Papasquiaro in LARB

Papasquiaro in LARB

"In death, he is like an apparition. He shows up inconspicuously, tactfully, in a way he never did in life. No matter how deep you look into his past, you won’t find much because most of what he did was impromptu, without a script. He lived in the present, unencumbered, and he left behind a trail of anger and destruction." (From: "Mario Santiago: Infrarrealist and Terrorist", by Ilan Stavans)

Ilan Stavans, who wrote the introduction to Poetry Comes Out of my Mouth, has published an essay on Papasquiaro in Los Angeles Review of Books. Well worth reading. When you get to the end, use the fourth to the last word in the essay as a coupon code and receive 50% off the book price here, until the end of May.

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Passing of Marthe Reed

Passing of Marthe Reed

Yesterday, April  10, 2018, Marthe Reed, beloved poet and friend to poets and lovers of poetry all over the world, especially to our community in New Orleans, died, suddenly and tragically, just before she was scheduled to attend the New Orleans Poetry Festival. The festival, this year, will be dedicated to her memory, and we are offering the two books we are so proud to have published, Tender Box: A Wunderkammer, and Nights Reading ::Burton's Thousand and One::, at a special low price, in the hopes of sharing her love and her vision with a wider audience. 

No one ever met Marthe and didn't like her. She will be sorely missed.

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NOPF Approaching

The third iteration of the New Orleans Poetry Festival kicks off in less than two weeks, on Friday evening, April 20. It has been rewarding and heartening to organize this gathering, which threatens to host some 200 poets this year. More than 30 small presses and journals are represented in our book fair, and we're excited to have poets from as far away as Hawaii and New Zealand joining us, once again. If you haven't already, check out the lineup and schedule and do what you can to get here and add your own voice to the conversation, which will include more than 60 readings, panels and workshops, with concurrent events running all day Saturday and Sunday and features on Friday and Saturday nights.

Our goal with the fest, originated and organized by Lavender Ink/Diálogos and Trembling Pillow presses, has been to both celebrate and augment our local poetic community, bringing national and international poets and writers to New Orleans and vice versa. We have panels on topics ranging from Infrarealism to Visual Poetry to Collaborative Writing to Translation to Sex Magic to End Times, as well as a wide variety of readings, workshops and performances. More about these in the next newsletter.

To focus today on our features, the fest opens Friday evening with a reading by Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell, followed by a poetry slam featuring the award winning Baton Rouge Slam Team, followed by music from Kelcy Mae and Ever More Nest.  Saturday night we're happy to present Carolyn Hembree, Tonya M. Foster and performance poet Douglas Kearney, followed by our Poets with Bands show which threatens to reverbrate into the wee hours.




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Shipman/Evans and Keats at Dogfish, (The Magazine #6)

Next Thursday, February 22, the eve of the anniversary of the death of John Keats, will mark the launch of Keats Is Not the Problem, a collaborative poem by Chris Shipman and Brett Evans, at the famous Dogfish Reading Series. Even if you have to fly in from New York or California or Uruguay, you should plan on attending this event, which promises to be as much a party as a reading, with refreshments to make "The Eve of St. Agnes" seem Wordsworthian by comparison. Rodger Kamenetz says of this book: "EvansShipman have merged to form a durable romantic monster with one big clear voice, scarifying at times as poetic monsters should be, but also amiable amidst the ruins of New Orleans." Come merge with the monster and celebrate with us.

In honor of this auspicious event, we offer a little taste of the book below. You can also listen to EvansShipman reading from the book and talking to yours truly about it on The Writer's Retreat at WRBH. 

If you can't make it to the launch, pick up a copy of the book from our website for half price, today only.

Two from Keats Is Not the Problem

Aging in America (When the Music’s Not Quite Over)

It’s weird to think

    some people got 

     old and died

before the apocalypse hit

Who Killed the World?

on the celestial seasonings

 tea flap, beer bib

and what about geriatric

   roaches who just age out

of scurrying living

and flaming hot Funyons

 besting nuclear winters

 hearts on the fire

like terminal marshmallows.

psst— Spring is about youthiness

                            and bed springs

but once I read with the poet

 Stephen Rodefer

at the 13 Bar in New York,

   he among younger poets

  reading about sorrows of the flesh

even though we poets are supposed

    to be like opera singers time-

  wise, relative to peak.

Aging in America is one thing

Dying in Paris is another

so Andy, yeah—

being young 

   shucked smushed upright

    in a Pittsburgh flat just might 

be roundly where it’s at

or just flying a kite on a field

    before they invented

   all this shit that killed us

platform kids

huff glue

outside the movies

looney tunes glue

until shut-eye

pacifier rags

there are no pacifiers

atoms for peace

who made this place

this place?

wake up

wipe the glue crust

from corner mouth

start all over again

make the sale

be your own


in place



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The Magazine #4, 180204, Jill Darling

Our comrades in the fight against literary banality, Spuyten Duyvil, have just put out Jill Darling's (re)iterations(s). We published Jill's a geography of syntax in 2016 and are happy to say Jill is going to be helping out with this magazine. A poem from a geography of syntax follows, and you can buy her book on the website, today only, for half price. 

Besides poetry, Jill writes fiction and non, and a recent and fascinating essay on Wendy Walters’ Multiply/Divide and contemporary urban/corporate politics can be found at Entropy. You can hear her in conversation with T. Hetzel on Living Writers, and you can hear her read the poem, below.


