Monday, December 16, 2013

Review of Jen Hofer's FRONT PAGE NEWS

Rain Taxi has published my review of Jen Hofer's FRONT PAGE NEWS -- a chapbook published by Dawn Pendergast as part of her LRL Textile Series.

Smoking Glue Gun contest win

j hastain's text and my collages in THROWN are one of the winners of the 2013 Smoking Glue Gun chapbook contest.

Three poem/image hybrids from the winning chapbook THROWN were published in May at Yew

Friday, December 13, 2013

Deb Hoag reviews PLETH

Deb Hoag reviews two new titles from Unlikely Books, including my collaboration with j hastain, Pleth -- at HTMLGIANTHoag writes, "The poems inside are smoky with intent, capturing the undulating dance of together/apart, brought to point by the fierce intellect of hastain and Reed."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

New Chapbook: Rooms by Marthe Reed

Shirt Pocket Press has just published a chapbook of my list poem Rooms.  A sample:



bark abstraction

flamingo encyclopedia



folded enameled copper

oil on wood



Review of Tracey McTague's Super Natural

My review of Tracey McTague's new collection of poems, Super Natural,  published by Trembling Pillow Press is up at HTML GIANT.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pleth, by j/j hastain and Marthe Reed

A new collaborative collection of poems, just published by Unlikely Books: cell poems by j/j hastain with ekphrasitc responses by Marthe Reed. Deb Hoag reviews Pleth at HLMT Giant.  Hoag writes, "There are complex nuances in both hastain’s and Reed’s work, fragmented glimpses of post-apocalyptic wounds, of a desperate last grasp at the tattered shreds of a brave new world’s disavowed humanity, but both hastain and Reed offer, above all else, a sense of beauty, and of hope that shines through."

Ryan Pratt reviews After Swann, my new chapbook out from above / ground press

A lovely review of After Swann, my new chapbook out from above / ground press, by Ryan Pratt.

Excerpts from the same manuscript form the performed text of the After Swann video, a collaboration with visual artist Yeon Choi, composer Joshua Carro, and producer Keith Dorwick. The video is available from Amazon.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Chantel Langlinais reviews Marthe Reed's Gaze at Tarpulin Sky

Many thanks to both Chantel Langlinais and Tarpulin Sky Magazine for publishing this terrific review of my 2010 Black Radish Books title, Gaze.

"...get lost in the beauty of the language"!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

After Swann from above/ground press -- just released!

My new chapbook After Swann has just been published by above/ground press. As part of the press' 20th anniversary celebration, I will be in Ottawa on Friday to launch the new chap and celebrate the press.

After Swann

Marthe Reed



   these dreams
   stop like a clock
   a malady

   too irresistible
   this black cavity
   precisely the same

   she might have a red
   a certain type of femininity

   her subjection
   fixed in

   oh, marvelous
   the tombs
   of sunlight straying

   impossible for me
   the vagrancy
   of her

   that face
   deliberately unfinished

   present except
   in a flood of blue light
   that current

   we imagine
   almost ours
   that sort of tenderness

   the instant of pain
   the special pleasure
   and seize

   the mysterious object
   still alive
   buried in a couch of grass

published in Ottawa by above/ground press August 2013

The text for these constraint-driven poems is collaged from the Moncrieff translation of Marcel Proust's Swann's Way, accessed via Project Gutenberg.

Marthe Reed is the author of three books: (em)bodied bliss(Moria Books 2013), Gaze (Black Radish Books 2010) and Tender Box, A Wunderkammer (Lavender Ink 2007). A fourth book, Pleth, a collaboration with j hastain, will appear September 2013 from Unlikely Books; a fifth will be published by Lavender Ink (2014). She has also published four chapbooks as part of the Dusie Kollektiv. Her poetry has appeared in New American WritingGolden Handcuffs ReviewNew Orleans ReviewHOW2MiPOesiasFairy Tale ReviewExquisite CorpseBlazeVOX, and The Offending Adam, among others. Her manuscript, an earth of sweetness dances in the vein, was a finalist in Ahsahta Press 2006 Sawtooth Poetry Contest; her manuscript Nights Reading was a finalist for the Elizabeth P. Braddock Prize (Coconut 
Books). An essay on Claudia Rankine's The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue appears in American Letters and Commentary.
To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 402 McLeod St #3, Ottawa ON K2P 1A6 or paypal at

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Marthe Reed responds to Alejandro Butros on the 20th anniversary of above/ground press

Alejandro Butros was kind enough to interview me along with several other above/ground chapbook authors in honor of the 20th anniversary of above/ground press which is celebrating this Friday in Ottawa and launching four new chapbooks, mine included. The original article by Butros is over at Apt 613, however I thought I would share the full interview here, as he could only publish short excerpts from each of us.

