NEW ONLINE RESOURCE FOR WISCONSIN POETS
The new poetry magazine, Verse Wisconsin, has gone online as of September 1, 2009. Featuring information for poets across the state and beyond, the website ushers in the next phase of Verse Wisconsin’s project, and offers a place for poets across the state to post their local events and learn of others.
Co-editors Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse welcome everyone on board. “We know our links page isn’t nearly complete. Far from it! But we also wanted poets to feel free to share information with each other, rather than for us to pose as the experts,” explains Busse.
The magazine will publish poetry and prose about poetry and is currently accepting submissions. “We’re hoping to reach a broad cross-section of poets in the state, and beyond,” says Busse. “Our predecessor, Linda Aschbrenner, published a variety of styles and voices in Free Verse. In moving the magazine to Madison, and updating it, we’re hoping to continue her tradition and expand upon it.”
The editors are accepting poetry submissions from poets now, with the intention of publishing a first issue, online and in print, in January 2010. The online and print versions will offer different, but complementary, material.
Learn more at www.versewisconsin.org.
Published from 1998-2009 as Free Verse, Verse Wisconsin publishes poetry and serves the community of poets in Wisconsin and beyond. In fulfilling our mission we:
• showcase the excellence and diversity of poetry rooted in or related to Wisconsin
• connect Wisconsin’s poets to each other and to the larger literary world
• foster critical conversations about poetry
• build and invigorate the audience for poetry
Posts Tagged 'Wisconsin poetry'
Tags: Poetry, Sarah Busse, Verse Wisconsin, Wendy Vardaman, Wisconsin poetry
Tags: John Lehman, John Updike, Wisconsin poetry
Recorded exclusively for Coffee Spew, here’s Wisconsin poet John Lehman reading from his work. First, from Acting Lessons (Parallel Press, 2008), a film noir reverie:
Things More Distant Than They Appear / John Lehman
Let’s say that you had just two choices. The first, to leave
Rick’s Club, walk the six blocks down to your girl’s place
and apologize. The second, to stay and finish your drink.
The entranceway—stark, mail on the floor, broken buzzer
and unlocked door—with a little Scotch, takes on a movie
musical glow. A set where you tap dance up the staircase
into the arms of someone who is young and silken-robed.
In fact, the place is shabby. One, two, three stories of fried
onion smell. Then, of course her apartment door is locked
and at this time of night, why would she answer anybody’s
knock? So, it would be back to Rick’s anyway, right? No,
not quite, because you see the door is inexplicably ajar,
though all is dark inside. Now there are two more choices:
to call out “hello”—the only sensible thing to do—or push
the door open and, very quietly step within, the idea being
that you’ll make your way to her room, kneel beside her
bed and whisper your affection in her delicate ear as she
dreamily awakes. In you go, for this is the night of fools,
feeling furniture with your toes stealthily as a cat. Each
step takes days, each day is a week. Your lifetime passes
as you breathe through the doorway to her bed which is
—What did you expect?—empty. All you know for sure,
is that you’re tired and drunk and sad. You want to tumble
on top of that bed for a minute’s rest. You do, and dream
that you are back at Rick’s, and this time she comes in.
She puts her fingers to your lips; there’s no need for you to
speak. “My place or yours,” she smiles and since you already
smell the lavender candles of her room and feel the softness
of her pillows on your cheek, there are no choices, anymore.
But you’re not in her dreams, like she’s in yours. You don’t
need to leave Rick’s to discover that. So you sit and listen
to Chet Baker’s trumpet on the jukebox, to remember and forget.
Next, from Dogs Dream of Running (Salmon Run Press, 2001), an affectionate encounter with the late, great author:
John Updike Spills the Beans Riding through New Jersey / John Lehman
It was about this same time of year. We
were driving through a rural New Jersey
night, the wife of a Princeton Italian pro-
fessor, Tom Kennedy and me. She had
organized a day for us to conduct writing
workshops and now after the culminating
event, a lecture by the legendary John
Updike, we were headed to a reception
at the house of a dean. “Wasn’t Updike
something?” we all asked, remembering
the eloquence of his extemporaneous
words as they blended seamlessly with
excerpts which he read, like some vast
swelling on a literary sea, to raise us, not
to truth or beauty, but to a profound, new
level of sleep. Tom admitted to nodding
off several times and I to once awakening
with a start. Even our hostess could not
deny, “with the warmth, the lights, the ‘oh
so busy’ day …” But now how deliciously
refreshed we were, ready over cocktails
and hors d’oeuvres to impress each other,
all over again, with cleverness and wit.
Later, in the Cadillac en route to the motel,
we three were joined by the man himself.
He proved humble in a way the successful
are humble, dismissing their genius, though
mindful the rest of us be sure to disagree.
A lanky man slightly bending an enormous
head, he said, “I couldn’t help but notice
there was one person who … fell asleep.”
Was that the engine or his rising voice that
roared? He continued, “All I could think of
was how I might rouse this poor soul in the
third row from her stuporous dreams.” At this
pronoun Tom and I exhaled, and our driver
let us know, from where she was sitting
in the wings she didn’t see anything. “Well,”
he sighed, “that reminds me of when T.S.
Eliot came to Yale. We had waited hours
in line to hear him speak. Student seats
were high in the balcony and amidst the
rising radiator heat …” And here the courtly
Updike chortled to himself, like a spent
wave tickling the sand on a distant beach.
“Can you imagine,” he said, “I fell asleep.”