Poets Against Sexual Violence: Fundraiser for RAINN (Part Seven)

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As part of the lead-up to our reading, here’s a poem by one of the eight poets who’s reading on Saturday 29th April (see below for more details): Lizzie Harris, whose debut collection, Stop Wanting (CSU Poetry Center, 2014), was selected by Tracy K. Smith and named one of Cosmo’s “10 Books by Women You Have to Read This Spring.” Her poems appear in All Hollow, Barrow Street, The Carolina Quarterly, Painted Bride Quarterly, Phantom Limb, Sixth Finch and VICE.com. She was born in southern Arizona, raised in Pennsylvania and currently resides in Brooklyn, where she’s a poetry editor for Bodega Magazine. "White Loss of Forgetting" was originally published by Brooklyn Poets.

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White Loss of Forgetting I remember the touching was softer than I wanted and after          I wanted things quiet because I didn’t trust the skin that skinned my little body     I don’t want to be vague

he had my body run the water he took my body for a carpet he took my body from men I would one day want to love me I don’t want to be vague

My mother took my body to the doctor she said I was infected from sitting in the bathtub but it makes a kind of after-sense because             I was tired of that shower reassembling my body in steam            I had never before seen my father in water so perhaps he mistook me for a spout with a head that clicks to expose infinite pressure          I don’t want to be vague

awful things happened the worst sinks beneath my eye                until I can only see my crown           I only see

my father coaxing at the spout     but my body is small and then it all gets

lower                  and then I swear he pulls a red thread from my middle          and I’m so low now I see myself from the nosebleeds see sky like a bed          to hide beneath please believe me

When Lizzie read with The Eagle and the Wren in September 2014, we introduced her thus: Don’t be fooled by Lizzie’s self-deprecation. She’s an amazing poet whose work exposes the roots of longing and fear, the support that family members can give each other while nonetheless being divided by what remains unsaid or unrecognized, of needs that remain unfulfilled. In one of the many poems that share the title of her collection, the speaker notes, “I don’t want to forgive,/it’s become a sort of closeness.” Lizzie’s work breaks down dichotomies—evil and goodness, truth and fiction, love and loss—and revels in the reality that is left over, one that is equal parts sweetness and dark despair, indistinguishable from each other. Despite the admonition of her book’s title, the poems collected speak of the continued need to hunger for a future of kindness and love. 

We’re proud that she can join us next Saturday (29th April at 7 p.m.) at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop. If you missed my post about my motivations for organising the reading, you can read it here. The post has all the information you will need to donate to RAINN (or, go to the top of this post and click the link), and directions if you would like to come to the reading, which is at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop on Saturday, 29th April at 7 p.m. We hope to see you there.

Poets Against Sexual Violence (Fundraiser for RAINN): Part Six

Donate to RAINN here.

As part of the lead-up to our reading, here’s a poem by one of the eight poets who’s reading next Saturday (see below for more details): Camonghne Felix, who’s also a political speechwriter and an essayist. She is the author of the chapbook Yolk, published via Penmanship Books in March 2015 and in May of that year was listed by Black Youth Project as a “Black Girl From the Future You Should Know.”

Camonghne-Felix

Here is her poem "The Therapist Asks 3", which was originally published by Poetry:

The Therapist Asks 3

“But there were times when you offered your consent with older men. You chose them, & you were not afraid. Why not?”

You don’t know the true success of survival till you’ve experienced the adrenaline of a too-close death. What is there to fear when you’ve licked the edge? It is going to be an oppressively hot summer, the New York Post says, but I’ve got a few of my own stowed away, enough to occupy a foreign desert.