What does the work of above/ground press mean to you?
 Most striking to me about above/ground is the diversely situated writers who rob brings into confluence: from Deborah Poe to Rae Amantrout to j hastain, from Fenn Stewart to Camille Martin to Stephen Brockwell and Kemeny Babineau. rob mclennan brings a wide-ranging eye and ear to this press, making conversations between Canadian and U.S. writers, between established and developing writers, across modes of poetic practice (visual, lineated, prose, etc.). above/ground is a meeting ground, a congress of poets in conversation, and I am honored to have been brought into that conversation.

Please share a memorable anecdote about above/ground press.
 For the past two years, rob has sent me chapbooks from above/ground to distribute freely at the annual AWP conference, and so I have found myself filling bags and wandering the halls, handing out chapbooks, leaving chapbooks on tables, and offering these chaps along with Dusie chapbooks at the Dusie-Black Radish Books book fair table. In Chicago, Laura Goldstein ferried above/ground chaps into the conference from her flat for me, though not all of them made it. Instead, she gave away the remainder through The Red Rover reading series, which she and Jen Karmin run in Chicago. Generosity, that is the essence of rob and above/ground.

 When did you first hear about a/g press?  How has it evolved, if at all, since your first interaction?
 I am relatively new to above/ground, first coming in contact with rob and above/ground press through the Dusie Kollektiv about 5 years ago and along the way slowly discovering the extraordinary work rob does, including the Dusie special issue on Canadian poets, and his Tuesday poet series at the Dusie blog.

 Poets are often overlooked by the press and publishers.  Given that this article will be written for an audience that is comprised mostly of non-writers, can you please explain how critical a publisher like a/g press is.
 Because of the breadth of rob's reach, that diversity of writers and poetic impulses that he brings into conversation, he builds and extends communities of writers, putting us into conversation with each other, introducing us to work we might not otherwise know --of particular value is the work he does through above/ground of facilitating connections across the border, putting Canadian and U.S. poets face-to-face, as it were.

 For those outside of Ottawa: Given that you do not live in the National Capital Region, I would be interested in hearing your view on the poetry scene here.
 I hail from Syracuse, New York, now, though only very recently. Before that I spent 11 years in Lafayette, Louisiana, where the scenes in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, and to a lesser degree Houston, were my immediate poetry world. What I know of Ottawa's scene, I know through rob mclennan's blog, his work with above/ground press, his 12 or 20 questions interview series, etc. rob seems, from my distant vantage, to be the heart and soul of Ottawa's poetry scene, so it will be great to be in Ottawa this week and get a feel for the place first hand.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Black Radish Books Kickstarter campaign for KINDERGARDE: Avant-garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children

Black Radish Books has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a large run of their new anthology, Kindergarde: Avantgarde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children.  This extraordinary anthology features work for children by writers such as Anne Waldman, Beverly Dahlen, Cathy Park Hong, Charles Bernstein, Christian Bok, Doublas Kearney, Eileen Myles, Evie Shockley, Harryette Mullen, Jaime Cortez, Joan Retallak, Juan Felipe Herrera, Kevin Killian, Leslie Scalapino, Lyn Hejinian, Robin Blaser, Sarah Anne Cox, Vanessa Place, and Wanda Coleman. Please support Kindergarde.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Megan Kaminski's Desiring Map (Coconut Books)

Composed as a series of four long poems, Megan Kaminski's new book Desiring Map (Coconut Books) meditates on the embodied I/eye and the ground of its condition: a language of reverie, it is densely constructed of images drawn from the landscapes of their origin -- Florida, the northwest coast, and, dominantly, the Kansas plains.  These poems direct the reader's eye along an "estuarial intent" across "snips of nodding aster and cow lily," over fields of "silky prairie clover...[and] sand verbena". "An atlas of trees in far away fields" signaling to us, her poems catalog the human and natural worlds, holding them up for us to see each anew. Deployed within a rich vocabulary of slipping registers, the poet composites a new textural space from myriad sources: lyric language, natural history, Spanish phrases, slang, technical jargon, and archaisms, recuperating language as a means of recuperating landscape.  Kaminsky assures us, "yesterday nothing was unusual." Indeed, her language is neither more nor less strange than the "spring rains....[which] remind us of the speaking world."

                 lawns stretch ready around
small bodies caught in orbit
each afternoon contains a pause
waiting for our pulse to break

Within the pages of this Desiring Map, Kaminski offers poems of witness to "beauty as it decomposes," a world breaking open upon the leaves of her book. She warns us, "if I am to speak of them I must leave / the body        this place     this tongue."  Departures of a geographical desire seeking its ground, these poems return the strange loveliness of the world to us, while we "turn soft and dark and eat raw persimmons" by their light.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

C.S. Carrier's Next Big Thing: Mantle

C. S. Carrier writes about his new collection Mantle from H_NGM_AN BOOKS: the number eight, a"poem in the form of a stage play, ejaculate as sulfuric acid, Denzel Washington, and Idi Amin. Read the full post at lingua schematic.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Laura Goldstein's loaded arc is The Next Big Thing

Laura Goldstein has posted her self-interview for The Next Big Thing for her new book loaded arc from Trembling Pillow Press. Think floods, Kabbalah, Marshal McLuhan, Harryette Mullen, the George Bushes, and Katrina -- then read her post at makes a change!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Catherine Daly's "my version"

One more tonight: Catherine Daly posts about her ten-part project CONFITEOR at my version.  Some intriguing vectors of alignment/correspondence (between computer language, heresy, & prayer (Catherine), circuits, neurons & memory (Jen), self-induced trance, ender & the sacred (j)) in these projects. 

