Monday, June 22, 2009

So, For My Next Big Number?

Shouldn't be thinking about this now--too many other things on my plate--but I've been mulling over some possibilities for my next Parnassus review.

From my chats with Herb, I gather that there are a bunch of Collecteds as yet unclaimed: Jack Spicer, Robert Creeley, Barbara Guest, Thom Gunn. A few more that I know of, both Collecteds and new Selecteds: Helen Adam, for example, and Judy Grahn has a Reader coming out soon. (I've always loved the Common Woman poems, & had the chance to teach a few from the Nelson anthology last spring, to good effect.)

Who else have I thought about doing? Eamon Grennan, whom I read last fall. Reznikoff. Oppen. Zukofsky. (I'm probably too close to you, Mark, to get the nod for that.) Harvey Shapiro. Mike Heller. William Bronk. Some combo of these--i.e., Henry Weinfield did a book on Bronk and Oppen, so that's a threesome that could be considered. Nate Mackey, whose prose I know better than his poetry. I'd love to write about Norman Finkelstein again, but don't know whether Herb would bite, except perhaps in an omnibus of some kind. (On poetry & the sacred? Joy Ladin did such a bang-up job on that a few years ago, I doubt its time has come again. And Norman, you and I go back a ways, which is an issue chez Parnassus, as it should be.)

Some of the poets I'd love to spend time with--Duncan, Eluard--have been written about recently, so they're out of the running. Some that I've touched on in the past--Sherman Alexie, say--have new work out, but I'm not keen on turning back to old projects, even if the opening to that Alexie piece was one of my best gambits. (It went sharply downhill from there.) I'd love to do something on the books by Larry Joseph that didn't make it into my symposium piece, Into It and Lawyerland, but he and I have known one another a very long time, so the rule above applies. A pity: that's a project I'd like to build on.

International poets? Translations? (I don't have any languages to speak of, anymore.) Who have I missed? Maybe Agha Shahid Ali? What would y'all suggest?


Mark Scroggins said...

Hey, what happened to that Swinburne idea? (tasty, mmm...)

I think Herb's got a copy of Ron's Alphabet on the shelf with your name on it, old friend...

E. M. Selinger said...

Oy! I'd forgotten. Better Swinburne than Silliman, for me. I don't have it in me to read Alphabet just at present. Did I ever?

Will need to re-read brother Swinburne, though, and see if he still captivates me as he did a year or two ago. Was it him, or McGann, that wowed me? Only my hairdresser knows for sure.

E. M. Selinger said...

Could be a way back into the Byatt project, come to think of it. All of that Proserpinia.

RfP said...

"Shouldn't be thinking about this now"

Sounds like productive procrastination! All my best ideas happen that way :)

Norman Finkelstein said...

I'd love to see you sink your teeth into Heller, Shapiro or Bronk, but the most neglected poet you mention, the one who still needs more smart critics like you, is Helen Adam.

Paul Sweeney said...

Derek Mahon:

Much "reviewed" but not truly in my opinion. Has written at least 10 poems that are indisputably central to Irish poetry.