April 30, 2005 9:17 AM More Swedish Chefs: A Sneak Peek at a brand new issue 1/2005 of Tuli&Savu (N,F) which has a good section on “the contemporary experimental Swedish poetry”, with presentations of Helena Eriksson’s, Camilla Hammarström’s, Hanna Hallgren’s, Robert Ståhl’s, Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson’s – and Lars Mikael Raattamaa’s work (with three poems of him translated into Finnish). The subscribers can expect to get the issue in a week or two’s time, I think. As a sneak sneak peek, check out these introductions to Raattamaa: Martin Deichman on Politisk våld (N,D) in the Danish group blog afsnit p (N,D), Magnus Ringgren on Helgonlegenderna: väv in Aftonbladet (N,S), and the poet himself on his work in an interview for Dagens Nyheter (N,S) and on his meeting with L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E here (N,S). Missing from the Tuli&Savu feature is the poet Jörgen Gassilewski; for an interview with him in the Norwegian netzine ny poesi (N,No), click here (N,No,S). Plus, there’s a good English introduction to the new Swedish writing in boundary 2, Volume 29, Number 1, Spring 2002; for a Raattamaa excerpt from that, click here (N).
April 29, 2005 10:33 AM In the honor of Jackson Mac Low, who died in December 2004, I put up a small article on him, based on our meeting in October 1992 and originally published in Helsingin Sanomat in January 1993: Finnish, English. For more, see (all N) Jackson Mac Low EPC Page, New York Times obituary, Charles Bernstein on Jackson Mac Low. Yo!
April 28, 2005 7:50 Cupyeeng, pesteeng, perudy, imeeteting, sempleeng, ununymeety, mesqooerede-a, selff-iffffecement, zeefft… To see my entire blog page in “Swedish Chef” dialect, click here (N). Or go to the The Dialetizer (N) home page, to get the additional choises of “Redneck”, “Jive”, “Cockney”, “Elmer Fund”, “Moron”, “Pig Latin”, and “Hacker”. And once in the business of de-forming, why not try this (N,?) too, from The Eater of Meaning (N) tool by Leonard Richardson.
April 27, 2005 8:53 AM An old blog among the kids. Juhani Tikkanen, a Turku-based poet of sea and other things, maintains – for years now – an impressive web site (N,F) dedicated for poetry, his own and that of many others’: the “Pohdintoja” section (mostly reviews) alone contains more than a hundred pieces. Tikkanen’s tastes go for early French experimentation, beat, and quietude (Howl and Haiku: check out his translations into the Turku dialect (N,F) of the Japanese classic Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, N, in transliterated Japanese, English). I for one am not surprised of Otava’s abandonment of Tikkanen – yet this pioneer of poetry online would deserve a few links at some of our so called literary blogs (just now Technorati gives none…).
April 27, 2005 6:09 AM Karri Kokko’s newest, New Sentence blog is Varjofinlandia (N,F) (Shadow Finlandia): dark stripes amidst the light.
April 26, 2005 7:32 AM For those of you with some Russian and/or Finnish, check out Mihail Kuzmin’s “Rekviem neezhnosti”, together with my homophonic translation of it, “Rykien hienosti”, at Tuli&Savu Net (N,R,F). The site also has Mihail’s stuff in Jukka Mallinen’s real Finnish (N,F); for information of the work of the St. Petersburg poet in original, go here (N,R).
April 25, 2005 8:32 AM More on the Ungearable Writedness of Living: “Topical blog authors are Dadaists selecting readymades who yet strive to be Bauhaus craftspeople…” Scott Carter: The Role of the Author in Topical Blogs (N) via Boynton (N).
April 25, 2005 7:18 AM It seems Anita Konkka’s cat made her read Milan Kundera on graphomania (N,F), “the desire to be published”: “The irresistible proliferation of graphomania among politicians, taxi drivers, childbearers, lovers, murderers, thieves, prostitutes, officials, doctors, and patients shows me that everyone without exception bears a potential writer within him (…) One morning (and it will be soon), when everyone wakes up as a writer, the age of universal deafness and incomprehension will have arrived.” (The Book of Laughter And Forgetting (N), from 1978). It is easy to connect this to the phenomenon of blogging, and it’s been done before (N). My sense is, however, that the Queen of Finnish “literary blogging” is a bit too quick to conclude that Kundera meant “real writers”, “not bloggers” – compare the Czech: “A woman who writes her lover four letters a day is not a graphomaniac (…) But my friend who xeroxes his love letters so he can publish them someday (…) is a graphomaniac.” Instead, one could see Kundera to refer to the general trend toward “confessional” and “gossip-like” in literature, which many (me included) tend to see as it’s deterioration. Then again, blogging of course does not equal confessing. Quite the contrary: blogalisation (together with it’s underlining technological change) may as well work to liberate us precisely from this deafening burden of universal egoistic self-exposure (it’s deafening since it always, and in spite of it’s apparent thrive to surprise and shock, amounts to telling “the same”, “what everybody knows already”). To me, the promising trends in blogging, in that respect, include: copying, pasting, parody, imitating, sampling, anonymity, masquerade, self-effacement, theft… See also Todd E. Napolitano’s more pessimistic take on graphomania and “women’s (sic) online writing” (N, but it is from 1996!).
