Alice Notley's latest book is Coming After: Essays on Poetry (The University of Michigan Press, 2005). Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems is due out from Wesleyan in 2006. "A Rare Card" is from a nearly finished book tentatively titled A History of the Ghouls, which (like all of Gaul) is divided into three parts, tentatively titled Carthage, The Book of Dead, and Testament: 2005. "A Rare Card" is the first poem of the third part.
David Trinidad's last two books, Phoebe 2002: An Essay in Verse and Plasticville, were published by Turtle Point Press. He teaches poetry at Columbia College in Chicago, where he directs the graduate poetry program and co-edits the journal Court Green. His excerpt is from a poem in progress, an homage to the long poems of the New York School. These are two of an eventual twenty stanzas. A few rules: each stanza must be written in one sitting; the first line of each stanza must include the word "pink"; each stanza must include a confession.
Danielle Pafunda is the author of Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull Press 2005). Her manuscript My Zorba was a finalist for UMASS Press's 2005 Juniper Prize for Poetry and is currently a finalist for Four Way Books's Levis Poetry Prize. Work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2004, American Letters & Commentary, Chicago Review, Conduit, LIT, and others. She is co-editor of the online journal La Petite Zine, and currently lives in Athens, Georgia. You can visit her online at http://www.daniellepafunda.blogspot.com. About the poems, she says, "I have always had a treacherous relationship my Zorba. As in so many relationships of this ilk, no matter how unbearable he/she becomes, I’m still somehow bound to him/her. So I wrote a manuscript on the subject, wherein 'I' end up by locking my Zorba in the basement, which solves at least some of the trouble."
Sawako Nakayasu was born in Yokohama, Japan, and has lived mostly in the US since the age of six. Her books include So we have been given time Or, (Verse, 2004), Nothing fictional but the accuracy or arrangement (she, (forthcoming from Quale Press, 2005), and Clutch (Tinfish chapbook, 2002). The poems were first written on a blog, Texture Notes, which has since then been revised and compiled into a book manuscript. More information is available at http://www.factorial.org/sn/sn_home.html.
Wang Ping was born in China and came to USA in 1985. Her publications include American Visa (short stories, 1994), Foreign Devil (novel, 1996), Of Flesh and Spirit (poetry, 1998), all from Coffee House. New Generation: Poetry from China Today (1999) , an anthology she edited and co-translated, is published by Hanging Loose. Her new book, Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (2000), is from University of Minnesota Press , and won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in Humanities. In 2002, Random House published its paperback. Her second book of poetry, The Magic Whip, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press in the fall, 2003. She is the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council of the Arts for poetry, Minnesota State Arts Board fo r fiction , and the Bush Artist Fellowship for poetry. She is assistant professor of English at Macalester College. About the poems, she says, "I've been thinking and writing a lot about women, our lot and link with society and nature and culture, our struggle and hope."
Katy Lederer is the author of the poetry collection Winter Sex (Verse Press, 2002) and the memoir Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers (Crown, 2003). She currently lives in Manhattan, where she works for a quantitative trading firm. These poems come from a short lyric sequence entitled "The Lies."
Jon Leon is an American Poet, son of a printer and a social worker, living in Atlanta, GA. Poems from Diphasic Rumors will or have appeared in Word for/ Word, H_NGM_N, MiPo, and Backwards City Review. He is the editor at Wherever We Put Our Hats.
Amy Gerstler is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her most recent book of poems is Ghost Girl (Penguin, 2004). She teaches at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and at The Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College in Vermont. "Handwriting Exercise" contains, as is probably apparent, a mixture of found, bent, and made up lines--some of the found lines came from or were based on those found in vintage penmanship manuals and grammar books. I was trying to experiment in that poem with varying degrees of repressed and expressed emotionality. "Dear Departed" is a kind of spoken letter addressed to a dead loved one. I got the idea for the conceit from an Aimee Mann song called "Stupid Thing."
