Poetry News

CAConrad Interviews the Troll Thread Collective

By Harriet Staff

The Troll Thread Collective is made up of poets Holly Melgard, Chris Sylvester, Joey Yearous-Algozin, and Divya Victor. They have fine affinities (Melgard and Yearous-Algozin also co-edit P-Queue) and use them to create chapbooks available for PDF download or purchase! Now that's fair. Authors they've published include Josef Kaplan, Lawrence Giffin, Isaac Linder, Jeremiah Rush Bowen, Shiv Koteca, and individual collective members themselves (we're particularly fond of the marvelous Shapes for Baby, Foods for Baby, and Colors for Baby, written and illustrated by Melgard).

Our friend CAConrad recently convened with these smarties in a nine-part interview! You must stay tuned to 8-Pointed Star for all parts. As of this writing, there are five parts up. We like watching them raise and lower their brown coffee cups. Conrad says to the Troll Thread in Part 1:

I feel like conceptual poetry, which is--I know you have different feelings about that, which you can talk about yourselves, but, I feel like that's definitely going on right now in our culture of poetry, and I do believe that there are some conceptual poets who do lend to the idea that it's sort of a bourgeois, apathetic exercise and that--personally, I'm an American who pays taxes here, and that Afghanistan is the most dangerous country in the world for women...and we need to be political on some level, but that's different for everybody, and I want you all to talk about the things that I've just said.

And then there's a mock proposal for a moment of silence for the death of conceptual poetry. And a reminder from Sylvester that terms and labels like "Conceptual Poetry," which group together individuals into "one kind of thing" are often "typically the product of people trying to discern what remains unnaccountable for them, or undiscernable for them" and that each poet working will have varying levels of engagement in what they're doing and various levels of intersection with the political. Awesome. Watch and learn!

Originally Published: May 18th, 2012