Another Postcard Bargain

“You Call Those Sonnets?!?”

I’m getting ready for the August Poetry Postcard Fest, which starts on the 27th. It’s the 7th year we’ve done this and after seeing a link to a talk Ted Berrigan gave in 1979 on his Sonnets, I had a hunch I should go through some old postcards to see what lines could be stolen (from myself!) for new poems; see what themes I was into, what places I traveled during that particular year (2009) and to whom I mailed poems. I ended up, over two days, creating a whole new batch of sonnets. Not traditional sonnets, but more along the lines of Berrigan’s, whose collage sonnet exercise I have taught a few times in workshops. (See: http://www.globalvoicesradio.org/Berrigan_Sonnet_Collage_Exercise.html).

I love the irreverence, the language play and plain goofiness of The Sonnets, but also how something more serious begins to take on much more gravity when juxtaposed with that tone. I also LOVE getting a glimpse into a brilliant poet’s process, steal what works for my own and ignore what doesn’t. Fascinating. So, in preparation for APPF 7 here’s yet:

Another Postcard Bargain

(Photo by Michael Powers)

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB in Seattle and the Cascadia Poetry Festival. He wrote a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger.) He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets, has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois and other places & writes an American Sentence every day. www.PaulENelson.com

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