Achy Breaky, like Resilience 

from a geography of syntax

The clang of seasons

plays like distinct hues melted into liquid

while we gather the pieces

move ahead on the game board, or go to jail

claim property, sell out

I am trying to say that little is more than accumulation

sorting the details will only take us to September 

You are what you earn

Correspondence hangs uneven like background music

there is a reason country songs are popular

on the jukebox

dreams, mishaps

the easy metaphor



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The Magazine, #2, 180121, Victor Rodríguez Núñez and Katherine M. Hedeen

The Magazine, #2, 180121, Victor Rodríguez Núñez and Katherine M. Hedeen

The current Kenyon Review (JAN/FEB 2018, Volume XL Number 1) features a special section, Generation Zero: New Cuban Poetry, edited by Katherine M. Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, translator and author of With a Strange Scent of World, herein.

In the introduction (available online), they write:

It’s not a cliché by any means to declare that few times in its history has Cuban poetry been more varied, innovative, critical, and attractive than it is right now. And an undeniable part of it is the verse written by what has been called Generation Zero (Generación Cero), poets born after 1970 and who began publishing after 2000.


The work by these young poets reaffirms Cuba’s long, rich tradition of dialogic poetry, which finds its identity through the identification with the other, and is marked by tensions between commitment and autonomy, dialogue and creativity, continuity and rupture.

This introductory essay is a succinct analysis of the situation of contemporary Cuban poetry, and indeed poetry in the Spanish-speaking world in the present ideological environment. They note, for example, that not a single Cuban poet was included in the recently released anthology El canon abierto: Última poesía en español [The Open Canon: New Poetry in Spanish] published by Visor, the most respected poetry press in Spain, in 2015, and add:

Cuban poetry has had to confront, above all in the seventies, neo-Stalinist aesthetic standards, which demanded, among other things, “reaching the people,” being clear and direct. This is precisely one of the paradigms of the so-called “poetry of experience,” which prevails in Spain today, with offshoots in Latin America, especially among the contemporaries of Generation Zero, the self-designated “poets of uncertainty.” By contrast, the young poets selected are very well aware, from historical experience, of the danger of making aesthetic concessions in the name of coherence and transparency, and, as such, they defend poetry’s integrity.

Which makes us wonder if we in the English-speaking world, where "coherence and transparency" continue to be the ideological vogue, might have something to learn from this collection.

And here's a poem to read and listen to from With a Strange Scent of World, by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez and translated by Katherine M. Hedeen, The sound files features Victor reading the poem in the original Spanish and  Kate reading the translation.
Kate and Victor both teach at Kenyon, where Kate also serves as Translation Editor for Kenyon Review
Pick up a copy of With a Strange Scent of World for half price, today only.

Praise for the Neutrino

For Jesús Selpúveda

I celebrate you

                       because no one in the world 

is smaller

               and still 

you cross galaxies nebulas stars

not reacting 

Because even as light

                                 you move

much slower than light

or rest motionless


the theory of a warming universe

Because thanks to you

                                   the past was only

reheated plasma and not ashes

Plasma’s density reached 

billions of tons

by cubic centimeter

Because no one knew

                                 until now

you were ninety-seven percent

of everything

                    leaving only three to be divided up

among sons of bitches and the rest

Because thanks to you

                                  no one’s far 

from anyone now and everything tends to join

And it doesn’t matter if

in a solid flame

                        at a radiant point

I celebrate you

                       because you are

                                                essence of spasm

matter of tenderness

                                 or that tiny bit of nothing

my aunt uses to brown her custards

Thank god

                  the world isn’t infinite

Like a verse

                    it’s made up of syllables 

that can be counted

The world fits in an alexandrine

Elogio del neutrino

Para Jesús Sepúlveda

Te celebro

                porque en el mundo nadie 

es más pequeño que tú 

                                   y sin embargo 

atraviesas galaxias nebulosas estrellas 

sin reaccionar con nadie

Porque aún siendo luz

                                  puedes moverte 

muchísimo más lento que la luz 

o descansar inmóvil 


la teoría de un universo caliente

Porque gracias a ti 

                            el pasado fue solo 

plasma recalentado y no cenizas 

La densidad del plasma 

era de billones de toneladas 

por centímetro cúbico

Porque nadie sabía

                             hasta ahora 

que eras el noventisiete por ciento 

de todo

           quedando solo un tres a repartir 

entre hijos de puta y demases

Porque gracias a ti 

                            nadie se aleja 

ya de nadie y todo tiende a unirse

Y no importa que sea 

en una llama dura 

                            en un punto radiante

Te celebro

                porque eres 

                                  la esencia del espasmo

materia de ternura

                             o ese poco de nada 

con que mi tía dora sus natillas

Gracias a dios

                      no es infinito el mundo

Como el verso

                      está hecho de sílabas

que es posible contar

El mundo cabe en un alejandrino

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New Orleans Poetry Festival, 2018

Again this year Lavender Ink/Diálogos is proud to co-sponsor, with Trembling Pillow Press, the New Orleans Poetry Festival. This year the fest will take place April 20-22, 2018, once again at the Healing Center in New Orleans. The site is open and now accepting proposals for panels, readings, workshops, and tables at the small press fair. Come help us make it an even bigger success this year.

Visit the site by clicking here.

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