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Erlichman, Shira 2017

Friday, Februdary 10, 2017
with Angel Nafis
Women & Children First Bookstore

Who unlocks
the door to let you in, like a wet cat How did you lift the heaviest
season from my eyelids, sweeping away a whole cloud How do you
pollinate my blood so exactly with sanity

– Shira Erlichman, “Ode to Lithium #1: The Watchman”

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Read this interview with Shira Erlichman from Nomadic Press:

Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Shira Erlichman

Born in Israel and based in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is a nationally acclaimed poet, singer-songwriter, and visual artist. Passionate and prolific, Erlichman is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has shared stages with TuNe-YaRdS, Mirah, Coco Rosie, and Andrea Gibson. She h

Someone’s unprofessional opinion
was to “relax” over matter. To sandcastle over
wave. They aimed to clean up a murder scene
from behind a plate of glass. It was my murder.

– Shira Erlichman, “Ode to Lithium #75: Mind over Matter”

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Watch Shira Erlichman read “Excuse Me, I Lost My Compass, Can I Borrow Yours” at WordXWord Poetry Festival:

Shira Erlichman – Excuse Me, I Lost My Compass, Can I Borrow Yours

Shira Erlichman performs her poem “Excuse Me, I Lost My Compass, Can I Borrow Yours” February 16, 2013 at Y Bar, Pittsfield, MA as part of the WordXWord 10×10 Poetry Festival.

More info on Shira Erlichman⇒

Espada, Martin 1994

Wednesday, November 9, 1994

martin-espada

In the republic of poetry,
a train full of poets
rolls south in the rain
as plum trees rock
and horses kick the air,
and village bands
parade down the aisle
with trumpets, with bowler hats,
followed by the president
of the republic,
shaking every hand.

– Martin Espada, “The Republic of Poetry”

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Read this interview with Martin Espada from Poetry Daily:

Poetry Daily Prose Feature: An Interview with Martin Espada

(South End, 1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program outlawed by the state of Arizona. Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. This interview took place on March 23, 2014, in Martín Espada’s study at his home in Amherst, Massachusetts, a month after his father, Frank Espada, the eminent photographer and community activist, died of heart disease in San Francisco.

Forty years ago, I bled in this hallway.
Half-light dimmed the brick
like the angel of public housing.
That night I called and listened at every door:
in 1966, there was a war on television.

– Martin Espada, “Return”

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Watch Martin Espada discuss poetry and activism:

Martín Espada discusses poetry and activism

In this edition of HoCoPoLitSo’s The Writing Life, poet and activist Naomi Ayala interviews poet, translator, essayist and activist Martín Espada. The deaths of five good friends sparked Espada’s newest book, The Trouble Ball. “I had to find a way to grapple with the deaths of these dear people, but I didn’t want these to be the normal elegies,” Espada explains.

More info on Martin Espada⇒

Ellis, Thomas Sayers 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

thomas-sayers-ellis

Why the young Brothers so big, what they eatin’,
why they blow up like that, gotta wear big white tees, gotta wear white-
skin sheets, like maggots, like lard, the domestic oil of death and klan
sweat, who blew them up doctored, who pickin’ them off like dark
cotton, make them themselves a fashion of profitable, soft
muscular bales, somebody got to clean this shit up.

– Thomas Sayers Ellis, Vernacular Owl

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Watch Thomas Sayers Ellis read some of his work:

You’ll need a talk, an oral walk,
Something natural and recognizable by your folk,
Something of music something of meaning,
A style capable of running-off at-the-mouth,
When Massa AmEuroBrit Lit irks you most,
A little something-something of ancestry
And the courage not to accept any award

– Thomas Sayers Ellis, “Ways to be Black in a Poem”

Broadside of Thomas Sayer Ellis' poem, "Ways to be Black in a Poem."

Broadside of Thomas Sayers Ellis’ poem, “Ways to be Black in a Poem.”

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Read this interview with Thomas Sayers Ellis:

Identity Repair Poet: PW Talks with Thomas Sayers Ellis

In his second collection, Skin Inc: Identity Repair Poems , Ellis takes a complex, searing look at the state of black identity in America. Can you talk a bit about your notion of an “identity repair poem”? The “publishable” American poem seems to have skipped over a certain amount of honesty, boldness, and activism in the name of “craft.”

More info on Thomas Sayers Ellis⇒

Eshleman, Clayton 1983

Friday, March 18, 1983
Homage to Cesar Vallejo
The School of the Art Institute

Watching it get dark
the dog’s barking interrupted
we go to our death

– Clayton Eshleman, “February 25”

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Vintage poster of Clayton Eshleman's reading, Homage to Cesar Vallejo, at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Vintage poster of Clayton Eshleman’s reading, Homage to Cesar Vallejo, at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Patters, paters, Apollo globes, sound
breaking up with silence, coals
I can still hear, entanglement of sense pools,
the way a cave might leak perfume–

– Clayton Eshleman, “Silence Raving”

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Watch an interview with Clayton Eshleman on OnePausePoetry:

Conversation with Clayton Eshleman

Conversation at One Pause Poetry with Clayton Eshleman

More info on Clayton Eshleman⇒

Elmslie, Kenward 1981

Friday, November 13, 1981

On the blackboard there comes the couple
Trudging along rusty railroad tracks in sneakers
On their way to the annual money crop square dance.

– Kenward Elmslie, “Alabama”

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Vintage poster of Poetry in Motion: a film by Ron Mann with Amiri Baraka, Ted Berrigan, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, John Cage, Robert Creeley, Diane Di Prima, Kenward Elmslie, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Ed Sanders, Gary Snyder, Tom Waits, Anne Waldman at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Vintage poster of Poetry in Motion: a film by Ron Mann with Amiri Baraka, Ted Berrigan, Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, John Cage, Robert Creeley, Diane Di Prima, Kenward Elmslie, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Ed Sanders, Gary Snyder, Tom Waits, Anne Waldman at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Watch a clip of Kenward Elmslie in Ron Mann’s documentary, “Poetry in Motion:”

Kenward Elmslie

a clip from Ron Mann’s documentary, Poetry in Motion (1981)

How to tell fringe people from yourself, himself, us, you, her?
They hunt for clean central beds full of lovers to deceive.
When they enter rooms, the most valuable still-life shatters.
They scream “Trap!”, deliberately trip (won’t get up, ever leave).

– Kenward Elmslie, “Fringe People”

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More info on Kenward Elmslie⇒

Edson, Russell 1976

Friday, May 14, 1976
with Charles Simic
The Poetry Center at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Let us consider the farmer who makes his straw hat his
sweetheart; or the old woman who makes a floor lamp her son;
or the young woman who has set herself the task of scraping
her shadow off a wall….

– Russell Edson, “Let Us Consider”

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Vintage poster of Russell Edson and Charles Simic giving a joint reading at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Vintage poster of Russell Edson and Charles Simic giving a joint reading at the Poetry Center of Chicago.

Buy this poster⇒

Out of the golden West, out of the leaden East, into the iron South, and to the silver North… Oh metals metals everywhere, forks and knives, belt buckles and hooks… When you are beaten you sing. You do not give anyone a chance…

– Russell Edson, “Metals Metals”

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Watch Russell Edson read his work:

Marshall Poet-in-Residence, with Russell Edson from ASU English on Vimeo.

More info on Russell Edson⇒