Post AWP News & Announcements


We’ve survived AWP! But before I begin posting pics and news from the conference, there are a few pieces of news:

Starting March 5th, Laura Moriarty and Brent Cunningham will be team-teaching an evening poetry class on Wednesday nights titled “Martian Poetics.” Open to writers at all levels of their practice, this is a great class for poets and writers looking to try out new kinds of habits and processes.

Class description and sign ups here

The class will meet on 10 Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the warehouse of Small Press Distribution. The dates: March 5th through May 14th, with no class on March 26th. Cost: $200, due by the second night of class.

please repost widely


from K.R. Waldrop at BURNING DECK PRESS

Lisa Jarnot

Poems, prose segments and visual pieces, 112 pages, offset, smyth-sewn
ISBN 978-1-886224-12-4, paperback $14
3rd printing, 2008

Lisa Jarnot’s 1st book is a mock-epic of the everyday as it might be discovered through juxtapositions of public and private information.

“Some Other Kind of Mission suggests that Language Poetry may be mutating, back to the modernism of Stein and Joyce, having been permanently inflected (or deflected) by a late twentieth-century sharpness and exasperation…. These are haunting, perplexing narratives of the inenarrable.”—John Ashbery, TLS

“a turbulence-model of language, context-laden and yet future.”— Sherry Brennan, American Book Review

”This impressive newcomer’s sudden jumps and quirky mappings may leave some heads spinning. Her visual poems, in particular are resonant and haunting, requiring and rewarding second and third looks.”—Tom Clark, San Francisco Chronicle

“a genre-bender of a book, transcending such limiting terms as experimental writing or prose poetry.”—Joseph Torra, Boston Book Review

“Some Other Kind of Mission is not a misnomer…It is a bit like entering Utah’s Canyonlands: the landscape is at first bleak, threatening, otherworldly. But as time is spent…the richness of the land begins to inundate the senses… Like all difficult terrain, it invites active participation, good binoculars and a four-wheel drive.”—John Olson, Sulfur

“Her best effects arrive as you zoom headlong right through her high- energy tangle of dissociation …in a particle accelerator where connective sense is bombarded by shards of broken grammar…”—Albert Mobilio, Village Voice

Copies available from Small Press Distribution


And, check out Rachel Loden’s blogpost on Paul Hoover’s poem & Paul’s response.

Her entry is:

A couple of years ago I fell hard — first for a single poem called “Poem in Spanish,” by Paul Hoover, and then for the collection it names.

I wanted to know how Hoover came to write this book, which I envied for the extravagance of its gestures and its deft feints and parries with the post-avant rules.

So I asked him to say a little something about it here. His comments follow the poem:

Poem in Spanish

I have two coffins but only one wife,
who loves me like a neighbor.
I have one wing and a long flight scheduled.

I have two sons and the time of day,
its late hour dark in a brilliant landscape.

I have a small religion based on silence
and a furious heart beating. I have a map
of the region where the kiss is deepest,
a duplex cathedral for my hells and heavens,
and one oily feather. No matter how I settle,
the world keeps moving at its famous pace.

I have two minds and an eye for seeing
the world’s singular problems as my self-portrait.
I have fuzzy lightning and a pair of old glasses.

I have two radios but only one message,
subtle in transmission, arriving like wine.
I have yo tengo and two tambiens.
The world between them creaks
like distance and difference.

I have two fires and a very sleepy fireman,
immortal longings and one life only,
unliving and undying.

Paul Hoover writes:

The poems “Poem in Spanish” and “Corazon” were the last two poems in Winter (Mirror), published by Flood Editions in 2002. I wrote the rest of the sequence in 2003, while going through an excrucriating separation from the Chicago college where I’d taught for 28 years. I had always loved Latin American poetry for its warmth, daring, and sense of humor. The project developed out of this attraction. Why not be Latin American for a few poems? After a while, I realized that I could express certain things through the mask of style that my writing could not directly address: the death of parents, feelings of love, and so on. In discussing Poems in Spanish this summer at a literary conference in Rosario, Argentina, I stated that, as postmodern artifice, the concept of writing in Spanish gave me “permission” to speak forthrightly. As soon as the session ended, Hector Berenguer, the conference organizer, leaped to the stage to ask, “Why do you need permission?” He had invited me to the conference because of the directness and openness of the poems, not for the charm of their postmodern artifice. At the same time, Marjorie Perloff sent an email stating that the sequence is a “breakthrough” work. To some degree, apparently, the poems are like tea leaves; you can see in them whatever you desire to see. But I suspect a stronger force is present. The poems stand on essential ground and address essential matters. When I read them in Argentina, as well as at Omnidawn book events, I could literally hear the attention in the room. I could also feel attention in myself as a speaker. There was no doubt in me or in the audience about what the poem was after; even the poem knew.

We live at a time of crisis in expression, when subjectivity is broadly challenged, constructivism is increasingly triumphant, and the concept of unity of being is considered laughable. Our postmodern psychology is more or less: no artifice, no authenticity. The word “imagination” is no longer used. Poems are “constructed” rather than divined. By this standard, my poems break all the rules established against Romanticism, except for one thing they appear to have been written in another voice than my own. This minor irony sets the work gently back into the postmodern camp. The reader is allowed to think: “Oh, they’re constructed, after all, and stand at a safe distance from sincerity. What a relief!”


Last but not least:

Noelle Sickels, whose story “The Tree” appeared in Omnidawn’s anthology Paraspheres, has just had an historical novel released by Five Star Publishing to good reviews. The Medium is the coming-of-age story of a young woman struggling to understand and best use her psychic abilities while also facing the challenges of life on the American home front during World War II.

Here’s what the reviewers are saying:

“This is an exhilarating historical paranormal thriller starring a fascinating lead character. A strong, unique 20th century tale.” — Harriet Klausner,

“Sickels’ in-depth portrayal of a young woman with an unusual gift sheds light on psychics, a little-understood group, and offers a vivid view of the home front.” — Patty Englemann, Booklist Review

“A compelling paranormal love story with deft historical detail and timeless characters.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“THE MEDIUM contains enough mystery, suspense, romance, and paranormal premonitions to keep the reader fascinated, intrigued and breathtakingly waiting to turn the next page.” — Viviane Crystal, Crystal Reviews

“The story’s conceit (what if psychics weren’t just charlatans preying on the gullible?) is intriguing, and Sickels captures the era in all its innocence and paranoia.” —Roger Ito, Los Angeles Magazine

“No matter what beliefs one holds about an afterlife, Helen’s story and America’s are realistically done and sure to fascinate. THE MEDIUM is a highly unusual tale set during important moments in our history; it’s also a heartwarming love story that conveys a hopeful message for all. If that sounds a bit stuffy, I assure you it’s not.” Jane Bowers, Romance Reviews Today

“A highly enjoyable, meticulously researched coming-of-age tale with an intriguing twist.” Barbara Samuel,

“This book grabs hold and sticks like a magnet. There were moments that tore into my heart. Exceptionally well-crafted, this highly recommended read shouldn’t be missed.” Linda L., The Romance Studio

This riveting novel threads the background of war in a storyline filled with well-developed and memorable characters. This is a poignant, well-researched and well-writtten story.” Mary Montague Sikes, Reader to Reader