Posts Tagged ‘bob hicok’

When I first wrote about the Kindle Fire, I didn’t adequately imagine just how much I would come to love it. App availability and Flash compatibility aside, it is a magnificent device.  When was the last time you heard me say “magnificent?” To prove this point, I submit for your approval the FREE subscription of the Kenyon Review that is available to all Kindle owners. Sure, the content is “limited,” but look what limited includes:

Elegy owed
—Bob Hicok—

In other languages
you are beautiful – mort, muerto – I wish
I spoke moon, I wish the bottom of the ocean
were sitting in that chair playing cards
and noticing how famous you are
on my cell phone – pictures of your eyes
guarding your nose and the fire
you set by walking, picture of dawn
getting up early to enthrall your skin – what I hate
about stars is they’re not candles
that make a joke of cake, that you blow on
and they die and come back, and you,
you’re not those candles either, how often I realize
I’m not breathing, to be like you
or just afraid to move at all, a lung
or finger, is it time already
for inventory, a mountain, I have three
of those, a bag of hair,  box of ashes, if you
were a cigarette I’d be cancer, if you
were a leaf, you were a leaf, every leaf, as far
as this tree can say.

This was from the Summer 2012 issue, which offers up a lot of other great pieces of poetry and prose as well. Also, the free subscription lets you flip through the journal in 2 modes: Page View and Text View. While the offering of both may seem a tad silly, the combination provides the look of a real journal with the functionality (search, highlight, look-up) of an eReader. Keeping abreast of the latest issue of said subscription is as effortless as going to your physical mailbox; a download starts automatically once connected to Wi-Fi when each new issue is available.

Honestly, I wish more literary journals would have such a tremendously well-designed eSubscription…even if not for free. Heck, after this last issue, I might just subscribe to get all the content. At $0.99/month, what the heck is the reason not to?

(The reproduction of the above poem is done so merely to illustrate the quality of poems offered via a free subscription. It is not meant to infringe upon copyrights of the Kenyon Review or Bob Hicok, whose book, “Elegy owed,” comes out in 2013 according to a couple sources and is fully recommended by this blog for purchase upon release.)


Panelists: Bob Hicok, Dunya Mikhail, Rigoberto González

There is a form of review called autobiographical analysis that I abhorred while in college and still do today to a certain extent. The practice in and of itself – using facts about the author’s life to read into the meanings of his/her work – is fine and a good exercise for thought, but since poems can be fiction just as easily as they can be fact (as well as everything in-between), more speculation can come from this particular form of analysis compared to other forms that strictly compare content between known facts about language’s historic and current affiliations. Arguably, poetry has become so ambiguous that it has started to alienate its would-be readers. So does poetry need the added hurdles of trying to figure out if what was said in a poem actually happened or how much of it didn’t. Does it matter? What are some of the benefits and drawbacks? In essence, that was what Tell All the Truth But Tell it Slant set out to answer.


Panelists: Bob Hicok, Martín Espada, Dorianne Laux

Cited in the schedule as addressing educational, socioeconomic, and cultural issues, Poetry and Class was quite possibly the panel I was most looking forward to seeing at this year’s festival. It did not disappoint, as the panelists presented experiences and talking points with the passion and intelligence one would expect from renowned poets. The discussion started with a focus on work/jobs; moved on to language; and finished up with stylistic prejudices before an equally thought-provoking Q&A.

I’ve been trying to review this 90-minute panel for about a week now and could not bring myself to summarize too much. You need to hear Espada, Laux, and Hicok fervently detailing their arguments and reading poems. Despite there being no chance for direct interaction now, it is a conversation you can take part of none the less by listening and thinking. Likewise, this may not be a perfect summary, but it is a bridge for you to get somewhere worthwhile. And in the end, that is the purpose of a poem.

If you just want to listen to the full audio recording* of the panel and not bother with any of my own summarization/interjection (no offense taken), click here. To continue reading my summary and interjections (with a link to the audio at the end), (more…)

Bob Hicock
“This Clumsy Living”

While the title may be a borrowed Rainer Maria Rilke phrase, that is the only thing that could be said to be borrowed in Hicock’s latest book, “This Clumsy living.”

I fell in love with Hicock’s particular way of using language to translate humour and introspection via his 2004 release, “Insomnia Diary” (buy). Ever since, every copy of any journal publishing his work has had my fingerprints on it. And when I saw that he had a new book out, no preview necessary, I went out and bought a copy.