Wednesday, May 31, 2006


that expires on July 4, 2006! To wit, two hay(na)ku books for a mere $20.00:


and the first single-author hay(na)ku poetry collection: NOT EVEN DOGS by Ernesto Priego.

Free shipping/handling to those residing in the U.S.

This, folks, is a two-fer special that generates a whopping 38% or $12.44 in total cost savings ($7.94 discount from books + $4.50 shipping/handling). Send a check for $20.00 made out to "Meritage Press" to

Eileen Tabios
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Road
St. Helena, CA 94574

And remember, that first hay(na)ku anthology is likely to be sold out in the near future so y'all are looking at a collectible here...

Gads: what slogging (elbeit enjoyable) that Moi must do to sell any poetry book!!

Okay, taking off that publisher's straw hat now...to continue moi cocktail hour. Sip. Tonight, the 2001 Kistler chardonnay. Yum.


So, first, you must check out Leny Strobel's lovely hay(na)ku cum literary criticism in response to Ernesto Priego's astonishing poetry in NOT EVEN DOGS. The concept of Embodied Dance is absolutely fitting for Ernesto's hay(na)ku! So whatchoo waiting for? Do get your copy of NOT EVEN DOGS here!

Meanwhile, I love Ernesto's book cover. What's interesting is that the hubby, just looking over my shoulder when we were proofing a few weeks ago, noticed the cover which reproduces a painting by Ernesto's brother, Rodrigo Priego, from his 2004 series "SOBRE LA CONGOJA HIPOCONDRIACA". Well, the hubby asked me to follow up and, to make a long story short, Rodrigo's series -- including the painting on Ernesto's cover -- is now purring on Galatea's art-obsessed walls. Here they are in the living room, between a huge painting by James Valerio and a small painting by Clare Rojas:

Unfortunately, the above shot cuts off the bodies of the animalitos (jackalope and rooster) carved and painted by talented pueblo artists en New Mexico. But here also is a closer-up shot of Rodrigo's series -- we are blessed to host them in Galatea:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Boy, am I glad Chris Murray is reading, thus uncloaking the secret lives of, PUNCTUATIONS. Thanks Chris!


Timothy Yu follows up on the Ron Silliman discussion to his think-piece (and discussions about his thought-piece) on Asian American anthologies. Go to his blog to read, but I want to highlight this excerpt below because.....IT IS BRILLIANT PHRASEOLOGY:

...it may be precisely that success itself (measured in terms of fellowships, publications, and teaching positions) is the gold standard of acceptance into the category of Asian American poet. The Asian American poet thus becomes the model minority.

Read and re-read that paragraph, all ye would-be cultural activists. You wanna be a cultural activist? Then, please: a tad more self-awareness, pleeeze. Not that I'm targetting anyone in specific, btw...

By now, of course, we all know who really would be a great candidate for editing that next Asian American anthology, if such a puppy is going to exist. Why anyone would wanna edit such a dawg is, natch, another matter...(animal puns intended).


SMALL PRESS TRAFFIC YEARBOOK 05-06 (Compilation of introductions to those who read at the Small Press Traffic series, with each introduction followed by sample poems of the poems -- a unique publication; if you wish to review it for Galatea Resurrects, contact me)

AT THAT, poems by Skip Fox

MUSEE MECHANIQUE, poems by Rodney Koeneke

LETTERS OF RESIGNATION, poems by Clayton Couch

20/20 YIELDING, poems by Sunnylyn Thibodeaux

TWENTY-ONE AFTER DAYS, poems by Lisa Lubasch

BAY POETICS edited by Stephanie Young

SOME LIFE, poems by Joanne Kyger

AGAIN: POEMS 1989-2000 by Joanne Kyger

GROUNDED, poems by George Held

AMERICAN MASTER, poems by Raymond L. Bianchi


9th & OCEAN, poems by Kevin Opstedal

LAST WE SPOKE, poems by Sunnlyn Thibodeaux


THE LAST OF HER KIND, novel by Sigrid Nunez

THE BOOKWOMAN'S LAST FLING, novel by John Dunning

A DEATH IN VIENNA, novel by Daniel Silva

EIGHT OF SWORDS, novel by David Skibbins

2001 Kistler chardonnay
1996 Domaine L'Aigueliere Montpeyroux Coteau du Languedoc
2003 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2003 Dutch Henry pinot noir
1996 William Selyem pinot noir Allen Vineyard
1987 Robert Mondavi cabernet Private Reserve
1988 Rabaud-Promis
1999 Trefethen Oak Knoll District Napa cabernet Library Selection
2002 Jones Family Vineyards "The Sisters"


I've always been somewhat obsessed with trash. I don't know why. In New York, I lived in some apartment buildings where there were hallway chutes from which you can drop your garbage (in plastic bags) down to the basement trash bins; in these places, I used to clear our apartment once, perhaps twice, a day. It gave me much pleasure to walk from one room to another, peek into each room's tiny garbage can and see it ... EMPTY.

Relatedly (I believe), I'm a recycler. It's why my "Six Directions" project incorporated drawings on brown paper bags, such being an attempt to create value ("art") from trash (used paper bags piling up beneath the sink) -- scroll down this link to see an installation shot of my "Brown Paper Bag [Drawing] Series."

This is all to say, this weekend, we finally did it -- got five huge garbage bins to put into the garage, right next to the three grey bins for regular household trash. These five new bins offer the color of great-weather sky, and each have been labeled






Since installing them, I've been visiting the garage twice a day just to pop in that extra aluminum can of emptied Diet coke and marvel over my brand new recycling center. ECOPOETICS!

I'd always recycled these objects but was concerned as to whether the people who took out the garbage actually went to the bother of separating them in order to recycle them, or just bundled them up along with normal household waste. I have alleviated my fear.

For those obsessed with moi navel, I anticipate your question and say that paper is stacked separately and so does not need its own bin.

Now, can someone let me know please: those twistie caps off things like Snapple iced tea bottles, peanut butter and jelly jars -- are they tin or aluminum?

Such, to me, are a poet's concern...

Monday, May 29, 2006

from the series, "The Poet Lives With Mom"

How nifty for Ernesto to respond to my first post in "The Poet Lives With Mom" series. Here's Ernesto's hay(na)ku sequence which I must blog-file, thus replicate in full below -- gracias, Ernesto!

you love
sleeping with your

book, the
chest peacefully breathing:

intimacy can
hardly be achieved.

take your
words to bed;

hold them
against the heart;

dream privately
with another's intimations:

book must
dream with it.


Thanks to Chris Murray for her mention of (including sample poem from) PUNCTUATIONS...and her hilarious excerpting from John Yau's Afterword to 100 More Jokes From The Book of the Dead. All a hoot!

from a new series, "The Poet Lives With Mom"

Mom is going back and forth between Southern California and Napa this summer, before moving in full-time in the fall. Her first transitional visit here a few weeks back coincided with me receiving an advance copy of PUNCTUATIONS.

Proudly, I gave her PUNCTUATIONS to read. Eagerly, she took my book and went to the living room where she laid down on the couch to begin reading.

Did a bit of this and that in the kitchen. More this and that in the bedroom. This and that in blogland. Then I went to the living room, curious as to what she thought of my book.

I entered the living room...then paused. There, Mom lay sleeping, my book half-open on her chest.

Fortunately, because Mom is about 75 years old, I can believe [insert cough] with much fortitude that it wasn't my poems that put her to sleep. After all, old people just gotta take a nap here and there, ... right?

Sunday, May 28, 2006


John absolutely "gets" the semi-colon poems in moi PUNCTUATIONS...and replies. Of course I love his last line:

; I have come to expect invisible texts from you

John -- !!!!!!!!*

(* the number of exclamations = no. of letters in "Thank you")

Saturday, May 27, 2006


So, first, so many of you clamored that, okay, Moi created a single link which, from hereon, you can use to refer to Galatea Resurrects (http://galatearesurrects.blogspot.com/). This is convenient since each issue is housed on a different link....so please to update your links and if you are a literary journal wishing to trade links, email Moi at GalateaTen@aol.com. My first reciprocal link is Big Bridge, whose Jonathan actually encouraged me to do this single GR link (Hi Jonathan!)

Second, the review copy list has been updated again, primarily to reflect several books that arrived from the absolutely stellar Kelsey St. Press -- go here for review copy and submission information.

Third, please to note that we welcome new (and old) reviewers for our third issue -- deadline August 5, 2006. That third issue looks to be a good one, too. In fact, here's an excerpt from a hilarious review I just received for it:

"Although I support forty-six ex-wives on the meager and unappreciated receipts of my literary criticism, I can’t help but believe that I had something to do with Kavarkian’s evolution as a poet. After all, he seemed to extract a tangible grace from the women I married—and, I flatter myself—possibly because of my connection to them. I’d also like to think that my cautious critical prose, which my wives have told me they read aloud to him each evening, helped to discipline his earlier poetic unruliness."

