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Winter & Spring 1996 / 2.17&18

a festschrift for Robin Blaser

Introduction
The Letters of Mina Harker
Dear Mr. Fanelli
Four Poems
Draft 23: Findings
from Vulnerable Bundles
Two Poems
So What?
Two Poems
Three Poems
For Robin
The Book of Hugh
Details
A Supermarket in West Edmonton
Three Poems
Two Poems
Two Poems
For Robin Blaser
Two Poems
Two Pieces for Robin
Fortunes
Odile & Odette, Epilogue
Kisses
Three Poems
Paper Sections
Song of the Andoumboulou: 32
from The Morning Walk
A Correspondence
Two Poems
The Dream, Called Lubek
Four Poems
from Portrait of the Moment
from Paternalisms
Two Poems
Autobiography 6
Two Poems
Two Poems
from Green River & Black River
South Park Chorus
Four Views out of Paris
Three Poems
R & B for Robin Blaser and François Houle
Siempre Mas Invisible (Two)
I Wonder Who! (who wrote the book called love?)
Music at the Heart of Thinking
from IOVIS
from the Crannies of Matter: Texture in Robin Blaser’s Later “Image Nations”
No Name Baseball team or “291 4868”
PHOTO CREDITS: Robin and angel
PHOTO CREDITS: Robin gazing out

Contributors

DODIE BELLAMY for many years has been writing The Letters of Mina Harker, an epistolary novel which brings forward into our own times the heroine of Bram Stoker's fin de siecle masterpiece, Dracula. Bellamy has written Feminine Hijinx, Answer, and, with the late Sam D'Allesandro, Real: The Letters of Mina Harker and Sam D'Allesandro. Her new piece, Broken English (with Bob Harrison), will be published shortly by Meow Press.

CHARLES BERNSTEIN is author of Dark City and A Poetics. He teaches in the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo.

RACHEL BLAU DuPLESSIS's publications include The Pink Guitar: Writing as Feminist Practice, The Selected Letters of George Oppen, and poetry collected in Tabula Rosa, Drafts 3-14 and in the forthcoming Drafts 15-25, The Fold. Her poetry has recently appeared in Grand Street, Conjunctions, Chelsea, Parataxis, Common Knowledge, Action Poetique and Hambone.

GEORGE BOWERING is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award and the author of numerous works of poetry, prose and criticism. His most recent novel, Shoot, will be published this year in the United States by St Martin's Press. His best known poem, Kerrisdale Elegies, will soon be published in an Italian translation in Rome and a Gujarati translation in Bombay.

DAVID BROMIGE was born in London, England. He grew up there and in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In 1962, with a BA from UBC, he went to Berkeley for graduate studies in English. From 1970-92, he taught at Sonoma State University, just north of San Francisco. He is a freelance writer and lecturer, who has published, in Canada and the USA, 30 books of poetry and fiction, and has just completed a collaborative novel about UBC in 1961, with Mike Matthews and George and Angela Bowering.

LEE ANN BROWN received the New American Poetry Prize for her book, Polyverse, forthcoming in 1996 from Sun & Moon Press. This summer, she participated in the Fondation Royaumont's Atelier Cosmopolite, a residency for translation and multi-disciplinary collaboration in Asnieres-sur-Oise, France. Brown edits Tender Buttons Press, which features experimental women's poetry. Currently, she holds an artist's residency at the Rocky Mountain Women's Institute in Denver, Co.

COLIN BROWNE is currently editing a new film, Altar, and is preparing documentaries on Wyndham Lewis (The Atrocities of Genius) and madness (The Oval). "So What?" is from a manuscript in progress entitled Rhetoris. Colin Browne lives in Vancouver.

DON BYRD, who lives in Albany, New York, is the author of Aesop's Gar-den, Technics of Travel, The Great Dime Store Centennial, Charles Olson's Maximus, and The Poetics of the Common Knowledge. A collection of essays, in collaboration with Jed Rasula, Tactics of Attention: Essays on Poetry and Knowledge, is forthcoming. He is currently working on an electronically mediated performance piece which will probably be called "Laws of Form."

HILARY CLARK lives in Saskatoon and teaches English and Women's Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. She has published most recently in Grain and The Capilano Review, and has work forthcoming in The Fiddlehead.

