Tuesday, May 31, 2005



A benefit for Planned Parenthood of New York

June 2, 2005
Thursday 7:30 pm

Nada Gordon & Corinne Robins

Suggested donation $8

Ceres Gallery
547 W. 27th St.
New York, NY 10001

Saturday, May 21, 2005

You Are Cordially Invited To The Book Launch
For Marsh Hawk Press's Spring 2005 Titles:

Somehow by Burt Kimmelman

Skinny Eighth Avenue by Stephen Paul Miller, and

Watermark by Jacquelyn Pope

Wednesday, May 25th at 7:00 pm at
Teachers & Writers Collaborative
5 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003-3306

(Contact them at http://www.twc.org/tmmain.htm for directions, or call them at: 212-691-6590.)

Please attend and bring a friend.

Learn more about Marsh Hawk Press and the above books at: marshhawkpress.org

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Carol Stone reviews Thomas Fink's AFTER TAXES in the latest issue of Moria Poetry. The new issue also contains a theoretical prose work by Eileen Tabios on her new poetic series, "The Masvikiru Quatrains."

Here is Ms. Stone's review:

Thomas Fink's third book of poems, After Taxes, takes up where his previous book, Gossip, left off, offering the reader a skewed notion of reality through implied meanings and weird, yet oddly satisfying language. His poems satisfy because they subversively make clear that the vocabulary of television, advertising, politics, and popular culture in general is moribund. His poems revivify language through the words of an anti-romantic speaker, a revisionist on the attack against ordinary and clichéd language and tired poetic form. While his poems possess a literal level of meaning, their eccentric, yet precise diction raises language to the highest level with satiric veiled hints that the world is a strange place in which clichés no longer suffice.

I will use "Bootleg Fretwork Pouring" as an example of his poetic strategy. The title suggests a narrator who is "fretting" while at the same time the connotation of "fretwork" "as an ornamental work consisting of three dimensional frets" suggests the poem contains a formal structure. It doesn't. "Bootleg" immediately implies a criminal activity. Is poetry a criminal act, possibly, as Fink uses words like "frugging," a dance of the '50s, with its thinly veiled suggestion of obscenity. On the literal level, beginning with the title that becomes a part of the first line, rain is falling through fretwork into a barrel. The barrel is yodeling while it receives the rain: "madonna-rain into yodeling/barrel. Monocle frugging/to a polyped lagoon's flunking/mammogram. Paradise etchings?" Fink is writing a post-modern book of instructions to the reader on how to live his or her life. Further hints in the poem suggest this might be the case as a diet vocabulary conflates the illness diction of the poem's opening. There is "a marigold teaspoon of homeopathic/megilla for acid heaven." In the sixth stanza "soy jello" is juxtaposed against "meshugge/cognoscenti" and "Barbi" against "ulcers." Yiddish words add to the mix of Fink's extended poetic joke against ordinary life and its indignities.

The six "Yinglish Strophes" in the section demonstrate Fink's perfect ear for Eastern European sentence structure and the embedded kvetch. Each strophe displays a stand up comedian's timing. The combination of "Yinglish" and "Strophe" is a further debunking of poetic posturing that has no place in Fink's sensibility. And yet despite their ironic posture, these poems manage to revere a heritage and a lost European world as in Strophes III: "Yesterday was sitting near me/an old man./Ours is only praying and praying,/and he should forgive us." Again in Strophes 11 he evokes the mindset of the immigrant Jew but manages to make it funny, poignant and completely relevant to today's politics. "Everyone keeps/when they go to war things./You remember Miss Liberty//Russia's a liar;/I don't believe him./How far are they? They're in Cuba./They're slaves./And they want to expand over/the whole world they want."

In "Deconstructed Sestina I" and "Deconstructed Sestina 11," by breaking the sestina's notoriously difficult rules, Fink celebrates and mocks poetic form. He almost confesses, an atypical self-referential gesture, to what he is doing in the lines ""In this post-Proustian zeitgeist, I/must parse a trail to a mnemonic pros-/thesis." Breaking the word "prosthesis" is a brilliant example of his poetic credo to break down form and language. He starts his sestinas with nine lines and decreases the count by one until he reaches a one-line end a hands-on demonstration of deconstructing the centuries-old form. In "Dented Reprise" a sequence of four poems, he suggests that the lyric form can also be recharged or "dented" by hyperactive language. He implies also that the form itself has been dented or wounded through centuries of conventional emotional content.