That would be from a review of the famous, if not infamous, Otiose Warts, Argol Karvarkian's 45th poetry collection.

Friday, May 26, 2006


I'll be here Friday evening with butter cookies! And you are invited!

Small Press Traffic
is thrilled to present
reading & in celebration of her acceptance of our
Lifetime Achievement Award
plus Book of the Year ceremony
Friday, May 26, 2006 at 7:30 p.m.

Every year the board of directors of Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center votes a Lifetime Achievement Award to a living writer of distinction. Past honorees have included Barbara Guest, Jackson Mac Low, and Carl Rakosi. The latest recipient of SPT’s Lifetime Achievement Award is Joanne Kyger.

Joanne Kyger made an auspicious debut as the golden girl of the Spicer-Duncan circle of the late 1950s in San Francisco. Within a month of her arrival everyone wanted a piece of Kyger, and she became associated with many of the fluid, mercurial poetry scenes around the “New American Poetry.” Like her best writing, she was everywhere at once, deep inside the Beat movement, all over Japan and India, up and down the San Francisco Renaissance, steeped in Charles Olson’s polis-based soul curriculum, our ambassador to the New York scenes of Ted Berrigan and Anne Waldman, the mainstay of Bolinas, and a seer in the Buddhist poetics of the Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University in Boulder. Those are only the locations; deeper underneath, the substance of her many lives created, over forty-five years, a new poetic freedom. Based on frank and sensual observation, an innovating line, a sometimes acerbic wit, and a devotion to the ‘golden root’ of compassion, Kyger’s poetry continues to win her the admiration of numerous generations.

Joining us for Kyger’s reading will be her friend, the poet Michael Rothenberg, who edited As Ever, Kyger’s selected poems, for Penguin Books in 2002. Rothenberg, author of Unhurried Vision, has recently relocated to the Russian River area and will be on hand to introduce her. We will also show Kyger’s 1968 video, “Descartes.”

Additionally, we will have an awards ceremony featuring some remarks from the recipients of our 2005 Book of the Year Awards, including Juliana Spahr and David Larsen in person, Eileen Tabios for John Yau, Rodney Koeneke for Drew Gardner, and Magdalena Zurawski for Aaron Kunin.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, events are $5-10, sliding scale, free to SPT members, and CCA faculty, staff, and students.

Unless otherwise noted, our events are presented in
Timken Lecture Hall
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco (just off the intersection of 16th &

Map & directions: http://www.sptraffic.org/html/fac_dir.html

Thursday, May 25, 2006

from the series "Poetry Economics: A Moronic Oxymoron"

Learned that POST BLING BLING got picked up as a text for an English class this summer at Loyola University Chicago. Made my day, particularly as it's a print-on-demand (POD) title.

Also learned that stellar poet Elizabeth Robinson taught hay(na)ku in one of her courses, as an analogue with discussing Marianne Moore and how she counted syllables.

All good news...(and don't forget about the forthcoming THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, NO. 2 -- Submissions Info here)!

So, speaking of classroom poetry texts, let Moi put on my idealistic publisher's hat for a mo. Having just released my first POD title, I can make some comparisons, including the number of book sales I must sell to cover costs related to printing and designing a book. Here's a comparison of this "break-even" sales point for a POD title versus a title printed through more conventional means, to wit:

POD title: about 133 books

Conventionally printed title: about 435 books.

These numbers are based on moi Meritage Press' experience -- but possibly reflective of many poetry presses. The comparison results mostly from how a publisher doesn't have to incur right away the costs of creating an inventory, which, for Meritage Press titles, historically has been about 1,000 copies. That inventory cost offsets the advantage of conventional printing in its lower cost-per-book basis.

For a POD title, I'd probably first order about 200 copies to cover anticipated review copies, some initial sales, author copies and so on. That's 200 versus 1,000 copies I need finance right away. (Of course I'd order more than 200 copies, depending on a particular poet's "market" but it likely still wouldn't near 1,000 right away.)

Now, if you're a poet or publisher, you know that selling 133 books -- let alone 435 books -- is a chore. It's probably a near-impossibility for many poetry books, at least within a reasonable period of time. (Let me stress -- I'ma talking real poetry sales, not comps or trades. Sales.)

And, btw, those numbers for covering costs (in order to be truly "break-even" for the publisher) are understated since those numbers don't reflect costs beyond printing the book, such as postage, review and other freebie copies, marketing and promotion (if any), and so on.

Now, it's no big secret that volume sales for poetry mostly occur through a book being picked up as a text for some poetry or creative writing class (hopefully, large classes -- Reproductions had been lucky in its first year of being used in classes as huge as a hundred students, quite significant from classes with 10 students).

But as a one person (with half-time intern) press, I don't have the promotional wherewithal to be pitching books into the academic market. I also sense (though don't know for sure) that I may be at a disadvantage by being a farmer rather than a member of the academic community. The latter factor is helpful for getting to know other teachers who might find your book useful. Academia goes to AWP while I go off to ZAP...

Offsetting the above disadvantage may be contacts by the poets themselves. Maybe one of the poets I'm publishing is a teacher, or has teacher contacts. Then again, maybe these poets don't and yet I still love their poetry enough to publish their books (note also that I publish first-time book-authors who generally may not have as much contacts as more experienced authors).

So, looking again at my break-even numbers comparison, to move from POD to conventional printing means that, for me as publisher, I'd face pressure to sell 302 (435 minus 133) more poetry books just to even BEGIN to cover costs.

Anyhoot, where was I going with this. Well, a Break-Even Sales Analysis obviously quantifies yet another reason why -- unless there's a reason to expect that a poet will have his/her book be picked up for significant volume sales like class text assignments -- it really makes sense to use POD technology. And this doesn't just go to the printing costs but the inventory storage cost burden for continuously putting out 1,000 books that take time to sell.

This blog post obviously is looking at a finance issue. Needless to say, there are larger aspects to this matter. Such as the implications of poetry distribution being based so significantly on academia....

...Or why Poetry's become such an Other in culture. Why it's become academic -- pun intended. This, of course, is the heart of the issue...


I haven't gotten my contributor copy(ies) yet of BAY POETICS. But moved by many references in blogland to the anthology's release, I looked up my essay in my computer to refresh my memory of it.

I'm a tad disconcerted with my essay.

It's just so incomplete. Which is to say, perhaps all poetics treatises are inherently incomplete. Or, such points to why one is foolish to attempt poetics treatises.

It's been some time between when editor Stephanie Young put out the Submissions Call and the release of the book. But I recall -- and I suspect this is significant for me -- that the anthology was first thought to be an e-published venture.

Form affects content. And so I wrote a (from my private perspective) rather free-wheeling essay. So free-wheeling I didn't actually "write" it so much as compile it viz collaging from other poetics essays and then tweaking it here and there.

Form. So, is it that a print anthology seems so much more in-stone than an e-publication that I know that, had the anthology been anticipated to be a printed book, I would have sent in a different (type of) poetics essay?

The formality of a presentation is part of form. I refer to my opinion (though it is an opinion over which my hold keeps loosening) that a book is more formal than an e-publication. Relatedly, context affects form and I recall that the Submission Call occurred during what were, in my memory, the more freewheeling early days of poetry blogland.

Not that it needs to matter to anyone else but, for me, my essay doesn't quite fit in BAY POETICS. Not in terms of how others may read it and/or the anthology as a whole, but in terms of the material I would have chosen to represent me. I'm not complaining, by the way. Just ruminating. I think this observation of my navel is also a means for me to reconsider (again) the significance of print vs e-publication. Like:

Why must a book be more formal (it's not like I don't write loose books). And does the internet always have to be the Wild West?

I have some preconceptions I need to tear down, moithinks...


This press release (thanks to poet-art critic Barry Schwabsky for sending) hearkens identity issues also applicable in poetry so I reprint it here (whilst also nice to see several Galatea artists represented in the exhibit! and that future Meritage Press publishee Theo Gonzalves wrote catalogue essay):

Alimatuan: The Emerging Artist as American Filipino
May 26 – August 6, 2006M

The Contemporary Museum
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822

To mark the 2006 Filipino Centennial Celebration in Hawaii, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, presents Alimatuan: The Emerging Artist as American Filipino. The exhibition, curated by New York-based guest curator Kóan Jeff Baysa, brings together twenty-six emerging American-Filipino artists from across the United States.

The term “alimatuan,” is from a mountain tribe dialect in the Philippines meaning "the soul of the spirit." Guest curator Baysa, purposefully chose this metaspiritual concept to communicate both the remoteness of cultural affinities that American Filipinos share with their forbears and the intrinsic values they impart as hallmarks of history, memory and identity.

In addition, the customary designation "Filipino-American" is reordered in the title to read "American Filipino" underscoring the fact that the artists, whether born in the U.S. or abroad, claim America as their place of residence while proudly acknowledging their Filipino descent.

According to Baysa: “…these emerging and underrepresented artists [integrated into the diverse American culture] now address issues that can be viewed as post-post-colonial, with agendas that are more self-directed and about the quotidian. Ethnic-oriented exhibitions like Alimatuan provide insight into the explorations of complex, diverse, and expanded identities that reflect on how the concept of self mutates between generations, and how Individuals with similar histories, contextualized within differing environments, can provide mutually contrasting and informing frames of reference.”

The exhibition connects many of the participating artists through their interest in installation art and the capacity for installation to generate atmosphere or create an environment in which personal and artistic concerns may be played out and directly experienced by the viewer. These include New York-based Athena Robles’s Casualties of Life: Sleep, New York-based Pablo Orendain’s Cat’s Cradle, Honolulu-based Bradley Capello’s Prayer Room 2 (2006), and Bay Area Eliza Barrios’s sound and video installations Juncture and Vicissitude (both 2006).

Among video works in the exhibition, San Francisco-based Stephie Syjuco’s large-scale video installation Body Double (Platoon) (2005) consists of a sequence of tropical landscapes appropriated from the 1986 Oliver Stone film Platoon. As a “body double” for Vietnam, the Philippines occupies a strange place in the imagination of the American public – a physically “insignificant” place and also a completely familiar place via its substitution for Vietnam in many Hollywood war films. Syjuco’s video installation ignores the original filmic narrative to focus on the artist’s attempt at discovering her place of birth, a kind of reworked “home movie.”

Artists in the Exhibition
Alongside installation and video art, the exhibition includes drawing, painting, sculpture, and sound art by an equal number of men and women from across the continental United States and Hawaii. Artists include: Michael Arcega (San Francisco, California), Eliza O. Barrios (San Francisco, California), Kanoa W. H. Baysa (New York, New York), Bradley Capello (Honolulu, Hawai‘i), Maureen Catbagan (New York, New York), Ernest Concepcion (New York, New York), Edward del Rosario (New York, New York), Maria Dumlao (New York, New York), Chris Ferreria (San Diego, California), Hannah Israel (Columbus, Georgia), Trisha Lagaso Goldberg (Honolulu, Hawai‘i), Jose E. Guinto (Los Angeles, California), Robert Guiterrez (San Francisco, California), Marlon Sagana Ingram (El Cerrito, California), Michelle Lopez (San Francisco, California), Riza Manalo (Brooklyn, New York), Carlyle Micklus (New York, New York), Pablo Orendain (New York, New York), Tomiko Pilson (Chicago, Illinois), Jerome Reyes (San Francisco, California), Athena Robles (New York, New York and Washington, D.C.), Lordy Rodriguez (Houston, Texas and San Francisco, California), Larilyn Sanchez (New York, New York), Jasmin Bardo Sian (New York, New York), Stephanie Syjuco (San Francisco, California), and Millette Tapiador (Brooklyn, New York).

Additional Information
A full-color catalog with an introduction by Baysa and essays by independent writer and scholar Reena Jana, and University of Hawaii Assistant Professor of American Studies Theodore S. Gonzalves accompanies the exhibition.

Alimatuan: The Emerging Artist as American Filipino is generously underwritten by Corporate Sponsor Hawaiian Telcom with additional in-kind support from Sony Hawaii, Horizon Lines and ResortQuest Hawaii. The exhibition is guest-curated by Kóan Jeff Baysa and organized at The Contemporary Museum by TCM Curator Michael Rooks with TCM curatorial intern Kris Ikegami.

The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, is the only museum in the state of Hawai‘i devoted exclusively to contemporary art. TCM provides an accessible forum for provocative, dynamic forms of visual art, offering interaction with art and artists in a unique Island environment. TCM presents its innovative exhibition and education programs at two venues: in residential Honolulu at the historic Spalding house, and downtown at First Hawaiian Center.

The Contemporary Museum
2411 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822
Tuesday through Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday noon-4pm
Free to children 12 and under;
Free to the public on the third Thursday of each month.
Closed Mondays and Major Holidays.

Information: (808) 526-1322 /http://www.tcmhi.org
24 hour recorded message: (808) 526-0232

Pualana Lemelle, PR Coordinator
The Contemporary Museum
(808) 237-5235 OFFICE
(808) 536-5973 FAX

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


more poems, that is. Dot dot dot. Pleased as pinch that two of the "Installment Poems" that came out of My Shopping Blog will be published in a special issue of Bamboo Ridge in celebration of the centennial of immigration to Hawaii from the Philippines. Editors Eric Chock, Darrell Lum & Joy Kobayashi-Cintrón.

And I didn't even submit. Which is to say, your true community always knows where you are! Dot de dot dot dat!


Okey-dokey: THE SECRET LIVES OF PUNCTUATIONS, VOL. I just arrived on Amazon.com. Of course I'd rather you order through SPD, but this notice may be useful to you peeps overseas (overseas from U.S., that is).

Meanwhile, here's an excerpt from Dr. Leny M. Strobel's essay in the book:

"The point of Eileen’s poetics here, for me as a reader from a postcolonial space, is a type of de-familiarization with punctuations. The difficulty of responding to these poems lies in the forcible manner by which one must contend with the punctuations before one contends with the words.

"The shorter chapters, Parentheses, Ellipses, Strikethroughs, and Question Mark, continue this refrain: what happens when we break the rules? What happens when we de-familiarize ourselves from the very things we take for granted like punctuation marks? What happens when the ellided, marginalized and invisible take on center stage on the page?

"As I write this, I am reading Postcolonial Melancholia by Paul Gilroy. He asks the same question but in a different but related context: How can we avoid recycling the narratives of an imperial past that has become useless to the present? How do we deal with the post-imperial trauma (of Britain and by extension, the U.S.) that must rely on these recycled narratives to keep the dead empire alive? How do we deal with the Other who now lives in the (dead) empire’s center? How do we get rid of racism that is at the root of Other-ing?

"His reply: De-familiarize the familiar. Dis-entangle ourselves from the old narratives. Withdraw our consent from the empire’s attempt to continue fanning the fires of racism and xenophobia in the name of protecting the empire’s image of its glorious past. Face the reality of the traumatic consequences of colonial conquests.

"Could it be that one way of doing that is to begin to look at the greatest tool of the empire of the 19th and 20th century: the English language and its grammar rules?

"In a way, I see Eileen de-familiarizing punctuations in these poems. In giving them new and not-so secret lives, she challenges the reader to conjure new relationships, new images, new stories."


Thanks again, Leny, for participating. Show me an empire and I'll show you its dying...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Well now. Snailmail was pretty heavy yesterday with review copies for Galatea Resurrects, so this is to note that GR's review copy list was updated.

Meanwhile, I've been receiving several nice backchannels about the Galatea Resurrects project -- thank you. Here's one gem:

Negativity doesn't inherently contain more critical rigor than positivity.

I like that since I'm a positivity kinda gal.

And another interesting backchannel discussion has to do with the notion of facilitating discourse by, for instance, me (as GR's Editor) specifically sending emails to reviewed authors to suggest they respond. I gotta think about that one...

Again, I like Michael Farrell's notion here, so much I'll quote it a 2nd time on this blog:

what about a review culture where those reviewed were encouraged to reply - & the reviewers to respond to the reply etc? so we dont have to 'sit in silence ... live in fear' etc. this wd be easier, more dynamic in a blog - assuming the age isnt going to adopt something like this. how much more interesting reviews would be then.. i like to read them, but theyre usually dissatisfying. in this scenario the reviewed poet wd be less defensive, able to ask questions of the reviewer - or perhaps better - reviewers - yes im 'talkin bout a conversation' .. ive been thinking about a blog that only publishes reviews for a while.. & blogstyle ud normally expect comments - but perhaps the reviews & reviewed/reviewer responses cd both be posted by the blogmaster, with comments reserved for the readers .. (reviewer & reviewed cd respond to these as well). would they do it? reviews themselves wd change, wd be less judgmental - & inconclusiveness/ambiguity wd no longer seem a weakness, but an opening for dialogue ..

Galatea Resurrects' blog format already allows for this exchange...but I suspect it will take time for people to get beyond the notion of automatically considering the review as something that need not be primarily what Michael accurately observes, in my view, as a "pronouncement".

I mean, pronouncements are just so many of the paradoxical facets -- like listings and "bests of..." and contest imprimaturs -- of the poetry world. That's the thing with discourse versus pronouncement -- it asks us to open up, and not just in our poems. And so many in the poetry world are not interested. So much of the poetry world is about controlling the reception of poems.

(I implicate myself, too. E.G. on Paradoxes -- how one blogs to facilitate discourse and yet ends up invested in, again, controlling the reception of the blogger's poems...)

Monday, May 22, 2006


Well, the summer is usually festive for foodies & winos, I mean, oenos here in wine country. For Moi, it includes occasionally allowing people on the mountain (hint: I don't usually unless they have useful advice re the vegetable garden which, in Moi's hands, is as likely to be naught but a field of helmets masquerading as baby let-us). Anyway, this weekend I threw said season's first dinner party -- in this case, for some young lawyers. At one point, several were intrigued by how I'm a poet, so I offered poetry books to those interested. When asked to describe my books, I said fumblingly

--about Reproductions: "urban angst darkly erotic"

--about Menage a Trois: "love poems, though not that innocent"

Overwhelmingly, peeps were more curious about Reproductions based on my hastily-put descriptions. "Urban angst" apparently was the winning phrase -- beating out references to either erotica or love.

There's a conclusion to all this, I thought as I looked at what seemed to be mostly a group of women in their early 30s. But danged if I know what that conclusion be. Nor am I sure I really wanna know...


I got interviewed about PUNCTUATIONS. Here's a question I'd never been asked and so just answered off-the-cuff (which presents its own brand of honesty -- first thought etcetera):

Q: What's your favorite punctuation?

A: The exclamation point -- because it symbolizes passion.

Having said that, I didn't do the exclamation point in Volume I. Gads -- I hate it when the angels pull something over me...!


Munting Nayon, a publications in the Netherlands, has published a feature article on the hay(na)ku by Rochita. Since it's not available online, I've cutnpasted the text of the article over in Moi Goody Bag. The article quotes from several peeps in The First Hay(na)ku Anthology .

Next, over on The Critical Poet, there's a collaborative hay(na)ku writing session going on. I'm with Jean; I, too, like this by "Dragon":

thudding outside
poets on vacation

Third link: I'm glad to be part of the new issue of Eratio Postmodern Poetry; here's the announcement:

eratio postmodern poetry issue seven, spring 2006
Nubia Hassan, Jenna Cardinale, Julie Doxsee, Jane Ormerod, Karyna McGlynn, Matina L. Stamatakis, Michelle La Vigne ` Sung-san Hong, Kenji Siratori, Jack Alun, Devin Wayne Davis, Jeffrey Side, Paul Kavanagh, Kane X. Faucher, Paul Hellier, Scott Wilkerson, Hank Lazer, Eileen Tabios ` Jake Berry, Paul Hardacre, Jack Foley, Jon Cone, Alan May, Jay Twomey, Justin Vicari, Donald Illich ` Nancy Graham, Jessica L. White, Marthe Reed, Anny Ballardini ` Michelle Greenblatt, Sheila E. Murphy, John M. Bennett, Scott Glassman, Adam Fieled, Brian Zimmer, Thomas Lowe Taylor, Pete Lee, Thomas Fink, Thomas Hibbard ` William James Austin, Bill Lavender, Karl Kempton, PR Primeau, Jo Cook, Richard Kostelanetz, Jeff Crouch, Nick Piombino, Márton Koppány, Kaz Maslanka and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen
edited by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Tatang Rhett is not just an interesting blogger but a fabulous photographer. Do you have a wedding or special event? Hire him! He's started a new business called "Exquisite Photos" -- website forthcoming! Here are two "portraits" below that Rhett made of Missy Wine Poetics, taken a few years ago at Galatea's House Warming Party. Rhett's so good his imagery evokes superrealist painters like Ralph Goings:

WinePoetics Portrait #1:

WinePoetics Portrait #2:

And this reminds me as well to post my latest wines and books recently relished since I last posted about said relishes:

FRAGILE REPLACEMENTS (poetry manuscript) by William Allegrezza

UNPROTECTED TEXTS (poetry manuscript) by Tom Beckett)

SAINT GHETTO OF THE LOANS by Gabriel Pomerand, Trans. by Michael Kasper & Bhamati Viswanathan

STEAM, poems by Sandra Simonds (this is worth getting, really. You can get a copy viz wildlifepoetry@hotmail.com)

OPENING AND CLOSING NUMBERS, poems by Anny Ballardini


THE VICIOUS BUNNY TRANSLATIONS, poems by William Allegrezza

BEGGARS AT THE WALL, poems by Rochelle Rattner (Ikon, New York, 2005/06)


THE AUGUST SLEEPWALKER, poems by Bei Dao, Trans. by Bonnie S. McDougall

THE VIRGIN OF BENNINGTON, memoir by Kathleen Norris


THERE IS ROOM FOR YOU, novel by Charlotte Bacon

BEEING: LIFE, MOTHERHOOD & 180,000 BEES, memoir by Rosanne Daryl Thomas

BLOWN, novel by Francine Matthews

2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2004 Verget St. Veran
1995 Plumpjack Cabernet
1999 Verite La Joie Sonoma County Red
2000 Kistler Russian River Les Noisetiers
1988 Ch. Guiraud sauterne
1997 R.B.J. Theologicum Mourvedre Grenache Barossa Valley
2002 Meursault Les Clous Bouchard Pere & Fils
1983 Haut Brion
2002 Turley White Coat
2002 Turley Tofanelli Charbono
2001 Turley Pringle Family zinfandel
2001 Kistler Chardonnay Durell Vineyard
1996 Ridge Montebello
1992 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet
1988 Chateau Rabaud-Promis

Friday, May 19, 2006


Here are two blog responses to Galatea Resurrects (GR) that made me laugh, though that may just mean I've got a perverse sense of humor (no headline news there).

First, Dan (I didn't see a last name) over at http://www.hyperhypo.org/blog/?p=115 notes:

"More and more literary journals/reviews/periodical publications seem to be published on blogs. Not as blogs, but using blog software and structure. This makes little sense to me. Blogs would be very useful as a note to draw readers’ attention to a web site containing an online journal, but to put the journal itself on a blog seems to be a lazy misuse of technology."

Then Dan goes on to say that the "selection of the books reviewed, and the reviewers, promises to make for a worthwhile read, and I’m looking forward to delving in. I just wish the editors had used a website."

I hope Dan enjoys GR #2, but also has a chance to read the first issue whose Introduction explains that the choice to rely on Blogger -- even if an egregious choice -- was a proactive versus "lazy" choice! The form of Blogger was critical to the form of the project, per this third paragraph in my Introduction to Galatea Resurrects:

Thirdly, poetry publishing offers a history -- an honorable history -- of poets finding the cheapest ways to publish poems and other poetry-related materials as poetry is rarely financially viable. I am particularly tickled by the example today of, amidst 21st century technology, a stapled, xeroxed publication called MIRAGE #4 (PERIODICAL) co-edited by Kevin Killian and Dodie Bellamy and often hand-distributed within the Bay Area, CA. In such manner, I consider GR to be my version of an e-xerox or e-mimeo project. Blogger (at least for now) doesn't charge fees (except for its advanced versions) which no doubt relates to why it's become a popular vehicle among contemporary poets. GR is situated within that tradition that, e-wise, also manifests itself in poetry publishers' increasing use of print-on-demand technology as well as various Blogger-hosted magazines. For the former, a favorite example is The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel, a poetry anthology co-edited by Molly Arden and Reb Livingston; this book, published by self-described "housewives", is not reviewed in this issue but I consider it one of the most effective examples of an anthology successfully manifesting its expressed premise. For examples of Blogged journals, visit Duplications (Ed. Jonathan Mayhew) and LuzMag (Ed. Lars Palm). This aspect also relates to the "Do-It-Yourself" approach fabulously explored at Shanna Compton's DIY Pub Web Ring.

I don't know...maybe, back in the days when people were doing mimeo-publishing, some wished they had the funds to publish in nicer formats like, say, the perfect-bound. But, if only with hindsight, the stapled mimeod or xeroxed form becomes part of the project, to me, in the same way that the decision to use Blogger versus a dot.com more accurately depicts the spirit for GR.


The second blog reference that amuses Moi is from Tom Orange over at http://heuriskein.blogspot.com/ who notes:

the latest galatea resurrects, edited by eileen tabios, is up and, uniquely in her editorial practice apparently, contains reviews in abundance. 35 "new reviews" of 39 new poetry publications, of which i can safely say that i have only heard of 14 of the poets whose work is being reviewed.

that's 25 out of 39 poets, nearly two out of every three, that i have never heard of before. and it's not like i just crawled out of a cave or something. so much for keeping on top of things. i mean i will never read all 39 of these publications -- and who knows what good work i might be missing as a result. it's getting to the point now where we need reviews of the reviews. or a compliation of quoted passages.

which is what i've done here. if you like any of these head to the mag itself and comb through those reviews, or lemme know and i can get you the cite. i've pulled from reviews in the order they appear, typically taking the first quoted passage from the review. (if there wasn't one i skipped that review.)i know it's yanking these things out of the context but reading any of it's better than reading none at all i figure.

Go to Tom Orange's blog to see how he parses through the issue, and see which he happens to like. But what amuses me about the above is the first paragraph's reference to "uniquely in my editorial practice."

This reminds me of the recent conversation I had with Tom Fink when this good friend and long-time critic concernedly wondered whether it's a good idea for me to be putting out a journal that comes out every other month (in terms of its call on my time and attention, et al). To both Toms, I would say something like:

Eileen: It's not me! I had thought I'd edit a journal that comes out once every six months, with maybe five reviews in each issue! But I'm just posting the issue as per the available supply. Who'd have thunk I'd be getting so many reviews...!? I'ma just going with the flow...!

And this is one of the mysteries of GR -- how it's gotten people (including those whom I've never met) -- involved. I'm grateful of course...but mystified, though cheerfully so!!!

Meanwhile, with me just blathering, so far, the tally for the third issue -- within 48 hours of GR #2's release -- is for expressions of interest that would cover 26 NEW reviews!! What's gonna happen between now and the Aug. 5 deadline?

I'ma just going with the flow, Peeps. Missy Flow Poetix over here. I'll put out GR for as long as you all indicate both Supply and Demand for its space. I'm here to be of service. "Service" is Moi's new middle name -- right there after the first and other middle name: w(h)ine.


My newest link is Australian poet Michael Farrell. We e-met when we decided to trade books (which is to remind, if you wanna trade with me, go to my Poetry Library where info is provided).

But so, while then adding Michael to Moi blog links, I stumbled across what he recently posted re reviews (boldface mine):

its considered a foolish thing to do to reply to a negative review - even to correct facts - if the writers reply is published they look resentful, petty, oversensitive etc. if not published they probably get even more so. everyone thinks this (?) tho they make exceptions for themselves when they do it .. but i think theres a problem here aside from issues of critical value(s), poets psyche: & its this: that regardless of the tone & the un/favourable character of the review - it is a pronouncement: a judgment. there is no intention of creating dialogue - so when a poet replies they cant look anything rather than powerless, pathetic, uncool .. does it have to be this way? what about a review culture where those reviewed were encouraged to reply - & the reviewers to respond to the reply etc? so we dont have to 'sit in silence ... live in fear' etc. this wd be easier, more dynamic in a blog - assuming the age isnt going to adopt something like this. how much more interesting reviews would be then.. i like to read them, but theyre usually dissatisfying. in this scenario the reviewed poet wd be less defensive, able to ask questions of the reviewer - or perhaps better - reviewers - yes im 'talkin bout a conversation' .. ive been thinking about a blog that only publishes reviews for a while.. & blogstyle ud normally expect comments - but perhaps the reviews & reviewed/reviewer responses cd both be posted by the blogmaster, with comments reserved for the readers .. (reviewer & reviewed cd respond to these as well). would they do it? reviews themselves wd change, wd be less judgmental - & inconclusiveness/ambiguity wd no longer seem a weakness, but an opening for dialogue ..

A blog, indeed! Well, GALATEA RESURRECTS is at your service (and don't forget about GR's first issue here). If you like Michael's ideas, the space is there for you.

Because Moi just lives to be of service [insert background noise: Angels cackling...].

Thursday, May 18, 2006


John and Rebecca and Bill are posting new hay(na)ku!

Which is to say, in all the hoopla about Galatea's second Resurrection, let's not forget about the forthcoming second hay(na)ku anthology. Submissions information here!

And speaking of hay(na)ku, my sequence "The Hay(na)ku of Numbers" will appear in WOMB's inaugural issue! Thank you editor Michelle Detorie!


I am feeling rich. Literally and metaphorically. First, the metaphor.

I had a long chat yesterday with Thomas Fink, a poet, faboo critic, and also the poet who serves as my editor at Marsh Hawk Press. He is an ideal poet's reader and I'm blessed to have him. Anyway, he called in part because he'd just received PUNCTUATIONS. In discussing it, it turns out that we both apparently had been wondering where next I would go after a BRICK like ENGLISH. I did a couple of chaps after ENGLISH but PUNCTUATIONS is that immediately post-ENGLISH book.

I mean, ENGLISH can be overwhelming (can be? snort!). It's the book afterwhich I thought to myself, If I stopped writing now, I still would have had a perfectly fine poetry career.

Then, somehow, I spewed out PUNCTUATIONS. And Tom agreed: after ENGLISH, it could only be PUNCTUATIONS. Notwithstanding its page count of 176 pages, it really is a project in minimalism -- the complete opposite of that riotously gestural 504-page ENGLISH.

Anyway, that conversation made me feel rich. Tom is an ideal reader and I was glad to touch base and have a more solid sense, as a result, of my direction. Thanks Tom!

But speaking of rich, let's just get plain to the point of cash.

I got this hilarious email this morning (hilarious to me, but not I'm sure to the sender) from a magazine requesting permission to post one of the poems in PUNCTUATIONS. It's a magazine I'd hoped would mention my new book, which is why they got a press release and a review copy. Well, the editor said they'd like to feature one of my poems along with a write-up about Moi. An ideal promotional thing, right? And yet there they were offering $150 as a permission fee for one of the poems in PUNCTUATIONS. Of course I said yes; I even generously offered that, for the same amount, they can reprint two! Heh (they turned down my offer due to space limitations).

Anyway, I was relaying the conversation to my hubby just now. I was all excited over the permission fee. The last time I got paid for poem, Peeps, it was for $25 and I was grateful since I don't submit much anymore, let alone to journals who actually have budgets for permission fees. So I twittered at the hubby, then exclaimed, "$150 for a 7-line poem!"

Undoubtedly, I was twittering too much as the hubby finally and drily riposted, "Oh, so now you're equating it to dollars per line? Well why didn't they ask to reprint your ENGLISH brick. Then you could actually pay the mortage one month."

Pause. Sigh.

Peeps, such is the man I married. And this is why I blather at you all 70 million peeps because, unlike the hubby, you can't riposte back.


Not that ye newbie readers to moi blog (and Galatea's Resurrection always brings some over) should think the hubby isn't supportive. He does have copies of all my poetry books in his law office, even though I can't imagine that'd bolster his credibility any with his clients....and I do LOVE the idea of my poetry books inserted amidst those heavy, thick tomes...! Still and all, whenever I ask him if anyone of his associates or clients happened to pick up any of my poetry books, he really should stop giving me such an ODD look.


Reviewing a poem is like "I love you."

It's not just about the "you" or the poem being assessed. It's also about the "I" who is doing the assessing.

That's why love affairs go bad. Not because of love. But because of either "I" or "You."

So would "love", here, be a metaphor for the "poem"?

I poem you.

Hmmmm. I like that. I like that:



One of the gems in the second issue of Galatea Resurrects is Timothy Yu's review of Victoria Chang's Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. I call his review a gem because it displays how one can usefully criticize an anthology beyond the usual it-sucks-because-it-excluded-[insert-name-here] POV.

Tim also posted recently on the background to his review, in which he also references some related blogland discussions, including over at Barbara's. One thing I would note in Barbara's commentary re assessing "intent" is that one needs to differentiate between anthologies and single-author poetry collections (not to say that Barbara is not doing such differentiating but since she hasn't yet articulated this point I shall do it since I am here to be of service :-). To wit, anthologies, like Chang's, often includes introductions where editor(s) posit their intents. Most poetry collections don't so that when a reviewer assesses authorial intent there, it can be the case that that definition of intent is as much what the reviewer reads into the book rather than that such was factually the author's intent. Even when a reviewer cites passages that may support the reviewer's interpretation of authorial intent, it's still an interpretation until the poet confirms it -- the author has never been dead, okay?

Well, okay, there is one dead peep about who still insists on writing poetry reviews...but Moi digresses....

Back to Timothy -- read his post, please. This is a guy who doesn't enjoy writing negative reviews. But when he does write them, as in the case of Chang's anthology, there is a reason he does so beyond the notion of assessing "good" vs "bad". This is a significant difference from poets using their statures (even temporary ones as "reviewers") to explain why they dislike a work. I love this excerpt from Timothy's post:

"...the nastiest thing you can do to a book you don't like is to ignore it. For me, this is less a question of intellectual honesty or fearlessness than a question of the best use of my time, and yours: I'd much rather discover what is interesting and productive in a book than spend time bashing it. Nor do I think it's my job as a critic to explain to a writer what they're doing wrong and how to do it better: that's a role better approached as a colleague or a friend."

Now, others may dispute the above. Some may say there's a responsibility to call out bad writing where it exists. This is from a gatekeeping perspective, whether conscious or not. But gatekeeping in poetry is a paradox because the way to abort someone's poem is not to insult it but to ignore it.

But this is an intriguing matter to me: what causes someone to feel compelled to publicly bash someone else's poetry. Timothy explains his position well--read his post but it goes to the privileged role of, or rather, the privileged role being claimed by the Next Gen anthology. If most single-author collections, however, don't have such roles as what was being claimed by Next Gen, does this mean that reviewers who bash them don't have as noble motivations as Timothy's? Okay -- that was a tortured-ly put question but there's a drift in there somewhere that you discerning minds might get...particularly as we're still operating in a realm where there are many wonderful if not good poetry books out there that deserve more reviewers' attentions.

(The above is not to say Galatea Resurrects won't publish negative reviews; we're all entitled to our opinions.)

Relatedly, the Sunday New York Times recently reviewed David Lehman's The Oxford Book of American Poetry anthology. The reviewer, whose name escapes me at the moment, said some things Lehman didn't like. So Lehman writes a letter to the editor critiquing the reviewer. That's all within Lehman's right. But check this out, the reviewer apparently is also a poet. And in responding to the reviewer, Lehman suggests that, by the way, the reviewer is also a bad poet because none of his poems had previously appeared in the Best American Poetry (BAP) series.

Bwahahahahaha. Poetry world -- I can't take y'all seriously. And to David Lehman -- what a misstep. I thought BAP, in the beginning anyway, was done to bring attention to poetry and the use of "Best of..." just happened to be a great marketing scheme. This is another reason to retitle BAP, now that we see that the series founder has started to believe his own p.r.

More seriously, of course I had to bring up BAP in this discussion of Chang's anthology. Because when we criticize the anthologizing in Chang's project, there are aspects that goes to general anthologizing practices and not just the focus on Asian America. And to limit the discussion to an ethnic-bound anthology would make said discourse an "other" to certain people, something with which they need not concern themselves when au contraire I would suggest that BAP has been an inspiration to several anthologies with sluggish editorial visions...and intents.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


"...this marvelous project, a much-needed community-building, thought-provoking, poetry-selling, ego-boosting, creativity-propeller enterprise!"
--Ernesto on Galatea Resurrects

Well dang if Moi don't throw a good party...and I haven't even begun to pour the wine! Love to see that jump in the Site Meter whenever Galatea jumps off that pedestal for a rebirth...! And, within less than 24 hours of the second issue's release, I've got expressed review interests for reviews covering 22 poetry books/chapbooks!

And two for the fourth issue, whose deadline I hadn't even set yet!

So GO GO GO there to see what we're all toasting! And GO here, too!

Toast...well, whaddya know! It's cocktail hour time on Galatea's mountain. More later!


We are pleased to announce the second issue of GALATEA RESURRECTS (A POETRY ENGAGEMENT)! Here are its Contents:

From Eileen Tabios

Chris Murray reviews OBEDIENCE by kari edwards

Barry Schwabsky reviews MERCURY by Simon Smith

Alan Baker reviews UNDER THE MIRACLE BRIDGE FLOWS THE SAND by John Bloomberg-Rissman

Thomas Fink reviews HOME ON THE RANGE (THE NIGHT SKY WITH STARS IN MY MOUTH) by Tenney Nathanson

PR Primeau reviews THE ART OF COUNTRY GRAIN ELEVATORS by Jon Volkmer

William Allegrezza reviews THE BEDSIDE GUIDE TO NO TELL MOTEL, Eds. Molly Arden & Reb Livingston

Mary Jo Malo reviews "PHENOMENA OF INTERFERENCE" by Steve Dalachinsky & Matthew Shipp

Ernesto Priego reviews [WAYS] by Barry Schwabsky & Hong Seung-Lye

Thomas Fink reviews CITY ECLOGUE by Ed Roberson

William Allegrezza reviews DRIVE: THE FIRST QUARTET by Lorna Dee Cervantes

Cati Porter reviews LOCKET by Catherine Daly

John Bloomberg-Rissman reviews 2 books by Catherine Daly: LOCKET and DADADA

Julie R. Enszer reviews LEARNING THE LANGUAGE by Kate Greenstreet

David Harrison Horton presents mini-reviews of four chaps: THE BODY ACHES [POEMS AND HAY(NA)KU] by Ernesto Priego; ON EVERY EMPTY LOT by Edward Stresino; LOST AND CERTAIN OF IT by Bryce Milligan; and GAZOOLY by Olivia Cronk

Laurel Johnson reviews from SERIES MAGRITTE by Mark Young

Richard Lopez reviews TYPICAL GIRL by Donna Kuhn

Julie R. Enszer reviews DESIRE PATH by Myrna Goodman, Maxine Silverman, Meredith Silverman & Jennifer Wallace (with a note on the book's publishing format by Sandy McIntosh)

Eileen Tabios reviews MORAINE by Joanna Fuhrman

Jon Leon reviews WAITING FOR THE RAPTURE by Kirby Olson

Barbara Jane Reyes reviews PRECIPITATES by Debra Kang Dean

Laurel Johnson reviews OPERA: POEMS 1981-2002 by Barry Schwabsky

Laurel Johnson reviews ONE THOUSAND YEARS by Corinne Robins


Julie R. Enszer reviews THE UNDERWATER HOSPITAL by Jan Steckel

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz reviews PINOY POETICS, Ed. Nick Carbo

Tom Beckett reviews THE VICIOUS BUNNY TRANSLATIONS by William Allegrezza

Julie R. Enszer reviews POETIC VOICES WITHOUT BORDERS, Ed. Robert L. Giron

Barbara Jane Reyes reviews MUSEUM OF ABSENCES by Luis H. Francia

Julie R. Enszer reviews WAKE-UP CALLS: 66 MORNING POEMS by Wanda Phipps

Yvonne Hortillo reviews OCHRE TONES by Marjorie Evasco

William Allegrezza reviews SOMEHOW by Burt Kimmelman

Laurel Johnson reviews HEADING HOME by Loreta M. Medina

Kyoko Asana reviews SHOT WITH EROS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS by Glenna Luschei

Rochita Loenen-Ruiz reviews POETA EN SAN FRANCISCO by Barbara Jane Reyes

Aileen Ibardaloza reviews THE UNABRIDGED JOURNALS OF SYLVIA PLATH (1950-1962), Ed. Karen Kukil

Sandy's Mom reviews Sandy McIntosh's THE AFTER-DEATH HISTORY OF MY MOTHER

Guillermo Juan Parra presents Elizabeth Schön

Andrew Joron presents Brian Lucas


Juliana Spahr reviews BORN TO SLOW HORSES by Kamau Brathwaite

Joshua Corey reviews DOWN SPOOKY by Shanna Compton

Anna Eyre reviews PURR by Mary Ann Samyn

Barbara Jane Reyes reviews OCTOBER LIGHT by Jeff Tagami

Yvonne Hortillo reviews REAL KARAOKE PEOPLE: POEMS AND PROSE by Ed Bok Lee

Eileen Tabios reviews FORBIDDEN ENTRIES by John Yau

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This Submissions Call is now posted at the Hay(na)ku Blog, but I'll replicate it as well below:

[Please feel free to forward]


Following the enthusiastic response to THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, copublishers Meritage Press and xPress(ed) are pleased to announce a Submissions Call for THE HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY, NO. 2, co-edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young.

Submissions Deadline: September 31, 2006.

Send submissions (cutnpasted in body of e-mail) to MeritagePress@aol.com . Be reasonable in the volume of your submissions. Also, please submit just once (rather than sending staggered submissions). Note that we are open to visual poetry (vizpo), but apologize that we must limit it to black-and-white reproductions. If you have any commentary about the form itself, please also feel free to share that as well as we'd like to incorporate other poets' thoughts about the form within the book.

The hay(na)ku is a tercet where the first line consists of one word, the second line of two words, and the third line of three words. We are also interested in your variations of this form, such as the sequence, black-and-white vizpo hay(na)ku, the reverse hay(na)ku and any other such variations as the poet may propose. Hay(na)ku in non-English languages are also acceptable, as long as they are submitted with English translations.

For examples of hay(na)ku, please check out (1) the links cited by the Hay(na)ku Blog; (2) the Hay(na)ku Poetic Form page; and (3) THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY itself (distributed through SPD well as Amazon.com).

Submissions can be previously published. Participants will receive contributors' copies. Expected release date will be in Spring 2007.

Jean Vengua is a writer and editor. She lives in Santa Cruz California. Her poetry has been published in various print and online journals and anthologies, including Otoliths, Proliferation, We (print and audio CD), Babaylan, Returning a Borrowed Tongue, Moria, Sidereality, Interlope, X-Stream and Fugacity. As Jean N. V. Gier, her introduction "Variations on a Circle in Blue," appears in Eileen Tabios's book of short stories, Behind the Blue Canvas; other essays appear in Jouvert ( N.C.S.U.), Critical Mass: A Journal of Asian American Cultural Cultural Criticism (U.C. Berkeley), and Geopolitics of the Visual: Essays on Philippine Film Cultures (University of Ateneo Press). "Flux & Abilidad: Notes on a Filipino American Poetics," is featured in PinoyPoetics, edited by Nick Carbo. She maintains the blog "Okir" at http://okir.blogspot.com.

