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returning to the national slam as an observer, 8 years later June 30, 2007: In an earlier post, I spoke about participating in the National Poetry Slam in the early 90’s. Here I will talk about what I saw at the National Poetry Slam in August 2006 in Austin, Texas, when I returned as an observer. I was invited back to take part in a reading of old-timers and to be on a couple of panels. Because I hadn’t been in almost [...] by

berlin in the haus June 22, 2007: On the train ride from Munich to Berlin, (6 hour ride). Matthea Harvey, Ron Winkler and I (along with some help from Kevin Young and Uljana Wolf intermittenly) discuss a rough draft translation of a poem of Ron`s into English. We go through it line by line, phrase by phrase, discussing many little details, like the different implications of "fact" [...] by

München June 20, 2007: On the third day of a week-long tour through Germany with poets Kevin Young, Christian Hawkey, and Matthea Harvey. Matthea's husband (and editor of Jubilat) Rob Caspar is also with us, as well as 4 young German poets (between 27 and 36) who have translated our poems. Our typical day has been: wake up, have a huge German breakfast (deli meats, [...] by

on the ground in berlin June 18, 2007: I just arrived in Berlin. I will be blogging from Germany for the next week. I am embarking on a three-city tour with three other American poets, Matthea Harvey, Kevin Young, and Christian Hawkey. We are doing readings to support an anthology that just came out in Germany and Austria, Schwerkraft, edited by Ron Winkler. What has happened so far: [...] by

>>> June 17, 2007: This post is building off the discussion on Emily’s thread. I lived in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2003, and there was a lot happening there with Latino writers too. (LA is kind of cut off from the rest of the nation in some ways in terms of literature.) I’m thinking of Luis Alfaro (who after poetry got into playwriting and won a MacArthur [...] by

post-confessional poetry? June 17, 2007: I’m thinking about Rachel’s recent post and the intersection between experience and art. Some of the most powerful poems I know seem to be, if not drenched in, then at least tinged with experience and have that born-out-of-necessity feel. These poems, a number of which might be called “confessional”, seem to have something at stake [...] by

Washington DC poetry slam, 1993-95 June 13, 2007: A few weeks ago Patricia talked about her coming up through the slam in Chicago, how that is where she emerged wholly as a writer and performer. That a writer of her caliber could emerge from the slam community is a testimony to the possibilities of that community. The slam was not my first artist home, but it was an important early one. I was [...] by

two good reasons for copyright protection June 5, 2007: Here’s a new ad campaign by Home Depot. Scene opens on a suburban woman in khaki shorts and a summer hat, the sun hitting her muddy calves, making them sparkle as she walks through a manicured backyard: “I have done it again. One year in every ten I manage it-- A sort of walking miracle, my skin bright as a Home Depot lampshade.” Male Voice [...] by

babies, parents, and poetry May 25, 2007: My wife and I had a baby girl six months ago, and, in terms of motherhood and parenting, all I can say is wow, and more wow. I never knew how hard child rearing is; can you say tired squared? I am so overwhelmed (and inspired!) with only one; I have no idea how people do it, (like Rachel with two and one more on the way). Even though we’re in an [...] by

Language Watch May 21, 2007: I saw the headline “Illegal Migrants Dissect Details of Senate Deal” in the New York Times over the weekend, and I wondered if they had a linguistic policy change, as I didn’t remember seeing that phrase “Illegal Migrant” in a headline before, so I did searches of the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Fox News [...] by