In the world of poets-that-I’ve-only-met-once-or-twice-but-feel-like-I-know-them-closely-because-of-the-generous-nature-of-their writing, I’m really excited about reading Sommer Browning’s new collection Backup Singers, Matthew Zapruder’sSun Bear,Adam Sol‘s Complicity (Thanks Adam for making the time to have coffee with me when you were in town!) and Bob Hicok‘s Elegy Owed that I just found out about today.
Phew. There’s more that I want to cheer, but that’s a lot for now. I’m just really honored to know these terrific poets who also happen to be lovely, genuine individuals. I’m now gonna put a bunch of book covers below here to remind myself (and suggest to you) to get these books over time.
Came across this cool blog by Paul Vermeersch, where he has invited a number of poets to respond to a work of art by Armenian-born painter Arshile Gorky called “They Will Take My Island.” Each poem on the blog shares that same title and takes off from there in a kind of group ekphrasis (a dramatic or poetic description of a visual artwork.) I like that he chose a piece which is fairly abstract, offering a wide possibility of interpretation, but the evocative title has enough charge to bring out some great poems.
Here is the original poem by Vermeersch and below is another by Adam Sol. I met Adam in Toronto and just got his Jeremiah, Ohio in the mail and am super excited about it.
They Will Take My Island
by Adam Sol
You taught me language, and my profit on’t Is I know how to curse.
They will take my island
if I don’t scorch it to the bones, though
to speak truly,
I did not know it was an island
until they said so.
I thought it was the world.
The river-fish would drift
into my clasp and I would gnaw
on their flesh while the gills still
gasped. It had edges and pleasures
What more is a world?
I’m not feeling too wordy, so ‘ll let some pictures do the talking. I want to emphasize again how generous and welcoming the Writers’ Trust was to us finalists, and how much fun and great conversation I had with Garth Martens and Anne-Marie-Turza. As surreal as the whole experience was, I felt grounded by the genuineness and support of everyone around me.