Mark Young has been publishing poetry for almost fifty years. His most recent books are from Series Magritte (Moria), Betabet (BlazeVOX) & episodes (xPress(ed)). He lives in Australia on the Tropic of Capricorn from where he edits the online journal Otoliths & maintains his weblogs, currently gamma ways & mark young's Series Magritte. He also has an author's page at the New Zealand electronic poetry centre.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: MeritagePress@aol.com


of Galatea Resurrection (GR) is due, specifically TOMORROW. That is, the second issue of GR will be released this Wednesday.

But here's something you authors and publishers might consider: of the 48 poetry publications (and CD) expected to be reviewed in this issue, 29 were the result of review copies sent to me for GR's purposes. In other words, potential reviewers -- many of whom I don't know personally but have heard of GR -- do go over to Galatea's Purse to check out the available review copies, and they often request and review them!

In fact, for the third issue which is being formed already, 11 titles have already been picked up from the review copy list!

I rarely assign reviews. Nearly all new reviews are of titles chosen by the reviewers themselves.

So, if you authors/publishers want feedback in a future issue of GR, you may consider sending some review copies over Moi way...! This listing does seem to work!

Next post will alert you to the Second Resurrection -- it'll be a beyoot!

Monday, May 15, 2006


So my next book to publish through Meritage Press is a book that makes me think of -- specifically, bemoan -- the costs of condoms. Well, not really condoms but shrink wrap.

That is, in book publishing, one can shrink wrap individual books to protect them -- but said protection costs extra. So it's a feature I'd not been using for Meritage Press books, merely crossing my fingers instead that they arrive safely to moi doorstep whilst packed naked in boxes.

Anyhoot...Meritage Press' next book will be [insert trumpet blare]

Unprotected Texts: Selected Poems (1978~2006)
by Tom Beckett

Ideally, each book would be shrink-wrapped and then the reader, in order to read the *unprotected texts* therein, would have to unwrap said plastic shrinkie. Thus the poems, when read, are unprotected -- youse get it, I'm sure...

...hmmm: this is reminding me of that Steve Martin movie "Shopgirl" where Clare Danes' boyfriend suggests baggies when it turns out neither had condoms in the house....

Anyhoot...very excited to work on Tom's books. So excited I gotta share a blurbie from fab poet Sheila Murphy:

There is a powerfully osmotic draw to this welcome volume of Selected Poems, spanning nearly thirty years of work and concluding with a stimulating interview of the author by Tom Fink and Crag Hill. That this book is overdue, results in a level of concentration that intensifies the experience of reading. The poetry itself, the intellect and personality that exude from it, reveal a mind and heart that bring to the fore the infinite variety of life in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. References to composer and musical theorist Harry Partch seem apt, as Beckett's Unprotected Texts reveal intervals in sound, discovering heretofore undiscovered instruments.

There is Beckett as designer who "underpaints." Beckett as builder: "Stanzas are rooms in Italian." Beckett as political and social observer: "Is the president a hologram?" "Do fingerprints have babies?" Beckett as aesthetic investigator: "At some point I turned out to be my method." "Closure affects circumference." Beckett as honest individual/ articulate creator: "It's a boy and it's a girl." "Often I am permitted to do absolutely nothing that I want to do."
--Sheila E. Murphy

Sunday, May 14, 2006



And again.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Whooooo-oooh! Ernesto's debut book NOT EVEN DOGS is ranked 2,246 at Lulu! Dang! It's even outranking my Lulu book (not that I'm bitter -- wink). This is the book to get, Peeps! Or is it, Dawgs?

Dawg -- get NOT EVEN DOGS!

And by the way, I love how Lulu categorizes the hay(na)ku in "English, Irish & Scottish Poetry." So someone write me a hay(na)ku in Irish and Scottish, please!


Still formatting Galatea Resurrects -- the second issue should be released next week. And it'll be even bigger than the first! I gotta say, I feel just blessed at how all these poets -- many of whom I've never met -- contact me out of the blue to offer a review! So lovely: without y'all, my insomnia would be worthless!

And there are some fabulous layers to this second issue. For one, a corpse resurrects herself just to be able to write a poetry review for Moi! No lie! One of the reviews is authored by a dead person! Resurrection Poetics, indeed!

Also to be included will be the first ever poetry review I can recall writing, circa 1997. So you all can laugh at my fledgling effort (Not! 'Twas my first! Hold those tomatoes!)

Then Andrew Joron and Guillermo Juan Parra grace the second issue as guest editors for purpose of presenting "Featured Poets" -- poets whose works they feel deserve more exposure! Andrew and Guillermo made some fine choices!

And people are even now beginning to volunteer reviews for GR's third issue (deadline: Aug. 5). Which is to say, publisher and authors -- I do encourage y'all to send in review copies. People are actually checking that list and requesting books to review! More info here at Galatea's Purse.

Last but not least, speaking of reviews, let Moi review Kevin Killian's review of Eugene Gloria's 2nd poetry collection HOODLUM BIRDS, published on Amazon.com. Kevin is generous and compassionate without losing rigor. Catch where he need not belabor or snark up the poetry vs prose notion -- catch how he alludes to this matter by turning the table on it and offering encouragement instead for the poet to also attempt more of the short story form. Finally, catch how HILARIOUS Kevin gets in slaying canon-maker Robert Pinsky. Both Kevin and Eugene are friends of mine -- but it is Kevin here who is Moi "homey in the air"!

You go, Homey!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


You are lovingly invited to my e-party to celebrate the

Fifth Anniversary


Meritage Press!

I just realized that my press has been in business for five years! Wow -- I never anticipated I'd last this long, being primarily a one-person operation with a half-time peripatetic intern. (Those fallen angels are big with ideas but rarely pitch in to do any of the dirty or grunt work.)

Big thanks to Three Wise Men who helped me get Moi teensy press offa the ground:

John Yau

Archie Rand

Jeff Clark

And to fabulous artist Theresa Chong who designed my wine bottle logo!

And to Oenophiles for Poetry (you know who you are) who always siphon something from the wine-buying budgets to subsidize Meritage Press' projects.

So, to celebrate, I am doling out a handmade edition by the publisher -- such would be Moiself -- called


It's a poetry-sculpture in an edition of "Infinity". Because Poetry is infinite--yadda!

Since this poetry-sculpture inaugurates Meritage Press' "GALATEA HANDMAKES" imprint, it seems fitting for me to share that with anyone interested. Because Poetry is ever a gift.

You want one? Just email me at GalateaTen@aol.com with your snailmail address.


because Moi just loves to fondle LIGHT!

The act of poetry involves all the senses, the entire body, the entire mind, and to develop as a poet is to develop body, heart, and mind. Poetry is impossible without this commitment, without this total involvement. The most difficult part about writing a poem is not the writing but the process that leads to it, the process that demands belief, compassion, a sense of hope -- all virtually impossible challenges. All of this takes a lifetime. And at the end of our lifetime, what matters is not what we have written, but what we have become.
--Eric Gamalinda, from PINOY POETICS

Eric Gamalinda has a new website -- you need to check out this poet who is one of the most profound poets and minds of his, actually, ANY generation.

Among the treasures are UTTERLY GORGEOUS poems from his two recent books (lush poems for which a poet's life may be judged worthwhile, even as Eric reveals he's got his priorities right), and also a reprinting of his essay that Meritage Press was honored to first publish in PINOY POETICS. In this essay, Eric says most profoundly what I mean by moi slogan:

Poetry as a way of life.

And for those who insist on short memories to cope with those who abuse the world, check here. Education is Path.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

from the series "Poetry Economics: A Moronic Oxymoron"

Peeps, when I say a book's gonna turn into a collectible, y'all should listen. One of Meritage Press' titles, er um by Garrett Caples & Hu Xin is officially out of print. But there is a copy still available at Amazon -- there, Garrett's chap is selling for $35. That's a 250% increase, folks, from its original $10 price.

250% rise for a poetry chap. Who sez poetry can't be high finance?


I'm continuing to format the next issue of Galatea Resurrects. It's interesting -- two of the reviews specifically dispute back cover blurbs. Hey, maybe that'll put some discipline into blurbing if more reviewers address them (heh). Of course, I speak as one who's foregoed back cover blurbs (the PUNCTUATIONS back cover features a performance/conceptual project talking back at back cover blurbs).

Speaking of reviews, much blog chatter about on the topic of reviewing. I haven't read everything, I'm sure, but I like these 2 comments that bespeak a certain maturity:

Critical righteousness isn't much good for anybody, though. (Is this starting to feel like an episode of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" to anybody else?)


negative criticism doesn't work except to define boundaries, limits, points of challenge. failed challenge, that is, in which the critic admits that he/she can't cross the bridge. and negative as in leaning on the perceived awry. you don't define by the negative, right? it says more of the critic than the work, showing how far the critic's light goes (or doesn't). the arts can't be protected, in the sense that bad art will be made however one might howl. the legislature can't touch that one. the only answer is the work itself. WCW speaks of his dismay when he saw that Eliot was being taken seriously. WCW thought Eliot's work was antipodal to his own. and there's something there, but no legislation exists to call forth here. one can promote the validity of a certain work but pointing out the invalidity just bespeaks a boat you may've missed. people I respect like Eliot but I can't take the trip. nothing righteous there, tho it is always made so. and the negative reactions often consist of personality conflict, low grade duality crap. those negative reactions often partake of a momentum to continue in the ascerbic vein, so that it ends up a masquerade. totally nominal critque, and goodbye.


