Tag Archives: jane lewty

In the Words of Poets- Why Poetry Readings?

Why poetry readings? We gleaned some answers from poets we interviewed for our, 10 Questions Interview Series .

472“After a year of touring, I actually started to feel more confident reading my poems to an audience.  With confidence, I believe my “reading” performance has been enhanced.  I have come to the conclusion that there are poems that are “page” poems and “audience” poems.  To elaborate, “page” poems are more complicated and/or heady poems and are meant for a reader to read and re-read slowly, calmly, and in the confines of solitude.  “Audience” poems are those poems that are more musical and/or narrative in nature, which make it easier for the listener to follow, as you read with rhythm, feeling, proper breathing, and annunciation.  By reading and re-reading poems aloud, you learn how to accent the poem where you want the listener to really hear and feel what you are reading. “– Diane Sahms-Guarnieri – Philadelphia, Pa.

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Jack Veasey“Largely that they enable you to finish the act of communication. If you write because you have things to say, that’s essential. Otherwise, you’re just talking to yourself. As far as getting reactions and feedback go – that really isn’t the reason you do it. And you have to be happy with it by your own standards regardless of whatever reaction it gets, or doesn’t get. You don’t do it for the reaction, but you do create the work, most of the time, in order to be able to share it. Then it’s out of your hands.”- Jack Veasey, Hummelstown, Pa.

kimmika“I perform because I have to! The poetry keeps me alive. It demands to be written and it demands to be heard…I’m just the vehicle. I’ve always said, if I couldn’t be a poet, I would probably be a preacher. I don’t know. I see the world this way…as poetry, and songs and stories. My first language is poetry. I write because if I didn’t I don’t know if I would be able to breathe. And I guess I perform for the same reason I still pray…everybody has got to have something to believe in!”- Kimmika Williams Witherspoon, Philadelphia

jane“I’m glad to speak the poems and hear how they sound in a larger auditory space rather than mumbled in front of the computer screen, but I’m always nervous. Some of my poems have visual quirks that can’t be relayed.” – Jane Lewty, Amsterdam, Netherlands

stephen-page-in-front-of-wheat-photo“Reading aloud to an audience is a public event, a gift shared with more than one person in linear time.  I discovered by reading my own stuff aloud, especially while I practiced reading aloud to myself, I caught the glitches in the lines, the skips in the meter, the loss of the music I thought was there.  Thus, by reading aloud, or preparing to read aloud, I was better able to edit my work.” – Stephen Page- Buenos Aires, Argentina

va 1“In fact I love doing live readings. It gives you an opportunity to connect with the pulse of your readers. Gives you instant feedback about your work and the joy of seeing your words settle in people’s hearts. The experience is quite matchless! I’ve had youngsters approach me with endearing trepidation after my readings asking if they could keep in touch with me…I’ve had older, established poets come forth and comment on what they see as strengths in my poetry. These are all the delightful fall outs of live readings! Also, when you read live, you portray not just your work but the entire ethos to which you belong. The way you dress, the way you carry yourself and the way you interact with fellow poets also helps to convey your sensibilities as a poet. It’s a wholesome experience that goes beyond the scope of mere words”. – Vinita Agrawl, Mumbai India

john dorsey“I travel constantly. As far as how important it is, that really depends on why you’re out there. Do you want to sell books? Are you attempting to build lifelong friendships? Unless you have really bad social anxiety, I think everyone should try to get out there. I myself need the book sales to eat more often than not, but the friendships that I’ve made outweigh $10 here, $20 there  or some silly idea of fame, when 99 percent of people could care less about poetry anyway.” – John Dorsey, Cleveland, Ohio

linda-nemec-foster-2“Let’s be honest:  being a poet can be a lonely profession.  The creating, crafting, and revising of poems demand concentration, time, energy, and discipline.  For me, it is very important to “get out into the world” and share my work with audiences on a regular basis.  Some poets don’t like to give readings and/or are not very good at public presentations.  I’ve heard some famous poets give awkward, poor readings and some relatively unknown poets give wonderful readings.  The bottom line is that a poem should be strong on the page and in the voice.  After all, poetry started as a purely oral tradition long before the invention of paper, the letterpress, or the laptop.” Linda Nemec Foster, Michigan

thad 4“I’m usually able to make a connection. I remember reciting a piece on the top deck of a boat on the way from Hong Kong to Lama Island. Two people were listening, one from Australia and one from England. We were just lying there in the warm air. I was interrupted by our cruise host, but after the host left, the Englishwoman said to me, “Do the rest of it. I want to hear how it ends.” – Thaddeus Rutkowski, New York

Kristina 124 (1)“I have been writing since I was a young girl. Reading my work aloud, however, is something I have only done in the last eight to ten years. At first, I was very reluctant to stand up in front of an audience and read. I prefer the quiet, solitary process of writing. But, at some point, I realized that my poems needed to be heard. I had something to say and, even if it only reached one person, I needed to say it.” –Kristina Moriconi- Montgomery County, Pa.

