I am temporarily parking archived blog posts here while I redesign my site and change servers. For current content, please visit blog.shannacompton.com.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Finally with Women

Coming up in August: a festival celebrating the poetry of Mina Loy, Audre Lorde, Muriel Rukeyser, Barbara Guest & Gertrude Stein. Hot damn.

Check out the schedule here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I almost skipped it, because I am insane . . .

. . . but I went to the ACA Galleries last night after work, & got to see Rosmarie & Keith Waldrop, plus readings by Marjorie Welish (again, so soon), Pam Rehm, Michael Gizzi, Ray Ragosta, & also listen to a very cool sound theater piece by Robert Quillen Camp from a series re: modes of transportation (the elevator piece). (It was the 45th Anniversary party for Burning Deck.) Some stray lines I pocketed:

KW: "45 years . . . I think the average for most small presses is about a year and a half. But some people are more stubborn than others. After a while we just didn't know how to stop."

MG: "noon would love to behave like midnight for once"

"he knew why the caged bird split"

"human nature is a public nuisance"

PR: "night has a thing in it that cannot be calmed"

RR: "those insects counterpoint"

"emotion, a candle. Neither affects the other."

"a dryspell about to go haywire"

MW: "A herd or a flock is numerically great. Is this a gift?"

"Insert twilight below.
Below nothing?
The software for twilight."

RQC's elevator piece combined music and voices, his own as well as two recorded characters--George in the left speaker, Rene in the right. He manipulated a soundboard and small keyboard, connected to a Mac. A love story cum video game walkthrough. George ascends through an intricately constructed building full of broken elevators, bridges, water, ladders, etc. to reach Rene's apartment on the upper floors. The piece begins with the ringing of an elevator alarm--the panic button. George is ringing for Rene, who answers via intercom. (There are many ellipses in this exceprt, and music/soundscape interludes.)

George: I want to see you.

Rene: It will be very difficult. And it won't seem worth it.

George: I want to see you.

Rene: It's complicated. There are many doors, and you'll need all the codes. I guess I can walk you through it.

[ . . . ]

George: There's a man. He's seen me.

Rene: Is he wearing a raincoat? And a green visor?

George: Yes. What should I do?

Rene: It's OK. He's a hologram. Don't talk to him.

[ . . . ]

George: I'm in an office. It looks like an office. There are lots of books.

Rene: Don't read the books! [Audience laughs]

I don't want to give away the end. You can listen to samples of other pieces here.

On the way home I read half of Sean Cole's new Boog book The December Project. Wow. (More re: that later.)

In 3 days, I will be here:

There are deer in twin and triplet sets. Moose. Even a bear. (& no internets.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Reading biographies of poets . . .

. . . presents one with the problem of comparison, & I am so not H.D., who in Barbara Guest's words "was fond of making entrances. She also liked to 'elevate' the conversation in a goddesslike fashion, speaking airily of nearby Mount Olympus. Her rather large feet tended to skim the earth. An enemy would find her a natural target for satire, and she had two rather serious enemies." (Perhaps that's because she was "very fond of gossip," or maybe they too were simply envious.)

OK, well, I do have rather large feet. & she was also 5' 11", like me.

But she (& Mina Loy & Edna Millay & a young James Merrill in Europe) are all enviably poetical compared to our overly reasonable oh so self-conscious milieu. It's a shame that the only flamboyance allowed us these days is either the drunken fistfight after a slurred reading or hysterical romantic intrigues, neither of which is particularly appealing to me. The dramatic "poet voice" recitations they can keep, but I'd like to at least be able to get away with sporting a cape or a headdress on special occasions.

I kid, sort of.

The book.


Sunday, June 25, 2006


The Burning Chair series is now at 4pm?! Now you tell me.
Well, now's about the time I probably would have skipped & pined from home anyway, as usual.
I jus' feel less and less like putting up with _______________ & the attendant __________.

But I did just get back from Adam's books, with a Waldrop, a Spahr, a Byrne, a Dinh, and a weirdo little hardcover called The Observer's Book of Unmanned Spaceflight (Warne & Co, London, 1974). Nice haul, & I didn't even get everything I wanted. I guess I'll be okay.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sorting books goes much faster . . .

. . . if you're not stopping to read every tenth one. Or taking 20 minutes to decide whether or not to keep The Sonnets now that you have The Collected (answer: yes), etc.

But seeing Rachel Zucker's The Last Clear Narrative reminds me to ask whether you caught her blogging over at the Poetry Foundation this past week?

She's one of those poets whose work I admire in part because I know there's no way I could ever pull it off myself, nor even be tempted to try. Which is to say, I can read her without those anxieties. (I bettya know exactly what I mean.) Of course, there are many other reasons to admire RZ's poetry.

Anyway, the blogging was good. I wish she did it regularly.

More free books

See post below for details.


Once I Gazed at You in Wonder / Jan Heller Levi / H/G (new, basically, with acetate over jacket)
The End of Desire / Jill Bialosky / H/G (ditto)
The Late Romance / Eric Pankey / H/G (ditto)
Cenotaph / Eric Pankey / H/G (ditto)
Collected Poems / Edgar Bowers / H/G (ditto)

Field Stone / Catherine Kasper / P/G (Winnow generously gave me a small stack of these to share, and I have two 1 left.)


(Most are pristine, some are gently used. Thinking of submitting? Here's a free sample issue. Or maybe you're in 'em & your mom would like a copy. 50% probably contain either Lyn Lifshin, Virgil Suarez, or both. Perhaps you work in a library or archive and your collection is incomplete. Or, hey, you could use them to make altered books or erasures. Seriously, some of these are great, but we've got to make room.)

Global City Review / No 12, 2000
Post Road / No 2, 2001
Conduit / No 12, Spring 2002

Both / No 1, 2001
3rd Bed / 2, 3, 5,6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Poetry / Apr 95, Jul 00, Aug 00, Sep 00, Oct-Nov 00, Dec 00, Jan 01, Feb 01, Mar 01, May 01
Jubilat / Issues 1, 4, 5
Crab Orchard Review / Fall/Winter 2002
Tripwire / Issue 4
NC1 / Spring/Summer 02
Cream City Review / Fall 1998
Bridge / Vol 1: Nos 1, 2, 3* & Vol 2: No 1 (*comes with a CD of audio poems, stories & music)
Rhino / 2002
N+1 / No 1, Fall 2004
Swink / Issue 1, 2004
Borderlands / Fall/Winter 1998 & Fall/Winter 2000* (*I've got an oldie in here you can laugh at!)
Field / Fall 2002
Gulf Coast / Winter/Spring 2002
Tin House / Issues 1, 2, 3
Story / Spring 1996
Epoch / Vol 51, No 2, 2002
Insurance / Issue 1, 2000 (The first place I remember seeing a Susan Wheeler poem)
Chelsea / 70/71 double issue, 2001
Columbia Poetry Review / No 14, 2001 & No 16, Spring 2003
Grand Street / 53: The Fetish Issue, Summer 1995
Virginia Quarterly Review / Autumn 2001
Quarterly West / Issue 47, Fall-Winter 98/99
Pool / Vol 2, 2003
Santa Barbara Review / Summer 1996 (I have 4 oldies in here for you to poke fun at. Actually, this was my first "real" magazine pub, outside of my high school mag and university journal.)
Little Engines / Issues 1, 2, 3
Salt Hill / Issue 7, 1999 & also Winter 2003
Crazyhorse / No 65, Spring 2004
Seneca Review / Fall 2000
Boulevard / Fall 1994
Open City / Spring 1999

Mississippi Review / 1997 prize issue, 1998 prize issue, 1999 interview issue, Summer 2001 Hamlet issue & Fall 2002 ed. by Rick Moody)
New Orleans Review / Vol 28, No 2, 2002
Black Warrior Review / Vol 30, No 2, Spring/Summer 2004, 30th Anniv issue
Redivider / Vol 1, No 1, 2004
The Minus Times / #26
Field / Spring 2002
The Recorder / Spring 2000 (Another oldie in here to hoot & deride.)
The Bitter Oleander / Vol 7, No 1, 2001
The West Wind Review 18th Anthology, 1999 (The oldest poem in Down Spooky appears here, way before Kasey went to Ashland. I have three 2 extras.)
Rattapallax / Issue 6, 2001 (with a CD of audio poetry)

Something for nothing*

Preparing to prepare to move entails sifting through our books to weed out things we probably won't read again, that we have multiple copies of, or that we've replaced with a nicer/updated copy, etc. I would love for these to find new homes, so if you'd like them--free! free!--shoot me an email or comment below. First come, first serve, etc. I'll try to mark them as they are taken. (There are more where these came from, so stay tuned.)


