Tuesday, August 02, 2005

F7 in Octopus

Good news! Octopus Magazine's "New Poets" issue, which came out yesterday, includes 8 poems from my manuscript, F7 (for more on F7, see my previous post), as well as a terrific batch of work from my good friend Randall Williams. Thanks to Octopus editor Zachary Schomburg for putting together this exciting group of new voices, and for allowing F7 to stretch its legs in this expansive setting. And much gratitude to Tony Tost for his close reading, his lively (and very flattering!) introduction, and his general support. I don't want this to sound like an Oscar speech, but Tony, Ken Rumble, Randall, Todd Sandvik, Marcus Slease, Chris Vitiello, Patrick Herron, and many other members of Lucifer Poetics have been such an inspiration to me, by their guidance, friendship, talent, and dedication, that I can't imagine F7 existing without them. One love.

I read many of the poems included in Octopus on the just-completed Lucifer Poetics reading tour, and while I'd like to blog about the trip at length, the life of the freelance writer / menial laborer requires constant work to sustain. After five days on the road, I'm so deeply buried under emails and deadlines that I'll have to wait until the clusterfuck clears to hopefully mount a recap worthy of this excellent tour. Suffice it to say that the trip was a success on a number of levels. For one, it ran pretty much like clockwork, especially considering how loose and fast we played it with details like lodgings, directions and so on (a gaggle of teamsters didn't know what to make of us the morning after the Brooklyn reading, sprawled on a Williamsburg sidewalk with an atlas trying to figure out how to get to Ithaca and playing the ukelele). Two, we had a blast, meeting up with old friends and making new ones, enjoying incredible hospitality from the poetic communities and in general everywhere we went. In Baltimore, we got to spend some quality time with our good friends from the DC / Baltimore poetry scenes, and I kicked it with Tom Breihan on one of his final nights in B-more before heading to New York to start a fantastic new gig blogging for the Voice (congrats, Tom!). Besides enjoying monstrous hospitality from Molly (poet and owner of Molly's Bookstore, whose last name unfortunatley eludes me) and Linh Dinh, we met Philly punk rock legend Mikey Wild and weirded up the open mic at Ray's Happy Birthday Bar. Brooklyn was a social overload - got in some good face time with the Moistworks crew, Forker Brandon Stosuy and his girlfriend Jane, various old friends from Chapel Hill, and many others. But perhaps the most important aspect of the trip was that, because of the theatrical and collaborative nature of the readings we devised (my cell developed a sort of dramatic framework that we used to contrast and blend our individual work, tweaking and refining the process each night), we learned a hell of a lot about our own poetry and each other's. These were undoubtedly the best, most exciting and innovative readings we've ever done as a group, and it's certain that there will be more emphasis on collaboration in Lucipo's future. Here are some pictures that Greg Delisle took of the reading in Ithaca in the amazing space provided by the Lost Dog Cafe.


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