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Robert Milby 7 “I enjoy reading in states outside of my home state, New York. Performance is vital.  To paraphrase the great Harry Chapin:  “You must seduce the audience over and over.” It is important to keep the crowds’ interest.  A poet can connect with his or her audience in many ways. It is up to the novice and/or younger poet to go to readings and study the poet onstage.  Take notes if need be.” Robet Milby, Hudson Valley New York

 

Readers Choice – Top Ten Interviews for 2014

Our list of the top ten interviews at The Fox Chase Review Blog for 2014 based on readership.

thad-2

10 Questions for Thaddeus Rutkowski

kimmika

10 Questions for Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon

jane

10 Questions for Jane Lewty

stephen-page-in-front-of-wheat-photo

10 Questions for Stephen Page

Kristina 124 (1)

10 Questions for Kristina Moriconi

louise-halvardsson

10 Questions for Louise Halvardsson

va-1

10 Questions for Vinita Agrawal

philip_dacey_at_ssu

10 Questions for Philip Dacey

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

10 Questions for Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

rebecca-schumejda-2

10 Questions for Rebecca Schumejda

 

Bravura Cool by Jane Lewty

bravura-cool-front-cover-150x150 (1)Publisher: 1913 Press

PubDate: 4/2/2013

ISBN: 9780984029747

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Jane Lewty’s Bravura Cool  is the winner of the 1913 Press Prize for First Books in 2011. The collection reflects Lewty’s view of the world in an exceptional series of poems wrapped in complex and structured language.  There is not a wasted word in the collection. Lewty’s obsession with sound is evident in the poem Oscillate/Oscitance inspired by Salomo Friedlaender and Auguste Villers De I’Isle Adam.  She reveals her attention to detail in Squall Line:
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… That a storm passes     hot air into the updraft—imagine red arrow—where rain cooled air—imagine blue arrow—slips in the downdraft. Leading/outer edge a gust front     sudden wind change with it     lateral wind a downburst—imagine water striking flat surface—it leaps in disparate streams—throws out—so much—so many
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Lewty creates in the abstract, yet is tethered to realism, as she writes calculated lines such as in The Better Condensed, Two weeks, languor-scored, I’m thinking of strippers’ bodies and the journey here–/
Newark headblown and still lights gathered. … Get here please or some such hint/is a near-strong wish of/any aspect of anything. .. It’s thown a whole meter/ in the next slowdown ‘will get-better-if’/i.e. Lauder Shimmering Shield, unneeded.
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The title poem:
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Bravura Cool
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Immersion braze is to dip a thing in solder (a feasible alloy, tin and lead) and flux (limestone or chalk). Hold the thing in the fire a little while to heat. When it is lowered into the solder, the latter will flow into the joint and firmly attach itself. Before dipping, the thing to be brazed is coated with a special anti-flux graphite, covering all the surface except that which is to be brazed.
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Pares itself with a drawknife
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Reacts along the hallway, back and forth
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Trailing spelter, un-set a stream of it.
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Run down cell, fitting, spent hours
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Hours on the shelves, for ages, tidying
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Some injury. Pity the snow fell so soon.
 
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In selecting Bravura Cool as the winner of the 1913 Prize for First Book, Fanny Howe said:
“Have the generations fallen from the sky? Trooped here across a wind-whipped land, since there aren’t even promises made across time? Pain and paint work equally well, as Raworth notes and Jane Lewty repeats in this astonishing collection of poetry that is yes, a radically new way of thinking of our time in the world.”
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Like the mountain climber staring at a sheer surface, tie yourself off; begin your climb into the abstract world of Jane Lewty. Don’t worry the rope won’t break as you travel across unexpected crevices, have a few slips and falls until you return safely to your own world at the end of the book.

