Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Experimental Poetics Manifesto!

Artist/poet B.M. Stroud first came to my attention when his performance of his experimental visual/audio poem won the Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest in 2012.

Now he's published a manifesto: "Experimental Poetics: Where are the Poetic Pioneers?"

Sound interesting?  To keep up with what he's up to, check his page Stroud: experimental artist.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Fiery Flying Roule

Book Art

Poems Retrieved by Frank O’Hara


 Sherman Alexie Versus Grammar Cops


 Posted  to the tumblr A Fiery Flying Roule is a new poem from Tom Raworth in response to the U.S. security breach; he calls it “Just a quick doodle with some of the trigger-words in the Department of Homeland Security ‘Analyst Desktop Binder.’”

Carlos Fuentes' FBI file

Inside Coach House Press


Mystery book sculptures still sprouting across Scotland


 Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?

 Some Realms I Owned: Elizabeth Bishop in Manhattan


A newly translated interview with Federico García Lorca by Luis Méndez Domínguez from 1933.

Thomas Pynchon Returns to New York, Where He's Always Been

The Public Life of Poetry: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Support the Lake Effect!

Lake Effect Poetry is the Cleveland Akron and Canton slam poetry team.
The new Lake Effect Poetry 2013 Team Anthology has been printed -- spread the word! This anthology features poetry from your 2013 Lake Effect Poetry slam team: AKeemjamal Rollins, Christine Howey, Caira Lee, and Arianna Cheree, and also poems from the local greats such as Redd's, Eris Zion Venia, Theresa Göttl, Carla Thompson, Skylark Bruce, Joshua Gage, and Azriel Johnson, not to mention a cover by, uh, that would be me. And, the money raised by sales of the book goes towards a good cause-- getting our team to National Poetry Slam in August!  Boston, look out: the Lake Effect is coming!
Only ten dollars, including shipping-- order it now.
(and, for the full set-- order the 2012 Lake Effect anthology for only $6.00, or buy 'em both for $15!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Harper's asks: Why is Modern Poetry so Bad?

Why is Modern Poetry so Bad?

According to Ron Charles in the Washington Post's style blog,  Harper's magazine just hit the stands with a 6,000 word essay by Mark Edmondson, "Poetry Slam, or, The Decline of American Verse" asking that very question.

“oblique, equivocal, painfully self-questioning . . . timid, small, in retreat . . . ever more private, idiosyncratic, and withdrawn.”

Hit 'em, Professor Mark!  “They simply aren’t good enough. They don’t slake a reader’s thirst for meanings that pass beyond the experience of the individual poet and light up the world we hold in common.”

“'You must play the game that is there to be played,' Edmundson writes. To get the fellowship, the first book, the teaching job, the new poet 'had best play it safe, offend none.'”

I don't think he's been to Cleveland, but hey, can't be everywhere.

With their insistence on the impermeable barriers of race, gender and class, these liberal post-modernists keep anyone from saying anything about anything but his own private world. “How dare a white male poet speak for anyone but himself. . . . How can he raise his voice above a self-subverting whisper?” 

So, are modern poets bad?  Or just the ones published in the reviews that Edmondson reads?

-and, ha!  Barely has the Charles article hit the web, then the huff responds with an article by Seth Abramson,  "Why Is Contemporary Poetry So Good?"

Olbviously he must read different poets than Edmundson!

Let's fight!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Poetry Video

With a personal video revolution that's been ongoing for years now, there is a heck of a lot of video of cleveland poetry out in the world, and being loaded up on the web.

The Literary Cafe in Tremont has held a reading series for years (now they're the host for one of the Writing Knights events).  They have whole pages full of videos, including a page of older videos of readings and slams dating back to the '90s

Poet's Haven has also taken a lot of video, and check out John Burroughs' Crisis Chronicles for yet more, or John Burroughs' youtube channel.

And the Lake Effect Poetry slam team has some video on the web-- check out their videos of the slam team qualifiers on Ustream, or watch the Lake Effect team perform at the Rustbelt Poetry Slam in Columbus.

It's not the same as being there, but there sure is a heck of a lot of video of Cleveland poetry out there.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Can a Robot tell whether a Poet's a Pro?

Man, I doubt it.  But when I saw this, I had to try it out:

Poetry Assessor
The application is designed to determine whether a poem has the characteristics of a professional poem or, alternatively, an amateur poem... To score your poem, copy and paste the poem into the text box and click the Calculate button. Positive scores indicate that a poem has characteristics of a professional poem while negative scores indicate that the poem has the characteristics of an amateur poem. 

First one I tried pasting in, a rhyming poem about Leprechauns, got a +0.12 -- barely on the "pro" side of neutral.  I tried a non-rhyming poem, and got a 2.2 (almost as pro as Sylvia Plath!), then another rhyming poem (about death), getting a -1.5.  One more, not rhyming, and I beat Sylvia with a 2.5.

So I gave up.

Give it a click and try it yourself!

The method the computer program uses to analyze whether a poem "has the characteristics of a professional poem" is described in a pdf here. (Actually, if you're interested in linguistic analysis, their discussion of how they did their analysis to determine what characteristics successful poems had compared to amateur poems is quite fascinating.  Even if the "Analyze my Poem" application is more of a party game for poets than a real tool for telling good from bad.)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

One Mic Open: An Imitation of Live

An Open Mic Session for youth across Cleveland and surrounding areas.

Participants: 13-19 years old
Audience: 0-Eternity

$3.00 for Students
$5.00 for adults

Friday, June 7th @ Negative Space Art Gallery (3820 Superior Avenue. Cleveland, Ohio, 44114)

Doors Open @ 6pm
Performances: 7:00pm-9:30pm
After party: 9:30pm-11:00pm

One Mic Open: An Imitation of Live is a 45-minute choreopoem and Open Mic. session presented by the Concrete OrKids, a performance poetry group from the Cleveland School of the Arts Creative Writing Department.

One Mic Open is one of the only events of its kind in Northeast Ohio because it is written, produced, hosted, marketed, and promoted BY youth FOR youth ages 13-19.

For more information visit the Concrete OrKids Facebook page.

Leave us a message if you or someone you know would like to sign up early for the Open Mic.



The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau