Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Poetry: The poetry scene in Austin

Scott Pierce pubishes finely made chapbooks - effing press. He aslo has a blog - snapper's junk(boat)heap

And here is a quick take on the poetry scene in Austin by local poet Farid Matuk (whom I met last year at the Round Top Poetry Festival)
Fascicle - Local Poetry news
Austin - Farid Matuk
The Austin area has a couple of graduate creative writing programs through which young poets are siphoned and then expelled. I can tell you a little about the people who make this an interesting place to stay. Hoa Nguyen and Dale Smith run Skanky Possum Press and Magazine. Their reading series takes place at an independent used-book shop called 12th Street Books. Recent readers have included Stefan Hyner and Jim Koller. They also brought down the Arlington-based poet Chris Murray who has since been a frequent visitor and an insightful voice in our conversations. Nguyen also runs a workshop out of her home that has sustained and bettered the work of many interesting locals. Poet and translator Susan Briante curates a reading series called 0 to 60 that features first or second book poets and fiction writers. Using funds from the UT Austin, this series has brought in folks like Renee Gladman, Joshua Clover, and Matthea Harvey for public readings and talks about how they lied, cheated, stole, or worked in order to pay the bills and keep writing until they got teaching gigs or whatever it is they now do. Working in concert with this series is Unibrow, a collective of writers and designers Susan Briante Erin Mayes, and Vince Lozano who create beautiful, graphically innovative broadsides. Scott Pierce runs effing press and only recently folded effing magazine. Pierce concentrates on publishing beautiful chapbooks of great stuff. He'll be doing Tom Clark's new collection soon. Just today I finished reading through the last batch of poems for Borderlands #25. Borderlands is a print journal that's been carried through the last ten years or so by rotating editorial teams. This issue marks the end of my two issue co-editing tenure. My partners were Phil Pardi and Vive Griffith. We're all excited for the arrival of David Hadbawnik, a recent transplant from San Francisco who has brought with him Habenicht Press. Add to these Corrine Lee's Winnow Press and you get a sense of the publishing momentum building in the area. Now entering its fifth year, the Round Top Poetry Festival has brought in folks like Nicky Flynn and Adam Zagagewski. We're hoping to bring in Harryette Mullen and others this spring. It's also worth noting that Austin is home to senior poets Christopher Middleton, recently featured in the Chicago Review and David Wevill, neither of whom can be found drinking and smoking with us.