I mentioned Micah Ballard’s new book, Waifs and Strays (City Lights Spotlight, 2011) last roundup. If you have not picked up a copy yet, there’s an interview over at the Argotist between Ballard and Patrick Dunagan (author of There Are People Who Think Painters Shouldn’t Talk) that should convince you to drop the $.
If you have doubts about how good online poetry magazines can be, read the new issue of Action, Yes. This one is filled with Swedes.
Over at Jacket2, Marjorie Perloff’s “Towards a Conceptual Lyric” defines an emerging strain of lyric poetry that shuns the expressive ‘I.’ I have ten thousand inchoate thoughts a day about the destruction of the expressive ‘I,’ but Perloff defines the issue in the simplest, most engaging terms and clears a space for the nascent poetics. Here’s a little taste:
When lyric is construed, as it has been since the Romantics, as the art of self-expression, of the private language of a subject overheard while engaged in meditation or intimate conversation with another, conceptualism would seem to be, by definition, its enemy, relying, as it so often does, on words not one’s own or submitting ordinary words to elaborate rules. But if we relate lyric to the musical phrase, the dichotomy disappears: what Dworkin describes as “sorting and selecting from files of accumulated language” is perfectly consonant with the notion of a poem as a distinctively sounded structure, the proviso being that in the digital age the look of the text becomes equally important, so that all poetry is, in a sense, visual as well as sound poetry.
I do my best to stay out of heated comment section discussions, but I love reading them. A recent post over at HTMLGIANT about vanity presses (specifically, one small press’s decision to ask its authors for monetary help) engendered an interesting debate.