There was one summer, his name was Tito and my sisters still say his name just like that, “Tee-toww,” the O a benchmark in the bottom of the jaw. I was just 12 but the gaze itself made me a flame, so no one could tell, I guess,

or no one would tell. He was the kind of heavy swelter that had the whole block at mercy, everyone’s connect to whatever they needed, which was much and in bulk. Power is a switch that yokes me up at the waist — I was young & enamored by this pattern of men who shouldn’t want me but would risk day to touch the stark chant of me. Each time, I imagined a witchcraft enveloping the bone. I remember,

once, at some low hour in the trough* of that summer — my mouth a voyaging boat, Tito’s spine a current of illicit knots, his hand a spindle on the back of my coarse head — he looks down at me, & moans out “Who the fuck are you?”

I say, and the answer is always the same thereafter: nobody, who are you?

*Okay, in any event, Elizabeth and I were in the pool, swimming and playing.
_______________

Here, also, is the excellent Killing the Form. And here is Camonghne performing "Meat: a Reflection on Street Harassment"

When she read with The Eagle and the Wren we introduced her as follows: A sequence titled “Google Search” places sequences of collocations—words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance—scattershot across the page, the clipped and fragmented form enacting the struggle between speech and silence that Camonghne Felix’s theme. Prose poems like “The Therapist Asks” and “Excerpt from Cutting with JB” provide a multilayered reading experience. Here, an apparently confessional style is complicated as the narrator’s adult self interacts with an younger speaker who is vulnerable and full of braggadocio: she seems to know her vulnerability, and is at the same time breezily unaware. This provides a tense reading experience, for these speakers are drawn to situations that verge on or cross over into abuse. Often, the speaker does not realize the danger she entered into until the narrative is taken up in adulthood. These are poems of strength and exposure, where the personal is political, delivered with urgency, verve and wit.

We’re proud that Camonghne can join us next Saturday (29th April at 7 p.m.) at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop. If you missed my post about my motivations for organising the reading, you can read it here. The post has all the information you will need to donate to RAINN (or, go to the top of this post and click the link), and directions if you would like to come to the reading, which is at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop on Saturday, 29th April at 7 p.m. We hope to see you there.

Poets Against Sexual Violence: Fundraiser for RAINN (Part Five)

Donate to RAINN here.

Dear Friends,

As part of the lead up to this much-anticipated reading, I am posting a poem by one of the eight poets who is reading: by Paul Tran, a Vietnamese-American poet who is working on their first book. As per their website, "The manuscript examines intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and U.S. empire after the Fall of Saigon in 1975." Here, I am reposting "Testimony", a horrific/beautiful poem that breaks the cultural silence that surrounds rape and sexual abuse, and makes space for others to speak. Here, you will notice the line "Only him. / Again // and again". In this kind of extreme experience, the perpetrator attempts to fill the lense of being, trying to blot out the self of the victim. But poetry pushes back, and speaks. Although the poem describes that moment of victimhood, the poet moves past it, holding that kernel so as to better witness it for the liberation of others.

 

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Testimony, by Paul Tran

I didn’t ask for it. Something moved in the tall grass.

Neither my imagination nor the wind, light rippling in the heat.

He had a human face. But he wasn’t human. He was

a hunger. Not for me — for what he could do to me: shepherd boy

alone in a field of thorns, flock grazing tufts of rhododendrons,

the world with its back turned. He kissed me, moved his wolf tongue

in and out of my mouth, a hole he filled with himself.

Disrobed, he tied my underwear around my knees, licked the bottom of my feet.

I didn’t like it. I didn’t understand what was happening.

When I said his name, when I shouted what he was at the top of my lungs —

a desire for something he couldn’t keep —

he dragged me by my hair across the devil’s wilderness. My back whittled

and threadbare. I wished my scalp and skull had split, spilled the contents

of my brain like rind in a garden of unearthly delights so I could be dead —

stay dead — and not chase the impulse to testify pulsing in my blood.

Cause and effect. He planted me on a grove overlooking my village.

He pushed his sex inside me. The sky hid behind gathering clouds,

too disgusted to look. Perhaps it’s a gift only to feel my body

taken from me. Perhaps observation’s a lie. No one believed me

anyway. No one came. Only him. Again

and again, until there was nothing left.

