"I want you and you are not here." Over the past year, my LA-based love and I have been sending each other songs (her) and poems (me) to help bridge the intermittent distance between us. These are some of the poems.
You can’t cut a cross-section of the Action Books catalog without getting covered in the radical, political, visionary, gorgeous, grotesque poetical blood that runs through our veins; you can’t map the international span of the Action Books roster without turning the globe in every direction. We are extremely proud of these impossibilities.
This playlist is culled from some of our recently released books from here and afar, from the translated collections we’ve published in the past by groundbreaking Korean poets Kim Hyesoon and Kim Yideum, and from two of our upcoming releases, THIRD MILLENNIUM HEART by Ursula Andkjaer Olsen (Denmark) and ADRENALIN by Ghayath Almadoun (Syria).
Spare at first seems like a catalog of lucid dreams but soon reveals itself as a map to an ancient dimension still lingering among us. It is a place both mystifying and damning, where the earth itself speaks and the strangest creatures living there are people. One cannot be sure whether the pieces within it are recollections or incantations. “There are traces in the sky of what I mean,” writes Lundeen. Those traces are Spare.
Selections from poets who participated in the reading at Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop on July 20th, 2017. Organized by Jean Yoon, the evening featured performances by Madison McCartha, Yanyi, Jean, and La Llorona.
I've been thinking a lot about the rich stories we tell through food, and the way we create communities around how we nourish ourselves and each other, what a privilege that is, and what stirs us to seek these out.
See all 7 poems...
Good poems, like good food, excite the senses and nourish the soul. From the dinner party to the picnic, food is at the center of work by Nikki Giovanni, Mark Strand, William Carlos Williams, and others. As part of your balanced diet, be fed and filled by these poems that celebrate eating, feasting, musing and consuming.
Too often, representations of disability in literature conflate the disabled body with the entirety of a person’s identity or relegate characters with disabilities to the role of embittered villain, clown, or victim. In this context, disability serves merely as a way for both the writer and the reader to define themselves as “normal” in contrast. However, the poets in this playlist reveal normalcy as a social construct and thus begin to subvert assumptions about the normal body, the normal person, and the normal citizen. They deform notions of normalcy and rewrite the disabled body not as a metaphor, but as one important aspect of identity.
A selection of poems against hate and injustice in the time of Trump, most drawn from online journals that have made a point to publish political poetry in the months since the election. Journals include: Heavy Feather Review; Yes, Poetry; Love's Executive Order; Banango Street; DIAGRAM; Pinwheel; BOAAT; Dryland; Poetry; and The New Inquiry. The playlist draws its title from Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib's poem of the same name.
These are poems about being haunted, about addiction, obsession, curses, madness, decadence, and mourning.
Syria's capital has recently been in the news as a wounded city. I thought to celebrate it in Verse by creating a Playlist of Nizar Qabbani’s poems in translation. Qabbani (1923-1998) was born in Damascus. His poetry spanned numerous topics and themes, erotic or political, most importantly a celebration of love, for him closely entwined with the written word. The aim of his work was "to free the soul, body and senses", held prisoners in this area of the world. Many who do not read poetry are familiar with his work through popular songs such as the daring affirmation of faith “I testify that there is no woman but You”. Qabbani died in London but wished to be interred in Damascus. In his will, he described his native city as “the womb that taught me poetry, taught me creativity, and gifted me with an alphabet of jasmine flowers”.
A H_NGM_N Playlist for the First Half of 2017
Poets have long drawn inspiration from visual art, and more recently, film. These poems are inspired by, connect to, and create new relationships with film and cinematography, and include topics such as Valley of the Dolls, Izo, Chaplin, James Bond, Gone With the Wind, & Pierrot Le Fou.
This playlist includes both poems written during & about the Civil War.
This playlist brings together poetry written by women poets from before 1500, many of which you may have never heard of.
For more from early women writers, see: https://entropymag.org/women-writers-from-before-1500-that-youve-probably-never-heard-of
Info on the poetic form of the villanelle: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/villanelle-poetic-form
Because of the complex repetition of lines, it has been suggested that the villanelle is often used to deal with obsession and that the relationship between repeated lines creates a feeling of dislocation and “a paradigm for schizophrenia.” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villanelle
A period of musical, literary, and cultural proliferation that began in New York’s African-American community during the 1920s and early 1930s. The movement was key to developing a new sense of Black identity and aesthetics as writers, visual artists, and musicians articulated new modes of African-American experience and experimented with artistic forms, modernist techniques, and folk culture. Harlem Renaissance artists and activists also influenced French and Caribbean Négritude and Negrismo movements in addition to laying a foundation for future Black Arts champions like Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka. — Poetry Foundation (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/glossary-terms/detail/harlem-renaissance)
Read: The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain (1926) By Langston Hughes (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/resources/learning/essays/detail/69395)
Read: The Black Poet as Canon-Maker by Elizabeth Alexander
Los Angeles, as a sprawling metropolis and ever-changing landscape, boasts a diverse and engaged community of poets and writers. This playlist features some of the contemporary poets writing in the scene today.
"We are living in the apocalypse. The first moment of time was the first moment of apocalypse and death. Please, don’t fear the apocalypse."
- László Krasznahorkai
"Before me there was no time, after me there will be none.
With me it is born, with me it will also die."
- Daniel von Czepko, Sexcenta Monidisticha Sapientum III, II (1655)
“The world I create in writing compensates for what the real world does not give me.”
– Gloria E. Anzaldúa
“To imagine a language is to imagine a way of life.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein