Poetry Awesomes of the New Year Thus Far (list).

Poetry Awesomes of the New Year Thus Far

a short list from a short poet

1. As I’ve mentioned before, Cassandra Gillig, who I want to be friends with (HELLO CASSANDRA DO YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS I AM A REALLY GOOD PEN PAL), has smushed hip hop with poets reading their poems, and now you can download her album of these so-called “mash-ups” for FREE, right here. Just enter in the number zero when it asks how much you want to donate. And then you’ll have a file on your computer called “put me in charge of poetry magazine and i will fuck this country up.” Which is awesome.

 

2. womenpoetswearingsweatpants.tumblr.com is a total inspiration. Why? Well, the poems on the site have been submitted, with photos, by the ladypoets themselves. They are then turned into meme-looking things, with that shadowed font that meme-makers always use (who ARE you, meme makers?!). The photos are often selfies, and they often seem to be taken specifically in order to submit to this site (just a guess), and they are often of cozy poetlady feet. I like how comfy everyone is, how unpretty and normal looking. Most poems are probably written while wearing clothes you wouldn’t want your neighbor to see you in, and this blog seems to be a way of announcing that, embracing it, liking it.

I submitted to this blog and had the nearly-instant satisfaction of getting accepted, and of seeing a piece of a poem of mine in the world, in that font, over what is probably one of the least attractive photos taken of me, EVER. I am so glad that I’ve finally found a use for this photo, which has always made me laugh so hard (and Misha too) (he took it). It’s taken on Farnsworth Street in New London, Connecticut, sometime in the fall of 2008. In it, I am being both totally tired, and totally “what what!” It’s my hand that’s doing the “what what” and my body that’s doing the tired.

 

3. Poems on Facebook is happening, at least in my world, and you should get in on it. You post a poem, tell people to “like” it, then you assign each of the “likers” a poet to post on their own pages, with a similar message explaining the whole shebang. I love this because it’s like a chain letter, except 1) it’s not annoying 2) it’s spreading poems in a place where not many poems show up 3) it doesn’t involve me having to write down a recipe or buy stickers to send to someone I have never met. I especially like this because anyone can “like” the post, and therefore anyone, poet or non, can go on to post poems. It’s not exclusive to “poets.” I really really “LIKE” this.

 

4. The Ashbery Home School was just invented, & holy moly, I want to go to there. The coolest part is it’s held at JOHN ASHBERY’S ACTUAL HOME. With all his artstuffs and thingies in it. And it’s in Hudson, NY, the town that shows up somewhere new in my life like, once a week. Unfortunately, this program, a week-long writers’ retreat in August with awesome professors, field trips, movie screenings and workshops, costs money that I can’t spend on something like “retreating.” Especially since I live in what many would call “a retreat place.”

But this concept, of holding school at someone famous’ home, acknowledges the domestic space as pivotal to the artist. Which may not be true for all artists, but is very true for me. If you come to my house you will see treasures lined up in rows on almost all surfaces. I am always ordering things, collecting things, giving them away, altering them, altar-ing them. This is a part of how I am always creating. If I had money to spare I would apply to this brand-new retreat, which costs $1175. If you can afford it, you should go.

 

5. Lists seem to always have five or ten or one hundred things on them, so I’m feeling a little pressure to fill something in here….but I really don’t have any other poemy things to blog about…so please make something else poem-awesome and email it to me at taylormkatz@gmail.com! For the sake of the list!

 

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Calling All Typesetters in the Universe! Hear ye, hear ye!

This is a call, a calling-out, an offer, a request, a hopeful question posed to the wind (to the internet):

* Do you know how to use a letterpress with agility?

* Do you live in the Northeast?

* Are you interested in the woods? Do you like cabins?

* Are you willing to work for free?

The last question is the ugliest, this I know. This is really a call for a friend with letterpress skills. Are you interested in being my friend? I have a frequently-updated blog and a really cool boyfriend! I have a lot of eggs to give away! I enjoy dancing even outside of dancehalls! I am short but can jump high! I don’t care if you have a weird haircut, in fact I like it! Do you want to embark on a literary project together?

Here’s the deal: I had a letterpress dude, Sean, who was going to be Head Typesetter but now he has to move back to Arizona. Sean’s a poet, we took a book arts class together in grad school, he excelled at it (big time), whereas I just hammered along, finishing with some pretty but unskilled books. I don’t have the real letterpress abilities that would allow me make books I’m proud to sell. That’s where YOU come in.

This is a project in its early stages. The state of Vermont has given me their seal of approval: the company is Press House Press. The vision for the press goes something like this:

Envision a small cabin where, in previous times, a family may have pressed their apple cider during autumn. Envision inside it: good lighting, a cider press, a letterpress. Perhaps a chair or two, or a small bed. No big equipment. Just enough to make some cider to quench our thirst (and the thirst of visitors) and a small letterpress to make pamphlets, chapbooks, cards, mini-broadsides.

Please note: the press house does not yet exist. The letterpress has not yet been purchased. This is a project on the road to actuality. If you help me build it, it will come.

If this wild, insanely human, deliciously rural and thoroughly unpaid position interests you, we should meet up at AWP and talk. If you’re not going to AWP, we can meet up on the internet. Either way, you should email me. I can tell you a little more about myself and a lot more about how this press is going to happen. Maybe you’re just the person to collaborate with me. Maybe we’re going to make some gorgeous and inspired little papergoods together. Goodness, I hope so.

With hope and a prayer,

Taylor Mardis Katz

February collage (illustration; photography; Frank Ocean).

Some people feel negatively about February, including, possibly, Maira Kalman. Or maybe she just picks up on everybody’s February blues. It’s hard to love February in the city, this I understand.

Maira Kallman's Feburary

 

 

This February, I’m all about Patti Smith (again). Maybe I’ll make February my Patti Smith month. Why not?

 

patti smith 7

 

 

But guys….remember those other times, those other seasons? Remember flowers?

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Remember how it’s going to be Valentine’s day soon? Let’s not bring up our consumer culture rants again, we do that every year & even the truth gets stale. This year, lets just do some good lovin’. Let’s share what we got, or give ourselves a little bit more. I mean, Phoebe Wahl is doing it! And why not.

 

beyourownvalentine

 

 

ILoveYouvalentine

 

If you’re still not feeling good about February yet, then, here! Have this gift! It’s a free Frank Ocean mixtape! Also did you know he has a tumblr?! Fuck yeah, America! You know?

 

frankocean_promo-592-e1345427965722

 

Alright February!! Allllllllright!

Just a book (wish).

I just wanna be published, you know? Have a book with my name on it? Hardcover preferably, light purple in cover, somewhat slim, priced to move, about me on the back flap, a list of titles at the front, one poem per page? Just a book I wrote, that someone liked, and wanted to make, and printed copies of, and told their friends about. Even if no one bought it except people who know me, it’d be a book that exists, a quarter inch on the shelf at two small libraries, a book that I wrote by myself, that some people would read, some people would hold. I would just love a book.

 

 

(via siesta)