Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Letter to David Miller & Bill Blair: Protesting Treatment of G20 Protestors, Copy, Sign, Send!

Dear David Miller and Bill Blair,

In a recent interview with the Globe and Mail, Mr. Blair was asked, “Do you feel there’s been some trust lost between the public and the police this weekend?”

His answer was, “No. I’ve been overwhelmed with e-mails, letters and phone calls of support. Advocates for the anarchists are offended. I can live with their offence.”

Mr. Blair is mistaken. I do not condone the crimes committed by vandals during the G20, nor do I advocate for anarchists, but I have lost trust in Chief Bill Blair and the officers under his command for as long as he commands them. The public outrage over Bill Blair’s lies to the public and the disgusting suspension of Charter rights and freedoms he and his forces perpetrated on peaceful demonstrators will not soon be forgotten by the people of Toronto, and indeed by the people of Canada.

Mr. Mayor, if you continue to support Bill Blair and his actions, then you continue to support an officer of the law who has admitted to lying to the public about police authority, and whose actions and behaviour not only contravened the Charter rights of the citizens of your city, but whose smug, dishonest and spiteful action since then have been an insult to every citizen of this city. In doing so, Mr. Mayor, you also betray the trust of the people of this city.


For more info, visit:

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm Famous & Frank Sherlock Wrote a Great Book

I got in the Newspaper! Thanks to the Seattle Times poetry editors for listing Occultations as one of the few titles they list, er, weekly, I think? Anyway, 15 min of fame is now--check. And also to Christian Peet for backchanneling me on picking it out of the Tarpaulin Sky pile and giving it a read-thru. A slog, as they say. I say.


Erica Kaufman, one of my favorite people (I hate that phrase, for the record) and a fascinatingly good poet, author of Censory Impulse (Factory School), is featured this week in the ever growing Elective Affinities Anthology. Kudos to Erica for these poems. And kudos to Carlos Soto-Roman for tirelessly curating the anthology. Since I last posted about the poetries there, the list has grown quite a bit. So when you visit, try to stick around for awhile...


Frank Sherlock just sent me his Over Here (Heretical Texts), which I am LOVING at moment, and for good measure, he threw in Feast Day Gone & Coming out of the wonderful Cy Gist Press. This chapbook is on my to-read list, have heard very good things about it too. Meantime, a page from Over Here, one I'm particularly drawn to quoting at moment:

I love

tainted love

& the gentle 


that keep me

looking up

for now

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Portland Poetry Happenings

I feel badly for just now posting this, but David Abel and friends have a wonderful set of events poetry-related going on in Portland this summer (thru the Literary Arts Center). Workshops, readings, performative poetry festival, etc. Do check this out: were I in town I'd be there this weekend trying to figure out where things are (I get lost easily). Once back, I plan to attend the performative poetry festival, at least. Involved are Portland stalwarts David, Kaia Sand, Allison Cobb, Joseph Bradshaw. Event schedule, from Rodney Koeneke's Modern Americans blog:

*THIS* Sat. 6/19:Portland Art Museum for a day of ekphrasis
Sat. 6/26: Old Town (until 1942, Portland
’s Japantown) & Vanport
Sat. 7/17Forest Park (Portland
’s giant urban forest reserve)
Sat. 8/7Alphabetic Portland (
an exploration of the citysalphabetical features—Ankeny, Burnside, Couch, Davis, etc. Could the city have come into existence without the alphabet to hold it together?”)

For more details, and to register, looks like you have to grab a PDF of the catalog at this link, where theres also a number to call .

Featured @ Poets for Living Waters...&

Thanks much to Amy King & Heidi Lynn Staples for featuring 3 poems of mine from Hospitalogy (string of couplets in-progress) over at Poets for Living Waters, an anthology that also features this week some really amazing work by socially concerned poets--by Jules Boykoff, Kaia Sand, Laura Elrick, CA Conrad, Mollie Day, Julian Brolaski, Rodrigo Toscano, etc etc. The anthology is:

... a poetry action in response to the BP Gulf oil disaster of April 20, 2010, one of the most profound man-made ecological catastrophes in history. Former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky describes the popularity of poetry after 9/11 as a turn away from the disaster’s overwhelming enormity to a more manageable individual scale. As we confront the magnitude of this recent tragedy, such a return may well aid us.

The first law of ecology states that everything is connected to everything else.  An appreciation of this systemic connectivity suggests a wide range of poetry will offer a meaningful response to the current crisis, including work that harkens back to Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing regional effects.

There are very good resources, links to online activist networks, organizations, etc., on the main page. 


Related, Nicky Tiso, a former Evergreen student, now just graduated, also has some poems at Poets for Living Waters. His essay on ecocriticism and criticism of ecocriticism is over at (his) Grand Hotel Abyss and, I think, really worth taking a look at.  


