Hibbard on Haze on Jacket

from Jacket 30:

The first piece in Haze is titled ‘Reasons to Write’. It begins ‘There is of course no reason to write poetry’. And it concludes, ‘I write poetry because I need to make a living’. And so it begins: this modern coyness that Trilling describes, aiming at not identity (I am a poet) but presence (what is entailed in calling oneself a poet), an elusive sincerity of self-effacement and skill. In the text of this brief introductory piece is stated:
We have been sold a world of reasons so endlessly, so thoroughly, so destructively that even poets are called upon to explain what they do, to give their reasons to justify themselves before endless courts of indifference and terror.

The more insistent the reasons the less value they have. These are courts of indifference and terror because, based on lack of faith, deference to appearance, they are corrupt and at bottom materialistic, that is, of slight meaning. The author therefore feels obliged to present his case only according to his own rules.


Leslie Bumstead's Cipher/Civilian Publishers Weekly Review

from Publishers Weekly:

This disarmingly intimate account—rendered in fragmentary poetic sequences, neat couplets and prose blocks—of Bumstead's travels in northern Guatemala, El Salvador, Chiapas and the Ivory Coast is an expansive and surprising experimental debut, in terms of its far-ranging geography as well as its stylistic diversity. Travelogues, letters ("This morning I ate an entire cantaloupe. Granted, it was a small cantaloupe") and, most strikingly, spare and cryptic lyrics display technical dexterity and a finely tuned ear: "gritty chitty / chitty bang bang in American /movies we want /war, silliness / & war." Writing as an outsider, mother and lover in places where most are afraid to go, Bumstead attests that, "stories /can't be possessed by anyone, not / really." Throughout, the political and personal overlap, each clarifying and obscuring the other: "Governments spinning on a pin. Whole criminal enterprises running countries. History is such a long book.... I am long too like a story about a musical note. When I remember things I plead with them not to forget me." (June)


Leslie Scalapino & Mel Nichols @ Bridge Street Sunday 6/11 7 PM



LESLIE SCALAPINO is the author of over 20 books of poetry, fiction, essays, & drama. Recent works include DAHLIA'S IRIS: SECRET AUTOBIOGRAPHY & FICTION, IT'S GO IN QUIET ILLUMINED GRASS LAND, ORCHID JETSAM, and ZITHER & AUTBIOGRAPHY. Her long poem WAY received the Poetry Center Award, the Lawrence Lipton Prize, and the American Book Award. She lives in Oakland where she publishes O Books, and teaches in the Bard College summer MFA Program.

MEL NICHOLS lives in Washington, DC and teaches digital poetry at George Mason University. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including PipLit, Forklift Ohio, Anomaly, and Fascicle. She is co-editor of the journal ILLUMINATED MEAT. Her recent chapbook is DAY POEMS (Edge 2005).

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