Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Poetry and Media #017

Aeon Ginsberg's Greyhound is out this month from Noemi Press. Chen Chen calls it "a book of winds and departures, tattoos and returns; a beautiful book that recognizes how '[e]veryone is trying so hard to figure out / why we are alive.'" "I started writing this book in 2016 because I was travelling a lot, I was taking a lot of Greyhound buses to perform poetry in different places, to convene with writers, or just general degenerates I tend to cavort with," Ginsberg said in a recent episode of Mobtown Live. "It started as this big wide amorphous thing and I honed it in further and further until it became the book that it is now." Ginsberg recently compiled a Spotify playlist of music that inspires and plays in conversation with the poems in Greyhound. One such song is "god is a girl" by 99jakes. It's weird and cool and you can listen to it here. To get a feeling for Ginsberg's poetry, a good place to start might be "Apparently Soon," a poem that's up on the Best Buds! Collective Website. They write: "Geneaology kits sell our DNA to the police / and facial recognition through Apple and Amazon / are used as evidence against us. / Deepfake us into real prison." Click here to read. To learn more about Greyhound, click here.

A few more October releases worth checking out:
Katabasis by Lucía Estrada
Rough Song by Blanca Varela
To Emit Teal by upfromsumdirt
And now, the Poetry and Media digest:
  • Mjele Msimang, the winner of the Jam Slam at this year's Poetry Africa Festival, spoke to eNCA's Masego Rahlaga about his victory. Msimang also shared his coronavirus-inspired poem "Months of Terrors." Click here to watch.
  • Darby Crash, Grace Jones, John Lennon, and Stevie Wonder are just a few of the musicians making noise in 1980 that poet Hanif Abdurraqib focuses on in the new season of Lost Notes. Click here to listen.
  • Diane di Prima's recent passing has ignited a burst of interest in her life and work. Vogue and the New York Times have both written admirable remembrances of the seminal Beat poet. But, if you want to get a feel for what it was like to be in di Prima's presence, check out Cassandra Gillig's YouTube page. The poet and archivist has uploaded a couple clips of di Prima reading and speaking that were originally released as a CD-ROM supplement to Ron Mann's film Poetry in Motion Vol. 2. Click here and here to watch.
  • Gregory Warner began a new episode of Rough Translation with a disclaimer: "This is the most explicit episode I've ever worked on. We left this language unbleeped because this episode is all about the role of incivility in politics." Who is the subject of this episode, the most vulgar of all Rough Translation episodes? None other than Stella Nyanzi, a Ugandan poet who served jail time for a poem that referred to Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni as "a pair of buttocks." Click here to listen to the episode (after Warner's warning, there's a great recording of Nyanzi reading one of her profane pieces). For more from Nyanzi, check out her essay "Queering Queer Africa," which provides some intellectual context for her provocative poetic project.
  • Celia Sorhaindo, a Dominica-based poet, discussed Hurricane Maria and its impact on her life during a virtual event for this year's Miami Book Fair Online. Click here to watch.
  • Lee Sharkey, a Maine-based poet and co-founder of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, has passed away. Click here to read about Sharkey's work as a poet and mentor. Click here to watch her intriguing collaborative performance with George Mason at the 2016 Belfast Maine Poetry Festival.
  • Dao Strom's Traveler's Ode is "an interwoven series of textured, ethereal song-poems" that was released so as to be in conversation with Instrument, her upcoming hybrid poetry-art book. Click here to sample the sonic side of Strom's literary experiment.
  • Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, a legendary coach of Russian fighters, passed away earlier this year. This week the Ultimate Fighting Championship league paid tribute to Nurmagomedov with a video featuring UFC commentator Jon Anik reciting Carl Sandburg's poem "A Father to His Son." The video has nearly one-million views. Click here to watch.
  • Finally, if you've been enjoying "Poetry and Media" section of our newsletter, why not let the world know? Copy this link, and share it with your friends via social media, email, text message, or any other way you see fit!
For tips, comments, questions, or anything in between, drop us a line at pswebed@unl.edu.