And Fink has fun deconstructing. Listen to the Alice in Wonderland whimsy of "Colloid Tale 11 and note also how he deconstructs the tale's narrative form. "Lions breaking off castles/are not quite so yummy./A drop filling with fury/is a little evil/bag of fancy." Note how the story quickly turns dark; the poem a kind of fairy tale turned upside down to warn children against happy endings. In fact, the playfulness of many of Fink's poems would enchant a child reader. His poems can be seen as inheriting the humor of Lewis Carroll's work whose nonsense language exposed a hypocritical Victorian society that told lies, Thomas Fink's poems expose a dangerous post-modern world where lying in politics, family life and commerce is omnipresent.

Thomas Fink's language never lies. His post-modernist debunking is wicked, generous, and truthful. His poems will send you to the dictionary, but going there will be a pleasure and not a duty. After Taxes, dark, playful, and complex, never gives up on the world even and after taxes, there is plenty left.

Bill Allegrezza reviews Eileen Tabios' I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH, FOR MY BELOVED

in his blog. Thanks, Bill, for this:

From P-Ramblings Blog:

i just finished reading eileen tabios' I Take Thee, English, for My Beloved. the work is massive, containing poetry, criticism, theory, drama, and other forms; moreover, tabios' language is at times stunning, sensual, violent, accusatory, and profound. her voice in my ear is like a mix of whitman and levertov. as with whitman in calamus, i want to jump in and join him, but all the while i hear the absense of love that levertov captures in works like the evening train. more than with typical poetry books, i feel that in reading this text i have encountered an alternate way of life, i.e. tabios creates a world in which poetry matters or does not matter in that it is a part of life.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Third Tuesday Reading Series
Headquarters for the Arts
1719 25th Street (25th and R Streets)
Sacramento, CA
Eileen Tabios and Indigo Moor (aka Joel Grier).

Free to the public.

The series is curated by Arturo Mantecon. Eileen will read with Indigo Moor, a poet and lecturer who teaches workshops at colleges and universities across the country. Indigo is also a 2003 and 2004 recipient of Cave Canem's Writing fellowship in poetry whose manuscript Tap-Root was selected as a finalist for the T.S. Eliot prize in Poetry.

From Youmna Chlala and Brent Foster Jones, Editors of 1111!!!!

Please join us for a reading and reception to celebrate the second issue of Eleven Eleven {1111}, journal of literature and art at California College of the Arts.

Readings by Victor LaValle, Peter Orner, and Eileen Tabios. Visual Art by Sean McFarland and Katie Lewis.

Thursday, May 19, 2005
6:30-8:30 p.m.
at DEN ( 849 Valencia Street b/t 19th and 20th in San Francisco )

Volume 2 of {1111} features writing and artworks by Alison Bing, Ernesto Caivano, Joseph Lease, Conor McGrady, Nami Mun, Wangechi Mutu, William Swanson, and more. Interviews with Aleksandar Hemon and Fritz Haeg.

Food and wine by Café 101.

Please RSVP or ask questions at eleveneleven@cca.edu.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


for the latest review of her award-winning collection WATERMARK!

Here is Sima Rabinowitz's review featured at NewPages.com:

Poetry by Jacquelyn Pope
Marsh Hawk Press, 2005
ISBN 0-9759197-2-5
Paperback: 65pp; $12.95

Home, house, hearth, love "hungered for and handed over," these are Pope's preoccupations, expressed in language that feels, the gravity of these subjects notwithstanding, light as air, as if every word might fly off the page, carried away on its own breath. It's hard to explain precisely how the poet achieves this unusual texture. Perhaps it is the matter-of-factness of tone ("Here is our second-hand house. // These are our worn-down days, / our love on loan."), coupled with poetic diction ("There you are, soured / by sitting upright, / the beat of your breath / under lock and key") that keeps these poems from being heavy handed or melancholy. Instead they are restrained, resisting the urge to over tell, striving for the clarity that keeps them spare and lovely:


The habit of ungrown
is grown apart: missing the shape

the shade of  permanence,
absent the spice of songs

of consolation. It is a last wish
worn through the ground,

spike in the dust, regeneration.
Undone is a ghost place.

