Wednesday, August 31, 2011
100 Thousand Poets for Change: New Orleans
Saturday, August 20, 2011
New from Trembling Pillow Press: John Sinclair's SONG OF PRAISE
CD also available: ($15.00) featuring verse and music by John Sinclair and His Blues Scholars (Kosmic Cow Productions)
John Sinclair pays poetic tribute to jazz musician John Coltrane in a collection of Sinclair's poems along with jazz album reviews and concert reviews from the 60s as well as edited and refined earlier works spanning decades of Sinclair meditating and reflecting on the influence of Coltrane and his music. As stated in the afterword by poet Dennis Formento, this collection reveals Sinclair to be in the lineage of the great Beat poets who were moved by the culture and the influence of Jazz in the 60s.
It can truly be said that John Sinclair has walked the talk. He was THERE, in the middle of the Rev, not standing and nodding on the side, but there in the forefront. Part scholar, part encourager, part organizer, part Activist, part poet, part chronicler— John Sinclair looms tall and vibrant and strong in the centuries he straddles, demanding that we KNOW, that we DO RIGHT, and that we PRESERVE OUR CULTURE, and somehow, at the same time, CONFRONT the depredations of poverty, racism, lack-love, cruelty and the "creeping meatball." All hail, John Sinclair, and his book of praise for John Coltrane! - Ed Sanders
John Sinclair’s writing about “The Music” has always been well informed and inspiring, from his early Detroit-hip days. So it’s important to gather this writing to show where he and we have been, and the great period of American Classical Music we lived through and particularly the marvelous revelation that John Coltrane provided everybody who could hear. –Amiri Baraka
Poet, activist, major jazz head, John Sinclair’s SONG OF PRAISE is a wild outward/ inward ride through time like any of Trane’s great solos. It’s a surge of time travel from the ‘60s breakthroughs & breakdowns as reflected in the revolutionary free jazz awakening as well as in the political uprisings of that time that changed the world.
Trembling Pillow Press Books are available through SPD Books and Amazon. CDs are available through Amazon and digital downloads are available through CDBaby and iTunes.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Five from Dancing Girl Press (Part Two)
The Calculus of Owls by Sarah J. Gardner (2009) with a cover by Elisabeth Pellathy is the second chapbook DGP has published by this author. How to Study Birds was released in 2006. I remember reading it two summers ago, but my impression from this chapbook was much stronger. The cover is probably, in my opinion, one of the best covers in my DGP collection. Here, Sarah Gardner presents 22 poems in three sections. These poems are largely narrative, clear in their descriptions and structurally coherent on the page. Gardner's gift lies in her word choice, stunning pairings and striking collisions occur as she dredges the word pool to populate her poems with phrases like: "rutted hinges of leaves" or "purse-heads of grasses." Visually, she piles up images to inhabit nebulous emotions as in the poem "An Explication of Loneliness" where we are told "Because a train is long sentence with a single verb." This litany reveals to us in layers and from different angles the facets of loneliness ending with the conclusion that, "none knows as the heart knows/ the difference between nectar and venom" Birds haunt this text, the wise owl, the symbolic feather that wraps the speaker and even the crow who has lost its voice; often the subject is tempered by the natural world as the speaker grasps to wrestle with complex emotions by returning to contemplate nature's quiet response: "What/ is most needed you have often seen: a field/ a single tree at center, a question/ that even leafless does not shrink from answer"
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Five from Dancing Girl Press (Part One)
Dancing Girl Press, edited by Kristy Bowen, has been publishing chapbooks since 2004 in handmade editions of about 100; each chapbook features a female poet. Every summer, you can stock up on some of these well-made chaps during their summer sale.