Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wave Books Reading

Wave Books is a Seattle/New York based publishing company with beautifully-designed books featuring a stable of noteworthy cutting-edge poets. Last night, 3 poets from the imprint were featured in a reading at New School.

Funny, but the line between so-called "academic" work and "coffee-house" poetics is certainly become increasingly blurred, probably for the best. The three readers--Christian Hawkey, Matthew Rohrer and Eileen Myles--are all college-level poetry teachers. Hawkey's work most simulates and academic edge, with an metaphysical bent ("Even the walls are illusions;" "Close the eyes before looking a dream in the face"). His juxtaposition of oddball imagery with concrete knowns is interesting, and reminds me a bit of San Francisco poet Tom Stolmar. Rorher is an illusionist: writing seeming love poems to some domestic housefrau/sex object, when underneath it all (in my mind, at least), he seems to be addressing his muse. Myles is the Patti Smith of the bunch (and former St. Mark's Poetry Project director), with humorous poems that seem to lack humility, until you realize that everything she's laughing about is her way of showing the beauty of the horror (i.e., 9/11, friends dying of AIDS, being a lesbian from a conservative family).

Glad to know that Wave is publishing such a wide range of poetic styles. All I wonder now is: Do all their poets need to be college professors, or do all poets eventually become college professors?

Happy Birthday again the wonderfully inspiring Karen H!!

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