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.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Irish Poets (Larnt Their Craft)

This week, in honor of Paul Muldoon's visit to Lawrence, I've been teaching Irish poets (incl M.) in my class. We read 5 women poets, too; the student presentation was on Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, but the poet I liked the most (and one of the grad students did, too) was Catherine Walsh. This is a very American reaction - or rather, Walsh seems like the poet of the five (Celia de Freine, Maedh McGuckian, and Sinead Morrissey were the others) who is more influenced by N. American than by British and Irish models. The writing is much more open-field - lots of absences and visual surprises - than the others, and she writes prose mixed with verse (in Optic Nerve). The others seem much more ensconced within an identifiably lyric mode - though with the kind of hallucinogenic leaps and etymological worm-holes one finds in Muldoon's 80s stuff. Ni D. is esp. interesting in this regard, given that she doesn't translate her own stuff - and sometimes more than one poet translates a given poem. For instance, her poem "An Crann" is translated by Muldoon under the title "As for the Quince [tree, that is]," when in fact, an crann means generic tree. The formulaic references to one personage in the poem make it clear she's a sidhe (so to say) - which Michael Hartnett's trans. registers, but M's does not. Esp. interesting, since this personage is lopping limbs off the speaker's tree - and speaking English even within the original Irish-language poem.

Check out the Poetry Intl. Web for the poem and translation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

1000 Pictures

Check out the presentation Debra Di Blasi did at the AWP. It makes what I do seem almost normal. Good stuff. Click "Gertrude's Basket," below right.

Sunday, February 24, 2008



- no, not an Oscar speech it’s Glorioso 4c 1983 Rancagua College, somewhere in Colombia.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pre-Wax Museum

I'm using The New American Poetry in my "Poetry Since 1945" class this semester, amongst others. But it's a far less interesting book than The Young American Poets, ed. Paul Carroll (Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1968). In addition to the fascinating photos of all these folks as youngsters, it contains a (now-inconceivable) cross-section of US writers. Marvin Bell & Ted Berrigan. Kathleen Fraser next to Louise Gluck.  Robert Hass and Robert Kelly. Charles Simic , Kathleen Spivack, Mark Strand, James Tate (well-groomed, overfed, button-down oxford shirt) in rapid succession; then, later, Julia Vinograd (Berkeley street character, when I was there), Diane Wakoski, and Anne Waldman (also looking mighty clean-cut).  And lots of understandably unknowns as well as some whacky surprises. Anyway, it's always great to find a document of how things were, in any generation, before competing canonical scleroses impair aesthetic cognition, as they always do do, it seems.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blogito Ergo Dum

What - about 100K+ new blogs per day? Do the math - w/in the decade, no one will do anything but post and surf and read blogs. They say the Holocene Epoch is over and this is the Anthropocene, but in between is the Blogocene (not to be confused with the Poetrycene, which is already experiencing a massive extinction). Does anybody really like blogs? Or does everybody feel they have to have them to keep their name before the phantom public? Or to let all one's friends know all the things that you'd tell them if you picked up the phone. As Frank O'Hara points out, instead of writing a poem, you could just as easily be writing a blog. So why not!

"Nature Writing" as the Nature of Writing

If you're running a workshop, here's something to try when the weather gets a little better (which around here may be a while). Also an example of Joe prose. From The Best of the AWP Pedagogy Papers 2008.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


(Kansas University, Lawrence, KS)  Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator Lyn Hejinian will visit the University of Kansas on March 6, 2008.  At 4:00 p.m., she will read from her work in the Spencer Museum of Art, on the KU campus. At 7:30 p.m., at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union, she will deliver the KU English Department’s prestigious John F. Eberhardt Lecture.  The lecture, entitled “Outside Poetry,” will deal with literary works that combine or undercut traditional genres.  

Hejinian, a Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, has produced dozens of books in a wide variety of genres. She edited The Best American Poetry 2004, and is perhaps best known for her groundbreaking experimental autobiography, My Life, and for the widely influential essay “The Rejection of Closure.” One of Hejinian’s recent projects is The Grand Piano: An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, written with nine other authors. In the fall of 2000, she was elected the sixty-sixth Fellow of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2006, a Chancellor of the Academy. She has received numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship.

“Lyn Hejinian is one of the most innovative and exciting American writers of the last several decades. She has written in every genre I can think of and even invented some I can’t,” says KU professor Joseph Harrington, whose specialty is American poetry since 1900. “Her work has had an enormous influence on generations of new writers and will be read and taught for years to come.”

More information on Lyn Hejinian can be found at the Electronic Poetry Center web site, at: and the Academy of American Poets: For more information on the event, contact William J. Harris at wjh8 at ku dot edu.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Blogito Ergo Sum

Though as a nice electrical-engineering boy pointed out, I might be an A.I. blog generator. Sometimes I feel like that. I will generate a poem about it, like Data.

Fixing to go to the inaugural "Top City" reading to hear Kevin Rabas, veteran jazz poet (and musician), and Dennis Etzel, Jr., poet-programmer, who grows more flarfy every time I look around. When was the last time I went to a reading with poets who were both truly nice people? There's a thot for the day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

An A.W.P.-themed Poem


Like maybe we're all writing it? Like how everybody points out the word she almost wrote instead? Like everybody's talking about Cornell boxes? Like miniaturization would save us? Like homophonic procedures cured the security pageant? Like excess for access? Like everyone's unique but me?

Or how you read the sign as "piso mojito" & think you've drunk too much? Or see the sheets of rain in Times Sq. & think of Ridley Scott? And can't stop it? Like it were your poem? This has been going on for years. Like brevity for bit? Or how everyone grows young when the old folks give up & go home?

The addictable play of forms - how a logo imparts its power if you wear it? Like swoop for swoosh? Like your poem on the ticker, the jumbotron, the crawl? Like maybe it is, by someone else? Like parapraxis were the new metonymy? Aw shit I meant parataxis. And?

Monday, February 4, 2008

An all-NEW Post!

Well, I see that KS Mohammad "outed" this blog, so I guess it's not prototype anymore - meaning that I better write something. 

OK. 2 things you need to know about me at the moment: I just got back from the AWP Convention (if you don't know what that is, god bless you), and I developed an un-ignorable G.I. illness immediately upon getting home (if you don't know . . .) 

Anyway, met a lot of interesting people, &c. Got Anne Boyer's book - The Romance of Happy Workers - just out - have read the title poem - which is going to be re-read soon - intriguing and euphonious and content not at all what I expected.

More later. Now back into the coma.