Last, but certainly not least, woke up this morning to see that Chris McCreary's new Undone: A Fakebook (Furniture Press), has been reviewed over at Silliman's Blog. McCreary's poetry I love, tho not just because we both tend towards what Silliman describes as "neo-objectivism" and also "New Precisionism," the latter I think sounds right to me. It's the sonic play and the socipolitical lens of the Now Here, a presentness and urgency, that gets me. Anyway, check-it-out. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Elliot Anderson for Nonsite Collective

If you are in or near the Bay Area, Nonsite Collective kicks off its summer suite of events tomorrow. This should be fascinating in itself, and is built in to this summer's curriculum on the commons. Please attend! From Michael Cross:

TOMORROW: Elliot Anderson's "The Monuments of Silicon Valley"

The Nonsite Collective welcomes you to join us this Saturday, June 26th for the first of a suite of summer events constellated around the notion of the commons. Reading from Robert Smithson’s The Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey Elliot Anderson (UC Santa Cruz Professor of Electronic Media) invites participants to formulate questions that interrogate the Superfund Site as monument and commons. To locate the text in the contemporary landscape Anderson will screen images from his project The Monuments of Silicon Valley

He writes, "On Saturday, September 30, 1967 Robert Smithson travels to the post-industrial lands along the Passaic River in a mytho-poetic search for entropic monuments of the late 20th century. The Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey is a testament to an irreversible ahistoric future. The 21st century has its own monuments dedicated to waste and decay. Contemporaneous with Smithson’s expedition Silicon Valley was erecting its monuments to a future technologically determined entropic panorama. Monuments constructed as ruins of an absolute obsolescence." 

Please join us at the Kala Gallery (1060 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley) this Saturday at 2pm for what promises to be an enlightening conversation! 
My best,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another Anniversary :

Since I, too, have have lived in that upside-down world that causes one to have to "explain" one's sense of the terms "justice," "fact" and "human," why such terms and others have such a distant connection to most Americans' sense of these terms; since I've also been thrust into a weird world where one is forced into bafflement and continual horror at our legal system, and by extension our complicity; and since "I too" is a phrase used so often--there are so, so many of us out there--I figured I'd pass along Christian Peet's recent and annual blog post marking the anniversary of the homophobic / horrific story of his cousin's prison sentence (and hour long trial), who was wrongfully incarcerated in 2005, in part, it now seems, as a result of his sexual orientation. Many of you in the poetry world know this story, but some of you don't. Either way, too close to my sense of the world, which is Christian's, as to want to really think or write much about it, I can't do much more than pass along the links above. Beyond the story itself--which beyond being exemplary of so, so many similar stories--it is, after all, in regard to a human being out there (in there). And, also, the site expresses this by offering us a wealth of online resources in relation to reform of the "justice" system, the penal system, and LGBT rights.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Common Body

Just uploaded an entry on "Body" for Nonsite Collective & its growing list of glossary entries, where terms are defined, undefined, mixed, remixed, and so forth--a process of continual making and remaking going on here, as on the site (purposefully communal) generally. This comes on the heels of Occultations, a "project," in some sense, of commoning a body--mine--and of archiving. Hence, these are proceeding questions, or questions that spider out in light of various somatic practices that include enactments of language. It's a coming back to (for me) not just "the politics of" but "political action towards." It also comes prior to a reading & talk for Nonsite I'm giving as part of the summer series of events: July 24-5. As part of a process of re-engaging with a kind of activism, I'm interested to hear from any of you about what you take "the body" to mean. What can the term come to mean? Please bring it on, either here or via email backchannel. 

Relatedly, check out David Buuck's "novelisations," specifically his body pressure somatic, or procedure. Video. Excellent. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Occultations Reviewed in Jacket 40 & other news...

Just a quick note: Matthew Landis, member of the New Philadelphia Poets (a pretty fabulous collective of socially concerned poets), just reviewed Occultations in this latest issue of Jacket, No. 40.  

First, a heartfelt thanks to Matthew, who I only know thru his very good poetry and criticism (check out a longer cycle of poems in the latest Critphoria, or his new chapbook, or critical work online). The review, like many reviews in Jacket, tho rarer elsewhere, is explorative and generous, doesn't focus just on the book but contextualizes it within contemporary poetry, poetics, sociopolitical landscapes, and thus goes more macroscopic. And I really like how Landis reclaims meaning-making in it, doesn't give you too much analysis (both as a reviewing convention and as a counter-move to his sole complaint about my book--the procedural notes at end). Instead he lays out a poetics and overall arc that I think is rather spot-on--especially as he begins discussing the body as tool of power, i.e., thru Foucault & biopower.  

Ok, so I'll stop here and just say thanks--lest I begin reviewing the review, which, come to think of it, might not be a good concept at all for a future anthology. 

Do read the rest of the growing issue, the last until (the irony wasn't totally lost on me) the journal itself moves over to Philly: work by Michael Cross on Scalapino (amazing), reviews of Nicole Mauro's latest, a fantastic Silliman feature, work on Elrick (by yrs), etc etc. Big, full, juicy.