ROBERT CREELEY taught at Black Mountain College along with Robert Duncan and Edward Dorn, and also edited the Black Mountain Review. He subsequently taught at the University of New Mexico and in 1966 went to the State University of New York at Buffalo where he is the Samuel Capen Professor of Poetry and the Humanities. Though best known as a poet, he has written much prose including the novel, The Island, and the short story collection, The Gold Diggers, both found in the Collected Prose of Robert Creeley. His critical writings are published in the Collected Essays of Robert Creeley, and his correspondence with Charles Olson is now in nine volumes continuing (The Complete Correspondence).

PETER CULLEY lives in South Wellington, near Nanaimo, British Columbia. His writings on art have been published in Canada and Europe. “The Book of Hugh" is part of the ongoing "Hammertown" project, the opening sections of which appear in The Climax Forest, released by Leech Books in 1995.

WYNSTAN CURNOW is the author of two books of poetry, Cancer Day-book and Back in the USA. He teaches American poetry at the University of Auckland where he is also director of the Centre for Projects in the Arts.

CLAYTON ESHLEMAN's most recent collection of poetry is Under World Arrest. His most recent translations are Antonin Artaud's Watchfiends & Rack Screams and Cesar Vallejo's Trilce. He is a professor in the English Department at Eastern Michigan University where he continues to edit Sulfur magazine, now in its 37th issue.

DEANNA FERGUSON lives in Vancouver and is an editor of BOO Magazine, a publisher of Tsunami Editions, an employee at CRS Worker's Co-op, and author of Will Tear Us, Link Fantasy (with Stan Douglas), and The Relative Minor.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN is the author of a book of poems, Restless Messengers, and two books of literary criticism. The Utopian Moment in Contemporary American Poetry and The Ritual of New Creation: Jewish Tradition and Contemporary Literature. He is a Professor of English and Chair of the Department at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio.

PETER GIZZI’s books include Periplum, Music for Films and Hours of the Book. "Fables of Critique" and "Rewriting the Other and the Others" are from a new manuscript, A Textbook of Chivalry. He currently teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

ROBERT HOGG is the author of five books of poetry, most recently There Is No Falling. He teaches Modern and Post-Modern American and Canadian Poetry and Poetic Theory at Carleton University. At present, he is working on a sixth book of poetry, completing a critical book on Charles Olson's Maximus Poems, and editing an anthology of Canadian poetic theory.

PIERRE JORIS has published over 20 books and chapbooks, as well as several anthologies and many volumes of translation—both into English and into French, including Paul Celan's Breathturn and Maurice Blanchot's The Unavowable Community. He teaches in the Department of English at SUNY Albany and is currently collaborating with Jerome Rothenberg on a two-volume anthology of 20th century avant-garde writing to be published by UCP. A collection of recent poems translated into French by Jean Portante, Nicole Peyrafitte, and the author is entitled La Derniere Traversee de la Manche, published in Luxembourg and Quebec by G-r-a-p-h-i-t-i Editeur.

KEVIN KILLIAN is a poet, playwright, and the author of a novel, Shy; a book of memoirs, Bedrooms have Windows, and a collection of stories Little Men. With Lew Ellingham he is writing a biography of the US poet Jack Spicer (1925-65). Kevin Killian lives in San Francisco. "Needles and Pins" came out in LINGO #4, and "Suspiria" appeared in COMPOUND EYE #3. It's also part of Stone Marmalade, a play written with Leslie Scalapino to be released by Singing Horse Press in 1996.

JOANNE KYGER's last book of poetry is Just Space, published by Black Sparrow Press in 1991. She teaches at The Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado and The New College of San Francisco. She first met Robin Blaser in 1959 in San Francisco.

MICHELE LEGGOTT teaches at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has published three collections of poetry. The most recent, DIA, won the poetry section of the New Zealand Book Awards. She is also the author of Reading Zukofsky's 80 Flowers.

DAVID LEVI STRAUSS is a writer and art critic who recently moved to New York after 15 years in San Francisco where he studied in the Poetics Program at New College and edited the journal ACTS. He is currently working to finish a book on Cambodia, Seeds of Carnage, and writing for Artform.

billy little is the baka rosh at the Forbidden Plateau Fallen Body Dojo. His latest book is Angel bAby.

