November 21, 2010

Yes! Reading Series, November 19

This was the last of the season for this Jawbone-sponsored series, at the Social Justice Center. Tonight's reading featured BookThug authors, with local Cara Benson doing the intros. BookThug, based in Toronto, Canada "seeks to publish innovative books of poetry, prose and creative criticism that extend the tradition of experimental literature." So the Yes! Reading series was the perfect venue for them.

The first reader Andrew Hughes began with the title poem of his book Now Lays the Sunshine By, then on to pieces from a new manuscript exploring the melodramatic quality of letter writing, twisting myths in a rural setting. I loved the refrain (poetry-prompt suggestion) "setting the words on fire."

One of the 2 books I bought tonight was Tracelanguage by Mark Goldstein "from" (whatever that means) the work of Paul Celan (one of the poets I love to read uncomprehendingly -- see the translations by Pierre Joris). Mark also read poems/letters to Jack Spicer through the lens of Rilke from his other book After Rilke: To Forget You Sang.

The other book I bought was Swim by Marianne Apostolides, which she read from, in a wonderful deep sonorous voice. A woman swims 39 laps (39 Steps?) in a pool & the rhythm of her ponderings changes during her breaks. I had her dedicate my copy to my ex-, for an Xmas present (shh, don't tell her).

The last reader was the publisher, Jay MillAr (not a typo, that's how he spells it), starting with a piece after Robin Blaser (Spicer/Blaser, get the west-coast experiments?). He had a great sense of humor about his own experimentation, including reading essentially boring material in a manner to make us chuckle, with a reading-recurring refrain, "consider a Sphinx."

You'll have to wait until next semester (if you know what that means) for the next in this series -- sign up at the website for email notices about the schedule.

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