Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Something we can crow about: Award Winning Authors!

Best-selling West Seattle author Lyanda Lynn Haupt reads Wednesday at next WordsWest

May 18, 2015 at 12:51 pm | In West Seattle books, West Seattle news | No Comments

The monthly WordsWest Literary Series has already highlighted many talented local writers – but this month’s edition really has something they can crow about: A rare West Seattle appearance by best-selling author Lyanda Lynn Haupt. She and poet Allen Braden are reading this Wednesday (May 20th) at C &; P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor) in the next WordsWest event, as announced:

WEST SEATTLE— From backyard bestiaries to the farms of White Swan, nature slays us. From the intelligence of crows to the many chambers of a cow’s heart, we learn to look again at the commonplace life that surrounds us. For the May 20th, 2015 edition of WordsWest Literary Series, Washington poet Allen Braden and West Seattle naturalist Lyanda Lynn Haupt, will join us for a night of natural highs. This month WordsWest is again very grateful for a grant from Poets & Writers that allows us to pay our writers for their time and talent.

Allen Braden is the author of A Wreath of Down and Drops of Blood (University of Georgia) and Elegy in the Passive Voice (University of Alaska/Fairbanks). His poems have been anthologized in The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Poetry: An Introduction, Best New Poets and Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry. He teaches at Tacoma Community College.

Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a naturalist, eco-philosopher, and speaker whose writing is at the forefront of the movement to connect people with nature in their everyday lives. Her most recent book is The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (Little, Brown 2013). Her previous books include Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness (Little, Brown 2009), awarded the 2010 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award; Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds (Sasquatch 2001), winner of the 2002 Washington State Book Award; and Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebooks (Little, Brown 2006).

Every third Wednesday, 7pm, at C & P Coffee Company, WordsWest hosts literary events that range from readings by published local and national authors, to craft discussions and guided writing explorations for every experience level. Each month a community member from a local, independent business shares his or her favorite poem as part of the Favorite Poem Project. On May 20th, we welcome Eric Jordan of The Office Junction.

WordsWest is curated by West Seattle writers Katy E. Ellis, Susan Rich, and Harold Taw.

Join us on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/WordsWestLiterary

For more information, please contact wordswestliterary@gmail.com or visit http://WordsWestLiterary.com.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Terrance Hayes Lecture on Liquid Poetics: My Scattered Notes

Terrance Hayes - Poet, Painter, and Provocateur - My Hero
I had the immeasurable pleasure of listening to Terrance Hayes share ideas on poetry last night as the year's final event of the Seattle Art and Lecture Poetry Series. I was on the brink of a bad cold so please forgive any notes without sense -- or perhaps that's just as it should be? The bold is for my favorite lines and ideas.

"Don't get set in one form."
(be formless, be shapeless, like water.)

                                      * * *

Robert Bly wrote in his poem, Morning Pablo Neruda:

"Water is practical / it doesn't care about us / .../ no one lays flowers on the grave of water."

                                    * * *

(okay -- everything is in quotes now -- or an approximation of such.)

Your poetics is evident in the process; let your poetics be water.

Hayes has been called a Liquid Modernist --- quotes Polish sociologist --- author of

Liquid Modernity
by Zigmunt Bauman

A liquid "man" flows through life, changes jobs, marriages, gender.

"A tourist in our own life."

A lecture is not just an archive -- -rather it's a realization, a series of small revelations.

Like a poem -- a lecture is made out of mood, pluck, and chance.

Listener, reach for the beautiful. Don't worry about genre.

"Poetics of the Self."

There are three spheres of influence Hayes describes:

1. The Adjacent Possible --- creativity triggered by close bonds (Robert Lowell comes in here --- and his appropriation of his ex-wife's letters -- Elizabeth Hardwick.

(3 mates on a small raft --- Plath, Sexton, and Lowell).

2. Platform Innovations Model
(like acquaintances on a ferry or at a conference. )

3. Liquid Network
(group that is loosely aligned with a shared aesthetic. MFA programs and those who teach in them, for example. All agree on giving grades, value publication, etc. )

                                                    * * *

Some of the stories and places that Haye's own liquid poetics come from -

Robert Lowell -- ready and willing to change tactics at short notice.
Ethridge Knight -- Pittsburgh -- was married to Sonia Sanchez.

Hayes did his MFA at Pittsburgh but also went to a community workshop every third Saturday. Contained some old school Black Nationalism --- other members were Rob Penny and Dang Demented Wordsmith.

Amiri Baraka - (formerly Leroy Jones)

Wallace Stevens -- "One Must Have a Mind of Winter"

"Snow For Wallace Stevens" in Lighthead.

                                * * *

"Feeling Means More Than Meaning" -- T.H.

Great moment: Johnny Walker Blue -- the mythic, magical, elixir.
$300 a bottle.

                          * * *

Here is an insight: the poem is a kind of house; a bungalow, a macmansion,  a cottage. Enter the front door and enter into language. If we find a sofa in the kitchen, how delightful.

Voice is born in the blood.
It's liquid.
You can't get away from it.
Put on all the masks you want.

            * * *
Does art create the self?
Does art affirm the self?

           * * *
This is sounding more and more like a poem --- a liquid poem.