(Originally published in The Offing, Trans Issue, 26th November, 2015.)

We’re proud to have Paul as part of the line up next Saturday (29th April at 7 p.m.) at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop. If you missed my previous post about my motivations for organising the reading, you can read it here. The post has all the information you will need to donate to RAINN (or go to the top of this post and click the link), and directions if you would like to come to the reading, which is at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop on Saturday, 29th April at 7 p.m. We hope to see you there.

 

Poets Against Sexual Violence: Fundraiser for RAINN (Part Four)

Donate to RAINN here.

Dear Friends,

Here is an extract from a poem by one of the exciting poets who is participating in our fundraiser for RAINN, the nonprofit / charity that advocates for survivors of sexual violence in the USA. Her name is Emily Brandt, and the poem in question (“Secret Garden”) was published in issue 12 of The Recluse which is the online journal of The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery. (The Poetry Project has a long lineage in the New York Poetry scene. Distinguished, certainly, but I'm not sure if that's the word in the experimental scene. According to Miles Champion, "The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery was founded in the summer of 1966 as a direct successor to, and continuation of, the various coffeehouse reading series that had flourished on the Lower East Side since 1960.")

The extract is below, and you can read more of it here. If you missed my previous post about my motivations for organising the reading, you can read it here. The post has all the information you will need to donate to RAINN, and directions if you would like to come to the reading, which is at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop on Saturday, 29th April at 7 p.m. Anyway, here is the poem. And as Emily adroitly says, there is no other way to say it:

There’s no other way to say what’s next in this nonfictional mythology: A man rapes a woman. A first draft reads: a man rapes a woman and nothing happens to him. Nothing! happens to him. A revision reads: what happens to a man after he rapes a woman? A revision replaces “rapes” with “sexually assaults.” A headline rewrites “has sex with.” I know what happens to a woman. At least three hundred versions of I know. It’s not hyperbole. I can share a hyperlink.

From "The Secret Garden", by Emily Brandt.

Poets Against Sexual Violence: Fundraiser for RAINN (Part Three)

Donate to RAINN here. Dear Friends, here is a poem by one of the exciting poets who is participating in our fundraiser for the nonprofit RAINN, which advocates for survivors of sexual violence in the USA. Her name is Venessa Marco, and the poem in question is "Patriarchy". Please watch her perform it here, in the article written about her in The Huffington Post. The poem gets at what is at the root of sexual violence affecting women, and we're proud to have her as part of the line up next Saturday (29th April at 7 p.m.) at Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop.

Venessa Marco

If you missed my previous post about my motivations for organising the reading, you can read it here. The post has all the information you will need to donate to RAINN, and directions if you would like to come to the reading, which is at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop on Saturday, 29th April at 7 p.m.

Venessa Marco is an Afro-descendent writer by way of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Marco has been featured on the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Upworthy and The Feminist Wire. She was allocated the Cora Craig Author Award for young women writers and her book is forthcoming in Penmanship Books. A feature on her here on www.vibe.com.

 

 

Poets Against Sexual Violence: Fundraiser For RAINN (Part Two)

Dear Friends,

Here is a poem by one of the exciting poets who is participating in our fundraiser for the nonprofit RAINN, which advocates for survivors of sexual violence in the USA. His name is Thomas Dooley, and the poem in question ("Maybe in an Atlas") is published in his fine collection Trespass, which was selected for the National Poetry Series in 2013. As PBS Newshour puts it in their Weekly Poem section, Thomas' book "dramatizes family pain passed through generations". Below is the poem, which you can find in Trespass here. If you missed my previous post about my motivations for organizing the reading, you can read it here. The post has all the information you will need to donate to RAINN, and directions if you would like to come to the reading, which is at Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop on Saturday, 29th April at 7 p.m. Use this link to PBS to listen to Thomas read the poem. 

