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- The Best Reviewed Books of the WeekMay 25, 2018
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All Up In Your Ears is a monthly podcast discussing, extolling, deviating from and disagreeing about recent poems. The format’s pretty simple. Each month, two of us pick out a poem and all four of us talk, hoping, in the process, to learn something about the ways that poems can matter—about what is found there and what, sometimes, for some of us, is not. At the end, we all talk about things that have caught our interest recently, and then one of us calls another poet for a short interview.
Kaveh Akbar is the founder and editor of Divedapper. His poems have appeared (or will soon) in American Poetry Review, Tin House, Boston Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. A former poetry editor for BOOTH, he now serves as Book Reviews Editor for the Southeast Review. He lives and teaches in Tallahassee.
Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, Apocalyptic Swing, and the forthcoming Rocket Fantastic. She is Senior Poetry Editor at Los Angeles Review of Books. She is embarking on a two year Jubilee pairing poetic practice and charitable giving. She’s committed to making New Economies with anyone who’d like to join her.
Jonathan Farmer is the editor in chief and poetry editor of At Length and the poetry critic for the Slate Book Review. He teaches high school English and middle school writing in Saxapahaw, NC, and lives in Durham.
francine j. harris’ second collection, play dead, has been anticipated in review in the Library Journal, NPR Books, and has received a starred review in Publishers Weekly. In the forthcoming issue of American Poets, Stephen Burt calls the collection “[s]cary and purposeful.” Her first book, allegiance (Wayne State University Press, 2012), was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award. A 2008 Cave Canem fellow, she won the 2014 Boston Review Poetry Prize and was a 2015 NEA fellow. Recent poems have been featured on Literary Hub and the Academy of American Poets. Originally from Detroit, she is Writer in Residence at Washington University in St. Louis.
Featured Guest Episode 1:
AZIZA BARNES is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, Aziza currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi. Her first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize and published from Button Poetry. Her first full length collection i be but i ain’t, from YesYes Books is the winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize.
We realized many of the poetry podcasts we listened to were wildly dull. Hyper self-serious, self-agrandizing, and totally exclusive to high academic circles. That’s not the way the three of us know or love poetry. It’s also not the way any of our homies and idols dig into this craft. Poets are fucking hilarious. Joyful and absurd, with stories for days. We hear them at the bar, during their banter at the reading. We wanted to hear it in a podcast. So we made one.
Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, Aziza currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi. Her first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize and published from Button Poetry. Her first full length collection i be but i ain’t, from YesYes Books is the winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize.
José Olivarez is the co-author of the book of poems Home Court and co-host of the poetry podcast: The Poetry Gods. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Program Director at Urban Word-NYC. A winner of a 2016 Poets House Emerging Poet Fellowship and a 2015 Bronx Recognizes Its Own award from the Bronx Council on the Arts, his work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets, Vinyl Poetry and Prose, Specter Magazine, and Union Station Magazine among other places. He is from Calumet City, IL, and he lives in the Bronx. You can purchase Home Court at http://homecourtpoems.tumblr.com/purchase & follow him on social media at @jayohessee.
Jon Sands is an author know for electric readings. He wrote The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing), and the literary mixtape, The Perfect Mix (2016, Rattapallax Press). His work has been featured in The New York Times, as well as anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He is the co-founder of Poets in Unexpected Places, a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC, and he teaches creative writing for both adults and youth at Bailey House in East Harlem (an HIV/AIDS service center). He is the Program Director of the Dialogue Arts Project, and has represented New York City multiple times at the National Poetry Slam. He tours extensively, but lives in Brooklyn.
Featured Guest Episode 4:
JEANANN VERLEE is a performance poet, editor, and former punk rocker who collects tattoos and wears polka dots. She is author of two poetry collections: Said the Manic to the Muse and Racing Hummingbirds, which earned the Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal in poetry. She has also been awarded the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry. Her work has appeared in failbetter, Rattle, Adroit, and PANK, among other journals, and anthologized in various publications, including Uncommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning and Living, The Courage Anthology: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls, and Looking for the Enemy: The Eternal Internal Gender Wars of Our Sisters Anthology. She was first runner-up for the Indiana Review Poetry Prize and has received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Bettering American Poetry. Verlee worked as poetry editor for Union Station Magazine, For Some Time Now: Performance Poets of New York City, and Winter Tangerine Review: Fragments of Persephone, in addition to a number of individual collections.