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“of the week” post of the week

By Harriet Staff

Annual award-winners of the week: Check out the new crop of NYFA Fellowships, $7K grants to poets practicing in New York State. Winners, all.

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.

Prankster of the week: The award goes to our new hero, Miami’s Agustina Woodgate, who sews snippets of poetry into second-hand clothing on the sly. It’s a movement!

“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.”

Tearjerker of the week: How could it not be Michael Bourne’s fearless tribute to Walt Whitman?

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.

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, July 8th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.