Sunday, April 29, 2007

Three Days at the Poetry Project: John Ashbery, Anselm Hollo, Eileen Miles and Anne Waldman

John Ashbery
The rain couldn’t keep the masses away from John Ashbery’s solo reading in the main hall of St. Mark’s Church this past Wednesday night. People old and new to the Project filled into the great hall and quickly found their seats for the 81-year-old poet (who doesn’t look a day over 55) smiling and excited. Ashbery took the stage after a warm introduction from Anselm Berrigan and read new poetry and prose from recent collections including: Where Shall I Wander (2005 Ecco)and A Worldly Country (2007 HarperCollins) amongst others. Ashbery read for a good 45 minutes and then retried to the Parish Hall to sign miscellaneous books for collectors and fans. Other poets who came to hear Ashbery included: Simon Pettet, Anselm Hollo, Lee Ann Brown, Joe Wolff, and Marcella Durand, to name a few.

Anselm Hollo, Eileen Miles and Anne Waldman

This Friday night reading was something special, with all three performers bringing their "A game" to the stage. Eileen Miles (in from San Diego) kicked off the reading with new poems from Sorry, Tree (poems) recently out this April from Wave Books. Reading for a good 20 to 25 minutes, Eileen set the stage with a particular flare after being introduced by her former student, Corrine Fitzpatrick. Getting up to the podium, Miles thanked her student and began the reading (as she called it, a gay reading) with poems describing her relationship with her lover and their lives in California and abroad. Miles’ antidotes were well received, as with her poems inciting laughter and applause.

Anselm Hollo, who took the stage after a short introduction from Anselm Berrigan (who he is named after), spoke softly saying “Anselm is the author of over thirty books, all of which are fucking great”. Hollo, who is regarded as one of the elite translators and poets of his or any other generation, did not disappoint. Reading and giving dates for two poems written for his dear friend Robert Creeley (May 21st. 1926, Arlington, Massachusetts — March 30th. 2005, Odessa, Texas) and his son Hannes Hollo (1959-1999). "The Mopping-Up Operations of Septuagenarians" for Creeley (Broadside 2005 farfalla press) and Guest of Space for Hannes Hollo (Coffee House Press 2007), clearly moved the crowd, his soft voice felt in the rafters. Not so much that we had known these people but that in Hollo’s voice and poetics one gets the point all too well of loss and triumph.

In Memory Hannes Hollo, 1959-1999 by Anselm Hollo

Fought the hungry ghosts here on Earth
"What is man?" asked the King
Alcuin’s reply: "A guest of space." And time yes time:
The past lies before us, the future comes up from behind
Walking on Primrose Hill or Isle of Wight beaches
Iowa City streets scrambling up snow-covered deer track
To Doc Holliday’s grave in Glenwood Springs
His helmet now shall make a hive for bees
He fought the hungry ghosts here on Earth
Strong & resourceful on his best days,
Patient kind and presente
Returning those with him to here & now
But just as we settle in with our Pepsi and popcorn
THE END rolls up too soon always too soon

"'What is man?' asked the King": Pippin, son of Charlemagne, 9th century C.E. "His helmet now . . . ": George Peele, Polyhymnia.

From Guests of Space by Anselm Hollo. Copyright © 2007 by Anselm Hollo. Published by Coffee House Press.

Anne Waldman, the nights last reader came to the stage with new poems including, interestingly enough, one about her three husbands (Lewis Warsh, Reed Bye and Ed Bowes). Waldman moves across her life from the early days with Warsh on St. Marks Place (their old apartment is now a tattoo parlor) to the mountains of Boulder with Reed Bye, to her life here with the filmmaker Bowes. This poem is a little longer than some of the recent work Waldman has generated. As a result her rhythm and pace inside the poem build to a climatic middle and end, a poem as well-written as “Skin, Meat, Bones “ one of my favorites in her collected work. Waldman read sections of Iovis Book III (Coffee House Press 200?) her epic poem approaching 1000 pages and brought her nephew on stage for a series of collaborations using his saxophone. One in particular, “Manatee,” resonated through the halls in an uncanny resemblance to the animal. Waldman’s reading closed out the night with people crowding into Parish Hall again for comfort and wine and dialog. All three poets holding court to their friends and fans.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Come Celebrate 4/20 with Farfalla Press-Bowery Broadside Series Anne Waldman and Corrine Fitzpatrick

Come join us for a evening of wonderful poetry and camaraderie

All Artwork by George Schneeman

Friday, April 20 2007
10:00pm - 11:30pm

Bowery Broadsides Series hosted by Farfalla Press.

