Sunday, October 15, 2006

Excellent reading last night. Wyatt's short fictions are sly and funny, with a surprising amount of pathos creeping in between deadpan deconstructions of the domestic New Yorker story. Michael was finishing up a Northeast tour promoting his comic novella Martian Dawn: a slow-burning satire on the personalities and producers of American culture, high and low, spiritual and commercial. Afterward Michael was generous enough to gift SOON with a slew of copies of SHINY, plus a couple of copies of his 2000 book of prose poems, Species. Huzzah for the gift economy!

Next month it's going to be a small-press fest featuring Erica Kaufman of Boku Books, Stacy Szymaszek of Instance Press, Shanna Compton of Half Empty/Half Full, and Ryan Murphy of innumerable one-offs and invented publishers (see the profile of him in last month's Poets & Writers. In addition to reading, we're planning to have them talk about small press publishing. A can't-miss event!

One of the SHINYs (Issue 9/10, 1999) contains some excerpts from Ted Berrigan's journals between 1961 and 1969. A couple of gems:

[Sunday Feb 10th 8 p.m.]

I want to write poems that cannot be understood until they
are felt. They must be read, then must germinate in the brain
until they flower. Then they will be apparent—but still
cannot be paraphrased with any meaning for others. Each reader
must make something out of them himself, w/o effort.

What a poet
"does" is like
what a yo-yo
champ does—

But what is that

Now back to my regularly scheduled Sunday: grading papers and making diabolical plans for this evening's D&D game.

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