April 24, 2005 8:52 AM PhillySound, a weblog collectively maintained by CAConrad,Tom Devaney et al, publishes answers to questions they sent round to sixteen poets concerning what they call “a floodgate of vitriol” against Allen Ginsberg since his death in 1997. The responses from, among others, Caroline Bergvall, Anselm Berrigan, Anselm Hollo, and Chris Stroffolino, make interesting reading. I’m glad to note the general condemnation of the poets open support to pedophilia – a fact perhaps less known where I write this. And equally delighted by how Ginsberg’s being a clown is seen as a thing, in words of Nada Gordon, to “treasure most about him”.
April 23, 2005 9:07 AM Google: A Make Copies Couplets Poem in the Anthology (N).
April 23, 2005 7:30 AM On Saturday, May 21, I’ll be addressing this (Finnish) seminar on the (Finnish) 70’s: 1970-luku – Myytit lyttyyn? (?) (N,F)
April 22, 2005 9:50 AM The Google Poem Anthology now features the witty Sestina by K. Silem Mohammad. – Sestina, of course, is a complicated verse form initiated by the troubadours, with a recurring pattern of end words (the actual formula is 123456 / 615243 / 364125 / 532614 / 451362 / 246531 / 531 (or135)). For 20th century examples, see Ezra Pound: Sestina: Altaforte (an able Finnish translation by Tuomas Anhava in Pound: Personae, Otava 1976) and John Ashbery: Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape – whereas the latter’s Flow Chart (Alfred A. Knopf 1991) includes a famous double-sestina, in my Finnish from Vuokaavio (Jack-in-the-Box 1994) here. Speaking about John, he has a new book out, Where Shall I Wander (Carcanet 2005). Also note his recent new selection in Finnish (WSOY 2004), translated by Aki Salmela. Aki’s Word In Progress, again, is one of the finest recent pieces of Finnish poetry, but not in Finnish.
April 21, 2005 9:43 AM … and I also like this, from Tämän maailman tärkeimmät asiat (N,F), by Markku Pääskynen: “…to write, you don’t have to live a certain life. Any life will do. Any life, provided you forget it…” Quoted by Risto Niemi-Pynttäri (N,F), April 19, 2005.
April 20, 2005, 7:57 AM Available again: my 1991 book, Ihan toinen iankaikkisuus, in my and C. B. Hall’s English as Quite Another Eternity (from 1993, N), and in Martin Enckell’s Swedish as En helt annan evighet (from 1996, I think, N,S). Both as single HTML files.
April 19, 2005 9:45 AM The newest addition to the “When Poem” (“Kun auto joutuu onnettomuuteen, “When A Car Gets Into An Accident“) is “When the conclave took three years” (Helsingin Sanomat, April 18, 2005). Not so long, after all – compared, say, to what it seems to take to decide when to cover my work in the paper. It’s now almost eleven years since the latest review (F). The English version of “When…” now comes complete with all the 209 headlines gathered so far, and I aim to update it regularly in the future.
April 15, 2005 7:07 Steve McLaughlin (N) run my reading of my hexametrical palindrome poem forward and backward simultaneously. I may not be the one to tell, but the result really is worth listening to (the original reading is to be found here, N). – For an other kind of super-imposing, those of you in or near Helsinki, and with some Finnish, this (N, F) is where movies walk, poems talk.
April 14, 2005 7:56 “For a work to be a poem it needn’t meet any aesthetic standard.” In this interview with him (N) by poet Payam Fotouhipour, of Tehran, Charles Bernstein (N) has some (characteristically) wise things to say about poets and their “audiences”. Finnish readers, compare to Risto Ahti’s bold statement about, effectively, the need to “maintain an avant-garde” “without a supposed audience” (originally in HS, April 3, 2005, now in Tuli&Savu Net, F, N).
April 13, 2005 7:11 April is the cruelest month? The Google Poem Generator tends to agree…(N)
April 12, 2005 7:38 Talking about my work Päivä, which incorporates all the news by the Finnish News Agency from August 20, 2003, sorted alphabetically by sentence, someone remarked: Why not go for the Phone Book instead? Well, that’s been done, too. Take a look at my “Oodi puhelinluettelolle“, from ARG 2/1992. To watch and listen to an excerpt of my reading it in Laterna, Tampere, Feb. 10, 2005, click here (QuickTime, RealPlayer, and my apologies for appearing in a horizontal position…).
April 11, 2005 7:52 I see Christian Bök, a remarkble sound poet and the author of Eunoia, is one of the finalists in this year’s Poetry Face-Off, the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s annual poetry competition. You may listen to his piece here – and even vote, here.
April 10, 2005 7:06 “The only really deep thing in the world is our ignorance.” Rauno Räsänen has mail to me in his blog (F, N) yesterday. And he’s right to note that my site “begins to look bloglike”…
April 9, 2005 My very good brother-in-psalms, Karri Kokko, is turning 50 today. Check out his superb blogs Poem-In-Reverse (F, N), Blonde On Blonde (no language restrictions, N), the Silliman-inspired Uusia lauseita (F, N), and Next Blog Year Book (N) and, finally, Muisti|kirja (F, N, with occasional English), where I just started a congrats book in the Comments section. Join in! – Jukka-Pekka Kervinen’s “‘fifty’ for Karri” here.
April 8, 2005 RUNOUS NYT. I’m thinking to spend a good part of this Friday in this (F, N) seminar on contemporary poetry and poetics.
April 6, 2005 “His long poems (…) are unique in the Finnish literature”. Jonimatti Joutsijärvi’s review of Ampauksia in Nuori Voima 6/2004 (via Tuli&Savu Net). Read more, F, N