My earlier press release on NOT EVEN DOGS by Ernesto Priego didn't mention Vince Gotera. It should. Because though I inaugurated the hay(na)ku, this form also has a ninong, or uncle: good ol' Vince. Because the name itself was his idea -- a much better title than my original "Pinoy haiku."

So, Salamat Vince. Wait till you see NOT EVEN DOGS!

And speaking of Vince, he is a fabulous poet, but it seems timely to remind y'all of this book in particular that he edited.

And do check out Ernesto's recent post that offers a sample poem -- just lovely, this example of one of the author's own favorites -- from NOT EVEN DOGS.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


--to Rochita who offers, moithinks, the first public response to PUNCTUATIONS at her Raindancer blog. And, as ever, thanks to Jukka -- the poet's poet-publisher.


and because Poetry can also feed the world:

I just got my author's copies of my 2006 book, THE SECRET LIVES OF PUNCTUATIONS, VOL. I. I'm sharing that because I now wish to apply this poetry project to helping out the victims in Darfur by donating 100% of the book's 2006 sales proceeds.

Nearly three years into the crisis, the western Sudanese region of Darfur is acknowledged to be a humanitarian and human rights tragedy of the first order. The humanitarian, security and political situation continue to deteriorate: atrocities continue, people are still dying in large numbers of malnutrition and disease, and a new famine is feared. According to reports by the World Food Program, the United Nations and the Coalition for International Justice, 3.5 million people are now hungry, 2.5 million have been displaced due to violence, and 400,000 people have died in Darfur thus far. The international community is failing to protect civilians or to influence the Sudanese government to do so.
--from "SAVE DARFUR" website

Every little bit helps. If you're interested in purchasing my book and helping out those suffering in Darfur, send check for book's retail price of $14.95 (I'll pitch in shipping/handling costs) to

Eileen Tabios
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Road
St. Helena, CA 94574

PUNCTUATIONS also should be at SPD in a couple of weeks and at Amazon shortly thereafter. You certainly can buy through them, too, and any royalties received from them will be applied for helping out in Darfur.

Thank you.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Y'all gotta check out John Bloomberg-Rissman's poems -- he is on! Such vibrant poems -- the energy of his thefts takes you right to the edge of the swoon--it's interesting to me that the poems don't yank you right nto the swoon, but just their edge. What am I talking about? Well, go read -- especially "Born in the X And".

John uses collage, which is one of my own favorite techniques. For me, collage is a means of integrating the outside world into the interior that is the poem. It seems timely to raise that since the fusion of outside and inside interest me -- and is partly addressed in my contribution to Bay Area Poetics, ed. by Stephanie Young (check out her photo of the anthology returning to the Bay Area viz "pallets"!), and the subject of Ron Silliman's blog post du jour. From my Bay Area Poetics essay:

...the Philippines of my childhood no longer exists. My "Philippines" is a state of memory more than what its reality is today. I am a Filipino in the diaspora. Consequently, I am a Filipino not tied to a birthland but who is forced to--and wishes to--engage with the entirety of the world as a means of forging my identity. Ultimately, I have learned as much about myself and my poetry from Publius Terentius Afer, known as "Terence." Born a slave in ancient Rome, Terence was ultimately freed to become a popular playwright. This African, born enslaved, transcended his circumstances to proclaim: "Homo com humani nil a me elienum puto." Or:



Thanks to Shanna for her SHOUT OUT over the 3-times historic significance (heee) of Ernesto Priego's NOT EVEN DOGS. If anyone wants review copies, email Moi at GalateaTen@aol.com!


It's heeeeee.....eeeeere! Press Release time:

Poems by Ernesto Priego

116 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4116-8992-3
Meritage Press (St. Helena and San Francisco, CA, 2006)
Distribution: Meritage Press and Lulu.com
Contact Info: MeritagePress@aol.com

Meritage Press is pleased to announce the release of NOT EVEN DOGS by Mexican poet Ernesto Priego. This book is not only Priego's debut poetry collection but also the first single-author hay(na)ku poetry book.

The hay(na)ku is a "diasporic" poetic form inaugurated on June 12, 2003 by Eileen R. Tabios. The form swiftly became popular and, in 2005, THE FIRST HAY(NA)KU ANTHOLOGY was published featuring 38 poets around the world, including its coeditors Mark Young (New Zealand) and Jean Vengua (United States). That first anthology may be the swiftest anthology release following a poetic form's invention, with a second anthology in the works.

Advance Praise for NOT EVEN DOGS:

[Ernesto Priego] bares & shares himself more than any other contemporary poets I know. Cuts pieces out of himself & then examines them with us. & he has found the perfect vehicle for it, the hay(na)ku, known in Mexico as the jainakú because his use of it has made it part of the local language even though he mainly writes in English. He has grown into it, made it his own, & now it grows with him. The first thing I wrote down in my preparatory notes for this piece was "adopt, adapt, adept". // The hay(na)ku is still a young form, but with Singers such as Ernesto Priego working their magic with it, it will have people listening for a very long time.
--from the Foreword by Mark Young

The weirdly christened, pun-intended brainchild of that Thomas Alva Edison of contemporary poetry, Eileen Tabios, the jainakú (aka hay(na)ku) becomes truly global in NOT EVEN DOGS, and Ernesto Priego may rightfully claim to have elevated it to an art form.
--Eric Gamalinda, author of


Praise For Ernesto Priego's Poems:

I find so many of Ernesto's poems breathtaking, and I've never used that phrase before but it fits. I breathe in deep for the "AH!" awe of awesome poetry when you catch it in the act-of becoming, becoming a part of this person, here, right now, you, in the reading.
--Lorna Dee Cervantes, author of

"These are delicate, spare lyrics of love, loss, and introspection."
-K. Silem Mohammad, author of

Ernesto Priego's poems magnify minutiae. When each poem closes in on dust, colour, emotions, flesh-its aches and pains, every word must tremble on the rim of falling. I observe how"miss" is loaded: abstain, avoid, fail to hit its mark, yearn....
--Ivy Álvarez, author of


Born in Mexico City, Ernesto Priego is an essayist, teacher and translator. He is interested in everything having to do with poetry, graphic narratives and pop music.


NOT EVEN DOGS is available online through Lulu.com (directly at http://www.lulu.com/content/273703) as well as from Meritage Press (contact MeritagePress@aol.com)

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Deep in formatting the next issue of Galatea Resurrects (A Poetry Journal) or GR. Meanwhile, because we all always need to be flexible, I'm still taking reviews for this next issue until this Tuesday (if you need that extra day, email me).

Editing GR is so much fun. I just sit on a mountain hermitting moiself and spinning out ideas through the internet and it is a real TREAT to get responses from around the world! Thanks you all for paying attention and then participating in my projects!

Remember to ever keep checking on the frequently updated Galatea's Purse for GR's submissions and review copy information!

Speaking of books & wine, here's my latest update of recent relishes:


HOSTILE, poems by Heather Nagami

LANDSCAPE OVER ZERO, poems by Bei Dao, Trans. by David Hinton and Yanbing Chen

OLD SNOW, poems by Bei Dao, Trans. by Bonnie S. McDougall and Chen Maiping

EPISODES, poems by Mark Young

RUSTLE OF BAMBOO LEAVES: Selected Haiku and Other Poems by Victor P. Gendrano

THEIR ANCIENT GLITTERING EYES: REMEMBERING POETS AND MORE POETS (Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, Archibald MacLeish, Yvor Winters and Ezra Pound), memoir by Donald Hall

JULIE & JULIA: 365 DAYS, 524 RECIPES, 1 TINY APARTMENT KITCHEN, memoir-based-on-blog by Julie Powell (who blogged about cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child's book, How to Master The Art of French Cooking)

POCKETFUL OF NAMES, novel by Joe Coomer

HOUSE, memoir by Michael Ruhlman

LAND'S END: A WALK IN PROVINCETOWN, travelogue by Michael Cunningham

LEAVING HOME, novel by Anita Brookner


HOT ICE, pulp novel by CHERRY ADAIR

2001 Red Edge shiraz
2004 Three Rings shiraz
1986 Carruades de Lafite Rothschild
2002 Dutch Henry chardonnay
2002 Dominique Laurent Nuis St. George Les Saint Georges V.V.
1997 Peter Michael Point Rouge chardonnay
2003 Peter Michael Mon Tlaiser chardonnay
1985 Mouton Rothschild
1959 Latour A Pomerol
barrel tasting of 2005 Dutch Henry rose ("liquid panty remover")

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