Sunday, October 16, 2011

Copper Canyon Fall 2011

Copper Canyon Press, in their catalogues, adds poems and statements from their authors. I like that they do that. (I want to cheer for some and argue or quibble with others, but I don’t want to right now. Right now is just to point and say “here.”)



“A poem doesn’t seem to be alive unless it has moved somewhere.”
                                                                            —Dean Young


“Poetry just like painting is something that you have to give your entire life to—and that includes all your life.”
                                                                            —Jim Harrison


“The more I write the more interested I am in fragments.”
                                                                            —Deborah Landau


“Try to write poems at least one person in the room will hate.”
                                                                            —Marvin Bell


“I discovered something that I should have known: when you’re writing poems, you’re not aware, quite, of the kind of poet you’re becoming until after you’ve become it.”
                                                                           —W.S. Di Piero


“I’d like to say I’m of the begging bowl theory of poetry. You put out your begging bowl and see what drops into it. I really don’t want to know where the poem is going.”
                                                                           —Marianne Boruch


“It has always been helpful for me to keep in mind the following from the dazzling Larry Levis: ‘Out here I can say anything.’ And we can. And we should.”
                                                                          —Michael Dickman


Interviewer: Is there anything you would say to young aspiring poets?
Valzhyna Mort: Read, read, and read.


“Don’t make it up. Write it down.”
                                                                         —David Budbill


“In the land and in language is a freedom from our worst selves, and I’m always scrambling like crazy to find my way toward it.”
                                                                        —Nathaniel Perry


“Before we can fathom out whatever sense there might be behind the world, we have to be true to the world itself.”
                                                                       —David Bottoms


“There’s a mysterious tension between reality and imagination that drives the manifest world, I think. Together, they power the engine.”
                                                                       —Dana Levin


“The endless engagement one can have with the world, an engagement that comes from trying to put words to it, pluck images from it, discover new meanings, unearth its secrets—there is no better way, in my opinion, to use the little bit of time we have here.”
                                                                      —Laura Kasischke


“You see a recoiling from the adventure of new writing happening to people, and it’s not a place where I want to settle.”
                                                                      —C.D. Wright


“For me, poems are at their basic level one person speaking to another.”
                                                                     —Matthew Zapruder


“Poetry . . . enables the reader to experience what you have experienced with a kind of specificity and depth that is not possible in casual language, partly because the form also communicates the information.”
                                                                     —Stephen Dobyns


“I think all poets need living poets.”
                                                                     —Jean Valentine


“The way the poems work, there’ll be a line or a phrase that will come to me one way or another. The poem has to figure out a way to encapsulate and house that phrase, that line.”
                                                                    —Travis Nichols


“I’m just interested in what science is interested in—where matter came from, what life is, how the brain works.”
                                                                    —James Richardson


“The vastness of place is certainly interrupted by the collisions of paradoxes.”
                                                                   —Sherwin Bitsui


“Poetry’s not window cleaning. It breaks the glass.”
                                                                   —Chase Twichell


“As a teacher of creative writing, I am always seeking the balance between rigor—regarding craft, knowledge of the traditions, and self-criticism—and the pleasures of the unexpected.”
                                                                  —Jon Davis


“If you’re going to spend any time—much less sympathy—with my poems, you’re going to have to resort to your mouth.”
                                                                  —John Taggart


“I write as though I’m writing for myself. I’m not smarter than the average person. So most people that read my work kind of get it or don’t get it.”
                                                                 —Chris Abani


“Poetry’s not a way of thinking, except insofar as ‘I think’ means ‘I’m not sure.’”
                                                                 —Heather McHugh


“I read my favorite books of poetry many times (something I don’t tend to do with prose).”
                                                                —Ben Lerner


“I am a lucky man—I love what I do.”
                                                               —Benjamin Alire Sáenz


“Is there anything sillier in life than to be called Pablo Neruda?”
                                                              —Pablo Neruda


“Poetry is living prose just as gardening is living architecture.”
                                                             —W.S. Merwin

44 Comments:

At 10/16/2011 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Try to write poems at least one person in the room will hate.”

You don't have to try to do that. That'll just happen.

 
At 10/16/2011 9:54 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

“Is there anything sillier in life than the be called Pablo Neruda?”
—Pablo Neruda

Odd--he chose the pseudonym, so he really didn't have anything to complain about.

 
At 10/16/2011 10:00 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Anon,

Yes, the Bell quote was one I was specifically wanting to engage. Frist, I agree with you, and second, that somehow that should be part of one's intention, is just as flawed as saying a poet should pander.

KJ,

I fixed the "the". Thanks for that! I don't know the context, so I can't be certain, but it sounded more to me as if he were just being wry than really complaining.

 
At 10/16/2011 10:08 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

I was being wry myself! I think lots of people don't know "Pablo Neruda" was his pseudonym--the most successful one in literature, probably, next to "Mark Twain."

 
At 10/16/2011 10:16 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

They need to get quicker on Wikipedia then!