Featuring Corrine Fitzpatrick, Anne Waldman.
First fifty patrons receive free broadsides by both poets. Admission is free with a two drink minimum.

The Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery (3rd ave) btw Houston and 1st St.
Fri 4/20 10pm

GEORGE SCHNEEMAN, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, began painting in Italy in 1958. After living there for nine years, he moved to New York City, where he has collaborated with poets ever since. Schneeman has shown his solo work at the Fischbach Gallery, the Holly Solomon Gallery, the Denver Art Museum, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Donohue/Sosinski Gallery, and the CUE Art Foundation, among many others. In 2004 his collaborative work was exhibited at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York City. Three of his collaborative books have been published by Granary: Homage to Allen G. (with Anne Waldman), In the Nam, What Can Happen? (with Ted Berrigan), and Yodeling into a Kotex (with Ron Padgett). Schneeman lives in New York, spending part of each year in Tuscany

CORRINE FITZPATRICK has a chapbook, On Melody Dispatch (GoodbyeBetter, 2007) and other recent poems are in or on The Brooklyn Rail,, Cock Now and EOAGH's Queering Language issue. She worksfor the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church and lives in Bushwick.

ANNE WALDMAN, poet, editor, performer, professor, curator, cultural activist carries in her genetics the lineages of the New American Poetry, and is a considered an inheritor of the Beat (Allen Ginsberg called her his "spiritual wife") and New York School (Frank O'Hara told her to "work for inspiration, not money") mantles. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts award, the Shelley prize for poetry, and has had residences at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center and at the Christian Woman's University in Tokyo. She has taught experimental writing workshops for years at such places as the Omega Institute and the Zen Mountain Monastery, as well as universities and colleges across the USA and abroad. Directing the Poetry Project at St Mark's Poetry Project over a decade, she co-founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics with Allen Ginsberg at the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University in 1974. She currently is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of Naropa's Summer Writing Program and is working with the Study Abroad on the Bowery project in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Author and editor of over 40 books and small press editions of poetry, she has been working for over 25 years on the epic IOVIS project (two volumes published by Coffee House Press, 1993, 1997) and has published in recent years: MARRIAGE: A Sentence, Coffee House Press 2000, IN THE ROOM OF NEVER GRIEVE: New & Selected Poems with CD collaboration with Ambrose Bye, Coffee House Press 2003, Dark Arcana: Afterimage or Glow, with photographs by Patti Smith, Heavenbone Press 2003, and STRUCTURE OF THE WORLD COMPARED TO A BUBBLE, a long Buddhist poem, Penguin Poets 2004. She also co-edited the major anthology CIVIL DISOBEDIENCES: Poetics & Politics in Action, Coffee House Press 2004 with talks and essays by Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Michael Ondaatje, Barbara Guest, Robert Creeley, Sonia Sanchez and others. She has directed productions with the Gertrude Stein Players in Boulder, Colorado and has worked in collaboration with students, dancers, videographers, visual artists, musicians, composers for over 30 years. She has, in particular collaborated with artists Joe Brainard, George Schneeman, Susan Rothenberg, Elizabeth Murray and Richard Tuttle and her husband, movie director and writer Ed Bowes. She has also helped developed poetry projects in Vienna and Prague. She is co-founder of the Poetry Is News collective which curates forums of political and poetical discussion, and is an co- artistic/curriculum Director of The Study Abroad On the Bowery Program in New York City. She is a noted performer of her own work, developing original modal structures and sprechstimme strategies. She and is currently working on a new volume of the IOVIS epic project., nbow over 800 pages.And a new manuscript for Penguin Poets. RED NOIR, a collection of short performance pieces and the CD THE EYE OF THE FALCON (produced and with music by her son Ambrose Bye are now available from Farfalla, McMillen and Parrish. And OUTRIDER – a selection of essays, interviews and poetry, including an interview AW did with Nicaraguan poet-priest Ernesto Cardenal, has just been published by La Alameda press in New Mexico. She makes her home in New York City and Boulder, Colorado. She is also a cultural guardian of some of the history of the Beat literary movement and is active with the Audio Archive project at Naropa which has thousands of hours of readings, performances, lectures, panels by the likes of William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Diane diPrima, Joanne Kyger, Gary Snyder, Amiri Baraka and others. Anne Waldman’s comprehensive and ongoing personal Archive resides at the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She makes her home in New York City and Boulder, Colorado and travels to other poetry zones throughout the world.

Posted by Gary Parrish