Jennifer K. Dick: The Next Big Thing

Jen Dick has posted her piece for The Next Big Thing, talking about her new book Circuits published by Corrupt Press -- Jennifer K. Dick.

The Next Big Thing: j hastain's SOS: Song of Songs of Solomon (a Queer Translation)

Last week, I tagged j hastain for the Next Big Thing and she has posted her self-interview on her new collection SOS: Song of Songs of Solomon (a Queer Translation).

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Camille Martin is THE NEXT BIG THING

Camille Martin has posted her interview up at Rogue Embryo -- R is the Artichoke of Rose is the Next Big Thing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Next Big Thing: (em)bodied bliss

What is the working title of the book?

(em)bodied bliss. The title came from a Dusie chapbook of the same name, which forms one part of the new book, so no there was no working title.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Laura Mullen had been reading some work of mine, including the Dusie chap and pointed out the conversation the two sets of poems were having. As to the sources of the two parts or impulses of the collection, these were driven first by the ordinary pleasure of being in this world and the cold drench of the unacknowledged human terrors belying them.
What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry, though the forms of the poems themselves are diverse: double poems, prose poems, lineated poems, collage poems, dialogic poems. The poems from the Dusie chap draw on the released documents (and their erasures) from the investigations into torture by the U.S. government during the Iraq War – “Enduring Freedom” – as well as other related texts.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Anthony Hopkins as Walter Diaz, the Marquis de Sade, and John Yoo; Makram J. Koury, the Israeli Arab actor, as Abu Zabaydah. The speaker of the poems otherwise might alternate dialogically between Cate Blanchett and Hiam Abbas, the Palestinian actress and director.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Engagements with the torture of recent national policy against the quotidian pleasures of being, the poems navigate a territory whose boundaries become permeable, unfixed, go missing – horror/beauty, fear/delight, punishment/eros – probing the nature of complicity and the (mis)uses of language.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Perhaps a year and half or two, the two vectors of the project taken in sequence.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A sense of place, of the human relationship to place, those we “inhabit,” as well as those we travel to/through inevitably, and a desire to forge modes of connection and understanding to places – their ecologies, histories, narratives. That is one half. The torture poems came directly in response to the horror the revelation of sanctioned torture policies evoked and the untenable yet unavoidable knowledge of my silent complicity in them. The impossibility of silence.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Mina Loy as the Shekina/Lilith/the Shulamite.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
(em)bodied bliss is published by Moria Books. The book and e-book can be found here. Huge gratitude to Bill Allegrezza.
Thank you to Susana Gardner for tagging me.  My tags go out to Dana Teen Lomax, Jill Stengel, Camille Martin, Jen Dick, C.S. Carrier, and Laura Goldstein.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Poet Carolyn Hembree's Skinny (Kore Press) dazzles, sparks, creates its own undertow and pulls us down, in, under the tides of memory and love, of lost things, old selves, the collision of what was and what is. A vivid revision of the Southern Gothic in fractured, fragmented narrative: we follow Skinny as she makes, takes, loses her way and finds it. Or not. "My whole body's a hand inside the hole of some clock reaching--"

Her language pulls itself apart and reknits in a wild force, both compassionate and brutal. Her lines lilt and tilt, break hard like waves impossible to ride, the tide on which Skinny and her kin move, Hembree riffing on rhythms, rhymes, sounds, repetition: songs to carry Skinny through her own fits, rowing her way through dreams of fame, Mamie's decline, the Mother's vanity and distain -- "so you can't tell / the skin beneath from what's been laid atop" -- and the counsels of First Cousin and Bird. "Not your time yet, Skinny." Maybe. Maybe not. But it is certainly Carolyn Hembree's time! Skinny is an astonishing debut, fire's heat and cool water's sudden quench. Get. This. Book!

Carolyn Hembree earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University and is an assistant professor at the University of New Orleans. Her poetry has received three Pushcart Prize nominations, a PEN Writers Grant, a Southern Arts Federation Grant, and a Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship Award in Literature. Her second manuscript, Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine & Other Ways to Escape a Plague, was a finalist for Tupelo Press' 2012 First/Second Book Award and for Switchback's 2012 Gatewood Prize. You can read more about the fabulous Carolyn Hembree here.

OPEN Letter to Danielle Pafunda at Horse Less Press

My letter to Danielle Pafunda on her new Dusie Press collection Man Hater appears at Horse Less Press.

OPEN letter on China Cowboy by Kim Gek Lin Short

My OPEN letter to Kim Gek Lin Short on her new novella  China Cowboy, riffing on Patsy Clone at Horse Press.