Postmodern Collage Poetry

A blog about writing collage poetry, post modern poetry, multi lingual poetry

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


One of the issues that has come to fore recently especially in Latin America is what is a "Latin"
traditional definitions in the literary world have grouped all the Romance Language Literatures (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian & Catalan) into one Culture zone because of cultural similarities, Catholicism, origins in Roman Civilization et cetera. But of late the term Latin has restricted to Spanish Speakers and this has caused me to ask some questions. We in the USA tend to look at Latin America through the prism of Mexico because Mexicans are our largest Latin American ethnic group but one of the facts about Latin America that is ignored by many is the intense cultural exchange between Latin American writers in Spanish and Portuguese and all of Latin Europe, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal and also with Latin speaking Africa as well through Brazil. 
Another part of this is the fact that in South America, especially Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay the influence of Europe on the literary scene is profound and that many South Americans speak French, or Italian as well.  The result is that Latin American literature is defined more in relation to Europe than to the USA. In fact American poetry in many ways is a poor relation compared to poetry in Latin America.
Mexican writing tends to be defined against US writing because if the interplay between our two cultures but this is not the case in South America which are more apt to know more about French or Italian or even German literature than American writers.  I think that is behooved many American writers to examine the culture that is encapsulated by the world's 1.1 Billion Romance language speakers and to understand that the US does not define their work or world.

Monday, July 12, 2004

A Culture of Riches

Recently I have been around allot of poets, and during a recent dinner with my friend Brian Clements his family local Chicago poets Simone Muench and Mark Tardi I realized through the conversation that the problem with poetry is that most serious poets come at the artform from a mentality of poverty.

With this I mean that because serious poetry can be such a small incestious world many poets think that another's success is an impediment to their success. We as poets do not celebrate enough the successes of our friends and our adversaries. What I mean by this is the following. I am friends with allot of poets with whom I share aesthetic
sensabilities. I love the work of Jen Hofer, Catherine Daly, Peter Gizzi, Mark Tardi, kari edwards, Kerri Sonnenberg, Charles Bernstein and many other experimentos. But sometimes when you are around poets with whom you share everything it becomes a bit like when right wingers listen to Rush Limbaugh, there is no challenge and no growth we are in an echo chamber and sometimes other tones are worthwhile.

I like to be around poets with whom I do not share Aesthetic simpatico. My friend Brian Clements for example is a challenge to my sense of poetry, Simone Muench someone for whom I have the utmost respect but for whom I do not agree with Aesthetically is good to challenge what has motivated my poetics. This kind of challenge helps us to grow as poets.

What we need to do as poets is celebrate serious poetry and celebrate successes by opening up doors, to paraphrase Al Smith in the political season the only cure for the ills of poetry is more poetry.