Aaron McCollough's third collection of poems, Little Ease, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press in 2006. His other books include Double Venus (Salt, 2003) and Welkin (Ahsahta, 2002). His poems have appeared in a wide range of periodicals. Currently, he lives in Ann Arbor , Michigan , where he is teaching and writing a dissertation on Religious emotion in the poetry of the English Reformation. Of the poems, he says, “The poems I'm calling ‘Coderie’ are answer poems. I mean for the title to evoke the term ‘Coterie,’ and I mean for the series to plug into the tradition of coterie verse. The initials at the bottom of each poem refer to the poet whose poem I'm responding to. They are all roughly my contemporaries. Most of them I know personally. I have used google-sculpting techniques as well as some spontaneous invention in the generation of these ‘answers,’ and though I've followed fairly rigid formal procedures I mean for the poems to function as real answer poems—that is, I've tried to produce poems that pick up a thematic or tonal gesture from the work that incited them and turn that gesture in a different direction. Using the search engine as a mining tool gave me the notion to turn the general title into a pun. I imagine the ‘Coderie’ series as a companion to a series called ‘Vernacular Poem,’ which is forthcoming as a chapbook from Effing Press later this summer.”
Sueyeun Juliette Lee is currently studying Poetry and Advanced Feminist Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her work has most recently appeared in Skein, 580 Split, and 26. Other work is forthcoming in Chain and Xconnect. She will be teaching a course on Asian American Women this fall and is launching a chapbook series, Corollary, in September. About the poems, she writes: "You didn't know this." I missed writing full sentences, and I missed writing in lines. I was also writing a lot of poetry with young children at the time. "Enter the Dragon." If you enter the dragon, you accept chaos, multiplicity, and danger. However, anger can fuel and guide you, tempered with discipline and intuition. The world lacks justice and we have to live in it, but do we have to live with it?
Frank Menchaca lives in southeastern Michigan, where he also has a job as a publisher. Frank has published two books: Nicolo G---- and the Days of November (1991), a long poem, and Al (1998), a series of connected poems. Nicolo G---- and the Days of November was selected among the best books of 1991 by the Village Voice Literary Supplement. Of the present poems, Frank said this: "I was in New York City on September 11, 2001. At the time, I worked at publishing encyclopedias. When I saw all of those loose sheets of paper swirling in the ash and wind in lower Manhattan, I imagined someone had cut the spine of a huge encyclopedia, releasing a cascade of pages, summarizing what we thought we knew about our world: so much tidy, accumulated 'wisdom' scattered on a scene of pain and tragedy. What I believed I understood about my life, American society and politics was correspondingly dispersed and remains so; these poems were written out of a precise desire to change my mind about those things, to find a new understanding of an already transformed reality."
Shanna Compton’s book Down Spooky is forthcoming from Winnow Press in September 2005. Her poems have appeared recently in Puppyflowers, Court Green, Verse, and No Tell Motel, and are forthcoming in MiPoesias and The Best American Poetry 2005. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. Visit her online at http://www.shannacompton.com. About the poems, she writes, "Some of the poems in this group rely on shifts of diction and new contexts for canned diction to create interesting (I hope) effects. For instance,'and in great condition' the last line of 'Even a Zoo' sounds like—and was actually—lifted from a classified ad for a used car. I enjoy trying to rub sparks out of canned phrases like that by putting them in new contexts and juxtaposing them with other types of diction, combining them with more casual or more formal language, trying to bring out some texture. 'Mouth Made Out of Trees' uses some lifted language as well, and a pretty obvious Whitman allusion, which was unconscious at the time. There’s nothing particularly mysterious about the procedure: the poems aren’t strict collage, but they have collaged bits here and there. In 'In half-asleep love,' there is some pretty heavy chiming going on with runs like peaches and kitchen; eerily, clean, gleam, bleating, leaving; jiffy and shifting. Sometimes a couple of chiming sounds like that are enough to sustain the writing until I get something worth keeping, sometimes not. I do tend to pay a lot of attention to mechanical or musical effects like these (or I set myself an artificial line length or a list of words I must include, etc.) when I'm writing something and not worry the subject matter too much—that inserts (asserts?) itself. Then I revise to emphasize or clarify whatever I discover I've said, if it seems necessary. It's not automatic, but there's an automatic-writing element to it."
