I also failed to mention Betsy Andrews' slick and beautiful chapbook on Sardines Press. As well as the countless, some beautiful, some horrible, chapbooks I have had the misfortune of being presses with at JOB INTERVIEWS over the years. Yup, you have to explain a gap -- and you say, well, I am also a published creative writer as well as a software development, training, and policy & procedures manager, and during that time, I was teaching / writing etc. -- and then they say I AM TOO and open their desk drawers. Some of the most strange and bad chapbooks I have are from job interviews.

I do bring my books if I am interviewing for something regarding a documentation or publishing project. But I do to mostly explain, that -- and here again I guess I'm using confusing terminology -- that even though I'm published by presses they've never heard of, like Tupelo, and Salt, and Green Integer (ok, just in an anthology, but, you know, I was not in any of the turn of the century or younger writers or not published writers antholgies because I was in LA, and this is a So Cal anthology), rather than Simon & Schuster, these are "real" books and "real" presses.

Still doesn't completely do away with the -- here -- take it -- it is the book of poetry my mom write for us kids before she died -- but it does flush out the -- here we go, about to get confusing again -- "real" writers in the corporate workplace, of which there are many (fewer here in southern california -- more drawer screenplays -- a blessing).


I read this on Gary's blog and then came here to read it. And I think that you raise and interesting and important point, which is that "innovative poetry" is, unfortunately, almost totally removed from the circle of "artist" books, artist writing, performance art centered in the visual arts and increasingly the media arts/visual arts nexus, rather than the literature/arts nexus. The examples that prove the rule are the fluxus folks, NOT "the second generation New York School" as much as "the poets who were in New York at the same time as the second generation New York School," and the NY langpos (or the langpos in their NYC phase). Kelsey Street -- a few presses like that --.

But I challenge you to try to get your work of visual poetry, your small press book, your whatever, no matter how innovaative, not into B&N (which I view as something of a lost cause) but into the DIA bookshop (I have). Try to access the presses who bring out those gorgeous gallery and museum catalogs for poetry rather than "creative criticism / poetry" to accompany the paintings, etc. (I have).

I challenge you or anyone to try to set up a reading series in a museum that regularly features art which has a great deal to do with text, textuality, writing, performance, installation / environment / architecture and "literature" and get the CURATORS, not the pr or education department folks, to realize that there is a whole world of similar art that they don't know anything about, and also represent that in their programming, education, and shows. I have!


Anonymous said…

Just a note of AGREEMENT (!) that you are absolutedly right about Betsy Andrews's SHE-DEVIL out on Sardines Press. It's a gorgeous book and a great read. All those Sardines books are beautiful. Props to the Snells in San Francisco!

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