Showing posts with label Passings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Passings. Show all posts

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Joanne in the Himalayas 1962, photo by Allen Ginsberg

e-mail to Linda Russo from Ron Silliman

Date sent:     Tue, 28 Apr 1998 05:00:30 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:      Re: Silliman on Kyger

On 04/27/98 20:10:48 you wrote:
>Dear Ron Silliman --
>you maybe recognize as a sometime poetix listperson --
>i've been only skimming posts lately (busy) but I was wondering if you
>could say more abt. Joanne Kyger being the most influencial progressive
>woman poet of the 60s - 70s. She's been important to me & it does seem,
>considering the scope of her work, that she *should* be important, but
>doesn't seem so considered. So i wonder if you'd be willing to tell me a
>thing or two, or maybe point me to something you've published re kyger.
>thanks --
>Linda Russo

Dear Linda, 

Been thinking about this myself over the past few days. Kyger's not in the [Paul] Hoover [anthology Postmodern American Poetry] or the [Douglas] Messerli [anthology From The Other Side of the Century] and absent even from Moving Borders [ed. Mary Margaret Sloan], an anthology I imagine as having been premised on precisely this sort of omission (though I argued over this with Margy Sloan, who simply doesn't know the work and doesn't have the historical depth I wish she had -- she told me that she was only using writers from the late '70s onward, so I was surprised to see Niedecker, Guest and Fraser, all of whom are contemporaneous with Joanne or, in Lorine's case, even earlier).
Joanne Kyger was a student of Hugh Kenner's at UC Santa Barbara in the 1950s who moved to SF where she became the only woman to participate as an equal in the otherwise remarkably misogynist Spicer circle. She married Gary Snyder and traveled with him to Japan (and, also with Gary, to India where they traveled about with Ginsberg). Back in SF she was also best friends with John Weiners and is the Miss Kits he refers to in his Scott Street journals. She worked for awhile as a TV producer for the local PBS station (this was 35 years ago, when such a job was not impossible for somebody just roughly creative and intelligent to go get), then moved to "the Mesa" which is a hill overlooking the ocean in Bolinas (there are two other neighborhoods to that small town, a section by the road coming in, neighboring -- literally -- a lagoon that's one of the great birdwatching spots in northern California, then the downtown itself, nestled betwixt the beach, the lagoon and the Mesa. During the early 1970s, Creeley and Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Lewis and Phoebe Macadams, Larry Kearney, Peter Warshall, Bill Berkson, Bob Grenier, Richard Duerden, Tom and Angelica Clark, were all living in Bolinas, a town with a population of just 300. Phil Whalen was there for awhile also before his duties in the Zen Center became full-time.
Joanne's influence on Grenier is palpable, it really is the connection between his fascination with Creeley (he edited RC's first Selected Poems), and his own later work which is so much about how thought emerges. 

Joanne has never ever been one to push her own work, but there was a time circa 1970 when every poet I knew owned a copy of The Tapestry and the Web, her first book (I have no idea where my own copy disappeared to -- I'm certain I never sold it, although it may have gone off in my divorce from my first wife back in '72). In 1975, Berkson published her second book, All This Every Day, and Kenward Elmslie I believe was behind the 3rd one, The Wonderful Focus of You, John Martin publishing Just Space (poems 1979-89) from his Black Sparrow press. There's also a chapbook that contains a poem based a local indian tale, Up My Coast and most recently a big book of her Japan and India Journals from Tombouctou. SPD would still have whatever is in print. There've been other chapbooks, I know. The National Poetry Foundation is talking about doing a big selected poems sometime in the future, although there needs to be (I hope) a book of the poetry since 1989. 

The very first poetry reading I ever produced, in 1974, was a benefit for a Bay Area prison reform group. My readers were Creeley, Kyger and Dorn and in the context of SF in that year it was very much a line-up of people recognized as equals. 400 people attended. 

