Archives for November, 2015:
I'm terrifically excited for the first ever Free & Natural Poetry Faire in Los Angeles next weekend! Co-organized by Dorothea Lasky, Elizabeth Metzger, Max Ritvo, and myself . . .
The Free & Natural Poetry Faire is a gala of poetry, art, and arcana. It is our belief that poetry itself is by its nature transdisciplinary, and, to that end, the Faire will create a collaborative and unrestrained space where poetry will coexist for two days with many other art and knowledge forms. True to its name, the Free & Natural Poetry Faire is free and open to the public. This will be the first of a series of Free & Natural Poetry events.
The Free & Natural Poetry Faire is being graciously hosted by the gallery Commonwealth & Council, and will occur on Friday and Saturday, November 20th and 21st. For these two days, the Faire will provide a festive exchange for many brilliant people and happenings. Semiotext(e), Penny-Ante Editions, and other LA small presses will be present during the day. Asher Hartman and Stuart Krimko will offer readings psychic and astrological. At nightfall, poetry will ascend, with over twenty-five poets and performers reading over two nights—Cedar Sigo, Micah Ballard, Feliz Lucia Molina, Fred Moten, Kate Durbin, Amber Rose Tamblyn, and many others. Somewhere in the middle, there will be a new one-act play premier by "Tall Paul" Gellman & Friends. Visit the official Free & Natural Poetry Faire site for more details and the full schedule of events!
Another belated book review notice! In its recent November 2nd issue, Dan Chiasson of the New Yorker had this to say about Supplication:
His many poems about sex, his celebrations of heroin, peyote, and cocaine, and his reverence—in poems that make gritty and real the heart’s imperatives—for an idealized poetry so different from the facts on the ground make Wieners (born a Catholic, and, like many lapsed Catholics, prone to beliefs that fill in the blank) a devotional poet . . . His afterlife exists in the form of these poems, a mental Boston, eerily lit by neon and street lights, through which the rest of us wander.
Read the whole piece here.
“Supplication” doesn’t come as a correction of the Black Sparrow “Selected” so much as a refinement. It offers a slimmer stack of poems, yet somehow feels more generous . . . Read alongside the four journals spanning 1955-1969 assembled in “Stars Seen in Person,” the lilting, drifting highs, lows, and noise of his poems come to feel more like carefully distilled concentrates of his grander, wilder project of seeing, saying, and seizing as many moments as he could . . . A hazard of Wieners’s long-held position on the fringe as a cult antihero is that we don’t properly see how central his spirit figures into what American poetry was becoming at mid-century. Even these decades later, Wiener’s poems — so fresh and fluid, lurid, and luminous — still feel too vital to leave behind.
Read the whole review, by Michael Andor Brodeur, here.