Poetry Porn and Some Poetry Gigs
First, the porn:
This is a calendar featuring the "most intriguing (and sensual) male poets of 2006." This featured image is of Richard Blanco, whose first book of poetry was a marvel a few years back. He's a nice guy, too, but what are these guys really thinking? The poets include Geoffrey Brock (unlike me, he IS the son of Van K. Brock of Tallahassee). But a couple of the names, I don't recognize: Steven Reigns and especially Woody Loverude have pretty classic porn names--wonder if they have really bad mustaches and white man afros?
Anyway, I'm not sure who counseled these guys, and yes, it's for charity, but even so. I remember all the venom spat at Carolyn Forche for her "sexy cover" on her second book of poems (Eliot Weinberger was especially vitriolic about it), with her "full, parted lips," and giving into the culture of celebrityhood and narcissicism. Interestingly, one of Weinberger's heroes, John Ashbery, had a more daring shot of himself for his 1975 edition of Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. Of course, about Forche, Weinberger failed to mention that she has an overbite and that she's fully, up-to-the-neck clothed. But that was a debate in the 1980s.
Let's just say that I am going to HAVE to use this in my popular poetry class . . . .
Second, the gigs:
Interestingly enough, I had a great time at the Miami Book Fair International, where I read with Michael Hettich (a good friend and wonderful poet) and Campbell McGrath, who read some very fine prose poems--his new stuff is actually some of the best work of his I've come across. Anyway, forthcoming will be some images:
Also at the Fair, I enjoyed poetry readings by Denise Duhamel (amazing, as ever), the above Richard Blanco (wasn't taken with his new work, unfortunately, besides he didn't open his shirt for us, the tease), Andrew Glaze, Philip Deaver, Jesse Millner (my colleague, and a tremendous poet who should have loads of books published by now), Laura Mullen. Also hung out with lots of friends, and had a terrific dinner at a charming Italian restaurant off of Brickell with our friends Steve and Gerry (as opposed to my Gerri).
The week before, I read at the Luna Star series in North Miami, hosted by the lovely and suave Laura McDermott--read with David Trinidad, who's working on a very ambitious project. Also the reading featured a number of videos, including the premiere of Nick Carbo's "Can You Lower Your Trope, Please?" I had the pleasure of seeing a pre-screening of Nick's film at his home (and Nick played Philippino House Boy for all of us, fixing an incredible array of dishes: sauted shrimp, curry chicken livers, scallops with bok choy and basil, oven roasted green beans, rice, and about two other main courses!). Let's just say I'm getting the papers together for Nick and Denise to adopt me. Anyway, Laura has put together a very fine and lively and finely attended series at a way hip venue--the best in South Florida since Warehaus 57 in Hollywood. I'll be there again for sure.