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Letters to Poets
Conversations About Poetics, Politics, and Community
Jennifer Firestone, ed.; Dana Teen Lomax, ed.

2008 • 200 pp. 6 1/2 x 9"

$24.00 Paperback, 978-0-9754990-8-5

“This courageous and visionary book enacts and embodies a concrete “relational aesthetics” that gives poetic voices an epistolary space— for linguistic intimacy and soul-sharing. Don't miss it!”Cornel West

Letters to Poets honors and commemorates the hundredth anniversary of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet by partnering a selection of 14 of the country’s leading contemporary poets with 14 emerging poets and documenting their correspondences. These poets challenge the hierarchies and pitfalls endemic to the mentoring process, and ask some of the day’s toughest, most vital questions concerning race, class, and gender. Spanning a range of not only generations but cultural, aesthetic, and economic backgrounds, these diverse pairings both challenge and support each other artistically and politically. The result is in turns dramatic, enlightening, and entertaining.

Contributors include: Anselm Berrigan & John Yau, Brenda Coultas & Victor Hernández Cruz, Truong Tran & Wanda Coleman, Patrick Pritchett & Kathleen Fraser, Hajera Ghori & Alfred Arteaga, Jennifer Firestone & Eileen Myles, Karen Weiser & Anne Waldman, Jill Magi & Cecilia Vicuña, Rosamond S. King & Jayne Cortez, Judith Goldman & Leslie Scalapino, Traci Gourdine & Quincy Troupe, Brenda Iijima & Joan Retallack, Dana Teen Lomax & Claire Braz-Valentine, Albert Flynn DeSilver & Paul Hoover

Reviews / Endorsements

“In the age of the quick email, it is wonderful to pick up the heft of Letters to Poets, by poets, and for poets. Here are epistles that demonstrate that the pleasures of poetry are clustered around the pleasures of thinking with others.”
—Juliana Spahr

“These letters continue in the tradition of Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet. Unlike Rilke's letters, this is a collection of many different established poets communing by letter with younger, emerging poets. These letters bear advice, philosophical discourse, theoretical strategies, dreams, weather reports, questions, answers, and, poetry. What happens here is a kind of call and response by letter. And as in Rilke's letters, these missives are lively, urgent, wise, erudite, witty, political and absolutely necessary to a contemporary discussion of the current state of the making of poetry.”
Joy Harjo

“Here are some possible strategies to navigate this world and some great bits of wisdom; you will need them.”—Ridiculous Human Things

JENNIFER FIRESTONE is the author of Holiday (2008), Waves (2007), From Flashes (2006) and snapshot (2004). She teaches poetry at The New School For Liberal Arts at Eugene Lang College where she is the Poet in Residence. She lives in Brooklyn with her family. DANA TEEN LOMAX is the author of Curren¢y (2006), and Room (1999). Her work has been published internationally and received the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson prize for poetry, among others. She works as the Interim Director of Small Press Traffic, teaches writing at San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco, and lives in northern California with her family.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:05:52 -0500