Also, re Occultations, another thanks to poet-editors Elieen Tabios & Reb Livingston. Tabios listed Occultations as "recommended summer reading" on the No Tell Motel blog, which, as usual, is featuring a process whereby contributors spread word about acts of poetry that otherwise might go unnoticed. The lists are varied and really helpful. Or unhelpful when you are busy and want to read poetry but are busy laboring at other things. But helpful, very helpful. Helpful for us at some point, in the moments we can get our hands on our own and each others' affective labors. Thanks much to both.


Sam Lohmann, Evergreen grad, Wheelhouse contributor, and one of Portland's Spare Roomies, also happens to edit a very fine LETTERPRESSED!!! journal. And the new issue of Peaches and Bats is out. Check it out, some kick-ass contributors:

Peaches and Bats #6 is now available! It's a 64-page handsewn chapbook with a letterpressed cover, featuring adventurous writings by:

Taryn Andrews 
Aaron Barrell
Bill Berkson
Meredith Blankinship
Norma Cole
Beverly Dahlen
Joel Felix
Kim Hyesoon, translated by Don Mee Choi
Rodney Koeneke
Kimberly Lyons 
Joseph Mains
Scott Metz
Hoa Nguyen
Deborah Poe
Dan Raphael
Stacy Szymaszek
Dana Ward
Mark Young

Peaches and Bats #6 is available for $5.00 (including postage in the US). It can be ordered via PayPal at , or by sending a check, payable to Sam Lohmann, to 4025 SE Taylor St., Portland, OR 97214. Back issues are still available. Thanks for your time, and happy summer

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Memorial for Leslie Scalapino, directions on donations

Poetry Project St. Marks Church
New York
Memorial for Leslie Scalapino 
Monday, June 21, 2010 8:00 pm 

Petah Coyne, Simone Fattal, Joan Retallack, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Charles Bernstein, Susan Bee, Ann Lauterbach, Susan Howe, Paolo Javier, Molissa Foley, Fiona Templeton, Laura Elrick, Rodrigo Toscano, Steve Clay, Rachel Levitsky, James Sherry, Pierre Joris, Judith Goldman, E. Tracy Grinnell and Tom White
& others
There will be a wine and cheese reception to follow.

The Memorial follows two performances of Scalapino’s Noh play 
Flow–Winged Crocodile 
at Poets House
Saturday, June 19, at 7:00pm & Sunday, June 20, at 2:00pm 
Directed by Fiona Templeton, with Katie Brown, Stephanie Silver and Julie Troost. Dance by Molissa Fenley. Music by Joan Jeanrenaud. Projected drawings by Eve Biddle. Cosponsored by Belladonna and The Poetry Project. 
$10, $7 for students and seniors, free to Poetry Project and Poets House Members

Buddhist funeral ceremony
officiated by Abbot Norman Fischer
Thursday July 1, 2010 
San Francisco Zen Center Green Gulch Farm 
1601 Shoreline Highway Muir Beach, CA 94965-9759 
for directions and parking: 
2pm in the Green Dragon Temple; 4-5:30 reception in the Wheelwright Center

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to: The San Francisco Zen Center, 300 Page St., San Francisco, CA 94102 Poets in Need, PO Box 5411, Berkeley, CA 94705 Reed College for the Leslie Scalapino Scholarship, 3203 Southeast Woodstock Blvd., Portland, OR 97202-8199 The AYCO Charitable Foundation, PO Box 15203, Albany, NY 12212-5203 for the Leslie Scalapino-O Books Fund to support innovative works of poetry, prose and art

SF Memorial readings with poets, artists & friends 
Friday November 19, 2010 (date to be confirmed) 
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall 
University of California, Berkeley 
Time & further details TBA

Friday, June 11, 2010

Occultations Now Available @ SPD, BRB

Hello World.

Having just gotten back from a Bard College faculty meeting, now having gotten to some baseline of health (i.e., returning to a point at which I can concentrate enough to write, work on matters that require me to be at the computer, etc), I'm engaging with the world beyond teaching for the first time in what seems like months.

And I just found out that my book, Occultations, is out! A nice way to get crackin'.

I want to thank SPD for carrying and recommending Occultations, and Black Radish Books for publishing it, and all those, including blurbers, who helped make the book happen (Joan Retallack's new book is also among new SPD releases this month). I received my contributor copies around the same time--a week ago--that SPD did. Really happy with the cover, designed by Susana Gardner. 

So, do feed a hungry poet and get your copy. Oddly, they are selling. So, there's forty-something left. And if you desire to review it, let me know and I'll send you one.

Thanks also to Ron Silliman, Galatea Resurrects, and Tarpaulin Sky Press for giving the book a shout-out. And, of course, to the couple of folks I know who are reviewing the book. And last, to Michael Cross, who not only made a really hot flier for the Nonsite Collective Summer suite of events, one of which is a talk I'll facilitate in July, but for also giving a shout-out on his (very good) blog.

Now recovering, I have 5 pages of emails to respond to, along with a ton of back work in the form of end of semester teaching duties. So, short and sweet. Enjoy the book. And spread the word?

ps: do read Black Radish Book editor Nicole Mauro's really good review of Ana Bozicevic's TSP book (an amazing book on which I wrote a few months ago), Stars of the Night Commute. It's in this (No. 40) Jacket Magazine.