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You can pick up a copy at: http://www.spdbooks.org/Producte/9780984029747/bravura-cool.aspx

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g emil reutter bw almost uptown poetry cartel 2

-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia

2012 Year in Review

2012 was a good year here in Fox Chase. We published three editions of The Fox Chase Review publishing 43 poets and 9 prose writers. We continued to strive to offer diverse selections of poetry and prose to our readers. We encourage you to read the works of these artists at these links:  

Our 2012 Editions of The Fox Chase Review


.and visit: Comprehensive List of Contributors for our archives.

The Fox Chase Reading Series  partnered with Ryerss Museum and Library in Fox Chase to present eight events featuring 16 Poets in the second floor gallery of the museum.       

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Our Poetry Editor Diane Sahms-Guarnieri conducted 2 workshops in 2012. The Tenth Muse Poetry Workshop for the Delaware Literary Connection in April and for The Fox Chase Reading Series at The Hop Angel in November.

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The Fox Chase Review and Reading Series Blog promotes our readings, poets, writers,  interviews, book reviews and general information of interest for our readers and the Fox Chase community.

We are looking forward to 2013 with nine events featuring eighteen poets/writers reading for The Fox Chase Reading Series at Ryerss Museum and Library.  For dates and times please see our schedule at: http://www.foxchasereview.org/12AW/docs/ReadingSeries2013.pdf . In January we will release of the Winter/Spring 2013 edition of The Fox Chase Review and are pleased to announce Poets on the Porch returns with 17 poets reading on the porch of Ryerss Museum and Library on July 13th.

The review and reading series are made possible by

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri 3

Poetry Editor Diane Sahms-Guarnieri

SR Moser
Fiction/Web Editor S.R. Moser

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Fiction Editor T.G. Davidson

Rodger Lowenthal reading 3-27-11

Occasional Book Reviewer and Host Rodger Lowenthal

In addition to contributors of book reviews and the poets and writers who grace our review with their work and read at our series. We do this for our love of the art of the written word and look forward to 2013 and your continued support.

g emil reutter

– g emil reutter

10 Questions for Jane Lewty

   

An interview with g emil reutter

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Jane Lewty is s professor of English Literature and creative writing at the University of Amsterdam and holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Volt, The Boston Review, The Literary Review, La Petite Zine, Word/for Word, Versal, and others. Her first poetry collection, Bravura Cool, will be published by 1913 Press in 2012

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The Interview:

GER: Your poems are extremely well crafted blending the abstract with a core of realism. An example would be, (A Piece from We Mills, We Miles) 1, published in the June 2012 edition of The Fox Chase Review. How would you describe your poetry and your method for crafting your poems?

JL:  I think my poems change all the time and I don’t really have a concrete term to describe them. What seemed cerebral at first becomes less indefinite when I read it back, or a poem that began lyrically can evolve into something more opaque and condensed. I’m one of those people who think that a poem isn’t ever completed. You can say that you’ve ‘finished’ a poem, but for me it’s a case of setting them aside—they still contain potentialities. I think it’s important to observe the immediate world, I mean the momentary and recognizable things, such as a tree or the act of crossing the road because that’s what generates the longer, surreal and more contemplative moments. Like Literary Impressionism–how life seems to be a series of logical happenings but, mentally you’re always in an entirely different place to the one you stand in. Someone once told me that I construct a poem from the outside-in, that I write ‘ideas-based’ poetry. I used to always theorize a bit before starting out and would consider the overall impact of the poem and its purpose. Usually manifested through vagaries and hints. Now I’m more instinctive and don’t focus so much on topic. I’m doing what I can to explore the possibilities of the lyric self, and trying to make that evident through the permutations of language—its circuitous nature, elisions, abstractions, and of course silence. I’ve included other languages in my book: semaphore, code, data. It’s likely that some readers might find the poems disturbing or menacing, who knows. I can’t confess to having a method as such. Often, lines come at me out of blankness, or they’re adapted from a line I wrote ages ago. Or they’re galvanized by the work of another poet. I don’t do anything new or revolutionary!

GER: Why are you a poet and what poets are major influences on your work?

JL: Such a difficult question! I can’t answer why. All I know is that when I solely wrote critical work I felt a bit gagged. I’m influenced by many, many writers: sound poets and avant-garde poets of the modernist era, plus Pound, Beckett, Inger Christensen. More recently Caroline Bergvall, Gillian Conoley, Joseph Ceravolo. A variety of (very different) prose writers such as Jean Rhys and Gary Lutz. Many essayists. I could exchange each name here with another who has inspired me just as much.

