Caine Prize Shortlist: Stanley Kenani
Stanley Kenani’s “Love on Trial” is best described as its protagonist, Charles Chikwanje, himself: “a walking encyclopaedia”. The story is a veiled piece of reportage, drily relating the discovering of Charles’ homosexuality in a public lavatory, the ensuing scandal, court case and subsequent conviction. Charles’ arguments for sexual equality are...
Caine Prize Shortlist: Rotimi Babatunde
The 2012 Caine Prize for African short fiction is upon is. Thank you to Aaron Bady from Zunguzungu who has invited me to participate in the Caine Prize blogathon. Over the next weeks I’ll be commenting on the five shortlisted stories, starting with Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde’s “Bombay’s Republic”. It’s a pleasure to read Babatunde’s consistently clear...
Let’s phrase my hiatus as a longwinded silence, during which: I completed my MA English Literature degree, finishing off a thesis entitled “Travel Broadens: Joanne Kyger and Rooted Cosmopolitanism.” Mostly, I hoped to navigate the tension between regionalism and travel in Kyger’s poetry. The section I enjoyed writing most close-read the layout of a poem as a landscape. My...
If you find yourself reading Chaucer for more than four hours seek immediate...– Legal disclaimer to a hypothetical Super Bowl ad for the Norton Anthologies (via wwnorton)
‘You are late.’ Late, late with forest edges to everything.– H.D., HERmione (via sketchofthepast)
I close-read my life.
Wai Chee Dimock →
On Monday the critic Wai Chee Dimock gave a guest lecture at McGill University titled “Bodies at War: Dresden, Baghdad, New York.” I’ve been reading some of her work for my own research on cosmopolitan theory and am generally in love with her crisp style, non-linear content and way of breaking down chapters into one-page bite-sized teasers. During her short stay in Montreal a few...
poem by Joanne Kyger
Somewhere you can find reference to the fact that PAN was the son of PENELOPE Either as the result of a god or as the result of ALL of the suitors who hung around while Odysseus was abroad.
It’s Joanne Kyger’s birthday today. Over the last year and 1/2 I’ve been writing my MA thesis on the role of geography in/on her life and poetry and so I’ll take the opportunity of her special day to thank her for making my research fun - corresponding with me and offering me witty poetic images where Pan is the son of Penelope! Also, the Allen Ginsberg Project posted a...
Joan Didion →
I wasn’t in Toronto for the Joan Didion interview, but my friend was and she wrote an article about it you should read!
Michael Lista →
Worn magazine’s interview with poet Michael Lista is quaint, but I especially love this Q&A: How (if at all) does fashion play into being a writer, or even your own poetry? Poetry and fashion! There’s so much to say. Well of course it’s terribly unfashionable to be a poet. Most poets are terribly unfashionable. Ooh, I’ve got another one: a lot of poems bore — especially poems written by...
The problem with voice is…! that it has largely tyrannized the lyric poem with...– Q & A with Fred Wah, Branch Magazine http://www.branchmagazine.com/ (via amandaearl)
The Scrivener Creative Review launch is tomorrow at Nota Bene (3416 Parc), 4:30, readings starting punctually at 5. If you’re in Montreal please come support! All further details on the poster right below.
Art is never finished, only abandoned.– - Leonardo da Vinci (via thechaotic)
I think a poet’s study is just an idea. Wherever I’m writing, it is.– Eileen Myles (via gilliansees)
You have to change to stay the same.– Willem de Kooning. (via snprickett)
I cheat on men with books.
I look forward to a time when once again I will possess the free-will to stay in bed an entire day to finish a book of my choosing!
Anne Hathaway (Shakespeare) →
Who knew that Anne Hathaway is not only the contemporary actress BUT ALSO the wife of William Shakespeare?! (see Wikipedia article)
Writer or Poet
In an interview with Nancy Grace, Joanne Kyger reminisces: “I remember traveling with Gary [Snyder] once, and he was trying to make decisions about how to identify himself on his passport, and we decided that putting ‘writer’ down was always better that putting ‘poet’ down because ‘poet’ stuck out so much. Still I don’t tell people that I’m a...
I dream in love letters.
There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more...– Sylvia Plath (via black-wolves)
“there is the literary supplement in which novelists delight in the adventures of a few narcissistic egos (‘I love you…you don’t’)” - I LOVE BRUNO LATOUR
I’m reading some new poetry tomorrow, 18 September, at the Steps Magazine event. It starts at 7pm, but I imagine you can be fashionably late and that I’ll be reading later rather than earlier. The address is 4122 St. Urbain Street and I think there might be a moderate entrance fee. Please come support!
Teaching the Ape to Write Poems / James Tate
anticipatedstranger: They didn’t have much trouble teaching the ape to write poems: first they strapped him into the chair, then tied the pencil around his hand (the paper had already been nailed down). Then Dr. Bluespire leaned over his shoulder and whispered into his ear: “You look like a god sitting there. Why don’t you try writing something?”
Current Creative Couple Crushes: Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes Jean-Paul Sartre/Simone de Beauvoir Georgia O’Keeffe/Alfred Stieglitz Susan Sontag/Annie Liebovitz Ingeborg Bachmann/Paul Celan Since the last is the most recent, you’ll be hearing more of them soon, I’m sure…
Sometimes I construct characters for anonymous bloggers according to their posts.
Ken and Barbie get a divorce; Albus Dumbledore is gay. Seriously, I find the latter disclosure more homophobic than otherwise - I imagine J.K. Rowling thinking “oh shit, there’s no homosexuality in the entire series,” then letting the supposed cat out of the bag. Come to think of it, Dumbledore was so old already, there couldn’t have been much action happening up in his...
Back to my post on Muses - but in the sense that my poems are very often inspired by visual art - now here’s the twist - not always Directly inspired. True story: this morning I discovered and became enthralled with Linder Sterling’s photo montages. Soon after I wrote a poem about hospitals and Sylvia Plath - sure - there are a few floral images too, but mostly the poem is a completely...
I completed the opera libretto (still lacking a title…) which Clio Montrey will now start composing. It features a female Socrates and a Femme Fatale! This is a commission for the Montreal-based opera group “die Liederwölfe” - they’re super cool and staged a Mozart opera in a bar once. (Now I am switching gears into my newly coined verb - to thesis.)
I’m sitting at 0:08 of this short - enjoying a poetry reading in Guillaume Morissette’s backyard!