Rag, Julie Carr’s fifth book of poetry, is a streaming collection of untitled prose and poem segments. Lines, images, and fragments circulate, alternately recalling and anticipating their reappearance in longer passages. In this continual flux and flow, the book takes on the form and force of a body. But it is not a body in the sense of “a body of work,” which implies the presence of a remote authorial intelligence controlling an accumulation of matter. Rag belies these traces of the dualist schism between mind and body, beginning with the way its streaming elements seem to grow into each other, achieving in their combination a living intelligence. Rag, in this sense, is an organism, composed of multiple interacting systems—sensing, reacting, circulating, digesting, rejecting, signaling.
We’re thrilled to see this piece by Daniel Tiffany, author of Neptune Park!
Friday | July 18 | 7 pm
Queer poets Brian Teare and Greg Wrenn read from their recent books. Teare’s ecopoetic Companion Grasses is what Julianna Spahr calls “a love poem to California… one of the most beautiful and moving books that I’ve read. Full of seriousness… full of care.” Centaur, Wrenn’s debut collection, finds a man undergoing surgery to become a centaur; other poems speak in voices as varied as Robert Mapplethorpe and Hercules.
So—is there any distinction between “just making something up” and writing “a real poem”?
All poetry sounds the same
when spoken through the mouth,
where the broken man hides his clothes.
The Academy of American Poets Summer Reading Series continues on July 15 at 6 p.m. Brenda Coultas, Geffrey Davis, and Brian Teare come together at The New York Public Library to share poems from the library’s historic archival collection as well as their own poems. Please join us at this free event.
My first camera was a Polaroid 600 One Step Flash Instant Film Camera. I was eleven when it was given to me. I used it nearly daily. Later in my life, I found those Polaroid’s in an old shoebox. There was a boringness about many of them that made me wonder why I had ever thought to save them. In a choice few however, there was a beautiful oddness amidst the tedium—some slant of the lens that captured a moving hand, some gradient light that turned everything orange. The poems in Michael Earl Craig’s latest book Talkativeness remind me very much of those few, beautifully odd Polaroid’s.
Open to any poet writing in English who has not published a second book of poems. (Chapbooks are not counted as books.)
Winner receives $3,000, publication, and 100 copies.
Accepting electronic & postal submissions May 1 to July 15, 2014.
Timothy Donnelly will judge.