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Maybe In An Atlas

Maybe another New Jersey somewhere. Linden wood as cash cow. And a way out. If my father grew taller that year, sudden. Reached the high altar wicks, a Moses in Egypt. Bigger than the priests. What if deus ex machina. Or a catcher. No rye. Rye watered down. Rocks to mean rocks. Not glacial. Not a cold hand anywhere. A siren sounds on skin. Maybe a pie in the window. Adults made big gestures with giant hands. He wasn’t soft. Boney, but not folded like egg whites, hankies. In his yearbook: “Aspiration: farmer.” Tall as corn, as noon sun. Only if he grew taller, sudden, he wouldn’t be lightweight linden, maybe a hundred proof. She was proof. Girls were softer. Maybe his hand looked giant. And she lay down softly. Like he was made to, maybe.

Poets Against Sexual Violence: Fundraiser for RAINN

Dear Friends, some of you are probably aware of that vein of my poetry that addresses the subject of sexual abuse, and associated themes produced by the struggle to “travel / up into “the speech range” (‘Witch’s Spindle’); the fight against erasure, and the way that society would, at times, prefer us to be silent, because our experiences are painful to listen to, and inconvenient. (Have a look at this essential essay by poet Cathy Linh Che about anti-erasure.) Because I have skin in the game, and because I want to help others, I have organised a poetry reading fundraiser for RAINN, a nationwide nonprofit based in the USA.  

According to their website, “RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. RAINN has helped more than 2.4 million people since 1994.”

 

I myself was sexually abused by a priest at an elite Catholic boarding school in my native Ireland. After informing the school of the abuse in the autumn of 2005, the priest was quickly laicized by the Vatican (“defrocked”). (He then, I believe, was living in his native Belfast, and more recently, Dublin.) Ten years later, in 2015, I finally reported him to the police (in Ireland, only the victim can trigger the procedures that lead to police investigation: prior to this, their participation was on a “soft” basis). In 2016, the Director of Public Prosecution decided not to prosecute (or bring the case to trial) because although the grooming process had begun when I was 16, the actual physical sexual abuse began several weeks after my 17th birthday (I have evidence of this in contemporaneous diaries). The age of consent at the time was 17.

 

I mention this to show how difficult it is to bring a perpetrator to trial. So far, I’ve done what I can. And part of that is to organize a poetry reading here in New York City with some of the most talented and powerful poets I know. The eight poets who will read at Berl’s Poetry Bookshop in Brooklyn on Saturday 29th April write about sexual violence from a multiplicity of angles and points of view. Please come and listen to us, to support people who have been there, and continue to be there, in the fight against erasure. If you can’t make it, consider donating to RAINN, or if you prefer, to a local charity that supports survivors of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

 

Part of what poetry does is to go into those places that we dare not go alone. Poetry bears witness, which has always been one of its most important roles. We might dwell on the actual experience, because we need to tell the truth and, even create something beautiful in spite of it. But always the goal has been, to find a way out: as Sharon Olds has said in her poem “The Eye”, “and / somewhere in me too is the path / down to the creek gleaming in the dark, a / way out of there.”

 

Here is a link to the event page at the venue:

http://www.berlspoetry.com/events/2017/4/29/the-eagle-the-wren-reading-series-fundraiser-for-ny-state-coalitiion-against-sexual-assault

Here is a link to the fundraising page on RAINN’s website:

https://fundraise.rainn.org/fundraise?fcid=956936

Here is information about the reading and the poets:

 

Berls Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Saturday April 29th at 7 p.m.

Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, she currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi. You can find her work currently or forthcoming in PANK, pluck!, Muzzle, Callaloo, Union Station, Phantom Limb, The Rumpus, The Offing, and The Breakbeat Poets, among other journals and collections. Her first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize and published by Button Poetry. Her first full length collection of poems, I BE, BUT I AIN'T (2016), is the winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize from YesYes Books.

