Reviews, Interviews, Etc.

A Night with Dodie Bellamy

In August 2013, I interviewed Dodie Bellamy about her Midwestern roots, engagements with poetry and feminist theory, current ideas on “New Narrative” poetics, and much else. I’m delighted that this interview has finally seen the light of day, as part of an online compendium to From Our Hearts to Yours: New Narrative as Contemporary Practice (New York: ON Contemporary Practice, 2017). Bellamy was brilliant:

Poetry’s been very important. But I think that line breaks can be really, really precious. What is the point? Much of the time it’s like, why don’t you just write a fucking sentence? What is the point of breaking it in the middle there? What is it adding? Or it’s like, oh, so clever. I’m unable to do line breaks without feeling stupid. Also, the prose block has a different rhythm. I like to do claustrophobia in writing. I’m really drawn to density . . . To me, poetry is about content in a way that’s less straightforward. I’m very straightforward. Some people can manage writing poetry that’s very straightforward about content, but most of it’s really bad. When somebody does pull that off, I get really excited, because it seems like a possibility for me.

The interview can be accessed here as a PDF; for the online compendium’s full table of contents, click here.

Interview with Alice Notley in Bomb

It was my honor & thrill to interview Alice Notley for the Fall 2015 issue of Bomb magazine. We spoke about prosody, sunlight, drugs, and many other things. One of the things she said was:

[Poets are] too much inside of these institutions. They should get out of them, and they should lead messy, sorrowful lives. And find out what everybody really feels like, and find out how to cope with everything. You have to really be broken in order to be a poet. It’s a very bad thing to tell a young person, but it’s true. Poetry comes out of all the places where you break.

The entire interview appears in the print magazine (no. 133) and online.

LA Art Book Fair 2014 Preview

My preview of the 2014 LA Art Book Fair, in the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Trunk Books vol. 2: Blood

“Blood is a fluid, living tissue – a complex mix of platelets and plasma. Far more than a physical and chemical solution of red and white cells, haemoglobin and protein, blood is the most ubiquitous and profound symbol for the deepest of human concerns: life, death, love and sex. The Trunk series of books is about the stuff of the body. Each volume focuses on a body part: Hair, Blood, and perhaps in future skin, breath, milk. Each volume showcases original essays, artworks, photography and fiction. Published by Sydney-based creative agency Boccalatte.”

My essay “Specimen Praise: Some Notes on Poetry as Blood Work” appears in Trunk Books volume. 2: Blood.

ON Contemporary Practice

“Founded in 2008 by Michael Cross, Thom Donovan, and Kyle Schlesinger, ON Contemporary Practice’s mission is to publish critical, discursive writings regarding the work (poetics, aesthetics, ethics) of one’s contemporaries. The editors of ON believe the most valuable critical writing is that motivated by desire, friendship, sociopolitical commitment, and discourse among one’s communities and peers. We are interested in producing an ongoing archive of work that generously and personally engages literary and aesthetic works that are urgent and important to our contributors. As with past ‘small magazines’ of any significance, ON believes that the most exciting thing we can offer our readers is a glimpse into the emergent—critical discussions among younger, marginal, and under-recognized practitioners.”

My essay “Dorothea Lasky, It’s Unbelievable” appears in ON no. 2.

Review of Bruce Boone’s Century of Clouds

My review of Bruce Boone’s Century of Clouds (Hoddypoll 1980; reissued by Nightboat Books, 2010) appeared in the Poetry Project Newsletter no. 223 (Apr./May 2010).