I've written at some length about the disappearance of poets and how it reconfigures history into something unrecognizable to those present at the event. This isn't always bad -- Ferlinghetti was shocked to see that anyone was still interested in Spicer as recently as a year or two ago. But all too often it leads to this sort of erasure of a major writer. 

I don't know if you know Joanne's work. It has its closest affinities, I think, with Whalen, Grenier and, though I don't know how well she knows him, Anselm Hollo (Joanne has a terrific sense of humor in her writing, which may in fact actually work against her being taken as seriously as she deserves). I know that Bobbie Louise Hawkins has wanted her to come and teach full-time at Naropa for years, but Joanne (who has no visible means of employment, though she must live on very little money) seems willing only to do the occasional workshop there. 

She's one of our hidden treasures -- the poet who really links the Beats, the Spicer Circle, the Bolinas poets, the NY School and the language poets, and the only poet who can be said to do all of the above. 

All best,
Ron Silliman

Monday, January 05, 2015

On Claudia Rankine’s Citizen

Erica Hunt on Citizen

E Ethelbert Miller:
Is our language broken?

Raymond Roussel:
godfather of conceptualism

Guide to 150+
avant-garde & modernist magazines

NY Times decides to own
its own aesthetic:
Make It Old!

Charles Boer has died

As has the
Mexican poet
Gerardo Deniz

Remembering Deniz
(in Spanish)

Stanislaw Baranczak
has passed away

NY Times obit of Miller Williams

Delirious Hem’s

advent calendar
is all about rape

Why it’s so hard
write about rape

Indian lit festival
drops speaker accused of rape

When is
rape-shaming art
a form of bullying?

Random House
“tweaks” Lena Dunham book

to tone down characterization
of a “sexual predator”

The death of the postmodern novel
& rise of

4 new poems from
Carla Harryman

Dawn Lundy Martin:
The Long Road to Angela Davis’ Library

The man who invented Fluxus

Neal Cassady’s “letter” to Kerouac
has its auction halted

On the politics of untranslatability

Writing & disability: a discussion

Larry Eigner: 6 letters

Science & Ernesto Cardenal

James Weldon Johnson
reading in

4 new poems from Rae Armantrout

Anselm Berrigan’s ambivalence about words

Whatever became
of Rosemary Tonk?

Louis Cabri on Against Conceptual Poetry

The poetry of Bob Brown

Interviews with
multimedia poets

Talking with Darcey Steinke

Gareth Prior on
Andrea Brady

Frances Richard on Peter Gizzi

Robert Kelly reading @ Bard

Talking with
Susan M Schultz

kerning game

Please Excuse This Poem:
100 New
Poets for the Next Generation

An African reading list (by country)

Paul Muldoon
Samuel Beckett

Linh Dinh: T-Barr’s Bar

Talking with
Jess Taylor

13 poets
review & recommend
13 recent books

Carolee Schneemann:
from Fox Chase to the world

Alice Munro’s selected stories

Leslie Wheeler
on the National Book Awards
poetry list

dogs don’t go woof in every language

j/j hastain: 4 prose poems

Finland stops teaching how to write

Experiments with poetry audio

Sarah Dowling:
language & pedagogy

A new poem by
Pearl Pirie

Patrick Pritchett’s
poems for the dead

A year in reading, 2014

All the books
Blake Butler read this year

Standout” books of 2014

Nomadic Press’ list of
2014’s top poetry books

Word of the year:

NY Times’ list
2014’s “ten best books”
offers 3 volumes from Knopf
& just one not from a trade publisher

David Orr’s
“favorite books of 2014”

favorite books of 2014

Best poetry” of 2014
(Q: What % of books
are published by small presses,
vs. what percent of these lists
are by small presses?)

Book of the year?
The Miniaturist

America’s “
ugliest” accent – Pittsburgh?

