Friday, January 23, 2004
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
You are Percy Bysshe Shelley! Famous for your
dreamy abstraction and your quirky verse,
you're the model 'sensitive poet.' A
vegetarian socialist with great personal charm
and a definite way with the love poem, you
remain an idol for female readers. There are
dozens of cute anecdotes about you, and I love
Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Prof of literature (primarily, I take it, poetry) at UCSC, I now feel inclined to further explain my obvious oversight in stating that the poetry scene at UCSC is "sad" as I put it. My observation was informed, and it was falacious, primarily by comparing nostalgia with what I saw or, rather, didn't see. What I saw were students prepared with questions, reading along, albeit from their class reader, in Some Values of Landscape and Weather during Peter's reading. There was a buzz in the room. It was like the quote-un-quote prodigal son had returned, though he had returned to neices and nephews that hadn't yet been born when he frist left.
Friday, January 16, 2004
Upstairs to faithful old Kresge 159 (the room at UCSC where all the readings are held) and a standing room only crowd what must've been nearly 150+ in attendance. Luckily I had set aside seats in the second row for Dan Fisher, myself, Kasey got in there and some old friends from my UCSC days.
A warm but mostly factual introduction by Nate Mackey "If you'll forgive me, I'm going to take some language from sports 'Man...this guy can write!.'"
Peter begins with a new poem, the title of which is slipping my mind here, a continuation of his reworking of the "conditional if" most present in the poem Chateau If from both FIN AMOR, which I published, and in the new full-length collection; "If love if then if now if the flowers of if the conditional if the arrows of the condition of if..." He said "I thought I was done with that but I suppose not but hopefully I soon will be." He then read from the book, beginning at the beginning and ending at the end. The "suite" of poems, A History of the Lyric is phenomenal, just phenomenal.
We (Dan Fisher & I) realized how Peter says the same thing at each of his readings, almost to the point of it being humorous. "Edgar Poe...That's what they call Edgar Allan Poe in France, I think it's more interesting, he sounds like a gunfighter." "This is a Santa Cruz poem, The Deep End, what I affectionately called Santa Cruz..." And so on.
If you don't yet own a copy of Some Values of Landscape and Weather (Wesleyan) you'd damn well better get one. It's really one of the finest books written in the past few years, or ever, really.
Santa Cruz is a sad place now in relation to poetry. Yes, there were a LOT of people in attendance, but mostly, they were forced to attend as part of a new conglomerate creative writing introduction course with something like 100 students in a class. It seems as if there is no one teaching poetry workshops any more, as if the students are walking around aimlessly without direction. Under Gizzi, UC Santa Cruz breathed poetry, was organized. There would be poets sitting in the courtyard at Kresge, smoking and talking poetry, and Peter would often be talking with them. Now it is empty. Kasey doesn't teach workshops, which is a major oversight or rather, failure on the part of the creative writing dept. But he's there. And Alli is there with him. All in all, Alli was the only serious poet/student I saw. Maybe that's my oversight? I'm not sure. But it felt very sad to be there and have it be so lacking in life. Those of us who were lucky enough to get degrees from Santa Cruz between the years of 1995 and 2001 really have something to be thankful for. We passed into, through and out of one of the greatest learning environments for poetry that, as far as I know, has ever existed.
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Thanks for loaning me the book. I'll iron out the crease you put in the corner of the page on which the poem you wanted me most to read is found. I am a purist when it comes to books. Yep that's right. If I catch anyone writing in, folding pages of, or otherwise defacing their tomes, I will let it be known that I find such acts apalling.
I also Just read Kasey's Lecture on Peter Gizzi. It's pretty well informed and best, mentions me (well at least it indirectly mentions me, though I'm sure that Kasey meant to include a number of P.G.'s other students as well).
in stephanie's comments box as it relates to her post.