Posts Tagged: poetry
Can one speak about suffering if one hasn’t experienced it?
Kenneth Goldsmith has long been a figure of tension in the literary community: at once a savior for the conceptual intellectualists and avant-garde, and a malicious clown bent on provocation and appropriation....more
I think that’s avant-garde—the meeting of need and language.
Over at Lit Hub, contemporary poetic hero Ben Lerner sits down with contemporary poetic heroine Eileen Myles to talk about vernacular, supercilious labels, the trials and tribulations of a young poet after fame, and a mutual confusion over what a “folk poet” is....more
I’m always telling stories, but I sort of fuck with the idea of thinking about myself and my work in a lyrical sense. Because that’s now how I’ve traditionally thought about myself. And it pushes up against the way the academy has been taught to discount black poets and the way black poets speak about real shit, or speaking for and of the people.
Juan Felipe Herrera is at the top of his game…He served as California’s Poet Laureate from 2012-2014, the first Latino poet to hold that post. He’s also the first Latino to be U.S. Poet Laureate. He’s the only child of migrant workers, and has five children of his own.
Those are some deep landscapes of mountains and grape fields and barns and tractors; families gathering at night to have little celebrations in the mountains and aquamarine lakes way down below. So, see, all that is like living in literature every day.
The new Best American Poetry anthology, edited by Sherman Alexie, contains a poem by the very white Michael Derrick Hudson who used the pen-name Yi-Fen Chou to get his poem into publication. Now, Asian American poets are pushing to get readers interested in actual Asian poets, in addition to decrying Hudson’s attempts to game the system:
[Author Jenny] Zhang revealed that when she was a graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for fiction writing, her white classmates “never failed to remind me that I was more fortunate than they were at this particular juncture in American literature.” … Hudson, she wrote, wanted “what my cohorts at Iowa wanted too, to have the right to a name that gave them an ‘edge’ without having to endure racism, erasure, tokenization, self-devaluation, and the constant requests for free intellectual labour.”
A must-read profile of Sesshu Foster, unofficial poet laureate of East Los Angeles, steadfast advocate of racial equity, eloquent witness to the changes of gentrification, full-time school teacher, and arguable embodiment of the vibrant tangle of roots that comprises modern Los Angelean culture:
In any other city, and in any neighborhood besides East L.A., it’s unlikely that a half-Japanese, half-Anglo poet would be so enmeshed in Chicano cultural production.
I’m pretty good / at not loving / anything enough / to fear its ruin. / The cruel speed / of our guaranteed / obsolescence suits / me. This way / I get to be / at least one / of my favorite / versions of myself / every other week: / brooding philosopher, / race man, public apology / connoisseur…
In the latest release from Wave Composition, three brilliant poems by Joshua Bennett, drawn from the experience of our contemporary racialized American world....more
There’s a storm in the poetry world, this one set off by the bio in Best American Poetry 2015 of Michael Derrick Hudson, who has been publishing under the name Yi-Fen Chou. I’m not here to talk about the poem, or about how (at least) silly the notion of collecting some poems from the previous year and calling them the “best” of anything is....more