Emily Brandt is the author of three poetry chapbooks. Emily is a co-founding editor of No, Dear and Web Acquisitions Editor for VIDA. For many years, she directed Take Back The News, an organization that confronted the under- and mis-representation of sexual assault by mainstream media.

Thomas Dooley is the author of Trespass, a winner of the National Poetry Series. His poetry, collaborations, and interviews have appeared on NPR,  Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, and “PBS NewsHour.” A practitioner of narrative medicine, Thomas works at the bedsides of hospitalized teens and has presented internationally on the subject of pediatric illness narratives. He is the Artistic Director of Emotive Fruition, a New York-based collective of poets and actors that works to change the way artists and audiences engage with live poetry. A member of the creative writing faculty at New York University, Thomas lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Camonghne Felix is a poet, political speechwriter and essayist. She is an MA Candidate in Arts Politics at NYU, a 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee, and the 2013 recipient of the Cora Craig Award for Young Women. You can find her work in various spaces, including Youtube, and in publications like Apogee, Union Station, and Poetry Magazine. She is also the author of the chapbook Yolk, published via Penmanship Books in March 2015 and in May of that year was listed by Black Youth Project as a “Black Girl From the Future You Should Know.”

Lizzie Harris’s debut collection, Stop Wanting (CSU Poetry Center, 2014), was selected by Tracy K. Smith and named one of Cosmo’s “10 Books by Women You Have to Read This Spring.” Her poems appear in All HollowBarrow StreetThe Carolina QuarterlyPainted Bride QuarterlyPhantom LimbSixth Finch and VICE.com. She was born in southern Arizona, raised in Pennsylvania and currently resides in Brooklyn, where she’s a poetry editor for Bodega Magazine.

Venessa Marco is an Afro-descendent writer by way of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Marco has been featured on the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Upworthy and The Feminist Wire. She was allocated the Cora Craig Author Award for young women writers and her book is forthcoming in Penmanship Books.

David McLoghlin's first book is Waiting for Saint Brendan and Other Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2012), a section of which was awarded second prize in Ireland's Patrick Kavanagh Awards. Sign Tongue, his translations of Chilean poet Enrique Winter, won the 2015 Goodmorning Menagerie Chapbook-in-Translation prize. His second collection, Santiago Sketches is forthcoming from Salmon this year. David was a teaching Fellow at NYU, the Howard Nemerov Scholar at the 2011 Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Resident Writer at Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the South Bronx. The middle section of Brendan, “Digesting a Scorpion,” addresses experiences of disassociation and silencing resulting from clerical sexual abuse—and exhorts us to “hold the line” in the fight against erasure. The manuscript for his third collection, Crash Centre, continues and extends that concern.

Paul Tran is a Pushcart Prize & Best of the Net-nominated poet. Their work appears in Prairie Schooner, MTV, RHINO, which gave them an Editor's Award, & elsewhere. They received fellowships & residencies from Kundiman, VONA, Poets House, Lambda Literary, Napa Valley Writers Conference, Home School Miami, Vermont Studio Center, The Conversation, & Palm Beach Poetry Festival. They are the first Asian American in 19 years to represent the Nuyorican Poets Cafe at the National Poetry Slam & Individual World Poetry Slam, where they placed Top 10. Paul lives in Brooklyn, where they serve as Poetry Editor at The Offing and Poet In Residence at Urban Word NYC.

Faecal Subway

It was a Saturday night, I think, some years ago, on one of those hated expeditions to the Upper East Side (my wife says it actually happened on the Upper West), where women carry lapdogs and wear high heels with their work out gear, and fashion still lives in an eternal Prep-land that brings back flashbacks of 1980s Connecticut. Anyway, there we were, long after midnight, making our way home to Brooklyn from a friend's party, the soles of our shoes sticky from spilt Red Bull, hoping against hope to make the connection at Broadway Lafayette without too much trauma, when we witnessed one of New York's prouder moments. Going down the stairs from soupy September air into a denser olfactory fug, I heard a voice say, "I'm taking a shit!" We turned the corner, and there she was: a woman in a skirt - probably under 30 - her face blurred with drunkenness and mirth, crouching on the stairs. The moment we saw her, a voice off-stage shouted:"where the hell are you?" And she replied, shouting louder, with gusto, as she stretched out the syllables: "I'm - TAKE-ing a SHITTTT!!!"  

