I'm teaching from the new Talisman anthology of younger poets at Naropa
Institute in Colorado in a couple of weeks.
Highly recommended as a sampling of some of the younger new US work --
obviously with omissions, so I'll not play the most boring game in the world
of who is left out. It show how the younger people play a little free of
tighter theoretical positions but remain rather philosophical in approach (but
that's partly a function of the editors' preoccupations -- Lisa Jarnot,
Leonard Schwartz and the express train Chris Stroffolino.) That is it can
seem a little solemn at times, whereas this is by no means true of the younger
American work in general.
It shows how much British younger poets need to create their own energies free
of nets. I only wish some editor were working in England multi-culturally,
free of Cambridge-London bias, and with a healthy respect for women's work so
as to produce a genuinely modern anthology. The ones I've seen recently,
including the Shearsman, are very worthy but do not match these requirements.
The Talisman one leans towards a few key centres -- Brown, San Francisco,
Washington (a little), New York, and Buffalo -- so that the cultural mix is
its weakest aspect, rather token on the whole. However indispensable.
Just for example: Check out Brenda Coultas, Renee Gladman, Thomas Sayers
Ellis, Garrett Kalleberg, Bill Luoma, Jennifer Moxley, Claire Needell, Hoa
Nguyen, Heather Ramsdell, Elio Scheeman, Susan Schultz, Eleni Sikelianos; Rod
Smith, Juliana Spahr, Stroffolino, and Elizabeth Willis, for example, some of
whom you'll know, perhaps all. Others too. But many other small books coming
out of NYC, Washington, and SF should also be made available on the Brit
"market". I would have to add in here the fabulous Berrigan brothers, Anselm
and Eddie, who packed a reading out in SF the other day when they gave their
first duo performance. Things are moving.
(Someone sent me the Independent review of the Ginsberg memorial -- gushily
enthusiastic, a bit over-written even, with Anne Waldman getting star billing
as she no doubt deserved. I don't think I retained the cutting. I'll be
seeing Anne in Colorado, so if I find the thing I'll pass it on. Allen's
business manager Bob Rosenthal was here to dinner with Shelley last night. I
gained the impression that there was quite a lot of Michael Horovitz influence
on the line-up. There's a lot of Ginsberg activity right now, as you'd