By David Blomenberg, Reviews Editor Moving from a collection of various poems to a book manuscript is a strange, intuitive, almost spooky process. What brings a collection together? Recently I sat down with poet A. E. Watkins to talk with him about the genesis and metamorphosis of the manuscript of his first book, Dear, Companion, recently published by Dream Horse Press. The book is centered on Allerton Park in Illinois through the seasons while at the same time details the development of a relationship. David Blomenberg: You of course were publishing poems before this book. Those are different. What was it that told you that you were latching on a book idea here with the pieces collected here? A. E. Watkins: A lot of pieces didn’t make it into the book. A whole series—I suppose they could be a chapbook—were based on The Wizard of Oz. They were really fun and some had been accepted in various places. …MORE
By Eric Goddard-Scovel, Guest Contributor
Mary Flanagan is an innovative multimedia artist, poet, designer and scholar constantly pushing the boundaries of what art, literature, and games can do in our ever-evolving digital culture. She is the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College and author most recently of Critical Play: Radical Game Design (2009). She is also the founding director of Tiltfactor, a lab focused on “game design for social change.”
The first work of Mary Flanagan’s I had the pleasure to encounter was her interactive poem [theHouse] (see Figure 1 below), which appeared alongside a range of other digital texts in the Electronic Literature Organization’s Electronic Literature Collection Vol. 1 (2006), one of the first major efforts to represent and document the emerging field of digital literature. [theHouse] was also featured in C. T. …MORE
by Corey Van Landingham, Poetry Co-Editor
We were lucky enough to be able to ask Miriam some questions about her poem “It’s Hard to Forget,” which will run in the forthcoming issue of Sycamore Review. Check out Miriam talking about pica, world-making, and her manuscript All night in the new country.
Sycamore Review: Where did the material for”It’s Hard to Remember” come from? Is it part of a larger project, and, if so, how does this particular poem fit into that larger scope?
Miriam Bird Greenberg: This is part of a book-length manuscript of poems called All night in the new country which forms the loosely interlocking narrative of a woman fleeing unnamed upheaval a hundred years hence, partially set in the rural dystopian future of the East Texas Piney Woods. A historically diverse and lawless …MORE
by Jacob Sunderlin, co-editor of poetry
Listen up: Ryan Teitman is writing the kind of poems you sometimes hear about but rarely see, poems in which the usual becomes unusual. He’s going places, and was kind enough to correspond with me via email about his exciting new poem “Viola, Bound“ from the forthcoming issue of Sycamore Review. And this ain’t his first rodeo. Here, he schools us on Shakespeare, eroticism, and how to end a poem like a pro.
Sycamore Review: “Viola, Bound” feels so received, but poems almost never are. What can you tell us about the writing of this?
Ryan Teitman: I’m glad to hear it felt received, because this poem was anything but. Writing it felt like pulling a tooth. Like many other poems, this one began as a different, failed poem. I live in Berkeley, and one day as I was …MORE
SR Ed.: In honor of the debut of the film “Being Flynn,” the adaptation of Nick Flynn’s memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, we are reposting our 2006 interview with him.
An honest writer will let you get close to him. He can’t help it. He’ll let you see his embarrassments, his poor choices, the ignorance of himself and those closest to him, and, if you read carefully enough, you’ll see yourself and feel the best of all feelings: hope. Nick Flynn is a great writer, an honest writer. His memoir, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (Norton, 2004), won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir, and has been translated into ten languages. He is also the author of two books of poetry, Some Ether (Graywolf, 2000), which won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil …MORE