20200330

Space for Waste Ink


Philip Kienholz



  


a      doan do it      a
to      allatime doan do it     to
to      jus doan ever allatime do it      to
ace      allatime doan ever jus do it      ace
two      jus do it allatime but doan do it      two
ace      allatime doan ever jus do it      ace
to      jus doan ever allatime do it     to
to      allatime doan do it      to
a      doan do it      a







Philip Kienholz is a Buddhist lay monk, permaculture gardener, and architect retired from licensed practice in Manitoba and Northwest Territories. He has published a book, Display: Poems, and two chapbooks: The Third Rib Knife, and Born to Rant Coerced to Smile. Recent poetry is at Write Launch, Genre: Urban Arts, Unpsychology Magazine, Halcyone Literary Review, Burningword Literary Journal, and Whirlwind.

20200323

MY LIFE AS A CAR


Karen Douglass





My car is beige, the color of dirt. I didn’t always drive beige, a sedan at that. Once upon a time I was wild and drove a plum-colored Camaro. It almost killed me skidding on black ice. Camaros of any color can slew on black ice. I have a faint scar under my bottom lip where I met the steering wheel when that plum of a car hit the light pole, a car meant to make me invincible—fast, powerful, under my control. I hated the ice and the pole, but not that car with its white leather seats—okay, maybe they were vinyl. My beige car has beige cloth seats. I never meant to be a beige-sedan person, but here I am, scarred, bitter. I went from the Camaro to a blue Mustang, a step toward sanity, which is also beige and dirt colored.







Karen Douglass, MA, MFA A displaced New Englander now living in Colorado, she has been a grad student, college instructor, parent (still is), poet, novelist, horse trainer, race-track judge, and psychiatric nurse. She has published five books of poetry, three novels, and a memoir. Her blog and full publication list is at KVDbooks.com.

20200319

An interview with Dani Spinosa

Dani Spinosa is a Canadian scholar and poet. Her work investigates the role of authorship and anarchist politics in digital and print-based experimental poetry. She is the author of one scholarly manuscript, nine peer-reviewed academic articles, four poetry chapbooks, and over a dozen literary publications. She is the managing editor of the Electronic Literature Directory, an adjunct professor of English at York University and Sheridan College, and a founding co-editor of the feminist experimental micropress Gap Riot.

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

I started writing at the behest of a wonderful high school English teaching named Glenn Hayes. He encouraged us to write and to start our own literary magazine for our high school (it was called The Painted Door and it was lovely). And then I just kept reading, and that reading led to more writing. I keep writing for all sorts of reasons. I like the weird marketplace of poems that writing communities produce. I like the community of people I've encountered, and the lovely people I keep meeting. I like the joy of collaboration and the strength that comes with sharing ideas. And, above all, I like making and looking at pictures with words, taking those words out of their everyday use value and making them strange and weird and beautiful and complicated.

Have you noticed a difference in the ways in which you approach the individual poem, now that you’ve published a couple of chapbooks?

OH HECK YES. I used to write because something triggered in me, or because I wanted to record a feeling. Now I find that I primarily write to share and have others build off my work. I am especially interested in building off the work of others. Also, I am thinking more and more about how each poem will look published as opposed to how it looks on my own screen. That usually just means the poems aren't the full width of a word document. But, it also means I'm mindful of things like colour (which I'm working with a lot these days) and how poems work together as opposed to being their own stand-alone pieces.

How has the process of putting together a manuscript evolved? How do you decide on the shape and size of a manuscript?

I'm thinking of whole suites. Much of that thinking has come out of judging the Gwendolyn MacEwen poetry prize for Exile, which is a prize for a suite of poems. So, I'm thinking about visual poems that work together in addition to being separate little nodes. So, the mythology poems I've been working on lately are designed for a three-part suite: three collections of twelve poems each, all designed to one day work together like a calendar, recalling the pornographic print magazines that gave me the inspiration for the project in the first place. My first full-length collection, OO: Typewriter Poems, which will be out April 1st with Invisible Publishing, was also conceived as a larger project: four subsections of ten visual poems each to recall the glosa form that inspired the poems, with a fifth section of ten poems that are not glosas to show the additions I'm trying to make to the form. I like working with a predetermined form or number of poems because I think I produce interesting work when under some kind of constraint, but not too much. I also like to make rules for myself and then see when and where I end up breaking those rules.

