Three Cheers for Patrick Hero(n), The Internationalist, Carrboro parks and Recreation, Open Eye Cafe etc. So amazing people at THE poetry Festival. Philip Nikolayev was funny and gorgeous. Lyric in an interesting and strange way. It was really nice to finally meet Gabe Gudding and Allyssa Wolf and Amy King and Christian Bok among so many many others. Rod Smith rocked the house good moving between splayed poems on the podium. Chris Vitiello and Gabe Gudding both pulled off some dead pan crazy funny readings. Harryette Mullen gave me goosebumps with "We are Not Responsible" (from sleeping with the Dictionary). Standard Schaefer read a correspondence between James Baldwin and Walter Benjamin. Julian Semian also read some very surreal and properly dense letters. Ken Rumble read a dialogue with his soon-to-be wife Kathryn. Todd performed some arson. Randall performed with a caterpault. Mel Nichols was one of the highlights of the festival with her Day Poems (I've got her chapbook to savor over and over). Hoa Nguyen and Dale Smith also performed excellent work. Dale's work seemed to orbit around a kind of rigorous witnessing of nature and perhaps Hoa's around the NY School without as much sarcasm (Bernadette Meyer and Alice Notley came to mind while she read for some reason). Tony Tost and Carl Martin and Joseph Donahue all performed rigorous contemplative poetry (Mr. Ashberry's new children). Evie Shockley performed a very powerful poem that still rings in my mind days later (her voice is very distinct). The poem was about torture and is a thousand words (and is called a thousand words) to investigate the spectacle of various tortures. Each of her words was worth a thousand pictures. Lee Ann Brown performed a play in progress with her husband. Linh Dinh was amazing as usual with his surreal and bloody soap. Allyssa Wolf read contortionist poetry from M, the Dancer. I am not really sure if Christian Bok is human. His face made strange shapes. Alien to be sure. Tessa Joseph ran achor with her disjunctive lyrics (Michael Palmer among others came to mind). Amy King blended/bended various aesthetics with her magic spoons (language poetry, surrealism, Tomaz Salamun etc.) Heidi Lyn Staples read a children's story/fable soon to come out as a chapbook from 3rd bed.
The top of my head is still on fire. The after hours were no less a feast than the festival itself. Todd and Laura threw a wonderful reception with a big white tent and plenty of moonshine from the mountains. Standard Schaefer even bared him bum in the wee hours of the night (or maybe that was me?) Don Ezra Cruz wore a flight suit and passed around his helmet for various figures to wear.
I want more. So much more. Community is everything! Rod Smith brought quite a few books from one of my favourite presses (edge books) and Joseph Donahue brought a boxload of Talisman House books so I emptied my bank account and Ken ordered a shitload of books from SPD via the internationalist and I emptied my bank account. But I will be payed in about a week so all is well. I acquired:
1) Mel Nichol's Day Poems
2) Stephen Jonas' Selected Poems (Talisman House. Recommended by Joe Donahue)
3) Tom Raworth's Ace (Edge Books)
4) Clark Coolidge's Odes of Roba (The Figures. I want to read everything of Clark Coolidge before I die)
5) S*PeRM**k*t by Harryette Mullen (Singing Horse Press)
6) Rod Smith's The Good House (Spectacular Books)
7) Buck Downs' Marijuana Soft drink (Edge Books)
8) Mark Wallace's Nothing Happened and Besides I Wasn't There (Edge Books)
9) Kaia Sand's Interval (Edge Books)
10) Heather Fuller's Perhaps this is a rescue fantasy (Edge Books)
11) The Displayer # 2 (a wonderful silkscreen cover by Todd and Laura and intro with history of The Lucifer Poetics Group by Chris Vitiello. )
Gabe Gudding acquired a lot more books than me. I think he was the real winner in the book department.
Soon Mp3's will be available from the festival. Keep checking the Carrboro Poetry Festival homepage