local ground(s) Midwest Poetics anthology

local ground(s) Midwest Poetics, edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman

local ground(s) Midwest Poetics, edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman

Thanks to Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman for co-editing Local Ground(s)–Midwest Poetics: Selected Prose Verse Wisconsin 2009-2014 (Cowfeather Press) & including my zuihitsu on the Kundiman community as part of it! ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

Here are some snippets from the anthology which I posted during the digital launch party to celebrate the publication earlier tonight:

“… I have always been drawn to the spaces between languages, cultures, countries, emotional and mental states (like waking and sleeping, for example)–the interstitial spaces, and the hybrid or syncretic ones that result when the two merge. For me, this is to embrace the transformation, flux, and becoming that is life.” – Brenda Cardenas in “local ground(s) Midwest Poetics,” edited by Sarah Busse & Wendy Vardaman ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

“‘I am writing,’ I explain, ‘a poem.’ ‘ Would it help?’ Would it hurt? There are all kinds of arts unfolding spontaneously–not sloppily–here at the Capitol. In the signs by protesters, in the posters. In the display of signage on the walls and hanging from the balconies. In the drumming of the student groups that have loudly led days of chanting. In the costumes of, for instance, a man who dresses up as an Imperial Walker. In the chants. In the bagpipes played by the firefighters who joined the protesters early on, who themselves slept over a few days ago. In the musicians who came with their guitars and cellos and saxophones. In the musicians who come with only their voices when instruments are banned around Day 19. In the knitting and crafting circles that meet at specific times. In the chalkboard at Ian’s, amended daily with a new color for the names of more countries from which donations have come. In the pictures and videos that people create and share on web sites, blogs and Facebook pages. In the little campsites of those who have been here many days, with their home-made quilts and arrangements of stuff to create a place. In the Post-Its that will cover the Capitol doors when they close to Wisconsin’s citizens on Day 28 ….” – Wendy Vardaman, from “The Essay That I Begin Writing While Walking to the Wisconsin Capitol Trying to Discern the Right Question 2/24/11” #‎MidwestPoetics‬

“Some of the places I liked to visit in my imagination were from the stories that my mother told me. She was the first person to tell me that the name of her town, Cuicatlán, meant land of the song in the Mazatec indigenous language.” — Moisés Villavicencio Barras, from an interview conducted by Sarah Busse for local ground(s) ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

“One night a poet from Jakarta prefaced his reading of a poem called ‘Going Home’ by explaining that when he wrote it he had returned home after having been away for ten years. What he didn’t say was he had been in exile because of his political activism, his work for democracy in Indonesia. A haunting line in the poem has lived in my memory as image: a faded and tattered sign bearing his name and the message ‘come home whenever.’ The memory of the poem, the image, the circumstances of the reading, the backstory, etc.–all these now always color my own reading or writing of poems about home places.” – Kimberly Blaeser, interviewed by Wendy Vardaman for “local ground(s)” ‪#‎MidwestPoetics‬

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