Is it a prose poem? A lyric essay? A hybrid essay-poem? A hybrid poem-memoir? Yes. I’ve long contended that genre is mostly useful to define reading strategy (define? demand? encourage?). We read a poem differently than we do a memoir. Or an essay. And I’ve also suggested to my non-fiction writing friends that poetry and non-fiction have more in common than most realize. Except for those working between those forms: Susan Howe, Anna Joy Springer. Poetry lends a freedom that […]
Language is a tricky thing, any translator will tell you. You think you know it, and then you miss. A mis-heard word, a mis-read phrase. Expectations aroused and thwarted. The work of the poet. This book explores with delight, despair, and demanding the slipperiness of the English language in the American idiom. An abcedarium of intentionally misdirected language, it is playful and political. She employs a range of techniques, from the occasional (and recognizable) N+7 to some far subtler slidings around in […]
Sí by Néstor Barreto (Terranova, 2006). Néstor Barreto (1952—) is described on one of his online bios as a heuristic poet, a word I had to look up. It means experimentally inventive, something to do with trial and error more or less, and that seems to be a great description for this poet. He has five books of poems currently available (this is the latest) and one forthcoming from a series called Colleción Maravilla (book trailer here). He’s the founder of […]
The new Reading the World podcast is out! In the first of only a few that we recorded at this year’s AWP convention in Denver, Colorado, Annie Janusch and I talk with Forrest Gander about his upcoming translation of Pura López Colmé’s book Watchword, translating from languages you don’t read, the compulsion to translate and more. You can download it from the ITunes store (and subscribe to the series) or you can listen to it streaming at Three Percent.
Marie Alexander Poetry Series’ Open Submissions Period The Marie Alexander Poetry Series has an open submission period during the month of July. An award of $500 and publication will be given for a chosen collection of prose poems by an American poet. Submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages, which can include some lineated pieces, along with a cover letter with complete contact information and an SASE for notification only. Postmark must be between July 1 and 31. Entries […]
I’m sure someone out there knows the difference, but it’s not me. For a few years now, since translating a remarkable book of prose poems, I’ve been fascinated with the genre and it’s history. The excellent White Pine anthology The House of Your Dream has kept me occupied with prose poems from around the world and I’ve even begun experimenting with my own compositions in the form. In my list-of-classes-I-someday-want-to-teach (along with a class on the defense of poetry) is […]