This Is the Week That Is
"Frustrated by his formal education, Toscano skipped college altogether, moving to San Francisco in the early 1990s. There, poetry and activism became intimately intertwined in his adult life. Toscano’s self-made syllabus sampled a wide range of poets—Leslie Scalapino, Fanny Howe, Bob Perelman, Lyn Hejinian, and Charles Bernstein—as well as political thinkers such as Karl Marx, Louis Althusser, and Herbert Marcuse. In the mid-1990s, he helped organize the Labor Party in San Francisco and published his first collection, Arbiter (Parenthesis, 1995)."
Read the whole fascinating story of this labor activist, poet, and playwright here.
Welcome: We're pleased to announce that Barbara Jane Reyes, author of Poeta en San Francisco and Gravities of Center, has joined us at Harriet. Welcome to the conversation, Barbara!
Topping the Charts: The number 1 book on the contemporary best seller list this week is Slamming Open the Door, Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno's harrowing series of poems about her daughter's murder. Bonanno's book edges out W.S. Merwin's Shadow of Sirius and Mary Oliver's Evidence for the top spot.
UPDATE: While "How Forrest Gander is like Megadeth" is pretty good, the headline of the week (so far) goes to "Shocker: Robin Williams’s poetry teacher character is unlikable, 'needs to grow up' says director." That one really does have it all, doesn't it? Even better? The director is Bobcat Goldthwait.
Read each and every bit of news fit to print over at the news page (Thanks, as always, to Cate and Abby for stellar puns and cub reporter skill-sets).
Travis Nichols is the author of two books of poetry: Iowa (2010, Letter Machine Editions) and See Me Improving (2010); and he is the author of two novels: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder (2012) and The More You Ignore Me (2013). He has contributed to The Believer, Paste, The...