Given you work in text and visual mediums, how do the two sides of your writing interact? How did you begin with visual poems at all?

Given that the writing of these mythology poems has several distinct levels, it's easier for me to talk about the process here than with my other visual work which is often a "let's see what happens if I do this" situation. With these mythology poems, I start with the name of the woman in Greek mythology. I select these women based on how trapped, limited, punished, or cornered they are in their stories. Cassandra and Danae are both trapped in their own, different ways. Then I write the text. For Danae's poem, I thought about the times I've taught Danae's story (always as the preamble to the monomythic story of Perseus) and how my students typically respond, and I tried to give voice to the twice-trapped Danae in that way. For Cassandra, the writing process was completely different. I instead went to Cassandra's lines in Aeschylus's Agamemnon; in this setting, Cassandra is a prisoner of war, a trophy, an object, and she's still of course trapped by the curse of Apollo that makes her prophecies destined to be ignored. I looked for Cassandra in her most vulnerable moments in the Oresteia and found her calling out to her first "captor," Apollo. So, I recorded how many times and on which line Cassandra calls out desperately to Apollo (who never answers), and I also added the exclamation points that were included in the translation I was using.

Once these poems are written, I type them up on my typewriter. In the case of both Cassandra and Danae, I was working with my cute little portable Olympia, but I have others that I use depending on the poem. Once they're typed and lineated to my liking, I scan in the images and digitally alter them, usually overlaying the poems several times until the image feels right. The last step is to select the pornographic image that will get "hidden" in the text itself. Each image is a photo of a nude woman scanned in from the March 1990 issue of Playboy Magazine with Donald Trump on the cover. I typically select the woman based on how she looks and if I can imagine her in the mythological woman's place. In the case of Danae, I was also looking for a photograph that would recall the gold of the shower that Zeus rains down on her to rape her in her tower. I assemble these disparate pieces and, voila, it's something like a poem.

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

Oh gosh, all of them. This project was sparked by Canisia Lubrin's use of Prometheus in Voodoo Hypothesis, but I was also thinking of these writers, and others: Erin Moure and her transelations, Anne Carson and Robert Duncan and their very different takes on mythology, Clara Daneri and her translation of texts onto digital women's bodies, Chris Warren and his typewriter poetics, Gary Barwin and his visual and revisionist sense of humour, NourbeSe Philip and the political power of her sprawling poetics, and, always always the incomparable Kate Siklosi and her work (and our work together) on women's bodies and voices and how to write on and about them in a world of derivation that still--oh, still, and will it always?--tends to be patrilineal.

You are co-editor/publisher of Gap Riot Press. Why do you feel this work is important, and what have you learned through the process?

Think about how that poem will look published. That's the biggest thing that Gap Riot has taught me about writing. The movement from a word processing document to a typeset page a tricky, complicated one. But, you should be thinking about that if your goal is to share those poems with readers. So often Gap Riot receives great submissions for work that are thinking about form only in the writing document, and then the movement of that work into a printed document gets difficult, and sometimes something gets lost in that process. So, I'm always worried about that on some level.

And then also, being on the back end of publishing has taught me a bit about how much you have to let a poem go when it's published. You have to give it to your readers. And if you're really lucky, they'll do things with your work that you hadn't thought of or planned. And that's the power of all of this, I think. That's the dream.

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

Key. Key, absolutely. I have many poetry mamas (tho most often dudes, go figure) all in my head at all times. Glenn Hayes urging me to pay attention. Richard Teleky urging me to make it beautiful, whatever the cost. Gary Barwin telling me to make it more exciting, more fun, more free. derek beaulieu telling me to give that shit away. Andy Weaver telling me to steal other people's shit, but in a nice way. And the beautiful, somewhere voice of Priscila Uppal telling me to give 'em hell, have faith in my voice, and then to pay whatever gifts I get from this world forward. Where would I be without these voices?

What are you currently working on?

