Thursday, November 24, 2011

Theodore Enslin (1925-2011)

We lost a great poet a few days ago. I strongly recommend this interview as an inroad into Enslin's brilliant vision for marrying musical and poetic form.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Two new books by friends

from Jane Wong's Dendrochronology:

What is this faint vision? What is this stranger? The hand
in the fire does not burn. He shows the trick again and again
until there is the smell of hair. The smell along the back of
her mouth. Kissing, a moth settles on the mattress and there
is more.

A sack of flour pours over water.

from Joan Fleming's The Same as Yes:

What else can I tell you? Five eighths is the same as ten
sixteenths. Salt water is good for your teeth, and if you're
wholehearted about it, you can ask the sea to be your
dentist. Some people live in buses that never go anywhere,
and that's okay too, as long as something's growing. No,
blue's not my favourite colour, but it might be my favourite

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frank Samperi

Two years ago, I was introduced to the beautiful, delicate poems of Frank Samperi by Elizabeth Robinson. I have spent the time since acquiring rare, out-of-print editions of his books and learning as much as I can about this poet whose work, though abundant and original, is largely unknown.

This seems to be changing due in large part to the work of his daughter, Claudia, who started a blog devoted to her father's life and work. There are also two wonderful essays on Samperi's work available online by Peter O'Leary and J. Townsend. This past week, PennSound launched Frank Samperi's author page featuring a recording of Samperi reading in 1987 and pdf versions of four of his out-of-print collections.

I find something incredibly beautiful, earnest and sustaining in efforts like these to rescue a singular voice from obscurity. Recoveries, rediscoveries of this kind make contemporary poetry the vibrant and diverse creature that it is, and I applaud and thank all those involved in bringing Frank Samperi back into the world.