Here are two new reviews of Petrarchan by Kristina Marie Darling.
Gold Dust Magazine: http://issuu.com/golddust/docs/issue24_v09small_cover
PANK Magazine: http://pankmagazine.com/2013/12/03/review-petrarchan-by-kristina-marie-darling/
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of fifteen books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014). Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.
I love these micro-flash pieces that seem to be from another time period? I was guessing maybe the 50’s?
Thank you for your kind words about the flash fictions! You guessed right. My collaborator, Max Avi Kaplan, and I imagined the Polaroids and the accompanying stories as a character study, an in-depth look at the life a 1950s housewife named Adelle. We're both fascinated by 1950s material culture, but also the situation of women of the time period, who were so often surrounded by beauty, but trapped by their roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers. Many of the objects, clothes, and accessories depicted in the photographs are really from the 1950s. Max came to the collaboration with a background in costuming, and strives for great historical accuracy in his photographs. This influence certainly carries over into the flash fictions, which reflect a similar fascination with the complex histories, and the emotional weight, that we attach to objects.
Were these ekphrastic pieces inspired by the photography or was it the other way around?
That's a great question. The flash fictions certainly began as ekphrastic pieces, which were inspired by a set of eight of Max's photographs. But he had not yet completed all the photographs. So I sent him poems in response to the initial set of images, then the collaboration became much more of a conversation. Just as I had responded to Max's work in my poems, he began responding to and incorporating the narrative I had constructed around his work. I think of our collaboration as a dialogue, which unfolds over the course of the book.
For the past twelve years we have had a Thanksgiving menu-poem up and available for you to read and enjoy on Thanksgiving. Beginning in 2002 with a poem to honor Charles Bernstein, I began a series of poems, using a menu that I could prepare, in a feast of words that could be presented if we had a table large enough to fit all of our poetry friends.
This is year is no different and we had a poem ready to go, however the poet who we were to honor this year kindly declined. Being from another country whose ideas on thanksgiving are different from our own, if not very similar, he felt that he could not support this holiday. We have written a nice note explain his position which is posted below and on our Thanksgiving Menu-Poem page.
Since the project was completed and presented to our guest of honor, who wishes to be left nameless, there was little time to begin on a new work. So we decided it was best to keep this honor in place and announce his wishes. His ideas are very important to understand and devour while we sit and consume. We should also understand the cost this feast represents. We will certainly be back next year with a new, full menu poem! Hurray!
Thanksgiving 2013 Menu-Poem declined
This year we chose to honor a wonderful poet but this honor has been declined for sincere political reasoning. This poet has been a deeply committed animal rights activist for three decades and anything associated with meat eating, homophobia and generally reactionary nationalist politics would not be something that would be in keeping with his strong beliefs and practices. The thought of this holiday, for this poet, is insulting to indigenous peoples. And in the end, the prospects are all too distressing. To honor this poet, a man of strong integrity and conviction, in the best way we can, this year we will not have a menu-poem. Thank you and we’ll see you next year.
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