GER: Your book reviews have been published widely. How does a literary critique differ from crafting your own poetry and is there any cross pollination?

JL: It’s a similar level of concentration insofar that I have to absorb myself in someone’s poetry and be willing to respond to its subconscious workings. As a reviewer, I feel as though you’re temporarily entrusted with the task of becoming the writer’s ideal reader. They’re trying to get you in the loop of their thoughts. I occupy a position that is quite alarming because I realize how often I don’t read with such intensity and that makes me ask, why don’t I? Reviewing a poem makes me slow down and reflect on not just what is being said but how is the what being said. Also, does the poem fulfill its implicit, original, purpose and meaning—not in its manifestation as a printed poem, but in the act of its being crafted. In terms of writing, reviewing allows me to see the intricacies of poetry that sometimes doesn’t resemble mine. That really prevents me from becoming too interiorized.

GER: You have read your poetry at venues in Europe from local venues to The Prague Poetry Festival. Most recently you shared your work at AWP in the United States. How important is it to you as a poet to share your work with a live audience?

JL: I’m glad to speak the poems and hear how they sound in a larger auditory space rather than mumbled in front of the computer screen, but I’m always nervous. Some of my poems have visual quirks that can’t be relayed.

GER: You received your MFA from The Iowa Writers Workshop and Ph.D from the University of Glasgow. Your academic career has included a stint as an Assistant Professor at the University of Northern Iowa, a Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College London and you are currently on the faculty of the University of Amsterdam. How has your academic career influenced your writing and view of the world?

JL: It’s the bureaucracy of academia that makes a university teaching job feel like the polar opposite of writing poetry, but scholarship is largely about fact-finding, truth-finding, trying to relay what someone else thought/felt/heard/said. There’s a lot of supposition and therefore so much scope for creativity. Anne Carson said in an interview that in pursuing scholarship she “never found it possible to think without thinking about myself thinking” which is a beautifully apt phrase. However, she then pointed out that such over-analysis is a characteristic of being human in general, not just an individual locked in academic questioning. She opted to “just go ahead with the project of thinking of me as if it were a legitimate human enterprise and would be enlightening to other humans”. I’m really glad she said that. I’m becoming involved in practice-based criticism at the moment; that which first and foremost establishes itself as a creative act. In terms of writing poetry, I find I’m utilizing—both deliberately and by accident—many of the areas I dealt with before. Warping the ideas and discoveries into something less ordered.

GER: You served as an editor on two collections, Broadcasting Modernism , and Pornotopias: Image, Apocalypse, Desire. Please tell us about the collections and what it was like to interact with the other editors on the projects?

JL: Broadcasting Modernism was a great project and I learned a lot from the other editors, how to make a book cohere and flow even though it has distinct components. We covered the social history of radio broadcasting in the US and the UK, which was a necessary foundation for what came later: essays on how radio affected textual and generic form of modernist literature; work that was meant to be heard as well as read. Pornotopias was a slightly different experience insofar that the contributors weren’t just literature scholars but visual and performance artists, photographers, media theorists. It’s such a diverse volume; on the back cover we stated that “the body is the site [of] technicity and catatonia, the sublime and the grotesque” and the essays certainly prove it. My own piece was on telephone sex. That was fun to write.

GER: Your next release Bravura Cool is slated for release this year from 1913 Press. Tell us about the collection and when it will be available for purchase.

JL: I tried to write, or sense, the various dimensions of shock—from extreme heat or cold, from disappointment, loss, violence, obsession, empty spaces in every sense, spirituality or the lack of it. It began as a different project but the more I worked into it, I realized it was/is a strange cross-section of my first years in America, or not mine specifically, but other voices/ideas I derived from being there. Imagined scenes and reinterpretations of events. It’s a mind dismantling itself; a variety of plots from different scopes, angles and trajectories and some of them are not nice. Above all, I suppose, the book is about communication breakdown (transmissions, misunderstood events) that naturally extends to the poem itself. The syntax occasionally fragments; there’s at least one poem where the subject and speaker don’t correlate which engenders a kind of uneasiness. There’s a séance in the form of a radio broadcast; the scientist Kurt Godel turns up, as do the Furies in the embodiment of a weather front. There’s a mass-murderer, the history of glass and a lot of American dream. I suppose the collection is quite varied. In terms of narrative, I wanted certain voices to feature in a poem and then return later. Repetition and echoing is really important to me. As is a wrapping-up of things–a coda (which might be part of an academic tendency to conclude, not sure if that’s a good thing or not). There’s a lot of journeying in the book, and it does end in a place of quietude. The overall effect I wanted was the slow burn of ice, if that’s possible to imagine, which I imply in the title. I believe it’ll be out in the next couple of months.

