Last semester, I asked my workshop students to write an artist's statement or poetics statement, per their respective conceptions of either or both, in an idiom most everybody could understand. I did the exercise along with them, as I always do.
I write (currently) in 2 modes. One is like collage: I take a lot of documents, photos, & found material, select certain parts or quotations, then weave them together w/my own words to form a narrative. About history. These are long poems - book-length. They're very much in the modernist tradition of Ezra Pound, early Louis Zukofsky, Charles Olson, Muriel Rukeyser. Hopefully they're entertaining as well.
The other mode is the serial poem: longish poems, made up of smaller segments - "poemlets," you might say. These are written over a period of time - maybe a month, maybe a year. They are the opposite of the collage poems, in that these are very voice-based - a persona - who speaks in complete sentences, but they don't always make good sense. Sometimes perverse sense. These tend toard satire. They are influenced by the essays and novels of Joy Williams, a lot of contemporary US poets, and Hannah-Barbera cartoons form the 60s.*
In general, what I like best about poetry in the US today is that it can mean anything. Once upon a time, novels were novel . . .
* I've been calling these "f*d-up nature poems," but I think maybe the polite term nowadays is "necropastoral"?
Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
- DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
- CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
- KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.