Friday, October 24, 2008

My family and I had the considerable pleasure this week of playing host to John Bloomberg-Rissman and his wife Kathy on part of their UK vacation. We did the tourist things, like visiting Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, that we don't normally get to do. John does a good job of keeping me up to date with developments in American poetry, and he arrived with a gift of a pile of books, some of which I'll maybe get round to reviewing, or at least mentioning at some point. They were:

Ron Silliman, "The Alphabet" (a 1000-page life's work)
Lyn Hejinian, "My Life"
Christian Bok, "Euonia"
Hannah Wiener's Open House
Jared Schickling, "Submissions"
Donna Stonecipher, "Souvenir de Constantinople"
Gertrude Stein, "A Reader" ed. Ulla E. Dydo

Plenty to get my teeth into there. The last book mentioned should cure my shamefully superficial knowledge of Gertrude Stein, a writer who seems bigger and more important the more I find out about her.


Ed Baker said...

you will have phun w Gertie Stein

try her

-Reflection on the Atomic Bomb vol I of ...

-How Writing is Written vol II of...

-A Primer for the Gradual
Understanding of Gertrude Stein

(all edited by Rob. Haas

and G.S.'s every popular:

How to Write w a terrific intro by Patricia Meyerowitz

Gertrude almoast becam the first female doctor to graduate from Johns Hopkins (where I MA'd 1972) I think that she only needed to finish one course to graduate...

sounds like a fun visit w John

Alan Baker said...

Thanks for the recommendations Ed. Stein still seems known by who she knew, or is that changing now? She seems up there with the great modernists - more innovative than many.

Yes, it was good entertaining John BR - showed him a bit non-metropolitan England before he headed off to the smoke.

Your work should be appearing on Litter in about a fortnight, maybe sooner.

Ed Baker said...

before delving into her writings GET/read

Linda Wagner-Martin's "Favored Strangers" Gertrude Stein and Her family

she and her brother where
central to what was "happening"

in art, poetry, politics

this Lady (GS) was The Feminist!

Linda Wagner-Martin also did a Sylvia Plath biography which I am just reasding for first time now she just "chased-down" Ted Hughes... and i am suddenly struck by how many present day 30-year old co-ed students/grad-students have memorized SP's life and are trekking the same (dead-end) path..

hang in: as, there is always the risk of one becoming what they pretend to be

so much for 'pontifIcation.

Ed Baker said...

speaking more of/to Stein et all

go here

and check out early Poetry Harriet Monroe's seminal magazine..

clh said...

Hi Alan, that's some list! Donna's book is quite a treat, and I'm looking forward to her third, even though I already know quite a few (in earlier versions) from our crit group - catherine

Alan Baker said...

Hi Catherine

Donna Stonecipher's book looks interesting. I was alerted to it on Ron Silliman's blog. I've been reading Lyn Hejinian's 'My Life' - a wonderful book: for once I agree with the blurb - it seems like an American classic.