Selvedge and Synthesis: My Current Threads

[Some edits below]

My current threads:

I’ve just submitted my selections to Didi Menendez for the Best of MiPOesias 2000 to 2010 anthology, from OCHO #16. Debbie Yee’s “Cinderella’s Last Will and Testament,” included in this issue, is already included in the anthology as it’s been selected for Best American Poetry 2009. That said, my selections for Best of MiPOesias are Dillon Westbrook’s long poem excerpt from “long life,” and Jaime Jacinto’s “World’s Fair.” I’d already previously nominated Jaime’s poem, “Manong’s Gift” for a Pushcart Prize; biased as I am, I believe very much that he is an exceptional poet.

Eileen Tabios has written on her blog this morning something I find myself really very much agreeing with: “…if you believe poetry is marginalized in today’s (U.S.) culture and want to know why poetry is marginalized, it’s NOT BECAUSE POETS ARE WRITING IRRELEVANTLY. It’s not because poets aren’t writing about what’s ‘important’ to write about like politics (what’s ‘important’ is subjective, yah?). It’s not because poets are writing ‘elliptically.’ It’s not because poets are writing ‘narcissistically.’ It’s not because poets are ‘writing to each other.’ It’s not because poets are flarf-in’. It’s not because they’re too ‘quiet’ or too ‘avant.’ It’s not because too many poets write ‘academically’ or got their MFAs. It’s not because poets aren’t doing their job — anyone who feels they can define a poet’s ‘job’ is generally just arrogant or looking for a way to grab attention for himself (yes, it’s usually a him). // If you believe poetry is marginalized (and that is an ‘if’), then poetry is marginalized today in large part because K-12 (Kindergarten to 12th grade) education has, in too many cases, eliminated the relevance of the arts….including any notion that a particular art form can be expanded beyond what is inherited by an artist.”

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Good News for Debbie Yee and OCHO 16

OCHO16.cover

Very good news this morning from Debbie Yee, who is one of the awesome contributors to OCHO 16. Debbie’s poem, “Cinderella’s Last Will and Testament,” has been selected for Best American Poetry 2009. Well, I am absolutely thrilled for Debbie, and I am very proud of her. She is a very hardworking, energetic, and thoughtful poet and community arts supporter.

And this morning, I am also feeling pretty affirmed and encouraged as an editor. This is another one of those mornings, and there should be so many more of these, in which we know concretely the rewards for our work.

So congratulations again to Debbie Yee for this significant acknowledgment of her work, and who in the meantime will be teaching a postcard poetry workshop at KSW (P3 here). And many many thanks to Didi Menendez, whose work and publications continue to enlarge into new spaces.

And also: you can get your copy of OCHO 16 here. You can read Neela Banerjee’s review in Hyphen here.