 
At 10/16/2011 10:21 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

How so, John? Whaddya mean?

 
At 10/16/2011 10:24 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Oh, I didn't mean anything by it but that the frist sentence of the Neruda Wikipedia page:

"Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda."

So I was just making a little "Wikipedia is the Fountain of All Information" joke to myself.

 
At 10/16/2011 10:37 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Oh, I see. All I meant by the "lots of people don't know" comment is that a good many of the hundreds of thousands of people who've picked up Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair at the Barnes & Noble counter don't know Neruda was a pen name.

Or that the great Stalinist bard, champion of the purges and mass-killings of anarchists and Trotskyist militants in Spain was involved in the first plot to murder Trotsky in Mexico. Ah, poetry, it does take all kinds...

 
At 10/16/2011 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Lehman was looking at some of my poems. One of them had "fuck off" in it. He called that "a nice moment." I said, "My workshop didn't like that part." He said, "If they don't like the word 'fuck,' tell them to fuck off." He said, "The part that people say is the bad part--that's really the good part." He was right. I thought that sounded like Cocteau: "What the public criticizes in you, cultivate it. It is you."

 
At 10/16/2011 11:47 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Anon,

Precisely. Workshops (general workshops as a class at a college/university or in a city where people are semi-strangers) tend to do some things well, and some things very poorly. They’re quite good at helping a writer move away from the simple errors. That’s a great help. But they also have this tendency to normalize one’s writing to the ethos of the group. That can be a terrible thing.

 
At 10/16/2011 6:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

The only poets worth reading are those that publishers invite to be published. Unfortunately, publishers are only interested in the beggars that beg to be published.

 
At 10/16/2011 7:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

I certainly hope that the vapid, pointless and empty observations and comments made by these people don’t reflect the quality of their poetry.

 
At 10/17/2011 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Landau is quoting Barthelme, well, a character in a Barthelme story, as Barthelme constantly reminded critics--I didn't say it--my chracter did. So--is Landau a Barthelme character? By the way, Lehman edited a delicious electronic chapbook of Fuck poems, for Slope.

Chuck

 
At 10/17/2011 7:55 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Gary,

Really? I don't recall publisher's knocking on Whitman's door begging for Leaves of Grass.

Lastly, I certainly hope that the vapid, pointless, and empty comments you troll this blog with don't reflect the quality of your life.

 
At 10/17/2011 10:39 AM, Blogger David Grove said...

I looked at the table of contents of that Slope book. How about Tate's "Fuck the Astronauts"?

Here's Knott:

[UNTITLED]

Fucking; nightcrawlers smashing my anonymous.

One of my favorite titles is that of a J.G. Ballard story: "Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan."

 
At 10/17/2011 10:41 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Yikes.

 
At 10/17/2011 10:51 AM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

You hate me, don't you Fuzz?

A) You never give my comments sufficient consideration. I don’t believe making statements with which others disagree or that might be controversial would necessarily be considered being a ‘troll’. What a dull world this would be if everyone agreed with everyone else.

B) You have no sense of humor.

C) Funny you should bring up Whitman, who shamelessly wrote anonymous letters lauding his own poetry. Is my 21st Century marketing effort (posting poems on internet blogs) so terrible? I don't know but, based on my books sales and Google hits, it works!

D) "There's no such thing as bad publicity...just spell the name right."

- unattributed

 
At 10/17/2011 12:11 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Gary,

Prove me wrong. Prove that you can write a contrary post to something that shows up on this blog without attacking the authors, John, or the other posters.

I think it's great when a different opinion gets presented, so long as it is articulated in a way that encourages discussion. You've not done that here. You've called both the authors and the poets beggars.

Why do you think the other posters ignored your comments? It's not because you delivered a brilliant treatise on the state of poetry. It's because you posted a defamatory comment that added nothing to the conversation, which, by the way, is the working definition of a troll.

 
At 10/17/2011 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Faces were seen as either circumcised (JFK, Khrushchev) or uncircumcised (LBJ, Adenauer). In assembly-kit tests Reagan’s face was uniformly perceived as a penile erection. Patients were encouraged to devise the optimum sex-death of Ronald Reagan."

 
At 10/17/2011 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: nice job; tension breaking, confusion making. Me like. Well, it took a while... you had me at "optimum sex-death"--then: Reagan. Ouch. I was born in 1970. Reagan juxtaposed with sex makes me think of my parents. Not a pleasantry. Congrats. Score seven points for "skittery"...


Chris D.

 
At 10/17/2011 1:27 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

David Grove said:


“I looked at the table of contents of that Slope book. How about Tate's ‘Fuck the Astronauts’?

Here's Knott:

[UNTITLED]

Fucking; nightcrawlers smashing my anonymous.

One of my favorite titles is that of a J.G. Ballard story: ‘Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan.’”



Here’s one they left out of the book:


Sparrows

“I promise to show you God
(if you have the time) to
come with me.”