H = hardcover
P = paperback
MM = mass-market paperback (the chunky ones)
G = good shape, almost new
U = used, could be somewhat worn
Ugly = better than it probably looks, but still fine on the inside, where it counts
Blue = donated to Adam's Books--so scoot on over there if you're in Brooklyn, & support our new neighborhood store!

*You pay for book-rate postage. Or we could swap something. I'm always up for that. Book-rate is cheap tho. For instance, I can send 5lbs of books to the West Coast for less than $1 per lb. If you're closer than that, it's even less.


The Sun Also Rises / Hemingway / MM/U
The Poorhouse Fair / Updike / MM/G
The Awakening & Selected Stories / Chopin / MM/U
Typee / Melville / H/U (mini hardcover textbook, no underlining or highlighting)
Ratner's Star / DeLillo / P/U
Animal Farm / Orwell / MM/G
Steps / Kosinski / MM/U

The Idiot / Dostoyevsky, Carlisle trans. / MM/Ugly
A Moveable Feast / Hemingway / MM/U
The Bell Jar / Plath / MM/Ugly
Catch 22 / Heller / MM/Ugly
Fifth Business / Davies / MM/U
Moby Dick / Melville / P/G (This is a nice paperback copy, even if it was publised by Barnes & Noble)

Snow White / Barthelme / MM/U (textbook, some highlighting and penciled notes, though they're not mine)
Great Expectations / Dickens / P/Ugly (Some highlighting, and the front cover has been taped, but still OK)
Great Short Works of Dostoevsky / Dostoevsky, Various trans. / MM/U (Cover has been ripped and taped. Take it to the beach or read it in the tub--all the good stuff's in here. I took it to Mexico, on a bus. Twice.)

PICK A GENRE, ANY GENRE (Admit it, you love 'em. Us too.)

A Winter Hauting / Dan Simmons / MM/U
The Talisman / King/Straub / MM/U
The Colorado Kid / King / MM/G
Bag of Bones / King / MM/U
Easy Travel to Other Planets / Mooney / MM/U
Summer of Night / Simmons / MM/G
Radix / Attanasio / MM/U
Chasm City / Reynolds / MM/U
361 / Westlake / MM/U (back cover has been ripped and taped, so this verges on ugly)

YOUNG ADULT, but don't let that stop you

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician's Nephew / Lewis / MM/G
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe / Lewis / MM/G

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe / Lewis / MM/G (Um, yes, again. The rest of the paperbacks are probably around here somewhere. We got a hardcover set.)


Desire Under the Elms, Strange Interlude & Mourning Becomes Electra / O'Neill / MM/U
The Tempest / Shakespeare / MM/U
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf / Albee / MM/U


Twilight of the Idols, The Anti-Christ / Nietzche / MM/U
The Varieties of Religious Experience / James / MM/Ugly (textbook, but only two highlighted spots)
Beyond Good & Evil / Nietzche, Kaufman trans. / MM/Ugly (two or three underlined spots, but otherwise clean)

The Communist Manifesto / Marx & Engels / MM/U (some highlighting, but not too awful)

ER0TICA (Sorry for the g00fy sp3lling, but I'd prefer not to be attacked by p0rnb0ts.)

The K@ma Sutr@ / Burton trans. / MM/U (This was a textbook, in case you feel funny about used, um, erotica)
Delta of V3nus / Nin / MM/U (ditto)
The Joy of S3x: S3xu@l F0replay / Comfort / H/G (This is like-new. I was the publicist on it, long ago.)
The Joy of S3x: S3xu@l P0sitions / Comfort / H/G (Ditto. These are excerpted from the classic, so if you have that, they'll be redundant.)


