Thom, are extremely good. 

More to the point, this is how I discovered Soto's interactive/international/ongoing anthology. From the project's website:

In Argentina, the poet Alejandro Méndez took on a similar collaboration based on a visual artsproject already underway by Roberto Jacoby with Ramona magazine. We take on this task alongside neighboring countries in an effort to chart our own literary map where affinities, differences, and unexpected connections coexist in an ongoing, collective construction.

Just noticed, like, just now, that Soto has invited me to participate as well, so a double thank you.  Do take a look at the ongoing anthology.  It spiders out in part, I think, based on affinities and differences cited by the first few invitees.  Hence, the work edits itself to some degree, or anyway has an anarchist architecture.  That the anthology is being mapped alongside other participating countries and their editors I find really interesting, potentially really important for cross-wiring in deeper ways poetries of disparate cultures.  More later on this, for sure. 

*Reb Livingston tallied the votes for Best Poetry Books of 2009 and has published the list over at No Tell Motel.  A great way to spread the word / promote the small presses and the small press poets.  Wheelhouse contributors / PRESS participants CA Conrad (Book of Frank, Chax Press) & Ana Bozicevic (Stars of the Night Commute, Tarpaulin Sky) were #1 and #2 in terms of number of votes.  Friend & colleague Erica Kaufman's wonderful Censory Impulse (Factory School) is also among the titles.  

Here's the final list:

Bestest Poetry Books of 2009

Titles selected more than once by No Tells contributors:

(5) Stars of the Night Commute, by Ana Božičević (Tarpaulin Sky)

(3) The Book of Frank by CA Conrad (Chax Press)

(3) The Dance of No Hard Feelings by Mark Bibbins (Copper Canyon) 

(3) The Difficult Farm by Heather Christle (Octopus Books)

(3) Museum of Accidents by Rachel Zucker (Wave Books)

(3) Ohio Violence by Alison Stine (University of North Texas Press)

(2) Areas of Fog by Joseph Massey (Shearsman Books)

(2) Censory Impulse by Erica Kaufman (Factory School)

(2) Dearest Creature by Amy Gerstler (Penguin) 

(2) Hecate Lochia by Hoa Nguyen (Hot Whiskey)

(2) A Million in Prizes by Justin Marks (New Issues Press)

(2) No Theater by Chris Tonelli (Brave Men Press)

(2) Saint Nobody by Amy Lemmon (Red Hen Press)

(2) Scary, No Scary by Zachary Schomburg (Black Ocean)

(2) Skirmish by Dobby Gibson (Graywolf Press)

(2) Sunny Wednesday by Noelle Kocot (Wave Books)

(2) Temporary Bunk by Lori Anderson Moseman (Skank Books)

(2) A Toast in the House of Friends by Akilah Oliver (Coffee House)

(2) Tuned Droves by Eric Baus (Octopus Books)

(2) Slamming Open the Door by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno (Alice James Books)

And here is the Wheelhouse list: 

David Wolach's selections:

Disaster Suites by Rob Halpern (Palm Press)

The Shunt by David Buuck (Palm Press)

Censory Impulse by Erica Kaufman (Factory School)

The Port of Los Angeles by Jane Sprague (Chax Press)

Hegemonic Love Potion by Jules Boykoff (Factory School)

Adorno's Noise by Carla Harryman (Essay Press)

NO GENDER: Reflections on the Life & Work of kari edwards by multiple authors, kari edwards (Belladonna Books/Litmus Press)

Eel on Reef by Uche Nduka (Black Goat)

The Book of Frank by CA Conrad (Chax Press)

WIW?3 by CJ Martin (Delete Press)

Terminal Humming by K. Lorraine Graham (Edge Books)

Felonies of Illusion by Mark Wallace (Edge Books)

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