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“of the week” post of the week
Poetry-related rock-star interview of the week: Velvet Underground legend and all-around entertainer Lou Reed jaws with New York about his long-haul Edgar Allen Poe fascination, the power of a well-thought-out poetic performance, and “asshole A&R people.”
Poetry-related rock-star rumor of the week: Los Angeles chameleon (and author of the couplet “Fourteen days I been sleeping in a barn / Better get a paycheck tattooed on my arm”) Beck may be starting his own “’60s-style private press,” according to colleague and occasional Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus.
Excerpt of the week: That would be this, from Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, which challenges romanticized notions about Antonin Artaud and the avant-garde in general. It merits an immersive read, and got us pumped for the book.
“Derivative work” of the week: We vote for Dan Warren and his elaborate, haunting Son of Strelka, Son of God, created from clips of President Obama’s infamous spoken-word performances.
Wise words of the week, editor category: Carrie Olivia Adams, poetry editor at the fascinating and unpredictable Black Ocean Press: “I want to read something new—something that asks me to reconsider how I’ve looked at the world or myself or language—but it must ask me sincerely and not just as a ploy for my attention.”
Wise words of the week, James Copeland category: “Generally if you call something a poem, it is. Maybe because not that many people would care to… A line like ‘I smoke crack because I’m Satan’ is poetical enough.”
Real talk of the week: We’ve seen a lot of readings. We’ve hosted and performed our share. And we’ve enjoyed a lot of them. (Even Lou Reed sometimes enjoys a poetry reading.) But we can’t argue with Michael H. Miller that a lot of them blow mightily, for reasons that could have been avoided.
Salvo of the week in the Poetry Society wars: “Disgruntled poets” sent a red wheelbarrow, glazed with rain water, to Society headquarters, a bid to draw attention to a recent wave of resignations. Will they never be gruntled?
PR stunt of the week: That’s an easy, easy win for Heather Christle, who, for a limited time, will do one-on-one readings, over the phone, to promote her collection The Trees, the Trees. She’s even giving out her number. We humbly doff our caps.