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Assistant Professor, William Paterson University of New Jersey, United States

Friday, April 30, 2010

So and So Magazine To Publish Poetry Reviews

NEW FEATURE: So and So Magazine!

So and So Magazine is seeking review copies of new books and chapbooks of poems for macro/micro reviews on the site. While we can't guarantee all books will be reviewed, we hope to get to the ones that strike us and promote the new and noteworthy.

Send all review copies to:

So and So Magazine
Eds. Chris Salerno and Chris Tonelli
Box 8105 Tompkins Hall
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival (This Weekend!)

This Sunday, April 18th, I'll be hosting a Poetry Workshop at the 2nd Annual Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival. I'm really looking forward to it. The festival and workshop are both free and will take place at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center, Cary NC. Poetry Workshop: 1-3 PM. Talks and Readings: 3-6 PM.

From the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival website:

During the Festival, you are invited to participate in an afternoon Poetry Workshop (free) hosted by Christopher Salerno. Festival Workshop members will work with a general prompt to sketch out a draft of a single poem using a basic set of poetic techniques that we will discuss and develop during the session. Participants will be encouraged to read and share aloud their efforts.

The meeting will be an opportunity for participants to discuss their work in a casual atmosphere. Following the workshop, a follow-up meeting will be held for those interested in polishing their work further in a more concentrated workshop setting. Selected poems from the workshop will be published on the festival website.

All festival attendees (16 and up) are encouraged to attend the workshop, as there is no requirement or expectation of “skill” level whatsoever. We’ll meet in the spirit of Nazim, who celebrated life at all turns with a lyric grace and an utterly human poetic voice.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

AWP Post Mortem

Left Denver less than inspired by the panels and more than inspired by the people (one exception: The Networked Poetry Classroom (Chris Hosea, Eric Baus, Dorothea Lasky, Mathias Svalina, Michelle Taransky). Much useful and applicable tips on using computers and digital media in the creative writing classroom.


My generation of poets and small press innovators continue to wow me with their generosity, independence, brilliance. What an amazing "class." If you happen upon this blog and haven't heard of the following small presses, I definitely recommend: the new Birds, LLC, Brave Men Press, Forklift Ohio, Flying Guillotine, Slash Pine, Black Ocean, Octopus, Letter Machine Editions, Immaculate Disciples, Coconut, Cannibal, No Tell Motel, DoubleCrossed Press, Harp & Altar, Factory Hollow, Horse Less Press, Sixth Finch, Sir, Ahsahta, Rope-a-Dope press, and the list goes on. Solid citizens, these people. I was glad to meet those I hadn't yet. And to see their books, many of which are handmade, hand-bound--some even sewing books right there at their tables. Awesomeness of the highest degree.

And, of course, on a personal note, my Mississippi Review Poetry Series editors and advisory board folks were the sweetest people and best promotors I could ask for. So nice to finally meet them.


Admittedly, I only attended 5 or 6 panels. But, why do so many panels promise in their descriptions to assert some NEW way or approach to a stagnancy only to spend the entire time just pointing to that stagnancy? Enough punting already.

I'm as career-conscious as the next guy, but let's actually break new ground.

If we're lucky enough to get our Art of the Blurb panel accepted for next year's DC AWP, you better believe that we will move the discussion forward.

Anyway, the theme from the half-dozen panels I attended, coupled with several of those whose descriptions I glossed in the catalogue, seemed to add up to one overarching message:

We're now in a time of fragmentation, hyperactivity, and, well, suck. A dearth of good work (both primary and critical) coupled with a wealth of new. That there has been (another) "wrong turning," or general degradation of something worth preserving seemed to be the backdrop of many a panel. And, as usual, folks are suspect of the new modes and sensibilities. I understand some of this...

However, one look at the poems, titles, editions of many of the entities I've named above and I think it's fair to say the opposite is probably true of new poetry. I brought home a dozen new titles from many of the above presses, and I'll be digging in directly.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Heading to Denver for the AWP Conference.

Excited about the Denver AWP trip. Going to do a reading (Historic Falcon--see previous post for my upcoming readings) with some buds and solid poets, and then a book signing Friday at the Mississippi Review table (from 1:30-2:45). That should be an interesting experience.

Anyway, I just finished submitting a panel proposal for next year's AWP conference in D.C.

The title? "The Art of the Blurb."

That's right. It's time The Blurb got some rhetorical attention. It's a full fledged genre. The panel, should it "make," will consist of myself, John Gallaher, Chris Tonelli, Mary Biddinger, and Janet Holmes. Our goal is to cover all bases and perspectives (publisher, reader, author, blurber, etc).