Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BL interviews #BLauthor9 Sarah Hulyk Maxwell

"prophet rejected," by addison
If you haven't checked out two new prose poems by Sarah Hulyk Maxwell yet, do that because in the upcoming interview, Sarah talks about the characters in those pieces, and shares how she disciplines herself to write regularly.

BL: Tell our readers a little more about the characters of Gingerine and DagoBerto from your prose poems. How many pieces have you written about them? What draws you to fleshing out characters in short prose/verse like that?

SHM: Gingerine and DagoBerto are both guilty pleasure characters. I say this mostly because I have so much fun writing about them and their always-imaginary, never-for-real love story. They are actually two parts of a triangle, a character named Anderson making up the third part, but he doesn't appear here. Roughly 20 poems make up their little saga as of right now, and while the manuscript they are contained in may gain muscle mass, I'm not sure Gingerine and DagoBerto will take part in more than these 20 or so pages. These poems are heavily influenced by Sabrina Orah Mark's Tsim Tsum and Jenny Boully's not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them, so their prose form is no surprise to me. For me, Gingerine gushes in containment. She is mostly emotion and memory, and living in her head. The block-like, prose form felt appropriate for those moments, tiny windows of text, where she is trying to tell you so much in so small a space that there is simply no time to break or breathe.

Monday, July 14, 2014

#BLauthor9: Sarah Hulyk Maxwell

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After a brief hiatus, we’re back now with #BLauthor9, poet Sarah Hulyk Maxwell.

Sarah Hulyk Maxwell lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. She has two cats, a husband, and an MFA from Louisiana State University. Her work can most recently be found in The Nassau Review and Common Ground Review and is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander.

Stayed tuned for an interview with the poet next week, but for now, here are two new prose poems and art by addison:

Monday, June 9, 2014

Co-ed Stephanie Crets interviews #BLauthor8 R.M.F. Brown

"Sleepytime," by Kelene Karetski
Co-editor Stephanie Crets interviewed #BLauthor8 R.M.F. Brown after we published his short story “Hyacinth” last week. It’s interesting because we don’t often come across writers who don’t claim to be immersed in contemporary lit (don’t most of us usually wear our tedious knowledge of this or that new publication, or this or that obscure indie up-and-comer, on our sleeves?). Brown lives in Scotland, so he’s a bit removed from at least American print mags. Plus, he’s a historian, so he is, in his words, “fascinated with the past.”

Do you think unplugging from the cacophony of modern lit, even for a little while, can be beneficial? Does focusing on one’s own craft more than on what others are crafting isolate or liberate us?

Read the interview and let us know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

#BLauthor8: R.M.F. Brown

R.M.F. Brown tweets!
Follow him @RMFBrown.

#BLauthor8 is R.M.F. Brown.

R.M.F.Brown (1983 -) was born in Fife, Scotland. A writer for over ten years, his works include: Death to Love, Dr Acula's book of horror, and A rat's war. He has had various short stories and reviews published in a diverse range of publications from Spiked Online, Cassiopeia Magazine, Stalking Elk, The An Lucht Lonrach project, Paragraph Planet, The Puffin Review, and recently, his work has been published in The clock struck war, an anthology of stories by Mardibooks. His influences include Michael Moorcock, Stephen King, HG Wells, and Alfred Bester. A historian, poet, philosopher, and cartographer, Brown is a multi-genre author who dabbles in crime, sci-fi, horror, historical, and romantic fiction. He also freelances as a film critic for TV Bomb. He is currently a Twitter user for the time being.

Here's a short piece of fiction by Brown, plus art by Kelene Karetski.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Even If I Gave This a Really Intriguing Title, You Probably Wouldn’t Remember It: Guest post by Matt Mauch, #BLauthor7

"Cyan and Wheat," by Sheri L. Wright
We asked #BLauthor7 Matt Mauch to write a guest post for us, and he delivered in a big way, as he is prone to do.

Mauch's essay touches on the personal, political, and universal in poetry. It's a long read, and we were going to post it in two or three parts, but screw that because there are footnotes, and it has to be some sort of crime to cut this particular poet off in the middle of his thoughtful critique of the state of po things.

Basically, Mauch can have our mic for has long as he wants it. And damn if he doesn't drop it at the end, but not before elevating poets to god status.

Pour a brew or two, settle into your comfy chair, and enjoy Mauch's words, plus art by Sheri L. Wright: 

"Even If I Gave This a Really Intriguing Title, You Probably Wouldn’t Remember It," by Matt Mauch

Let’s start with Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman: poet, essayist, journalist, debater, teacher, American, transcendentalist, realist, trashy, profane, obscene, government worker, deist, democrat, champion of free-verse, sexual explorer, nurse, obsessive-compulsive reviser, self-publisher, who said in the preface of his great gift to the rest of us, Leaves of Grass, “This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning god, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.” Or he said that if the black sans serif letters, on a white background, no caps (because ‘no caps’ is either (a) chic or (b) it emulates electronic communication and by doing so says things about its own coolness that hover below language itself), on the 3-inch by 3-inch magnet on my oven can be believed. Makers and sellers of this magnet, whose content is in the public domain, and no longer protected by copyright, have joined with the makers and sellers of t-shirts and posters, upon which you can also purchase portions of the famous preface, or if you’re more bold, more inclined to permanence, you can emulate the many who have had excerpts tattooed to their very own very flesh, images available via Google search.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review of Mike Krutel's "Best Poems," by Barrett Warner

Some are dreamers and some are architects. Mike Krutel’s debut chapbook Best Poems puts him squarely in the dreamer camp. I wish he had more company to keep the bed warm. Instead he has insomnia. “Tonight is the night of no sleep” he asserts in the first poem, “Best,” before using images to draw us inside: “Cannonballs over the playground. / The cat rubs a glass frame off the mantle.” We know the glass shatters, but Krutel doesn’t let us hear it. The insomnia is not about the noises.

The key moment in the poem is a release of information, rather than action: “I am holding these individually wrapped letters,” and what emerges is two people, one wanting to know and feel without “authorization,” and the other wanting to disassociate from a moment she’s nonetheless in charge of. As the speaker says, “I make swift turns in an ocean I am always made / to ride beneath.” He is in control of his own out-of-control state and usually that’s enough, but not if he wants to sleep.

Monday, May 19, 2014

#BLauthor7: Matt Mauch

Follow Matt Mauch on Facebook,
and check out his website.
#BLauthor7 is Matt Mauch.

Matt Mauch is the author of If You’re Lucky Is a Theory of Mine and Prayer Book, and the chapbook The Brilliance of the Sparrow. He hosts the annual Great Twin Cities Poetry Read, co-hosts (with Paula Cisewski) the Maeve’s Sessions readings, and edits the anthology Poetry City, USA, an annual collection of poetry and prose on poetry.. Mauch teaches in the AFA program at Normandale Community College, and lives in Minneapolis.

We've published Mauch before, in BL #20, and are thrilled to do so again.

Here are two new untitled Mauch poems from a longer series in progress, and check back next week for a guest post by the poet: