Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Forms of circulation and address


Virginia Jackson, in Dickinson’s Misery (2006), reminds us that we cannot understand the what of lyric without understanding the when. She traces the process by which, since the 19th century, “poetic and lyric have come to seem cognate.” These terms were not always equated and, increasingly, they are no longer. Jackson looks at Dickinson’s work in the context of letters, wide-circulation magazines, and other materials, and reminds us that the subsequent century saw the migration of the lyric from the popular press to the classroom. Jackson writes, “What has been left out of most thinking about the process of lyricization is that it is an uneven series of negotiations of many different forms of circulation and address.” 

-- B.K. Fischer, "Sieves of Consciousness," Boston Review

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And certainly, writers who stay afloat in terms of reputation are willing to self-promote and to indulge in the networking that connects them – via readings and workshops and signings and conferences and and and  — with insiders in the world of media and publishers. Ponsot, in a 2003 interview with Benjamin Irvy,  had this to say about her interrupted career:  “I was very busy. It’s really that I was entirely out of all those professional poetry loops. That’s worth saying, because it’s easy to keep writing without tremendous agitation in whatever time you have. If you don’t imagine yourself as a career poet but rather as a person who writes poems, you can just go on doing that.” She goes on to say, “You really have to believe me when I say my dissociation from the idea of publication was not deliberate, contemptuous or passive-aggressive; it just didn’t occur to me. Think of all those seventeenth-century cavalier poets who had no interest in publishing their work – it didn’t occur to them either. Frequent publication of poems is a nineteenth-century development.” 
-- Julie Larios, "Undersung | Marie Ponsot: Wandering Still," Numéro Cinq