The very last word in poetry news!

This is the last IPM poetry update for the moment but full of good news and new things to read:

Benjamin Norris, poet, artist, and university lecturer, after a spate of publications in February has continued to write, his most recent work can be found on his website A View from a Carpark:

My sleight of hand grows tepid, shaken
kept unbound, it withers down
the coins invariably end their trail
somewhere behind the ears of a child…
(excerpt from Petty Magicks)

American poet Tim Seibles’ book Fast Animal became available in February and I found this review at Ringside Reviews the most engaging of the five that I read. The reviewer, Micah Ling, cited a poem entitled Dawn which I found on-line at eleveneleven journal. Here’s a taste:

So, I thought about death and the dying
it requires and the idea of lying
face-down somewhere: I thought

it’s just too much—the not
knowing, the anytime anyplace
of it: my heart running

out of gas—me: tagged
by a bus—my well-meaning self
clipped in the urban crossfire.

Or the giving up on everything,
the world a banquet of good reasons
for clocking out and chomping the black
sandwich. But I thought but…(excerpt from the poem Dawn in the collection Fast Animal)

Finally, American poet and playwright Octavio Solis premiered his latest theatrical work Cloudlands (a musical for which he wrote the script and lyrics in collaboration with Adam Gwon) at the South Coast Repertory Theater in Costa Mesa, California. It received this glowing review in the L.A. Times. We hope that he’ll have time to keep writing poetry now that it’s in production.

All the best to everyone and thanks for reading!

THE BODY KNEW: by Tim Seibles

The written version of this poem has disappeared from this blog. Find a reading and a link to other work by this poet below:

To listen to a reading of this poem, click on the player below:

To hear Tim Seibles giving a talk on poetry, including readings of his work click HERE.

To find Tim Seibles’ newly published book Fast Animal click HERE.

This poem originally appeared in the book Body Moves Corona Publishing

Body Language and Poetry: giving words wings

“Written words, from the days of Sumerian tablets, were meant to be pronounced out loud, since the signs carried implicit, as if it were their soul, a particular sound. The classic phrase scripta manet, verba volat –– which has come to mean, in our time, ‘what is written remains, what is spoken vanishes into air’ –– used to express the exact opposite; it was coined in praise of the word said out loud, which has wings and can fly…”
Alberto Manguel from
A History of Reading

When IPM-2MXI closed last year I was thinking, as I often do, about how poetry serves as a bridge across time and culture. I was thinking back to poetry readings that I had done and that I had attended. I have vivid memories of a writers workshop sponsored by my high school where, among others, Max Apple, Frank H. Schaefer, and Tim Seibles came to read their work and talk about writing with interested students. We were lucky.

Funny thing is, what has stuck with me for thirty-odd years, is less what they had to say about writing (sorry guys) but their physical presence, the sound of their voices: how their bodies bore their words. Gesture: Max Apple, his narrow shoulders folded in, glanced up at the auditorium of expectant students and smiled before looking down at the podium and reading from The Oranging of America and Zip along with a poem about wanting visitation rights with his ex-wife’s breasts. His nasal, northern voice held back half of a laugh. Frank Schaefer, whose laconic, matter-of-fact tone somehow matched the arch of his bushy eyebrows and the way his arms swung from his shoulders, read from The Ghosts of Elkhorn and spoke to us about ballads and the art of story-telling. Tim Seibles, whose deep, impassioned voice matched the sweep of his arms, gave his words wings as he read Double Dutch, The Leap, and Big Mouth from his first book that was then yet to be published: Body Moves.

Years later I found that slender volume of Tim Seibles poetry in a bookshop and recognized his photo on the back cover. Inside the book were the poems he’d read, lots that he hadn’t, and the sound of his voice double-exposed over the written words. That book found it’s way into my apartment here in Northern Italy and makes part of the inspiration for this year’s theme. But of course there’s more…