The Simon & Schuster Book of Chess / Keene / P/G
Dictionary of Mythology / Evans / MM/Ugly (some tearing/peeling of cover, but still serviceable.)
Harbrace College Handbook, 11th Edition / Whitten/Horner/Webb / H/U (I follow Chicago, & I suspect this is somewhat outdated, but for basic grammar & usage it's a decent reference.)

POETRY (most of these marked G are basically new, and were either review copies, membership premiums, or doubles somehow. Lots of Knopf from when I worked for a Random House imprint.)

Collected Poem / Dylan Thomas / P/G (I have two copies. Dunno how.)
The Laws of Falling Bodies / Kate Light / P/G
One Thousand Years / David Ray / P/G
Dancing in Odessa / Kaminsky / P/G (I bought this twice because I forgot to bring the copy I had with me to Ilya's reading, & I wanted him to sign it for me.)
Bene-Dictions / Rush Rankin / P/G
Miracles & Mortifications / Peter Johnson / P/G
My Shining Archipelago / Talvikki Ansel / P/G
Where She Always Was / Frannie Lindsay / H/G
The Little Space: Poems Selected & New, 1968-1998 / Alicia Ostriker / P/G
Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books / Davis & Manguso, eds. / P/G (HOT! I also have two copies of this; the one I'm keeping is signed by most of the contributors. I guess I did the same thing that night?)
50 Years of American Poetry / Academy of American Poets / MM/G
A Book of Love Poetry / Stallsworthy, ed. / P/G (I borrowed this for a wedding, but she didn't want it back. It's got some good stuff in it, it's just kinda redundant vis a vis my anthology collection.)
The Invisible World / John Canaday / P/G
Notes from the Divided Country / Suji Kwock Kim / P/G
Blessing the Boats: New & Selected Poems, 1988-2000 / Lucille Clifton / H/G (This is a really nice hardcover, with acetate over the jacket cover.)
HIV, Mon Amour / Tory Dent / H/G (ditto)
Except by Nature / Sandra Alcosser / H/G (ditto)
The Long Meadow / Vijay Seshadri / H/G (ditto)
What Are Big Girls Made Of / Marge Piercy / H/G (ditto)
Bitters / Rebecca Seiferle / P/G

Epiphanies of the Soul: Empower Yourself with Therapeutic Poetry, 3rd Ed. / Rena Johnson / P/G (Beats me.)
The Poems of Peter Davison / Peter Davison / P/G
The Master Letters / Lucie Brock-Broido / P/G
Daily Horoscope / Dana Gioia / P/G
Ararat / Louise Gluck / P/G (Relax, I'll keep The Wild Iris)
The Sun at Night / Brooks Haxton / P/G

Journals & Lit Mags (Many of these are great; we just don't have room.)

Elixir / Vol 4, No 1, 2004 / P/G
Crab Orchard Review / Vol 10, No 1, 2005 Prize Issue / P/G
Crab Orchard Review / Vol 9, No 2, 2004 / P/G

Danta / Vol 1, No 1 / P/G
Small Spiral Notebook / Vol 1, No 1, 2004 / P/G (We went to a launch party where $10 donation admission got you in + copy, so we had three!)
The R3c0rder: The J0urnal of the Am3rican Irish Hist0rical Society / Fall 1999 / P/G (with a story by my husband, under one of his various names, but we have a big stack of these, though none of us claim to clearly remember uproariously carting them out to the cab from the party in plain view of some horrified formally dressed guests)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Oh oh oh oh, on the radio.*

Two listenables:

1) Jennifer "El" Knox's poem "My Big German Bra" was aired on Poetry Radio yesterday, again thanks to WGLT in Normal/Bloomington, IL. And they've started archiving mp3s. They haven't quite caught up, but it will soon be here.

2) The Emory University poster poem I posted last week was selected for MiPo Radio's Goodnight Show. (Thanks Bob & Didi!) The new show just went up last night. You can tune in here.

*Think I've used that before, but I ♥ Donna Summer.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I can't find anything in here . . .

. . . including my thoughts.

I've gotta clean this office. I've put it off long enough.

I feel like I am being eaten by paper, like Tuttle in Brazil.

