Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Verse Plays Sought + The Cultural Society

Verse plays in your drawers?
For the poet-dramatists out there, from poet Phebus Etienne:



Houseful of Poets,
the sequel to The Republic of Poetry
produced in June, 2005

The armature around which this collaborative collage piece will be built is a newly-discovered play by Frank O’Hara, The Houses at Falling Hanging, which will be intertwined with Gertrude Stein’s In the Garden and Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Aria da Capo. So: we are looking for short (or longer) plays written in a poetic form (loosely or rigidly) which are on the subject of war or love (or both), have some sort of social-political slant, and are grotesque, funny, weird, comic, slapstick, or what have you…SCRIPTS MAY BE SENT TO MEDICINE SHOW AT 549 WEST 52ND STREET
NY, NY 10019

Update: I realized there was no deadline, so I wrote them and here's what I got back:

There is no hard-and-fast deadline, but we would like to have a substantial
number to choose from by the 3rd week in September, the 20th, say. Earlier
would be better. If someone is planning to send us something, they might
notify us ahead of time.

Best, Chris Brandt

The Cultural Society
Zach Barocas, a poet and cultural activist I met a few years ago, has set up a site that features some of the work he and a small collective of people, including his wife (who once ran one of my favorite stationery stores in New York), have been working at for the last few years. The Cultural Society site includes online texts (including poems by Tyrone Williams, Pura López-Colome, Stacy Szymaszek, Dan Featherston, Paul Naylor, Graham Foust, and many others), publications for sale, images, and if you're in Minneapolis, where Zach is now based, readings and other events.

Here's one poem that really resonated for me, by John Tipton:
"the falsework gave way..."

the falsework gave way beneath the falsework
a bridgeless space opens time is flat
light streams falls a lightwell forms
where nothing opens in the orange bridge
is neither evidence nor is it stable
an orange bridge is riveted in blue
& you begin to fall you fell
you span the weave of bodily perfection
my bridge makes distance grammar, theory bend
the crows’ calls as clear as speech
lose the glowing rivet to the glint
of a river purling fourhundred feet dark
there the skaters will glide come December
& your descent is true is true

— John Tipton (© 2002)

Zach recently sent along his new Cultural Society book, a collection of poems entitled Among Other Things (2006). Among their broadsides are works by Princeton professor Paul Muldoon, Devin Johnston (of Flood Editions), Chicago Poetry Project's John Tipton, Australian poet Les Murray, and New Yorker Pam Rehm. The Cultural Society has periodic open calls, so stop by the site in case you have poems or pictures you think might fit their aesthetic.

Random photo

Changing the window display at the Mark Jacobs store, West Village

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