Charles Bernstein has written a satire on the state of the poetic nation – drawing parallels to the current precarious state of Wall Street. Bookslut’s blog called it painfully unfunny. What do you think?
Last week Montreal was graced by the return of one of its most talented, insightful, articulate and prolific writers: Peter Dale Scott. Having long since taken up residence at Berkeley, Professor Scott was very pleased to be back to his home of “half a century ago”, as he described.
Montreal was certainly receptive during last Thursday’s poetry reading hosted by the Atwater Poetry Project, as well as Friday’s lecture on “Deep Politics” at McGill University (Scott’s alma mater) presented by the Centre for Research on Globalization. Indeed here is a person who blends the best of poetry and politics, wrapping his stanzas around some of the most thought-provoking issues facing society today.
For those who were unable to attend last week’s events or those who would like to revisit them, Peter Dale Scott’s website contains selected writings as well as links to his CV and publications. We are proud to present him as Vallum’s Link of the Week.
After being ignored in favour of Jane Urquhart and affirmative action, we’re going to talk about poetry again. This fall should see the return of Cafe/Culture, after an immensely successful first installment this July.
1. I have no idea who is reading yet.
2. We are going to be more or less permanent at the Arts Cafe. Which is a good thing.
3. We’re going to get a better microphone.
4. The next one will be around Halloween! Fun!
5. We are going to be Youtubing again.
Thanks! More details to come!
Okay, so since we are poetry magazine, I wasn’t going to say a damn thing. I thought Bookninja said it better.
But talk about the tempest in the teapot reaching hurricane status. LA is a ways from Canada, yet the dust up over Jane Urquhart’s Penguin anthology has apparently reached our (way) southern neighbours ears, entering the LA Times blogosphere in this post, which has caused many Canadian bloggers to hit the keyboards.
Daniel Wells, editor of Canadian Notes and Queries, explains in this piece his experience of Urquhart’s work. In the interests of full disclosure, Urquhart has never been to my taste, and my initial review of this book consisted of me exclaiming “No Norman Levine?” at an inappropriate volume.
Wells explains that “Urquhart’s is a novelist’s sensibility, right down to the narrative nature of the stories’ organization. It also explains her sense of these stories as belonging to “the pre-novel fictional worlds” of many of her inclusions, when these writers were “at the beginning of their careers singing in a pure voice simply because they feel the need for music, the need for a song.” When I am feeling less generous this sounds a lot like Urquhart painting the story as a lesser form, the novel’s backward and rather weak-minded country cousin, the domain of younger writers before they move on to the more serious work of novel-writing, and if this is so, one must ask if she was a fitting choice as editor
I will be going to the newsstands to get a hold of these magazines this weekend.
What do four years of graduate school, six trips to South Africa and a million hours spent writing amount to? In this case, a book deal with an overseas publisher willing to make this research available to the wider reading public. Poetry it is not (though one could make an argument for poetic justice) but this book could be a great break from fluffy summer reading and a gateway to some thought-provoking issues on race, work and change in a fascinating and complex country.
If you have some free time, you can see Josh reading at Concordia. Details below:
Alumni Writers Read & Reflect: 11 September, 10:15 AM–4 PM. H767 Henry F. Hall Bldg. 1455 De Maisonneuve W. Concordia University. Eleven of Concordia’s creative writing grads discuss & read from their first books. Joshua Auerbach, Arjun Basu, Devon Code, Katia Grubisic, Andrew Hood, Moberley Luger, Pasha Malla, Sachiko Murakami, Johanna Skibsrud, Sarah Steinberg, and Margaret Webb. http://english.concordia.ca/writersread