Rush Hour Forkover

(Thursday, 3rd April 2014) It was the middle of the morning rush hour. My wife and I were on the F train, holding onto a steel pole, warmed and clammied by prior hands. We didn’t see her at first, sitting in her corner seat in the old-fashioned subway car, but once the voice began to spool, and would not stop: oh, we noticed her. Everyone did.

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Watch out for the Sicilian connection, the pizza connection. If Hispanic, they like little blonde girls, but they like blond boys too. Watch for Sicilian forkover. This train goes to Forest Hills. Forest Hills is unbelievable. Because of them. Al Dente. That’s the name of a restaurant there too. Watch out for bits of glass in the pizza. Roach. Rat poison if they don’t like you. Watch out for Captain Luis T. Minetti. Even though they’re retired, they can still be active. They’re at the post office too. Sicilian forkover. Watch out. Supposedly, they went to Stella Maris High School. St. Joseph’s. Watch out for those innocent-sounding names. St. Joseph’s Secretarial School for Women, Brooklyn, Assumpta, automatically excommunicated Sicilian. If you see those last names, there’s the bower fret. Watch out for them on trains. They don’t have to be Sicilian. They hire. Watch out for him. He could ride this F train this very morning. He doesn’t deny it. He got on at the last stop. They like unshaven stuff. Watch out for Apple Bank. I may not work there, but I have an account there. A hood is a hood. Dark glasses. Why’s he wearing dark glasses? Have my ears cut off and real pigs’ ears put on. We’re Sicilian forkover. Don’t use Santini Moving and Storage. Supposedly the police told them, you’ve got too many get rid of them. I’ve a Jew from the Germany of identity theft. Emigrant Savings Bank. Some you may know the word Kow Tow. It’s really more than a bow. Don’t think that they’re OK because they read books. Things aren’t necessarily fresh. Some open at five. It’s tax time. My taxes are in. I’ve already complained to my congressman. I like my congressman. He has aides supposedly to help him. One of them wrote a biography of him without his birthday. My clever congressman. They use my stolen medicare card. They don’t pay attention to the announcements, “No electronic devices displayed. [She was commenting on people looking at their smart phones] Watch out for Mr. Click, there. [That was me, trying to record her.]

When I gave a sidelong glance (she was a cross-eyed old lady with white hair, in a long black dress and hooded black coat — noting that although cross-eyed, she saw the people around her with great sharpness, and inserted into her running commentary chillingly specific comments in quavering witch emphasis: "look at her. She’s reading. Look at him, looking at his electronic device.”—when I snatched a glance at her, she invariably noticed: “oh, he’s got a beard. And a plaid shirt, too, on his way to work. Obviously not making much money, is he?”), my wife would hiss, “stop looking at her!” But the sinkhole of paranoia she was generating was irresistible.

A Poem from Waiting For Saint Brendan in Radiolab's Latest Podcast

Dear listeners, I'd like to report that my poem "I carried your oxygen" (from the first section of Brendan) is in Radiolab's latest podcast on the Periodic Table of Elements! Photo Credit: Jamie York

