Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 26, 2012: Alice Jones

Last Saturday, Alice Jones joined us to read from and discuss her recent Apogee Press collections Plunge and Gorgeous Mourning. First, Alice shared a few pieces from her current (collage) poem project, Spell, which explores both spelling and casting spells. “This is your skin, prepared for a thousand tongues. This is your tongue, prepared for four scrolls.” Moving into a discussion about form and formlessness and the “wavelike” patterns of the sestina (the machinery of the sestina as a “braiding”), Alice then read from Plunge and shared a little about her sestina and haiku driven process. She also mentioned how her poetic and psychoanalytic practices stream into one another, informing the other—to make “room for the unconscious to say itself between the words” and to "bring language into being" that hasn’t been voiced before. We also enjoyed listening to Alice read from Gorgeous Mourning, which she called “anchored in the domestic” and mentioned that there was great freedom in writing the prose poems in the collection—the kind of freedom that allows for a bit of slanted humor from words clashing (crashing) up against one another or playing off the other. Prose poems as “sound constructions,” language with its complex wave of human utterances, slippery syntax, personal pronoun usage, and translation as a “membrane connecting one world to another” are a few things touched upon toward the end of the hour. Thank you Alice for sharing your work and time with us!

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

May 19, 2012: Todd Melicker

On 5/19 Todd Melicker joined us in the studio and helped celebrate our one-year anniversary at KUSF In Exile with a live reading! Todd read from his recent Little Red Leaves chapbook King & Queen, beautifully handcrafted from recycled textiles. We discussed the multi-ways of reading his collection—visually they read both downward and upward on the page (each like a playing card) and Todd read them “upside down and backward.” Inspired by both Ted Berrigan’s The Sonnets and a Henry Moore sculpture, Todd shared some thoughts on his process—reassembling poems, slippage, collage, the Osiris/Isis myth, the I/You relationship, and the possibilities of the King & Queen pairings/poems as equally gendered and mirrored iterations of the self in communication with one another and “slipping in and out of each other." Todd also read from an end to birds, an accordion-fold collection of antibird acrostic poems (secretly loving birds:) and then concluded with recent poems published in Volt. Thanks again Todd for driving down from Santa Rosa to spend your Saturday morning with us!

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