Solid Quarter

Visit Trembling Pillow Press for poetry books, broadsides, chapbooks, and Solid Quarter Magazine.

Visit New Orleans Poetry Fest for the annual 4 day poetry festival directed by Bill Lavender and Megan Burns.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Poetic Space

I've been reading Gaston Bachelard's the Poetics of Space. It's interesting; I find I'll totally blank out while reading huge chunks and then suddenly something will come into focus. Does everyone read like this sometimes, I wonder?

Here's some bits I jotted down:

"To read poetry is essentially to daydream."

"Space is everything."

"Was the room a large one? Was the garret cluttered up? Was the nook warm? How was it lighted? How, too, in these fragments of space, did the human being achieve silence?"

"When two strange images meet, two images that are the work of two poets pursuing separate dreams, they apparently strengthen each other."

"slow sonorities"

"dream upon their name"

And some things that came up around the text: a remedy of words, value of intimacy/ scattered/ where they feel along the wall/ in darkness/ remains

I guess, too, a product of its time (?) as "they" say, there is a huge chunk of text that romanticizes the woman's place in the house, pointing out that her attention to dusting and waxing the furniture is akin to communing with angels. I often feel this way myself when doing housework; I really look forward to my angelic face poised over a sink full of dirty dishes and some time for me to compose a beatific picture of domestic happiness over the frothiness of caked on grime while visions of sugar plums dance through my mostly empty head. *Sigh*

For further reading: Frances Yates, The Art of Memory

I'm  a huge Wilkie Collins fan and intrigued by this book.

Elizabeth Robinson's Three Novels

Check out the review over at Jacket:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Black Widow Salon at Crescent City Books

This Monday marks the return of Crescent City Books' Black Widow Salon hosted by Michael Zell. At 7:00 PM, join poet, publisher and author of the newly released Memory Wing, Bill Lavender
as he reads from and discusses this work. 

The Black Widow Salon, sponsored by Joe Phillips and Susan Wood of Black Widow Press and hosted by Michael Allen Zell, is a monthly Monday event, existing to dig deeper into the literary arts.  November 14th: Bill Lavender.  December 5th: Josephine Sacabo.  Crescent City Books at 230 Chartres St. from 7-9 p.m.  Seating is limited.  RSVP’s preferred.  More information at

Memory Wing by Bill Lavender

A memoir in verse that explores the outer reaches of truth: of memory, language and art. Loosely based on the tripartite structure of The Divine Comedy, this poem appears as a simple memoir in lyrical and immediately accessible language, yet it works by accumulation to question the very fact of memory and the foundations of truth and identity. This is a poem that reads as easily as a memoir but which is as dense with allusion as one of The Cantos. As Andrei Codrescu has said of it: "This is a grand American long poem Doc Williams would be proud of."

Advance comments on Memory Wing:
Delving with brilliant image precision into the power of the past, and chanting in plain lyric to the ghosts of his mother and father & the futurity of his sons, Bill Lavender takes us back, down, deep into a psychological Arkansas and New Orleans that resonate with Dante's three part journey. In the vast field of felt memory, he guides us into subtle territories of torment, recognition and reconciliation that are Lavender's contemporary equivalents of Dante's inferno, purgatory and paradise. Bill Lavender's Memory Wing is a contemporary autobiographical masterpiece.
-Rodger Kamenetz

The poet's mother lives, dies in an Alzheimer's wing. The poet takes wing, remembering more because his mother remembers so little. He takes his past-and some of hers-under his wing. There is no waiting in the wings here; everything's laid out on memory's stage, surreal as the Roman memory exercises ordained. The poet may be left wing, but he steps out from under the wing of Arkansas, Blake-like tragedy, and Dante, into the elegiac present, where parents cede to children and in all their dreams come responsibilities and their evasions. The OED's 12th definition best defines wing as "part of a spectral line where the intensity tails off to nothing at either side of it," but that fails to describe the utter intensity of the flight between points in Lavender's book. This non-fiction epic poem flies through past, present, and hallucinated futures at the speed of unpunctuated sound.
-Susan M. Schultz

What a grand concerto! Read this epic eulogy and weep! Lavender is a resplendent Virgil traversing the woods of his memory, which coincides at unexpected places with our own. I'm happy to see the terse minimal suitcase of his lyrical self unpacked and overflowing. This is a grand American long poem Doc Williams would be proud of.
-Andrei Codrescu

Bill Lavender shifts language in rare combinations that unsettle the reader. Memory Wing is no different except that it takes a lifetime to inhabit, but lets us dip into that proper distance between knowing and learning where we hold down our own memories for comparison and where we sit in the same tragedy and splendor….
-Megan Burns

Bill Lavender is a poet, editor, and teacher living in New Orleans. He is the publisher of Lavender Ink, a small press devoted to contemporary poetry, and he is Managing Editor of UNO Press at the University of New Orleans. Besides his dozen books published to date his poems have appeared in numerous print and web journals and anthologies, and his essays and theoretical writings have been published in Contemporary Literature andPoetics Today, among many others.

