2.04.2004

The Questions Prepared for the Phone Interview Continued

Where on the poetry spectrum are you? / What is your position in the argument between experimentation and form?

My friend & sometimes mentor Janet Holmes (blogging at http://www.humanophone.com/) mentioned to me this is a "how much do you know about poetry" question.

At the extremes -- new form and neoformalism -- there is some convergence or at least attempt at convergence. Examples of this would be Jena Osman's use of the periodic table of elements, Lee Ann Brown's syllable counting, Ron Silliman's use of the fibonacci sequence (or even Inger Christensen's), Silliman's outreach, attendance at the newformalist West Chester conference, Annie Finch's outreach, particularly with John Kinsella.... I'm at neither extreme.

I review a great deal and across the spectrum, all varieties of poetry written in English, with special attention to art poetry and poetry written by women. Recent reviews have been on Rachel Blau Du Plessis, two LSU Press poets who did projects with a basis in found text (Enid Schomer and Nicole Cooley), the langpos, Stephanie Strickland, Cole Swensen, and Pattie McCarthy. I also write on modernist female poets.

As for my own work, I write as about five poets. One poet is formally minimalist, third generation New York School, using the first person, somewhat like Jordan Davis, Lee Ann Brown, Lisa Jarnot. Another belongs in Stephen Burt's sloppy "elliptical" bucket along with Jeanne Beaumont, Peter Gizzi, Cole Swensen. The book just published is my most experimental, and the closest to new media writing, art poetry, performance art, etc. of all my modes of writing. I have almost two or three mss. in a neo-Objectivist style which are circulating. Think Rachel Loden. I have a forthcoming book and some follow-on mss. which are a sort of neo-surrealism which has a certain relationship to a ghost of meter.

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