Hoa Nguyen:
5 new poems

An anthology of 14
recent American poems
from the Israeli journal
Hava LeHaba

Kenneth Goldstein on
Wasting Time on the Internet

Felix Bernstein
Vanessa Place

Writing to the beat

Harvard’s poetry recording archive

Yet another
retro surrealism

most macho list of “great books” ever
(79 of the 80 are by men)

“Lemony Snicket”
apologizes for racist “joke”
@ NBA gala

Carolyn Kellogg:
6 wishes for the publishing industry
in 2015

David Foster Wallace Reader

A 10-step guide to

online death threats
count as free speech?

Al Filreis on
Vendler’s Stevens, 1985

Jose Perez  Beduya’s Throng

Ishion Hutchison’s
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

The “real”

Meet John Ashbery

Kirsch, Cole, Vendler
among staff who quit
The New Republic

Why nobody cares
about the demise of TNR

TNR is dead

The lonesome demise
The New Republic

TNR: not dead yet


You will regret the demise of

The lost years of Dylan Thomas

Proper spelling:
Is it time to give it a rest?

The birth of
pulp fiction

On writing:
Asher Ghaffar

Merritt Tierce’s Love Me Back

Toni Morrison
schools Stephen Colbert

Phil Minton
comes to Ottawa

Laura Ingalls Wilder:
life on the prairie raw

Leslie Yalen’s December 23

Whitman’s Christmas poem
for Brazil

Unseen drama by
Arthur Miller
finally set for debut

John Lahr’s
Tennessee Williams

Frank Gehry
on his work in
Abu Dhabi

Architecture & warfare
from Dresden to Gaza

a political life, George Bailey

Billie Whitelaw has died

Remembering K Balachander

Harmony Korine’s
Trash Humpers
in the age of Ferguson

Ferguson’s anthem

St. John Coltrane

Virgil Thomson’s deadpan modernism

Extinction Pop

Van Morrison & William Blake

Run DMC producer
Larry Smith has died

40 years on

Meredith Monk & Gabriel Kahane

Joshua Clover
on the bloat of pop culture

Clover: Is a riot language?

Chaz Ebert

Talking with
Paul Chan

How goes the Barnes?

Art & suffering in Geneva

Lucy Lippard:
trading conceptualism
for eco-activism

Barry Schwabsky
on painting & redaction

Schwabsky on
Matisse & Mallarmé

Schwabsky on
the achievement of
Albert York & Judith Scott

Jed Perl on Jeff Koons

Koons sued for plagiarism
by French ad exec

art world acronyms

Miami tagger
in critical condition
after being run over by a cop

Hundreds remember
artist killed
by the Miami police

Blacked out
in the art world

Underwater museum
not feeling the love

Most powerful
visual art MFA programs

6 bleeding edge
museum-tech types

The 20 most powerless
people in the art world

the tech industry
will come around
to art

Talking with
Yinka Shonibare

Neo-Conceptual Process-Revival

Frida Kahlo’s studio
comes to NYC

Power Station of Art
rises in Shanghai

The photography of
Monique Jacot

John Yau on
Jasper John’s Book

Yau on
Cy Twombly’s Treatise on the Veil

Cy Twombly’s
Treatise on the Veil

The math behind
Van Gogh’s Starry Night

A history of
Magnum Photos

Theo Jansen’s dinos of the mind

Making fact fable

Hitler painting
sells for $161K

Drones & the imagination

The meaning of culture

Philosophers protest
murder of 43 Mexican students

Will Temple adjuncts unionize?

How Marty Sklar invented the 1960s:
an affectionate (if overstated) remembrance

Tom Hayden on
Mario Savio

Talking with
Russell Brand

When the
Pintupi Nine
came to the 20th Century

peer review
miss the best & brightest?

What it takes
to become a
published author

A geography of plagiarism

Alain Badiou on a review of
Faye’s Heidegger

Have I mentioned
summer stock 8
is terrific?

The world’s oldest
work of art
is 430,000 years old