These myth poems mostly. Some glitch poems which will hopefully find a home somewhere soon. And then, trying not to kill a sourdough starter.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

Clara Daneri. Not only is she this gloriously fun, fierce femme, but she's doing some really innovated digital work and some gorgeous analogue work. Like, one day she'll be translating Byron onto this digital mannequin-esque image of a woman, and the next she's carving letters out of potatoes to make stamps. She's so intensely cool and everyone should check her out.


20200316

The Ventriloquist Dreams Blank Verse


Rikki Santer


            British ventriloquist Walter Lambert (1869-1949)
            performed as a female impersonator under
            the stage name of Lydia Dreams.
          


This vaudevillian dreams of wisecracker
nutcracker mouths, Fanta/sea hair frosted
orangutan true to pivot & pitch
the mimicry of Lucky Nutty Jones
drag ain’t new nursing dummy accident
victim in drop jaw one act sketch, the jokes
bandaged & blue dig a pony sir john
lennon the manifold powers of voice
indicating, penetrating, all we
want to do is syndicate any gurney
we row and the voice jugglers that reign
today, with talking hands that launch the ghosts
bel canto sired by larynx, palate, tongue
rotate a stump like Linda Blair & twirl
the alphabet of vents—the AEROflane
flew aVOVE the clouds anid the hard rain.




Rikki Santer: My work has appeared in various publications including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Margie, Hotel Amerika, The American Journal of Poetry, Slab, Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, Grimm, Slipstream, Midwest Review and The Main Street Rag. My seventh poetry collection, In Pearl Broth, was published this past spring by Stubborn Mule Press.


20200309

an angel is a softer kind of light



émilie kneifel









artist statement: this poem was written on the spot at a fundraising event for the Vallum Society for Education in Arts & Letters.

poem transcription:
[image description: the poem is typewritten on lunch bag-brown paper. under the poem, emilie has typed "emilie kneifel," handwritten "2019," the year the poem was written, and has drawn a speckled clementine, soft in a ring: its shadow, or maybe a halo resting on the ground.]

an angel is a softer kind of light 

an angel is a softer kind of light 
my bus driver says à demain
i give him a clementine wrapped
in its own skin i never see him again 
but you know how they used to say 
if you swallow gum it will stay 
i will never see him againbut 
i still feel his voice in my stomach


émilie kneifel is a sick fish, goo fish, they fish, blue fish. find 'em at emiliekneifel.com, @emiliekneifel, and in Tiohtiáke, hopping and hoping

20200305

An interview with Derek Beaulieu

Derek Beaulieu is the author/editor of over twenty collections of poetry, prose, and criticism, including two volumes of his selected work, Please, No More Poetry (2013) and Konzeptuelle Arbeiten (2017). His most recent volume of fiction, a, A Novel was published by Paris’s Jean Boîte Editions. Beaulieu has exhibited his visual work across Canada, the United States, and Europe and has won multiple local and national awards for his teaching and dedication to students. Derek Beaulieu holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Roehampton University and is the Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

He can be found online at www.derekbeaulieu.wordpress.com

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

Writing starts with a metaphorical itch in my hands; a desire to make something, to push ingredients around, to explore -- and that itch is fueled by reading and by conversation. Reading voraciously and talking to writers makes me want to write -- and a good book will always reward me by pushing me to respond. 

How has the process of putting together a manuscript evolved? How do you decide on the shape and size of a manuscript?

The key, to me, is process; its a habit of making a thing. Sometimes process means a more conceptual project (like my books flatland: a romance of many dimensions and a, A Novel) where the parameters of the project are set out in advance (i.e.: a page-by-page response to someone else's work, the structural thinking is done in advance and then merely followed-through upon), or when its a slightly more traditional poetic project (say, like, my books Aperture or Kern), i look for a dialogue between the poems included, a structural or thematic which binds the work together ... or sometimes it may be time-based (i.e.: all the work i made within a date range) or aesthetically (i..e: all the work i created with a certain material or with a certain mindset).

That openness has grown over the decades i've been writing. I was educated at the University of Calgary where, at that time, the emphasis was on the long-poem, the manuscript length exploration of a thematic concern (most often place or community) within a single long poem. That thinking still impacts me but i also look to see what the work itself requires.