Switchback Books

They'll be publishing Monica de la Torre's first book, Talk Shows, in 2007.
This is very good news.
The editors also have a blog.*

* Causing me to wonder cursorily, again, why those with their own domains don't just publish their blogs on their main site (like you see here). It's not difficult to integrate Blogger & you can customize your template to match the rest of the site--or not. (If you're gonna spring for server space, ya might as well use it.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Court Green 3

The website hasn't been updated yet, but #3 is the issue with the bouts-rimés dossier . . . more than 60 poems with the same rhymes! (Yes, including one by me.)

I just got it in yesterday's mail, so I haven't had a chance to read them yet, but the anticipation is delicious. 61 poems rhyming Garbo and hobo, beaut and moot, etc. (There are also 60+ other poems in the front half of the mag.) It's an irresistibly crazy idea.

& speaking of excellent mail, I rec'd my copy of Elsewhere. (More about that later.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

What I did most of the day

Plus some laundry.

& revised some "real" poems.

& got annoyed.

& got over it.

Happy Bloomsday.

This looks interesting

Thanks to Clay for pointing to it. (The title refers to independent bookstores, but could just as easily be applied to many small presses, as well as to us poets ourselves, no?)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I've been laminated

(Click for a larger image.)

I just got this totally awesome poster in the mail from Bruce Covey. (THANKS, BRUCE!) This snapshot doesn't do its beauty justice. The painting by Julia Kjelgaard is an icy blue wonder. (The painting above the poster is by Thomas Fink, "Hay(na)ku 13," which normally has this corner of my office to itself.) The poster's similar to the "Poetry in Motion" ones put out by PSA, and it rode the Emory University shuttle buses, down Atlanta, GA way. Groovy.

Speaking of fantastic mail, I also got my copies of Foursquare yesterday. It's cherrylicious in its cute little fabric envelope, embroidered with the title. Inside, a folded broadsheet with terrific poems by K. Lorraine Graham, Linda V. Russo, & Elizabeth Treadwell, in addition, etc. Collectible, for sure.

And the special superduper stitched letterpress edition of Aaron Belz's Plausible Worlds. The Bad Mailman was nice enough not to mangle it, for once. Wasn't that sweet?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I just thought you should know

The bodega downstairs--in the lobby of my midtown office building--now sells single-serve flavored blunt wraps.

You know, in case you want a little piña colada flava with your chronic. At work.

You can't get away, Shanna

Well, that search string was a little creepy (uh, wouldn't be the first time, thanks creeps!). But I guess that's a song title by a rapper named Shanna?

Ha. Good to know.

For Girls

The series I started during NaPoWriMo keeps going, and going, and . . . it might just make a book, though it's not the one I was trying to write. The girls apparently have minds of their own. Wonder where they learned to be all uppity like that?

Took them with me over the weekend (along with the Olivetti) to revise some, but didn't. Will bang away at that little aquamarine machine this weekend.

I say writing the poems in the first place is my favorite part, but I do also really enjoy typing them repeatedly--feeling them with my fingers. It really does help get them polished up.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Best song with the worst name:

"Hot Burrito #1" by Flying Burrito Bros./Gram Parsons.

You can't talk me out of it.

My log sees things

"Pie. Whoever invented the pie? Here was a great person." --The Log Lady

First cover sketch (so it may change, we'll see). Gonna go with watercolor-paper covers (like Big Confetti and the broadsides), hand-stitched bindings, paper stock and endpapers TBD, for this chapbook anthology of Twin Peaks-inspired poems by Andrew J Wilson, Emilie Zoey Baker, Maike Zock, Collin Kelley, Eileen Tabios, Maureen Thorson, Jilly Dybka, Daniel Lloyd, elena knox, Siobhan Logan & Jared Leising. We're calling it August. Preorder info soon.

Ivy's also working on the Private Press version. Rock.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Viral marketing

Yesterday on the train I was reading This Connection of Everyone with Lungs, & I must have made a noise (I am a very expressive reader) or made just the right face, because the woman across from me pulled out a notebook and wrote down the title of the book.

This happened not once, but twice. Once on the way to work, once on the way home.