TONY LOPEZ teaches in England at the University of Plymouth. His criticism includes The Poetry of W. S. Graham. Recent books of poetry are A Theory of Surplus Labour, Stress Management, and Negative Equity. A selection will be included in the anthology, Conductors of Chaos, forthcoming from Picador in 1996. "Two Stanzas after Horace" was published in 1994 by Boldface Press in Stress Management and other poems.

KAREN MAC CORMACK's fifth book of poetry, Marine Snow, has just been published by ECW Press. Her work appears in the anthologies, The Art of Practice: Forty-five Contemporary Poets, The Last Word, Out of Every-where, and The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative Writing: 1993. A contributing editor to AVEC magazine, she lives in Toronto.

NATHANIEL MACKEY is the author of six works of poetry, the most recent being Song of the Andoumboulou: 18-20, the ongoing multi-volume prose composition, From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, and a book of cultural essays, Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance, Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing. He edits the literary magazine, Hambone, and is coeditor (with Art Lange) of Moment's Notice: Jazz, in Poetry and Prose. He has released a CD of poems read to musical accompaniment, and he is Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

KEVIN MAGEE's books are Tedium Drum and Recent Events. His poetry has been included in the last few years in issues of magazines edited by Nathaniel Mackey, Norma Cole, Michael Palmer and Kevin Killian, among others.

DAPHNE MARLATT lives in Victoria where she teaches occasionally in the Women's Studies Department at the University of Victoria. She has just completed a novel, Taken, which is scheduled for publication in the fall of 1996. The poems in this issue are from an ongoing sequence titled "the sea shining between us." The source for the quote in "Water Mark" is Renee Vivien, The Muse of the Violets. The quote in "The Approach Re-approached by Ferry" is from Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which is Not One.

D.S. MARRIOTT has performed and published his poetry in both Europe and the U.S. His recent collections of poetry include Lative and The Binding. He has been editor of Archeus and has also written several influential essays on contemporary poetics. He teaches at Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London.

STEVE McCAFFERY is the author of more than 15 books, including North of Intention and The Black Debt. His Theory of Sediment was nominated for the Governor General's Award in poetry in 1992. Imagining Language, an anthology of the "linguistically deviant and estranged," co-edited with Jed Rasula, is due from MIT Press in 1996. The work here published will be included in The Cheat of Words to be published by ECW Press, also this year.

MICHAEL McCLURE is claimed by both the Beats and the San Francisco Renaissance. He has published 15 books of poetry, two novels, and several books of essays. His play, The Beard, received two theatre awards and flared up four major censorship trials. Another play, Josephine the Mouse Singer, was given the Obie Award for Best Play. His songs include "Mercedes Benz," which was popularized by Janis Joplin. McClure has been performing with the Doors' keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, for the last several years; their current spoken word and music CD is titled Love Lion. "Portrait of the Moment" is included in Three Poems (Dark Brown, Rare Angel, and Dolphin Skull) published by Penguin Books in 1995.

PETER MIDDLETON has published poetry in small magazines, including Temblor, Avec, Reality Studios, and fragmente, over the past 15 years, and new work will soon appear in West Coast Line and Pages. The collection, Floating Capital, from Potes and Poets Press includes some of his poems. He is the author of a book on masculinity and culture, The Inward Gaze, and lives in Southampton, U.K., where he teaches English Literature at the university.

ERIN MOURE continues to live in Montreal, where she moved from Vancouver in 1985. She rides a blue Diamondback Ascent in traffic daily and works full-time for VIA Rail at their headquarters. Her most recent books of poems are Sheepish Beauty, Civilian Love, and The Green Word. Her next book, Search Procedures, will appear in May from Anansi. She wishes she could sing.

MICHAEL PALMER lives in San Francisco. His most recent collection is At Passages. With o-blek editions, he has recently published his translation of Emmanuel Hocquard's Theory of Tables. His translations from the poetry of Alexei Parshchikov appear in Blue Vitriol. His work is featured, along with an interview, in Exact Change Yearbook #1, from Exact Change Press. New Directions will publish his New and Selected Poems this year.

JED RASULA teaches English at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is the author of a book of poetry, Tabula Rasula, and has recently published a critical study, The American Poetry Wax Museum: Reality Effects 1940-1990. "Blushing in the Garden of the Animal" has appeared in Sulfur.

