Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Talking Poetry

The Pride Festivities waylayed me from poetry momentarily.

In Lisa's class, we've been looking at Tom Raworth's website website and old copies of InFolio magazine. Infolio, if I'm not mistaken, Infolio was supposed to be a daily and included everyone. The mention of Raworth led me, as many things do, back to my father's seminal book "Talking Poetry." It wan't until I was in graduate school that I really delved into "Talking Poetry." I did my master's lecture on So-Called Language Poetry. This was sort of a rebellious act, as I went to a narrative school, Vermont College (after being rejected from Bard & Brown). Vermont College struck me as a school in which I strongly did and did not fit in....but that's another story.

"Talking Poetry" carried me though my work. Published in the 1980's it includes essays by Clark Coolridge, Theodore Enslin, Clayton Eshleman, William Everson, Thom Gunn, Kenneth Irby, Michael Palmer, Tom Raworth, Ishmael Reed, Stephen Rodefer, Nathaniel Tarn, Diane Wakoski, and Anne Waldman. Someone at Vermont stole my paperback copy, so I have my dad's hardback. Glued on the back page is a note from Diane Wakoski that says, "To Lee, who has helped contemporary poetry more than anyone I know." The book is out-of-print, but you can get it on Amazon.

The entire East Coast, West Coast Poetics have always been a disappointment to me. It bothers me that my father, Bill Everson, and even poets like Michael Palmer (who started in the East as George Michael Palmer) are laregly dismissed by Easterners.

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