June 16, 2011

really looking forward as I do every year to being at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute … click here for a list of amazing readings, all of which are open to the public on the UMass campus. If you are in the Amherst area next week come say hi!

Going back to Amherst makes me miss the Valley, my friends, music, tragic harmless mistakes, School Street, the Bay State Hotel, R.I.P., cider donuts, benevolent graves.

And coming back home makes me glad. Back in SF, there’s going to be a party at Heart (a fantastic wine bar) in the Mission on July 18th for issue 3 of the great new magazine California Northern. I’ll be reading along with some other great people.

I didn’t put it up here but an electronic chapbook was just published of some recent work, it’s called The Odyssey and you can read it for free here.

Other things that seem good to me recently: The SF Giants and the Red Sox both in first place.

*Oh, and this is awesome, please send your photos of people reading poetry books to the Wave Poetry Summer Reading Project.

so true …

and …

December 25, 2010

in amazing company on NPR

Some New Lynx

December 18, 2010

Hi Friends!! I am working on new poems and some critical prose. If I come up with anything good I will let you know. Thanks and happy holidays to everyone, some news and reviews and poems and links to things:

• the first edition of the book is almost sold out, CCP is reprinting but you can still get it from Small Press Distribution here.

• Publishers Weekly sez the book is one of the top five of the year (scroll down as usual for poetry)

• what a nice review, he sighed, in a typically melancholy and grateful manner

hoot! hoot!

• new poem that tells you what day it is

• taking care of business, every day

• I heart rhyme

• and the great writer Steve Almond’s bad poetry

• and the staff of the poetry foundation

• don’t paraphrase

• I love how you love me canada!

• audio pocket

• come on all you excerpts of longer poems

• some more audio of me talking crazy!

Wordsworth slowly spinning in his grave

• I think this is a nice review even though it seems to be saying that I am old and tired

• and fixated

• the grey lady writes about people who write poetry!

• this is an incredibly nice and thoughtful review

• as is this one, probably the best

• sprechen zie deutsch?

• in this interview I talk about Coleridge, translation, and crying

• in this one I talk about Moneyball, windows, and ephemeral nature situations

• PBS Newsflash you stupid Fox news assfaces, global warming is real!

surrealism is old so everybody should get some

• if after all this you have a desire to study poetry with me

• last but not least, listen to the Figments sing about this fleeting life

this is Larry Eigner’s royal typewriter, I have several very much like it but this is a beautiful one and he was truly a great poet:

September 17, 2010

I wrote an introduction for my pal Steve Almond’s final Bad Poetry Corner column, which appears on The Rumpus. Steve is an amazing writer and his columns about his own bad poems are brilliant and utterly worthwhile and generous and funny and truthful. Anyway click here and enjoy!

and can be pre-ordered from the following places: here directly from Copper Canyon, here from Small Press Distribution, and here from Powell’s.

See below for upcoming readings.

Upcoming Readings

August 12, 2010

Wednesday, September 29th: The Poet’s Voice Reading Series, (click on “Woodberry Poetry Room Events” for more information about location, etc.) Edison-Newman Room, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 6pm (with Charles Simic and Valzhyna Mort)

Thursday, September 30th, The New Salon, Poets in Conversation, New York University, Lillian Vernon Writers House, 58 West 10th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, 6pm.

Saturday, October 2nd, Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC, 1pm

Friday, October 8th, Open Books, 2414 N. 45th St. Seattle, WA, 7:30pm

Saturday, October 9th, Believer/McSweeney’s Litcrawl event, Heart Wine Bar, 1270 Valencia Street, San Francisco, 8:30pm

Sunday, October 24th, Poetry Flash Reading, Diesel Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland, CA, 3pm (with Michael Earl Craig and Steve Healey)

Monday, October 25th, Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St., Sacramento CA, 7:30pm (with Michael Earl Craig and Graham Foust)

Wednesday, November 3rd, Missouri Valley Reading Series, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Friday, December 3rd, Studio One Reading Series, 365 45th St, Oakland (between Broadway and Telegraph, MacArthur BART), 7pm (with Robert Hass)

Summer in SF

July 14, 2010

Whew, back from many travels, to Mexico, Palm Springs, Amherst, Paris, Berlin. Played a show in Easthampton with The Figments, saw so many of my beloved friends and admired writers at the Juniper, hung out with my pals in Paris, completely fell in love (weirdly) with Berlin.

Here’s one picture from Paris, of Satie’s house:

Now we are back for a couple of months, just reading and writing. Our garden is gorgeous and we have so far eaten kale, beans, squash, beets and carrots from it:

People have been super nice about the title poem of the new book (though please buy it from your local bookstore in September!) in Paris Review. Poems are out or forthcoming in Poetry and The Believer, but really I am just looking forward to getting back to my daily writing practice. My friend Damian and I are going to start assigning each other little writing exercises a couple of days a week, maybe I will post some of my results on this here blog.

And already I am excited to be teaching at Berkeley in the fall, I will be back in the very same building, Wheeler Hall, where I was a grad student T.A. in Slavic Languages and Literatures in the 90’s. I used to go see readings in the enigmatically named Maude Fife Room in Wheeler — I particularly remember different times seeing Milosz, Pinsky, and Hass read there, and dreaming of being a poet. I’ll be reading there in the fall, how strange, I suspect I will have a lot of feelings, gratitude as well as a little sad nostalgia definitely among them.

and it’s only February. A complete lack of snow in San Francisco has made me feel simultaneously grateful and envious of the solidarity of my friends soldiering through. This is a picture my mom took of our backyard after the first storm:

I really like that picture.

We just got back from Seattle and Port Townsend, a couple of great readings with Copper Canyon poets and W.S. Merwin: here‘s what I said about him for a blog before the reading, somehow that old picture where I look savagely depressed because I am keeps surfacing, and here’s a picture I took on stage, that’s Erin Belieu and Ben Lerner in the background, and Merwin is benevolently gazing upon Valzhyna Mort, which is understandable:

What else. Finished up the book, now working on the cover, which will be by Martina Hoffman, who did Der Pyjamaist. Teaching a great group of poets at St. Mary’s where I am a Writer/Poet in Residence. Starting to think about thinking about some new poems.

Some readings coming up are

• in Marin w. Graham Foust on February 18th

• in Seattle at Pilot on March 2nd (and then a little later that same night C.A. Conrad is reading!)

• in SF March 15th, a benefit for the International Poetry Library of San Francisco at Bin 38.

Some New News

November 30, 2009

• Just sent the final version of Come on All You Ghosts to Copper Canyon: it’s scheduled to come out in Fall 2010. Mood: weirded out but also quite happy.

• Have been asked to be the Holloway Lecturer in the Practice of Poetry at the University of California-Berkeley, which means in Fall 2010 I will teach an undergraduate poetry course, and have office hours in Wheeler Hall: this is the very building where I had my office as a teaching assistant the year I taught Russian language in 1993 when I was getting my PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures (I ended up leaving after my MA, to go get an MFA from UMass Amherst). Mood: honored.

• Headed to Palm Springs on Friday for the December edition of the UCR-Palm Desert low residency MFA. Mood: alert and very eager to see my pals on the faculty.

• Going to see Vic Chesnutt tomorrow night at Great American Music Hall. Mood: ready to be moved.

• Just turned 42. Got an awesome hand-knitted scarf. Mood: super warm.