Wedded to the dark, to drifts
of sleep, time's kept in fragments

phrases, in crawl spaces
buried at the bottom of these days.

In "Abroad," as elsewhere, Pope is clever without drawing attention to her cleverness; the hand that skillfully manipulates these rhymes and rhythms is as absent as the poem's missing "ghost places." And here, too, as in many of the poems in Watermark, the sense of loss is poignant, yet unsentimental. Even as these poems yearn intensely for home, that yearning is created more of the accumulated moments of longing than of the urgency of any single instance.

In "Household Economy," the poet's instructions for self preservation also articulate her aesthetic: "Begin by paring back, by peeling down. / Learn by leaving out, by leaving the rest / for last, making certain it's forgotten." And indeed, she concludes: "Keep the fire banked with rags and husks. / Cut down or turn out whatever wears out, / save your breath for shaping mending words." Pope's deep understanding of the economy of language that poetry demands creates work of unusual and original beauty, poems that read as if they were borne whole, though every thoughtful reader will know they required vision, talent, and extraordinary and effective effort.

– Sima Rabinowitz

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Eileen Tabios

Thursday, May 4, 2005 at CUNY-La Guardia, noon to 2 p.m., a poetry reading and panel in Room M106. Curated by co-panelist, professor and artist Lawrence Waldron.

Sandy McIntosh & Eileen Tabios
Southhampton College Twenty-eighth Annual MEET THE WRITERS Book Fair which will be held at Southampton College, 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton, NYFriday, May 6th, 20054:00 p. m. to 7:30 p. m.


Marsh Hawk Press Managing Editor Sandy McIntosh writes:

Contest Grace Period until May 7th

As some readers have pointed out, Marsh Hawk Press is not the IRS and should, therefore, have more flexible deadlines.


In case you were planning to enter our contest and haven't yet got around to it, we've extended the postmark deadline until May 7th. We'll enter any manuscript that arrives in the next few weeks, so long as it has been postmarked no later than May 7th.

After that, we've got to get down to the work of reading the manuscripts and be ready with a list of finalists and the name of the winner by mid-June.

Best of luck to all.

Monday, May 02, 2005


with Halvard Johnson and Mark Weiss is scheduled for May 5th (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m., Ceres Gallery, 547 West 27th Streeet, New York. Suggested donation:
$8. Note--this is a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.

Ahadada Books Gives Eileen Tabios A Wonderful Review for I TAKE THEE, ENGLISH, FOR MY BELOVED

Ahadada Books, May 2, 2005

Notes & Queries » Eileen Tabios: "Warm" Vs. "Cold" Experimentalism

By Jesse Glass

Wit, humor, and a human-centered vision seem to be coming back into focus in experimental writing with Eileen R. Tabios' I Take Thee, English, a massive pleasure to read at 502 pages from Marsh Hawk Press. Tabios shows an impressive mastery of forms and genres as she rings the changes on the confessionalists, the feminists, the gothic bodice rippers from harlequin romances, sound poetry, visual poetry, haiku, prose poetry, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, and almost every other modern and post-modern form invented, while providing running commentary on the politics of marginalization in America. Yet at the center of it all is the story of a love between two members of two ethnic groups and ultimately a marriage. In this sense Tabios' book is akin to the grand pageants held for the entertainment of guests in which the literary and the metaphysical dimensions of the union that is about to happen are schematized for the edification and the joy of the participants. Think Comus. Think the Chymical Wedding of Hermes Trismegestos. In fine, the real magic of this long poem is that it is enacted on the level of myth and paradigm (albeit deconstructed), as well as being a keep-sake (complete with wonderful pictures) of an actual event. Since so much experimental writing works on the level of cold intellect, where language is laid out on the operating table and worked over with scalpel, trocar and bone saw, it's wonderful to come across these fine poems that take us over the same ground--maybe even further--without losing human warmth in the process. In addition there is a generosity in the writing--a cornucopia of interesting textures of language that calls one back to explore the many dimensions of it, and to perform this vow with literature again and again.

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