1. My latest column on "The Poneme" is live in the new issue of Lemon Hound. I wrote about Catherine Wagner's Nervous Device. Here's a little snippet it from the essay:
Scientists classify tickling as a kind of pain, and Wagner’s intentional mistakes are pleasurable in the way tickling is pleasurable (hurts so good). See “How can I knock be clear about my intentions?” and “I / j’adore your piggy light.” I particularly j’adore this second “mistake,” the double “I” which is crucial in order to Frenchify the word for “love,” which otherwise is boring English. I’m reminded of an old friend who had a real gift for typos, for evocative errors like “seamingly” and “unphased” which I would steal and put in my poems.
2. The excellent poet Jeff Alessandrelli, formerly of Lincoln, Nebraska, and recently of Portland, has a new chapbook out from Imaginary Friend Press: People Are Places and Places Are People. I wrote the intro for this chapbook. Here is a paragraph from the intro:
Knowing exactly what you mean is a sure sign that your poem is bad. It is hard to know exactly what Jeff Alessandrelli’s poems mean, and that’s what makes them waver and shimmer, like the air above a fire. They are approximate, like feelings. If you have tried and failed to describe your own experience to yourself, you know what it’s like to be in an Alessandrelli poem, a place where you can know something but not believe it, and vice versa; a place where understanding is not deeper knowledge but an alternative kind of access.
And here is its pretty cover:
3. I'm participating in a panel at Lighthouse next Saturday, Feb. 23, called "Your Writing Education: To MFA or Not to MFA." If you happen to be in the Denver area and don't know what to do with your life, come, get a drink and ask us questions. Drinks at 6, main program at 7.
4. John and I will both be reading in the Literary Firsts series, hosted by Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff, on the Saturday after AWP (March 9). Don't you want to see what happens on the other side of the river? Also, John will be telling uncomfortable stories about his first girlfriend; you won't want to miss that.