Monday, December 8, 2014

Document Poetics

As I am working on my latest project using document poetics, I realize my own documentation of the process is very private. I'm carrying now my fourth draft, finding ways to approach the material, but my influences--those inspiring me to move forward--are missing.

So here they are:

  • Things Come On: An Amnoir by Joe Harrington [the most inspirational book for me]
  • A Handmade Museum by Brenda Coultas: for those memoir pieces that need more poetics
  • greensward and ours by Cole Swensen: for image as artwork with word-economy, and writing out of document
  • The Complete Dark Shadows by Tony Trigilio: documenting my experience with going back to photos, research, and the combination [he really fuses these things in wonderful ways]
  • Don't Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen (American Lyrics) by Claudia Rankine: another use of photo and news--to show the connections between private and public stories
  • Green-Wood by Alison Cobb: poetic non-fiction, document poetics, genius, thorough

I really do have to give a shout-out to Joe. He was the first to ever give me a list of books to consult for my project. Even though I didn't end up using document poetics for my project as much as the list he gave me did, this list-making is something I continue to do.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Yay, BLP!


Denial continues:

Sexual Assualt and Trouble Writing

I am having a difficult time determining how to create a Conceptual Poetry piece speaking out against sexual assault. I was going to use a text by a semi-famous someone whose books, in the guise of fiction, are actually details of their crime. However, large parts of the book were written by the survivor, too, which means I ethically can't do an omission of that text. It one thing to do what Reddy did with Voyager, but when the survivor is a part of that text, I can't. I thought about using the "open letters" as a way to create an omission work. Really, my words and work are pale in comparison to the survivors who are SPEAKING OUT with their AMAZING vulnerability. I just want to write a book that says YOU ARE AWESOME!, and WE SUPPORT YOU! to them.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I realize the project around fighting sexual assault will be on the backburner. I just can't find the way to enter that project and feel non-exploitive.

Instead, I am beginning a collaboration with another poet around Agent Orange. Also, a baseball project is in full swing. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Greetings from Naropa

For the first conference, this is such an amazing experience. First, it is free. It is very generous for Naropa to offer this, including the food for the reception yesterday.

The panels are compelling, on the level of the best AWP panels I have attended, which is why this alt-AWP conference is a must. The overwhelming nature of AWP isn't here. People are friendly, passionate about their work, and there is a willingness to share about process and one's self.

The small, peaceful campus is a bonus, Also, I am blown away by the students and their presence to help with the conference.

I've met several poets I have been wanting to meet, plus CA Conrad is a delight to finally talk to in person.

I loved serving on the panel about mothers. The turnout was amazing, with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

I have been tweeting different things I have caught at panels, Find my tweets @poemslyrical.

Monday, October 6, 2014

NaNoWriMo changes

I had my sci-fi dystopian YA novel all planned, some of the story's twists mapped out, the three acts of it, and things looked great. It was a way to write something outside of my comfort zone.

Based on a number of facebook posts, I also wanted to compile a list of small-press books of poetry which use domestic violence and sexual assault as their subject.

I did not know those posts I was reading were in response to the news that broke out around AssauLT-LIT, my catchphrase.


I want to respond with a piece of writing, but that is difficult. I don't want to conjure up new triggers for survivors, I don't want to exploit the story in the name of social awareness lit, but I don't want to say silence is an answer.

Reading different pages made me sick. I simply started doing searches on amazon. There it is: the allegation and guilt in print while making fun of rape.

The page I looked at, page 33, was removed from amazon's search inside feature.
I think of my life, how I want to protect those around me, how there is unspoken ugliness in the attitudes of people, and writing is where I turn to face these internal turmoils.