Given you work in text and visual mediums, how do the two sides of your writing interact? How did you begin with visual poems at all?

Visual poems, concrete poems, may look different than a traditional verse-based poem, but, in fact, there are more similarities than differences. I think the impetus to create in the poet is the same - the desire to create and communicate, and the process of beginning is also the same - letter by letter, seeking balance, beauty, surprise and the edges of one's own practice - what can i do with my tools than i haven't done before, how ca i surprise myself? And just like visual art, poetry looks to the same qualities, the same markers of success - the difference to me is simply: is it hanging on a wall? is it perched in a book?

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

There are so many poets, fiction writers and visual arts who have impacted my thinking but the one above the others has to be Canadian poet bpNichol (1944-1988). While i never had a chance to meet Nichol, the evidence of his multi-valent thinking is all over his practice: poetry, novels, children's books, computer poems, small press publishing, mentor-ship, operas ...always rturning to the play of letters themselves. 

You are co-editor/publisher of No Press. Why do you feel this work is important, and what have you learned through the process?

Small press publishing is a pleasure and a privilege; it has taught me so much about the physicality of language, the editing process, how to think of a page, what writers and readers are looking for .. i think that authors owe to their community to build spaces for others; to always think of how to distribute the news of the writers they enjoy. No press - and housepress before it - is dedicated to publishing work i find interesting, and then circulating that work world-wide in an effort to build conversation and the spread the news. Once again bpNichol's grOnk and Ganglia are huge inspirations, but so are damian lopes' fingerprinting inkoperated (now defunct), Stuart Ross' Proper Tales press, rob mclennan's above/ground press - each of these writers see the small press as a place for building community through objects, making more space than they occupy.

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

Absolutely vital. All of us, whether we know it or not, are mentoring - we are setting an example -- and people are learning from the way that we interact, the models we create. I have been very lucky to have years of conversations via email with authors across the country who have been eager to chat, trade work, critique and become friends. As an undergraduate and graduate student absolutely my important teacher was Fred Wah who encouraged talking to poets, reading deeply, small press and self-publishing and creating spaces; if there was a space that you wished you saw in your community, it was your responsibility to build it, and to share that space with like-minded colleagues. The University of Calgary during his tenure there was thriving with little magazines, presses, reading series, backyard conversations, visiting authors - it was a hotbed of community. It was the loam from which a big garden grew.

What are you currently working on?

My work at Banff Centre as Director of Literary Arts takes up much of my brain-space these days, but i am working on a collaborative manuscript with Rhys Farrell which replies to my 2019 volume Aperture; it will be a day-glo, full-colour suite of visual collaborations. I also have a few smaller projects - a suite of visual poems, a series of translations of Erik Satie's Vexations which continue to keep me active ...

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

A few poets who i think  are doing great things, and i'm always excited to see new work by, are Nasser Hussain, Helen Hajnoczky, Kate Siklosi and Dani Spinosa ... each are making work which challenges form and content, are community minded, are editing, mentoring, teaching ... and are just all-around cool people.

 

20200302

Danae

Dani Spinosa















Dani Spinosa is a Canadian scholar and poet. Her work investigates the role of authorship and anarchist politics in digital and print-based experimental poetry. She is the author of one scholarly manuscript, nine peer-reviewed academic articles, four poetry chapbooks, and over a dozen literary publications. She is the managing editor of the Electronic Literature Directory, an adjunct professor of English at York University and Sheridan College, and a founding co-editor of the feminist experimental micropress Gap Riot.


20200224

Après Scrawl


Billy Mavreas















Billy Mavreas lives in Montréal, Quebec where he creates comics, collage, drawings and visual poetry. He operates a studio and archive of found paper ephemera out of his gallery space Monastiraki in the Mile-End neighbourhood. He has published, exhibited and collaborated widely.

20200220

An interview with katie o'brien


katie o’brien is a poet, community worker, queer activist, and Netflix enthusiast originally from St. John’s, Ktaqamkuk, on unceded Beothuk land. a peal of thunder, a moment of (The Blasted Tree, 2019) is their third chapbook. katie dislikes lying, sings a lot, and doesn’t kill bugs.