”God? I don’t see nothing but
Abunchoffuckin’

sparrows!”


Copyright 2005 – Evolving-Poems 1965-2005
(written 1970 – age 18)

 
At 10/17/2011 1:37 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

.

Anonymous said:

“David Lehman was looking at some of my poems. One of them had "fuck off" in it. He called that "a nice moment." I said, "My workshop didn't like that part." He said, "If they don't like the word 'fuck,' tell them to fuck off."


Dear Fuzz Against Junk:

(whatever the fuck that means):

Fuck off.

GBF

 
At 10/17/2011 1:38 PM, Blogger David Grove said...

Speaking of "smashing my anonymous," I'm the anon who had the chat with Lehman, so I guess I started this Reagan-era stockpiling of f-bombs. I'll just go away for a bit now.

 
At 10/17/2011 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm squirting as I'm thinking of Reagan-era stockpiling of f-bombs.

And Gary, please, be a gentleman, wipe your mouth off next time you speak.

 
At 10/17/2011 3:26 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Why do I have to "wipe my mouth off" but Bill KNott, Tate and J.G. Ballard get published if they don't?.

Excuse me?

 
At 10/17/2011 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gary, I just want to say that I have read your incredible poem (An Old Friend) on the Scarriet blog. I truly enjoy your poetry.

 
At 10/17/2011 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI: Trolls stay on blogs only as long as people continue to engage them.

 
At 10/17/2011 4:31 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

FYI: books stay on shelves only as long as people continue to engage them.

 
At 10/17/2011 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"books stay on shelves only as long as people continue to engage them."

Or on Amazon's virtual shelves as long as people who self-publish through vanity presses are willing to pay to print them.

Are you seriously arguing by appeal-to-authority? That's one of the most obnoxious fallacies even when the authority comes from something more authoritative than self-publishing.

Paul

 
At 10/17/2011 6:46 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Paul said:

"Are you seriously arguing by appeal-to-authority? That's one of the most obnoxious fallacies even when the authority comes from something more authoritative than self-publishing."

Thanks, Paul. I'm sure that you've read all of my poetry, to form a rational opinion, I mean.

 
At 10/17/2011 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thanks, Paul. I'm sure that you've read all of my poetry, to form a rational opinion, I mean."

Irrelevent. I made no mention of your poetry. Only your bizarre rhetoric. Which you've offered again.

Paul

 
At 10/17/2011 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI: Trolls stay on blogs only as long as people continue to engage them.

 
At 10/17/2011 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: got it. I'm a slow study.

Paul

 
At 10/18/2011 5:05 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 10/18/2011 6:53 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Anonymous said...

"FYI: Trolls stay on blogs only as long as people continue to engage them."

Which is ironic since the definition of an internet troll is one who makes ad hominem attacks on fellow commenters.

You get that, don't you, 'Anonymous'?

How one concerned only with poetry on a poetry blog could be labeled a "troll" is a mystery to me, but as for this "troll"...

over and out.

 
At 10/18/2011 8:35 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Paul said:

"Irrelevent. I made no mention of your poetry. Only your bizarre rhetoric. Which you've offered again."

That would be 'irrelevant'.

You should learn the language before you criticize those who speak it.

 
At 10/19/2011 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ad homonym attack = an attack at the character or the experience of the person whom you’re addressing, not to the quality of that person’s ideas. It includes attacks on things like minor spelling errors, and includes such phrases as:

“You should learn the language before you criticize those who speak it.”

FYI: Trolls stay on blogs only as long as people continue to engage them.

 
At 10/19/2011 1:59 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Anonymous said:

"Ad homonym attack =..."

That would be 'Ad hominem'.

You should learn the language before you criticize those who speak it.

I am obviously dealing with high school kids here or, at best, individuals without education.

GBF

 
At 10/19/2011 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. FitsTroll,

That was not a mistake. That was me being more clever than you.

 
At 10/19/2011 5:17 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

"Mr. FitsTroll,

That was not a mistake. That was me being more clever than you."

Ha ha. How clever to be so nasty and hateful.

Actually, that was you being more mean than me.

Point? (In hurting or embarrassing others, I mean).

I guess the real question is why even bother writing poetry when there are people out there like you.

Why are you even here on a poetry blog, you hateful shitbird?

 
At 10/19/2011 7:56 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

I sometimes wonder the same thing about you, Gary.

It's certainly not to discuss poetry, at least not other people's.

 
At 10/20/2011 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I guess the real question is why even bother writing poetry when there are people out there like you."

You're right, maybe it would be best to stop.

 
At 10/20/2011 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hatefull Shitbird.

Good band. They've sold out recently, but I loved their early stuff.

-Chris D.

 
At 10/20/2011 4:26 PM, Blogger Gary B. Fitzgerald said...

Fuzz and Anonymous:

La de da.

Chris D:

"Hatefull (sic) Shitbird.

Good band. They've sold out recently, but I loved their early stuff."

Hey, I was their lead guitar player.

Gary

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home