Try it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

CLMP + SPD = ♥

"In the latest organizational [makeover] at the Council for Literary Magazines and Presses, CLMP has entered into a "strategic partnership" with nonprofit indie distributor Small Press Distribution in what they call an effort to combine resources to better serve the literary publishing community.

The partnership will take effect immediately and CLMP executive director Jeffrey Lependorf will take over as joint executive director of both organizations. Lependorf emphasized that this new effort is a partnership, "not a merger," and will not [a]ffect the CLMP or SPD boards, or the principal financial backer they both share, the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mary Shapiro, president of the SPD board, said the partnership will, "create more sustainable organizations" that will better "serve independent publishing and the literary arts." Last year, CLMP launched the Literary Ventures Fund, an unusual effort to create a venture capital fund for literary works. The fund invests in the marketing of literary titles with expectations of using the book's profits to grow the fund and support other worthy titles.

While the boards CLMP and SPD will now work more closely together, Lependorf said that both organizations will remain separate entities. CLMP and SPD are the only national nonprofits that both serve literary and nonprofit publishers. "It gives us a wider reach," Lependorf said. He said the partnership will save one salary right away with Lependorf directing both organizations; Dave Martinson, interim SPD executive director, will give up that post but remain on the board. And with SPD based in California and CLMP in New York, Lependorf said the partnership "makes us truly national organizations. It will help our fundraising and national programming."

Monday, June 5, 2006

A new bookstore! A short walk from me!

Leave it to Clay in Berkeley to know about this before I do, a mere 10 blocks away.

Adam's Books

And DIYers, they'll take yer stuff on consignment. Rock.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

A dream

Thrust unwillingly onstage with a fellow, but received by way of encouragement a copy of this fellow's latest book, title beginning with Z, which I was pleased to have. We sat at a table and chatted with each other, unmiked, waiting for whatever was supposed to happen next. A referee of some kind asked the fellow for his question. He said, addressing the audience and the ref, "page 76." Then I was asked for my question. I had detemined in this short space that my "question" was to be an answer to a question, unstated, about the fellow's poetry. (So p. 76 was the answer to his unstated question about my work--but I did half-realize that my book was not that long.) "I've run out of alphabet," was the answer I gave. But the judge was displeased. I spent several minutes waiting for the rightness of my unstated question's answer to seem correct to her and the audience, but said nothing further. I felt a funny tension, anxiety, between being sure that what I'd ventured was not only OK under the rules (as I'd suddenly intuited them) but interesting, and the fact that nobody seemed willing to recognize it as such. Alternately I wondered which of us is the fool? Then I woke up.

Anybody play any good video games lately?

Not that I have the time to be consumed by one quite yet, but soon, for summer diversion.

I don't much like shooting, but if it's not a gorefest, I'll consider it!

I have not been as brave . . . to admit even to myself . . . that many of the alternative fine-art comics that cross my desk these days are kind of boring. I've been quiet on this point in part because I do believe comics are literature, and do not wish to undermine the cause; and in part because it seems cruel to criticize cartoonists, who, after all, have effectively chosen the career of the professional poet minus all the cash and glamour and flashy cars.

Now, if it weren't John Hodgman behind this deadpan hilarity, some of us might get all indignant. Hee hee. (Plus, he loves Jessica's La Perdida.)

Thursday, June 1, 2006

A lull

Is all. So much busyness last week, with accompanying prose.

Been reading some, but guiltily. Haven't yet been able to justify a sitdown with two things I am nevertheless dying to get to, a friend's MS and a big fat regional party. But soon. The rest of the proofs on the anthology between tomorrow & Sunday. (That job doesn't travel well, & the editors are anyway on a cruise.)

Readying to...prepare to...move to. Billing addresses, new drivers license, & first grown-up car to be purchased, which requires a different kind of headachy reading. (Oh America & your ownership sickness. For every thing owned, a debt is also owned by another owner. We are buying & selling each other's asses. It's a dream!)

Hoping that when I begin packing books I will also begin finding what's been misplaced half-read.

You haven't really lived in Brooklyn until you mistake a dark plastic bag scuttling along in the gutter for a mangy rodent & think well, I'm in no hurry today & he's got the right of way.