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Saturday, 3 July 2010

Off the page

Poetry Review Volume 100: 2 Summer 2010 is out, with poems from Alfred Corn, Ruth Fainlight, Alan Jenkins, John Kinsella, Sarah Maguire, Chris McCabe, Daljit Nagra, myself, and others.  Also, a few good articles on slam poetry.  Having been involved with bringing slam poetry to Canada fifteen years ago (in the summer of 1994 I believe) via the nationally-infamous cabaret nights of Vox Hunt, that led to YAWP! and the emergence of an entire slam domination in Montreal of the art form, for a few years, I then anthologised slam poets and poems alongside major page poets like Glyn Maxwell, Michael Donaghy, and others, calling the new wave of poets that read well on and off the page Fusion Poets, with co-editor Regie Cabico, when we put out the 1998 anthology Poetry Nation.  Good to see the British finally taking to their own indigenous slam artists, and welcoming them in, off the stage, onto the page.  Meanwhile, my own working practice has moved on, and I collaborate far less with rap artists and musicians, as I used to do at Club di Salvio (origin of Bran Van 3000 - and I may be the Todd of "Drinking in LA", or not) - these days I am, I suppose, a lover of high modernist formal practice, and the lyric, disrupted more, or less.  The page rules the head, the stage the heart.  The eyes may have it.  But a voice can still win the day.
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