Some poets celebrate April as National Poetry Month, claiming that it brings much needed attention to a marginalized art, while others deride the designation, arguing that it is patronizing and trivializing of an ancient (some might say arcane) way of sentience. Be that as it may, designating a day, week or month for the celebration of poetry has the intent of focusing attention on a timeless art that many see as underappreciated in the greater world of commercial consumerist media. Any search of ‘poetry’ online will turn up over 300 million hits, many duplicated of course, but all the same a number that is quite close to astronomical. Some literary elitists might argue that such a large number amounts to a lot of bad poetry. They may have a point. However, the intent of poetry is always pure; it is often for a lack of skillful execution that it fails. That doesn’t mean that poetry should be the sole purview of academic busybodies whose only function is to taxonomically classify poetry according to a moldy moth-eaten esthetic. Poetry lives because language is alive, mutable, and like a stream, treacherous or calm, torrential or stagnant, is a source of consciousness available to all. Perhaps the idea behind designating a Poetry Month serves the purpose of reminding everyone that poetry belongs to them, that poetry is free for the speaking, good, bad or indifferent.
FREE POETRY FREE POETRY FREE POETRY FREE
From its inception the Nualláin House, Publishers site has offered free access to the full texts of select out-of-print limited edition poetry titles as downloadable pdf files. Most of these poetry books were handmade using Japanese papers and bindings in editions of twenty-six to thirty-six signed by the author or authors. The free titles include Gail King’s Boxes & Chairs, Pat Nolan’s travel journal, Ah Bolinas!, and Random Rocks, a haikai collaboration with Keith Kumasen Abbott, Pat Nolan, Maureen Owen, and Michael Sowl. By scrolling down the sidebar, poetry enthusiasts can find any number of limited edition posts featuring full text access to that particular out-of-print title.
Also available for free is a signed limited edition broadside of Advice To A Young Poet by Pat Nolan accompanied by a linoleum block print from his Smoking Poets series. Send $3 for shipping and handling with return address to Nualláin House, Publishers PO Box 798 Monte Rio, CA 95462
More interested in reading about poetry? Try Parole, blog of The New Black Bart Poetry Society. Parole features essays on poetry, poets, and the poetry scene with articles on William Carlos Williams, Andrei Codrescu, Alice Notley, Philip Whalen, Frank O’Hara, and Bob Dylan to name just a few. Access is free.
Click here to read Steven Lavoie’s essay on Darrell Grey and the Actualists on the West Coast.
Essays not your thing? How about a fictional poetry soap opera?
Ode To Sunset, A Year In The Life Of American Genius is a serial fiction about a poet who is not quite Charles Baudelaire, not quite Charles Bukowski, who looks like a well worn Alex Trebeck but with the demeanor of a Mickey Rourke. It mostly takes place in a city not always quite Frisco. It is satirical, playful, and inevitably deadly serious.
Ode To Sunset has posted installments for six months to word-of-mouth acclaim. The first section, DAY, is available as individual episodes or as The Complete DAY, a pdf file. WEEK is now in progress. For free access go to Ode To Sunset.
Coming in 2015
Nualláin House, Publishers is pleased to announce it’s 2015 title,
Poetry For Sale,
Haikai no Renga (linked verse)
Introduction by Pat Nolan
Haikai no Renga with Keith Kumasen Abbott, Sandy Berrigan, Gloria Frym, Steven Lavoie, Joen Moore, Maureen Owen, Michael Sowl & John Veglia
Haikai no Renga is collaborative verse of Japanese provenance written by two or more poets trading stanza of 17 and 14 syllables according to specific rules governing the relationship between stanzas, and with stanzas numbering as many as one hundred. A haikai collaboration is as complex as chess, as multi-dimensional as go, and as fast-paced and entertaining as dominoes. It is as much about the interaction of the poets as it is about what gets written, the forward progress of its improvisation akin to that of a really tight jazz combo.
Pre-orders are now being accepted.