LISA ROBERTSON is a co-editor of Raddle Moon. Tsunami published her pastoral, Xeclogue, in 1993, and she is now working on Debbie, an epic reading of Freud's and Virgil's works on landscape, history, and mimesis. "Exordium" is included also in the anthology Out of Everywhere. Other sections from Debbie currently appear in Tessera, and in A Brief Description of the Whole World (Auckland).

LESLIE SCALAPINO's most recent publications are Objects in the Terrifying Tense / Longing from Taking Place; Goya's L.A., a play, and Defoe. Wesleyan University Press will publish The Front Matter, Dead Souls this spring, and Talisman will publish Selected Writings. She teaches in the summer MFA program at Bard College and is presently teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute.

ANDREW SCHELLING teaches in The Naropa Institute's Department of Writing & Poetics, Boulder, Colorado. Anthropology, Asian poetics, wilderness & biodiversity studies remain enduring interests. Among his books are Dropping the Bow: Poems from Ancient India, which received the Academy of American Poets 1992 translation prize; The India Book: Essays & Translations from Indian Asia; and Old Growth: Selected Poems & Notebooks 1986-1994. With Anne Waldman he edited Disembodied Poetics: Annals of The Jack Kerouac School.

AARON SHURIN's books of poetry include A's Dream, Into Distances, and A Door. He's just completed Unbound: A Book of AIDS. He teaches at San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco.

GEORGE STANLEY'S long poem, "San Francisco's Gone," appeared in The Capilano Review 2:4. He taught English for 15 years at Northwest Community College in Terrace, British Columbia, and is now teaching at Capilano College. His most recent collection of poems is Gentle Northern Summer, from which the poems “For John Newlove" and 'The City" are taken.

CATRIONA STRANG and FRANCOIS HOULE have been collaborating for several years. Francois composed a series of scores for Catriona's book Low Fancy; she has written liner notes for his CD'S Schizosphere, Hacienda, and the forthcoming Any Terrain Tumultuous. They live in Vancouver.

NATHANIEL TARN has published some 25 books of poetry and translations. The latest are Seeing America First and Flying the Body. His Views from the Weaving Mountain: Selected Essays in Poetics & Anthropology was an American Poetry Book last year. He is a specialist in Highland Maya studies and the sociology of Buddhist institutions. Tarn lives 10 miles northwest of Santa Fe New Mexico. "Siempre Mas Invisible (Two)" has also been published in First Intensity.

SHARON THESEN teaches and writes in Vancouver. Her most recent book of poems, Aurora, was published last spring by Coach House Press.

FRED WAH has published 17 books of poetry, including the Governor-General's award winning Waiting for Saskatchewan. He founded the writing program at David Thompson University Centre and now teaches at the University of Calgary. He also critiques contemporary Canadian and American literature and is currently finishing the biotext Seasons Greetings from the Diamond Grill, to be published this year.

ANNE WALDMAN is the author most recently of the book-length poem Iovis, and Kill or Cure. Iovis Book II will be published in 1996. She has also co-edited (with Andrew Schelling) Disembodied Poetics: Annals of the Jack Kerouac School and has edited The Beat Book. She directs the Department of Writing & Poetics MFA at The Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado and is also on the core faculty of the Schule fur Dichtung in Vienna. She vocalizes and "performs" her own work both solo and in collaboration with musicians and dancers.

PHYLLIS WEBB's most recent collection of poetry is Hanging Fire. Her most recent publication is Nothing But Brush Strokes: Selected Prose. She lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. "The Crannies of Matter" is an extract from the essay "The Crannies of Matter: Texture in Robin Blaser's Later 'Image-Nations,'" which appears in Nothing But Brush Strokes: Selected Prose.

JERRY ZASLOVE has taught at Simon Fraser University since 1965. He has been influenced by Robin Blaser's work and affinities and has published several studies on the poet concerning loss and the will to self-creation in modernism, which will be combined into a book. He has published recently on northern hybridism in Canadian consciousness, on Joy Kogawa, and on the modernism of the anarchist aesthetics of Herbert Read. Jerry Zaslove explains the tide of the poem "291 4868": "I inherited Robin's office after his premature retirement at SFU, and the phone and the phone number of course came with me to my new office out in the woods east of SFU in a new wooden structure far away from the awful Academic Quadrangle."
 

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