*Working with Anne Waldman and her feminist epic IOVIS for a Belladonna* polyvocal/group reading from the text at Poets House in NYC featuring Anne, Ambrose Bye, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Ana Božičević, Amy King, Julie Patton, and Stacy Szymaszek. A modern production? Someone mentioned denial of catharsis, but I was sweating gleefully.
*The UCSC conference on Emergent Communities curated by Andrea Quaid and Juliana Leslie. A thinking/talking through of becomingness by individuals together. Starring language. Supporting cast: somatics.
*Wrapping yellow Occupy tape around the Christopher Columbus statue at Columbus Circle in NYC with Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs after seeing the show. I took my partner Jon Lathrop for his birthday. We had excellent Turkish food at a restaurant on 57th St. where our waitress read our futures through the coffee grounds in our cups. It’s bearing out, sorta.
*Exploring poetry, politics, place, higher education, and capital with Marcella Durand and Pattie McCarthy at Kelly Writers House. Curated by Genji Amino. Attendees included the amazing Emily Abendroth, Asher Lewis, Hassen, Sarah Dowling, and Jessica Lowenthal, so you know the conversations were pertinent and fraught. On one of the Philly visits, the also amazing CA Conrad housed me and recorded a reading for his
*Jupiter 88 ongoing online archive of contemporary poetry. I love the generous nature of CA’s attention to poetry community and the ACTUAL POETRY! It’s all there! Live! Performed and recorded live! Not to be believed!
*Buying Hannah Weiner’s Open House at Flying Object in Massachusetts at a Laura Goldstein reading.
*Decoding deciphering absorbing Frances Richard’s The Phonemes. (More on this to come in the form of a review.)
*Hearing of a fellow poet’s ms. acceptance! Julie Joosten’s deft work will be published by BookThug in 2013. I know the working title, but as it’s working, I won’t share it here.
*Ditto to hearing that Tim Trace Peterson via Fran Blau has more kari edwards work to release into the world. Can. Not. Wait.
*Seeing the unfolding line-up of faculty/workshops/happenings for Naropa Summer Writing Program for 2013. Very excited to be included - Jen Karmin and I co-teaching Language As Communal Action, but everything offered looks enticing.
*Observing the poetry/writing cluster/hubs geo-happening. Flying Object again and Karen Randall’s press is nearby in Western Massachusetts. The scene in Toronto that is BookThug, the recently relocated Hoa Nguyen, the Avant-Garden series by Liz Howard and Shannon Maguire. Casa Libre en la Solana in Tucson, run by tc tolbert and Kristen Nelson. Michigan with Gina Myers, JodiAnn Stevenson and Jeremy Benson only recently left. Of course Philly is thriving. NY/Bklyn, Bay Area, Chicago. LA with Amina Cain’s Empty Globe reading series and the Les Figues orbit. Here in my area, though I’m so often traveling when a lot of the good stuff happens, we’ve got the Yes! Reading series curated by James Belflower and Matt Klane (founders in emeritus: Douglas Rothschild and Colie Collen). Fence is here, and the SUNY program attracts poets like Anna Elena Eyre. Dan Wilcox does a Third Thursday, and Dan Nestor runs Frequency North. Of course a tremendous amount of important-to-me community is online; I need to continue actively to stoke and value the physical/actual. Even the terra temporal by design, such as the UCSC cluster of us (see also Wendy S. Walters’ work). Along these lines, I cannot enough mention the Belladonna* Collaborative.
Cara Benson is the author of two books of poetry: (made) (BookThug, 2010) and Protean Parade (Black Radish Books, 2012). Her chapbook "Quantum Chaos and Poems: A Manifest(o)ation" won the bpNichol Prize. Benson is an active committee member of the PEN Prison Writing Program and teaches poetry in a NY State Prison. Her poem "BANKING" was chosen from the Boston Review by Kevin Young for the 2011 Best American Poetry.