How did you begin writing, and what keeps you going?

I'm not sure when I began considering myself a writer, to be honest. my mum still has this godawful chapbook that I wrote in eighth grade for a class project, so maybe that was the beginning? or was it the angst-ridden writing I did in my teens, trying to make sense of a heady combination of nascent queerness and raw grief? or maybe it was when I had an early-twenties crisis in university and decided to rescue our undergrad lit mag from financial collapse, despite never having taken a writing class in post-secondary and feeling like a complete fraud? who can say. poetry is one way that I can make sense of the world, and that's what keeps me going at it – that, and the phenomenal community of writers I'm lucky to know.

Have you noticed a difference in the ways in which you approach the individual poem, now that you’ve published a handful of chapbooks?

I think I tend to have more of a focus on longer-form projects now, like suites, collections, and chapbooks. it's so satisfying to me to have more flexibility in how I express a story or feeling, especially given that my poems are usually short-form.

How has the process of putting together a manuscript evolved? How do you decide on the shape and size of a manuscript?

the chapbook that I self-published in 2015, my first published chapbook, was an attempt to piece together poems that I had written over a number of years into a cohesive narrative about my eating disorder and experiences of anxiety and depression. looking back at it now, I'm not sure it hit the mark, exactly. I'm proud of it, definitely, but my other chapbooks feel much more put-together. I think that's because I started them with the intention that they'd be collections, where with my first book, I kind of cobbled it all together. I'm still figuring out how to decide when a manuscript is complete – working with great editors like Kyle Flemmer and Lisa Murphy-Lamb has really helped.

What poets have influenced the ways in which you write?

as basic as it is, I'd say e.e. cummings’ playful use of punctuation piqued my interest in poetry, and for a long time I aspired to write exactly like him. I am continually inspired by friends like Amy LeBlanc, Kyle Flemmer, Leslie Ahenda, jaye simpson, Ren Pike, and so many more. derek beaulieu’s work has also been really influential in developing my concrete poetry practice.

How important has mentorship been to your work? Is there anyone who specifically assisted your development as a writer?

I've never met him offline, but rob mclennan is a phenomenal support to me. it seems that whenever I'm feeling unsure about my work, an email from him pops into my inbox suggesting a submission opportunity or soliciting poetry of mine, which is just so, so lovely and kind. he's a real force in the community.

What are you currently working on?

I launched an experimental poetry tarot called blood orange in late 2019, and it's been my main focus for the last month or so! the idea is to publish a poem for each of the cards of the tarot, both upright and reversed. so, I’m corresponding with lots of poets and artists, tinkering with website code, and figuring out how to make the whole thing financially sustainable (if you’re stoked about the project, you can find and support us on Patreon!). I’m also working on a (potentially) full-length concrete poetry collection based on Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 score.

Can you name a poet you think should be receiving more attention?

I am completely in love with Petero Kalulé's debut collection, Kalimba. his work is so musical, it's playful and challenging, and I just want everyone to read it!

20200217

Ballast Flint, Oxner’s Beach


Michael Goodfellow





It held ships down,
against the kelpy sand

its worn in shape
now more

like water
than like earth,

clear water thickened
to dark chert

or current
capped with foam.

It washes up,
they knew

it would.
A twisted

knot of wood,
a dullish

lump of coal
—nothing outweighs

the deep,
charry below.

Ships passed, fur packed
into the hold.





Michael Goodfellow’s poetry has most recently been published by Measure, Verse Daily, the League of Canadian Poets and The Nashwaak Review. He is a reader at Smartish Pace and editor of The LaHave Review (lahavereview.com). He lives in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, where he grew up.

20200210

Cassandra

Dani Spinosa
















Dani Spinosa is a Canadian scholar and poet. Her work investigates the role of authorship and anarchist politics in digital and print-based experimental poetry. She is the author of one scholarly manuscript, nine peer-reviewed academic articles, four poetry chapbooks, and over a dozen literary publications. She is the managing editor of the Electronic Literature Directory, an adjunct professor of English at York University and Sheridan College, and a founding co-editor of the feminist experimental micropress Gap Riot.