Ken Rumble is the director of the Desert City Poetry Series, a member of the Lucifer Poetics Group, and a contributing editor of Fascicle and Drunken Boat. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in GutCult, Parakeet, Word For/Word, Shampoo, Carolina Quarterly, effing magazine, Cranky, Mipoesias, and others. "A Monologue for Voices" has been influenced by the poems of Emmanuel Hocquard and a new writing process. The lines in each couplet alternate from being typed on a manual Smith-Corona Silent typewriter to being written long hand in a Mead 80 page spiral bound notebook.
Lisa Lubasch is the author of To Tell the Lamp (Avec Books, 2004), Vicinities (Avec, 2001), and How Many More of Them Are You? (Avec, 1999). She is also the translator of Paul Éluard’s A Moral Lesson/Une leçon de morale (Green Integer Books, forthcoming). About the poems, she writes, "These poems are excerpted from a longer work entitled Twenty-One After Days, which I began in Oaxaca, Mexico and later revised and expanded in my home in New York City. The first two poems have a quickness to them, perception takes off with both feet leaving the ground: sharpness, quick-cut frames, leaves swirl around, almost make a riot. The last poem slows down, something else takes over. . . . 'I wish the idea of time would drain out of my cells and leave me quiet even on this shore' (Agnes Martin)."
Amy King is the author of the poetry collection Antidotes for an Alibi (Blazvox Books), a Lambda Book Award finalist, and the chapbook The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press Chapbook Award 2002). Her poems will appear soon in such places as The Brooklyn Rail, Milk Magazine, MiPoesias, No Tell Motel, and Shampoo Poetry. She teaches English at Nassau Community College and spends much of her time between Brooklyn and Baltimore . Please visit www.amyking.org for more.
Bruce Covey is Adjunct Lecturer of Creative Writing at Emory University and author of three collections of poetry—The Greek Gods as Telephone Wires, and the forthcoming Ten Pins, Ten Frames (April 2005), and Glass Is Really a Liquid (Spring 2006)—all from Front Room Publishers. His recent work also appears or is forthcoming in 26, Bombay Gin, Jacket, Explosive Magazine, Pool, MiPoesias, Traverse, Boog City, Kulture Vulture, GutCult, La Petite Zine, and other journals. The various parts of “Reveal,” a book-length sequence, were created using the “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature of google.com. A search on each line’s keyword revealed a website, and different methodologies were employed for each poem to select the corresponding “found text.”
Laurel Snyder recently left her day job to pursue the equally lucrative fields of poetry and parenting. Her work can be found in such places as the Iowa Review, AL&C, Post Road, Margie, Gulf Coast, and daily on her blog: http://jewishyirishy.com. About her poems: "For the last few years I've been entering the world of online writing, and in different ways, Only Natural, Elegy for the Fair, and Just There are products of that experience. I find that I'm looser and quicker as I write... when I use the online world as my community and catalyst. All three of these poems were originally written in blogger. The Horse was written with a pencil."
Alex Lemon’s most recent poems are forthcoming in AGNI, Artful Dodge, Cimarron Review, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hotel Amerika, Indiana Review, Pleiades, Post Road, Swink, Washington Square, and other journals. Among his awards are grants from the Jerome Foundation and, in 2005 a Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches creative writing at Macalester College, in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Hallelujah Blackout” is an excerpt from a book-length poem of the same name. Portions of the poem are forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, Dislocate, Forklift, OH, Typo and other journals.
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