The fine people at Vallum saw fit to publish an 8-page review of The Collected Poems of William Hawkins in their latest issue (13:1, “Open Theme”). David Swartz wrote the review, and I was delighted to see how much time he spent thinking about Louis Riel, which is almost certainly the book of Bill’s that has received the least attention over the years, critical or otherwise (none of it was included in his first selected poems, The Gift of Space, in 1971). Swartz is a good reader of Bill’s work. I couldn’t be happier. Thanks, Vallum, and thanks David!
What gives Hawkins’ poems depth is their immense weight and beauty, their intricacy of thought, luminosity, and comprehensibility. (David Swartz)
The timing is great, as the book just celebrated 1-year in the world (though we launched the book in June 2015, it arrived from the printers in April). I remain immensely proud to have edited it, and I hope that it keeps finding new readers for Bill. Go buy a copy if you haven’t already!
I’m really delighted to find myself included in Melanie Janisse Barlow’s “The Poets Series.” In her own words:
The idea behind the Poets Series is to paint portraits of living poets and let each poet pick the next as a practice of praco-poesis. More simply put, I hoped to create a round robin of poets. I began this work by crowd sourcing poets to begin each branch. I asked the poets who were picked if I could paint a portrait of them, and if they wouldn’t mind selecting the next poet to add to the series. The response has been astounding. As the beginning poets included other poets, and the archive began to grow, branch by branch into an amazing narrative of contemporary poetry. The Poets Series is a celebration of the complex tangle of living poets that belong to a loose archive.
She has just set up a website with information about the series, images of completed and in-progress paintings, as well as giclee prints for sale. My portrait is based on a photograph that my partner Jenn took while we were in New York City in Spring 2014. I’m really astonished by the whole thing. What a strange thing to have a portrait, and even stranger to see it in the company of the people it is in the company of (I must be the only poet in the bunch without a trade book). Thanks to Melanie, and thanks to Nelson Ball for adding my name to the archive! I can’t wait to see it grow.
Two new minimalist poems of mine appeared in the world in the last 24 hours (Happy National Poetry Month!). The first, “Refrain”, was done up in a beautiful little single-poem chapbook by Michael e. Casteels through his Puddles of Sky Press (Kingston ON). It is available on its own for $2.00, but you will get it for free if you place an order of $15.00 or more for other Puddles of Sky stuff (spend $30.00 and you’ll also get chapbook-poems by Marilyn Irwin and Stuart Ross!). I’m a huge fan of Michael’s publishing work (and writing), and can’t say enough how happy I am to be a part of this series. You can and should spend $15.00 to support what he does, so take a look around. If you don’t already have them, I would recommend buying back issues of his mag illiterature.
The other poem, “Thrum”, is on page 9 of the brand new issue 11 of NOON: journal of the short poem. I always love to read NOON when it appears, and I’m really delighted to finally have a little poem in its pages.
If you aren’t already, follow along with some poem-a-day initiatives going on through April to celebrate National Poetry Month. I’m keeping an eye on Justin Million at Synapse, Jeff Blackman, jesslyn delia smith, Chaudiere, and Nationalpoetrymonth.ca.