March 31, 2010

SHELLEY PUHAK lives in Baltimore and is currently Writer-in-Residence at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, New Delta Review, New South, Third Coast, and many other journals. She has received grants from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies and the Maryland State Arts Council.

She earned her MFA from the University of New Orleans and her MA in Literature from the University of Delaware. 

Stalin in Aruba is your first book of poems. Can you describe a little about how the creative process was for you?

It was a rough process— not the writing of the individual poems so much as the act of revising and ordering them. It was quite some time before the poems coalesced into a collection. At first I had a book-length bunch of poems, but they weren’t yet a collection. 

I’d already written a short series of dramatic monologues based on scraps gathered from local nineteenth-century cemeteries: the pari...

March 30, 2010


March 28, 2010

Nothing But Color
by Ai

for Yukio Mishima

I didn't write Etsuko,
I sliced her open.
She was carmine inside
like a sea bass
and empty.
No viscera, nothing but color.
I love you like that, boy.
I pull the kimono down around your shoulders
and kiss you.
Then you let it fall open.
Each time, I cut you a little
and when you leave, I take the piece,
broil it, dip it in ginger sauce
and eat it. It burns my mouth so.
You laugh, holding me belly-down
with your body.
So much hurting to get to this moment,
when I'm beneath you,
wanting it to go on and to end.

At midnight, you say see you tonight
and I answer there won't be any tonight,
but you just smile, swing your sweater
over your head and tie the sleeves around your neck.
I hear you whistling long after you disappear
down the subway steps,
as I walk back home, my whole body tingling.
I undress
and put the bronze sword on my desk
beside the crumpled sheet of rice paper.
I smooth it open
and read its single sentence:
I meant to do it.
No. It...

March 25, 2010

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a fearless anti-lynching crusader, suffragist, women's rights advocate, journalist, and speaker. She stands as one of our nation's most uncompromising leaders and most ardent defenders of democracy. She was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862 and died in Chicago, Illinois 1931 at the age of sixty-nine.

Join us for:
The Women Behind the Names

Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Date: March 24, 2010
Location: Conaway Center @ Columbia College
1104 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL

Ida B. Wells

This inaugural program co-presented by the National Public Housing Museum and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media will focus on the lives and work of the women for whom many public housing communities have been named. In the spirit of celebrating these women who made inordinate contributions to our society, this program highlights people who are currently carrying this torch through their own work and activism.

The theme of this panel...

March 22, 2010

G O O D E V E N I N G 
Poetry Reading & Open Mic 

Jacob Mays, Dolly Lemke & Aaron Flanagan
Friday, April 2 @ 7:00p.m. 

1816 S Racine, in Pilsen

Open Mic to follow!

*From Roosevelt Red Line take 18th Street Bus (18) to Racine

*From Pink Line (54th/Cermak) arrive 18th Street Pink Line:
Walk East (Left) from station to Racine

*From Halsted St take Halsted Bus (8) to 18th street, Walk West to Racine
POST on the mailbox

Good Evening Open Mic readers and Featured Poets will bring work by their favorite poets, and work of their own to share in a reading which defies the focus of the individual and turns it towards the enjoyment and appreciation of the audience. Open Mic poets get to read 3 poems, or for 3 minutes. Features will read for 7-9 minutes. The atmosphere is meant to be a lucid, eclectic, and free exchange of ideas and positive intellect which encourages pleasure and enjoyment over the awkward and pedantic, for fun and love of language. We sincerely hope...

March 21, 2010

On International Women's Day, Ron Silliman wrote:

Still, nothing has done more to change – blur, to some degree even erase – the faultlines for poetry in my lifetime than the mass emergence of women writing. For all of the problems that I have with the concept of hybridity in poetry, I can’t escape the fact that for many writers, especially those younger than myself, the bifurcation of poetry into two counter-posing traditions is experienced as a quarrel among men (white men at that), and that the landscape of poetry in the English language now looks entirely different.

He's also compiled a list of women who blog about poetry and poetics.


A mini roundup of some other discussions on women & poetry & blogging that have been happening around the ol' interwebs:

it seems like some men in poetry just don’t see their female counterparts. This would seem the only explanation for why, although there are many female bloggers, there is a discussion every six months or so in academic circles (c...

March 20, 2010

The release date of Switchback's sixth book, Marisa Crawford's The Haunted House is right around the corner on April 1, which means we're *officially* excited!

In the meantime, please enjoy this feature in Connecticut's Monroe Courier, which profiles Crawford and discusses the reflection on adolescence, particularly the girl-world of adolescence, presented in her poetry. Crawford is a Monroe native.

The Haunted House is the winner of last year's Gatewood Prize, Switchback's annual contest for emerging women poets. Her manuscript was selected by contest judge Denise Duhamel. For details about this year's contest, judged by Cathy Park Hong, click here.

March 18, 2010

What happens when nostalgic dreamscape, displacement anxiety, locative poetic-essay and a whipsmart voyeur/protagonist meet?

Becca Klaver's LA Liminal, **now available** from Kore Press!

Switchback is thrilled to announce the release of Founding Editor Becca Klaver's first book of poetry. Congratulations, Becca!

“This is really exciting material. Becca Klaver grabs my attention with her use of the city of Los Angeles, and surreal, hyperreal, and reel/real imagery. This is quite a ride!” — Jane Miller, author of Midnights

You can order what Carol Muske-Dukes calls "a radiant, wickedly liminal debut," directly from Kore Press (yes!) or pre-order from Amazon here.

Kore Press was founded by the creative efforts of book designer Lisa Bowden and poet Karen Falkenstrom and has been publishing women since 1993.

March 16, 2010

Switchback Advisory Board Member Patty Seyburn will be reading poetry this Wednesday with Edward Hirsch in LA...

Award Winning Poets
Edward Hirsch & Patty Seyburn
Wednesday March 17, 7:30 PM

Patty Seyburn¹s third book of poems, Hilarity, won the Green Rose Prize
given by New Issues Press (Western Michigan University) and will be
published in 2009. She has published two books of poems: Mechanical Cluster
(Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions,
1998) which won the 1997 Marianne Moore Poetry Prize and the American
Library Association¹s Notable Book Award for 2000. Her poems have appeared
in numerous journals including The Paris Review, New England Review, Field,
Slate, Crazyhorse, Cutbank, Quarterly West, Bellingham Review, Connecticut
Review, Cimarron Review, Third Coast and Western Humanities Review. Seyburn
grew up in Detroit, earned a BS and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern
University, an MFA in Poetry from University...

March 15, 2010

Check out the calendar!

Formerly the MiPO Reading Series (2006 and 2007), the series name changed when Amy King resigned as editor-in-chief from the online magazine, MiPOesias, in May 2008. Life took over, as did other projects and employment responsibilities, but Amy vowed to carry on the series, with a lot of help from the new co-curator, Ana Božičević.

The readings are held on the last Friday of every month (7 – 9 p.m.) After three years at Stain Bar, in the summer of 2009 we moved to our wonderful new venue, Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn. An art and music space, library, bar, sculpture garden & magic cave, Goodbye Blue Monday is at 1087 Broadway in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn: to get there, take the JMZ trains to Myrtle Ave or the J to Kosciusko St, walk a few blocks to the corner of Dodworth St & Broadway, and take a plunge.

At each reading, you will hear a range of poetries and reading styles, as well as meet poets and appreciators, many who have traveled from...

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