GER: You have been successful in placing your poetry and book reviews in publications. What advice do you have for aspiring critics and poets who struggle to get their work published?

JL: There are so many outlets to publish in—new magazines start up all the time. It can be daunting but also quite energizing when you see how many people are invested in contemporary poetry. For me, it became easier when I streamlined submissions. What I generally do is send poems to journals I highly regard, usually for their aesthetic and back catalogue that often corresponds with my own ideas. It’s an entirely personal thing. Established journals or new ones, it doesn’t matter. Reading an online magazine that contains six or seven poets I admire is one way to get me submitting. That being said, you never know who’s going to like or dislike your work. Editors aren’t faceless entities, and they’re as unpredictable as everyone else. I’d say just try to focus on what you like reading and not what you think other people will like about you—never try to ‘fit’ your writing to a journal. Also, decide where you want to be. Many journals revolve around a certain community, writers who interact and collaborate with one another for the simple reason they share the same ideas about poetry. I’m uncertain about factionalizing, or a territorial/’micro-positioning’ stance in anything but the poetry world isn’t completely like that. It can be so encouraging to get an acceptance letter from an editor who wants to take you into the fold. What I do know is that many journals are short on reviewers, and editors are pleased when you approach them with a book you’d like to write about or simply offer your services.

GER: Are you currently working on any new projects?

JL: I just finished a chapbook of very short poems, ‘We Mills, We Miles,’ currently in circulation. You’ve kindly published one of the pieces. On reflection, I think I’m going to make it a longer project. The poems turned out to be snapshots or snap-sounds of where I grew up, which was quite startling as the collection took shape. It made me consider how my accent has evolved, how it contains a mixture of inflections and hybrid emphasis, inconsistent vowel sounds—it’s like that in my head as well. I don’t speak or think in the register I used to. And by way of connection, I always say I’m anAmerican poet; I’m immersed in American poetry but I’m actually from the north of England which was quite a grim place in the ‘80s under Margaret Thatcher—a lot of unemployment and discontent. We got bits of America through television programs like Charles in Charge or The Cosby Show, and Dynasty for a real treat. What I remember so vividly is Saturday afternoon soccer (football I should say) games interspersed with the A-Team during half time. I definitely wasn’t reading Melville or William Carlos Williams. There’s some associative process going on, though, and I’m curious to investigate why I ended up writing like I do—the clash of speech, cultures, memory, acoustics, the visual. Living in Amsterdam I always say I miss home but I’m not sure which one. I’ve also got an idea for a book on numerology and that works across media, but it’s definitely on the back burner.

GER: When you are not writing poetry, editing and teaching what does Jane Lewty do for fun?

JL: Watch a lot of animal shows.

You can read the poetry of Jane Lewty in The Fox Chase Review at these links: http://www.foxchasereview.org/10SU/JaneLewty.html  and http://www.foxchasereview.org/12SU/JaneLewty.html#2

The Summer 2012 Edition of The Fox Chase Review is now Live

The Summer 2012 edition of The Fox Chase Review is now live and on line. Featuring poetry by: A.D. Winans, Le Hinton, Stevie Edwards, Mel Brake, Stephen Page, James D. Quinton, Frank Wilson, Anthony Buccino, John Dorsey, Melanie Lynn Huber, Jim Mancinelli, James Arthur, Christine Klocek-Lim,  Nicholas Balsirow, Jane Lewty, Elijah Pringle and prose by Russell Reece.

If you are in Fox Chase stop in and visit with us at The Fox Chase Reading Series (our schedule).

The Summer 2012 Edition is coming in June

Coming in June…. The Summer 2012 edition of The Fox Chase Review featuring poetry by: A.D. Winans, Le Hinton, Stevie Edwards, Mel Brake, Stephen Page, James D. Quinton, Frank Wilson, Anthony Buccino, John Dorsey, Melanie Lynn Huber, Jim Mancinelli, James Arthur, Christine Klocek-Lim,  Nicholas Balsirow, Jane Lewty, Elijah Pringle and prose by Russell Reece.

If you are in Fox Chase stop in and visit with us at The Fox Chase Reading Series (our schedule).