Sam Breslin Wright

Naturally, I'm delighted, and excited, to hear actor Sam Breslin Wright perform my work with such power and sensitivity. How this came about was due to a stunning poet by the name of Thomas Dooley who is a good pal of mine. His publicist sent his powerful book Trespass to NPR (click on the link for a piece about T. Dooley's work); Trespass, Thomas's first book, was one of five National Poetry Series winners for 2013. Robert Krulwich of Radiolab noticed it on someone's desk and asked to borrow it. A poetry lover, he read it, loved it, and noticed that Thomas organises something called Emotive Fruition, an event in which actors interpret and act out poems on stage. Robert came to one of the events and thought it was dynamic, beguiling, and surprising, and asked Thomas to collaborate with them on an upcoming show.

img_89131

Thomas put out a call far and wide, as well as close and near: the poems had to be about, or involve, one of the elements from the Periodic Table. I thought that I had nothing to send, and then realised that I had a poem about my aunt, the late Edwina Hamill, and I sent that. The poem is dedicated to her courage in the face of ovarian cancer, and sets the scene during dinner in the restaurant in Bewley's Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin, one summer when she realised that the discreet oxygen tank that she carried in her handbag, was running out. Casually, she asked if I'd go and get the reserve tank from the boot of the car. Apprehensive as to what the reserve would look like, I went, and found a tank that was gun-metal grey, heavy, and definitely bigger than a scuba diver would use.

She hooked up her O2 tubing, and the meal continued as normal, the waitresses and waiters politely not noticing the tank standing beside the table. It was a summer evening, and the lobby was full as we left the restaurant, everyone casually not noticing us as we left. As I carried the massive tank, she linked me, and stopped to pretend to search in her bag or chat about something or other as she caught her breathe again. After she passed away, that night came back to me as an example of great courage under fire, and I dedicated it to her (and for her children Anna and John).

Poets Sarah Sala, Christina Quintana, Jason Schneiderman and Emily Alta Hockaday also have wonderful work in the same episode. And, look at Emotive Fruition's website for a limited edition chapbook of the thirty poets whose work was featured in the two great events Emotive Fruition did with Radio Lab on the Periodic Table (the book is made by Michael Parrish):

They are NYC-based, and wonderful, all: KC Trommer, Jameson Fitzpatrick, Sarah Sala, Monica Wendel, Chrissy Malvasi, Mary Block, Becca Myers, Nicole Callihan, Theta Pavis, Jason Schneiderman, Lauren Neefe, Peter Longofono, Ama Codjoe, Thomas Dooley, Jason Baker, Arden Levine, Matthew Rohrer, William Dowd, Ryan Siegel-Stechler, Jeff Musillo, Geer Austin, Brandon Menke, Dustin Luke Nelson, Carly Rubin, Christina Quintana, Julia Guez, Jerome Murphy, Emily Brandt, Emily Hockaday, and Jackie Sherbow.

A Poem from Waiting For Saint Brendan in Radiolab's Latest Podcast

Dear listeners, I'd like to report that my poem "I carried your oxygen" (from the first section of Brendan) is in Radiolab's latest podcast on the Periodic Table of Elements! Photo Credit: Jamie York

Sam Breslin Wright

Naturally, I'm delighted, and excited, to hear actor Sam Breslin Wright perform my work with such power and sensitivity. How this came about was due to a stunning poet by the name of Thomas Dooley who is a good pal of mine. His publicist sent his powerful book Trespass to NPR (click on the link for a piece about T. Dooley's work); Trespass, Thomas's first book, was one of five National Poetry Series winners for 2013. Robert Krulwich of Radiolab noticed it on someone's desk and asked to borrow it. A poetry lover, he read it, loved it, and noticed that Thomas organises something called Emotive Fruition, an event in which actors interpret and act out poems on stage. Robert came to one of the events and thought it was dynamic, beguiling, and surprising, and asked Thomas to collaborate with them on an upcoming show.