Coming in November 2011
ISBN13: 978-0-9837079-0-5
219 pages $19.95

Friday, November 04, 2011

NOLA SATURDAY: Poetry Reading Throwdown

Jarret Lofstead of NOLAFugees Press and the People Say Project and Megan Burns of Trembling Pillow Press and 17 Poets! Literary and Performance Series are issuing a poetry reading challenge to celebrate the three all-day poetry readings happening this Saturday, Nov. 5th.

How often, New Orleans, do you get the chance to attend three readings in one day where each reading features a host of local poets as well as visiting poets for two amazing literary events: Ladyfest New Orleans and the NOLA Bookfair

Answer the call to attend all three and you can win the POETRY AWESOMENESS PACKAGE:


Attend all three readings (listed below) and document your attendance, so we know you were there. Don't just jump in and out, but listen and let us hear what you liked, what inspired you, what made you jump up and down. We want active listeners and participants to share with us their experiences at these events.

Once you complete your challenge, make your way over to the Maison at 6:00PM for the Printer's Ball, the date on the image below should read Nov. 5th,  and find Megan Burns. The first 5 to complete this challenge will be awarded their certificate of Poetic Awesomeness as well as the prize package:

1 Book from NOLAFugees
This is Megan Burns. 
1 Book from Trembling Pillow Press
1 20.00 Bar tab at Handsome Willy's
1 personally dedicated poem written to you by Megan Burns

Come on,  New Orleans, we know you love a challenge. Show some love for your poets this Saturday and score a little lagniappe for yourself.


Ladyfest New Orleans:

Poetry Book Signing
Maple Street Bookstore, Healing Center (2372 St. Claude Ave), 11am-2 pm
Featuring: Valentine Pierce, Lee Grue, Omaira Falcon, and Gina Ferrara
Poetry Corner
Café Istanbul, Healing Center, 1:45 pm-6pm

Hosted by: Megan Harris
Ikon, 1:45
Sam Jasper, 2pm
Laura Mattingly, 2:15 pm
Sandra Johnson, 2:30 pm
Roselyn Leonard, 3pm
Leeandra Nolting, 3:30 pm
Biljana Obradovic, 3:45pm
Laurie Williams, 4pm
Kelly Harris, 4:15 pm
Gina Ferrara, 4:30 pm
Allison Pelegrin, 4:45 pm
MonaLisa Saloy, 5:00pm
Beverly Rainbolt, 5:15 pm
Sunday Parker, 5:30 pm
Valentine Pierce, 5:45pm
Lee Grue, 6pm

Apple Barrel (NOLA Bookfair)

Hosted by:
J.S. Makkos
Apple Barrel: All Day Readings @ the 2011NOLA Book Fair 

Noon-1: Dead Poets Evocation

1:00 Laura Mattingly
1:10 Marlo Barrera
1:20 Megan Harris
1:30 Jamie Bernstein
1:40 Gina Ferrara
1:50 Sandra Grace Johnson
2:00 Jonathan Kline
2:10 Jenna Mae
2:20 Benjamin S. Lowenkron
2:30 Tara Jill Ciccarone
2:40 Angus Woodward (of Baton Rouge)
2:50 Mary Griggs
3:00 Wendy Taylor Carlisle (of Texarkana)
3:10 Michael Harold (of Shreveport)
3:20 Kristina Marshall (of Lafayette)
3:30 Jonathan Penton (of Acadiana, formerly of El Paso, Texas)
3:40 Clare L. Martin (of Acadiana)
3:50 Frankie Metro (of Albuquerque, formerly of Tampa, Florida)
4:00 Jenn Marie Nunes
4:10 Mel Coyle
4:20 Mac Taylor
4:30 J.S. Makkos
4:40 Sean Munro
4:50 Thaddeus Conti
5:00 Jonathan Walters
5:10 Ben Kopel
5:20 Jim Tascio
5:30 Danny Kerwick
5:40 Adam O'Conner
5:50 Joseph Bienvenu

Maison readings (NOLA Bookfair)