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Thomas put out a call far and wide, as well as close and near: the poems had to be about, or involve, one of the elements from the Periodic Table. I thought that I had nothing to send, and then realised that I had a poem about my aunt, the late Edwina Hamill, and I sent that. The poem is dedicated to her courage in the face of ovarian cancer, and sets the scene during dinner in the restaurant in Bewley's Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin, one summer when she realised that the discreet oxygen tank that she carried in her handbag, was running out. Casually, she asked if I'd go and get the reserve tank from the boot of the car. Apprehensive as to what the reserve would look like, I went, and found a tank that was gun-metal grey, heavy, and definitely bigger than a scuba diver would use.

She hooked up her O2 tubing, and the meal continued as normal, the waitresses and waiters politely not noticing the tank standing beside the table. It was a summer evening, and the lobby was full as we left the restaurant, everyone casually not noticing us as we left. As I carried the massive tank, she linked me, and stopped to pretend to search in her bag or chat about something or other as she caught her breathe again. After she passed away, that night came back to me as an example of great courage under fire, and I dedicated it to her (and for her children Anna and John).

Poets Sarah Sala, Christina Quintana, Jason Schneiderman and Emily Alta Hockaday also have wonderful work in the same episode. And, look at Emotive Fruition's website for a limited edition chapbook of the thirty poets whose work was featured in the two great events Emotive Fruition did with Radio Lab on the Periodic Table (the book is made by Michael Parrish):

They are NYC-based, and wonderful, all: KC Trommer, Jameson Fitzpatrick, Sarah Sala, Monica Wendel, Chrissy Malvasi, Mary Block, Becca Myers, Nicole Callihan, Theta Pavis, Jason Schneiderman, Lauren Neefe, Peter Longofono, Ama Codjoe, Thomas Dooley, Jason Baker, Arden Levine, Matthew Rohrer, William Dowd, Ryan Siegel-Stechler, Jeff Musillo, Geer Austin, Brandon Menke, Dustin Luke Nelson, Carly Rubin, Christina Quintana, Julia Guez, Jerome Murphy, Emily Brandt, Emily Hockaday, and Jackie Sherbow.

Sign Tongue: Winner of Goodmorning Menagerie's Chapbook-in-Translation Prize

This Sunday at 7 p.m., I'm reading at K.G.B. Bar from "Sign Tongue", my translations from the Spanish of Chilean poet Enrique Winter, which won Goodmorning Menagerie's inaugural chapbook-in-translation prize, and is available for sale on the night. (K.G.B.'s at 84 East Fourth Street, NY, NY.) Poet Laura Sims is the special guest. If you're in the area, and are free, come to the release party.285398_207609562622731_5478557_n Goodmorning Menagerie writes:

"We are absolutely thrilled to announce Sign-Tongue by Enrique Winter, translated from the Spanish by David McLoghlin, as the winning manuscript of the 2014 Chapbook-in-Translation Contest! Winter's poems unfurl across a high-wire landscape of cityscapes, quotidian dilemmas, and raucously self-aware language and McLoghlin's work to bring these poems into an exacting yet bursting-at-the-seams English is a tremendous feat."

Enrique Winter

Enrique Winter's work was a challenge, but definitely fun to translate. The original Spanish bristles like neurons firing on all cylinders at once. Enrique Winter (Santiago, Chile, 1982) is the author of Atar las naves (winner of the Víctor Jara Arts Festival), Rascacielos (awarded the National Book Council fellowship) and Guía de despacho (winner of the National Young Poet Competition) and co-author of "Agua en polvo" (awarded the Fund for the Promotion of Chilean Music fellowship), collected in Primer movimiento. He is also translator of Blanco inmóvil, by Charles Bernstein, and co-translator of Decepciones, by Philip Larkin. He served as editor of Ediciones del Temple for eight years prior to entering NYU’s creative writing program in Spanish.

Last thing: "Menagerie is defined in the French Methodical Encyclopedia of 1792 as an establishment of luxury and curiosity.  Goodmorning Menagerie is a chapbook press which aims to provide a unique and diverse collection of poets and poems.  We publish with the intent of exposing the work of emerging poets while providing a space for emerged poets to release holistic shorter collections."e