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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

The editor of Pea River Journal sent original linocut and woodblock prints to writers and asked them to respond. I received an image of Ezra Pound. Here’s how I responded:

http://peariverjournal.com/2014/07/28/john-g-rodwan-jr-questions-to-consider-in-connection-with-ezra-pound/

poundprintproject

 

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I was interviewed for Michigan Literary Network Radio about poetry and other literary projects. Here’s the link. My segment begins at the 3-minute mark.

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/michiganliterarynetwork/2014/04/23/michigan-literary-network

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The latest issue of Thin Air Magazine, a journal published by Northern Arizona University, has a poem of mine called “Graveside Costume” in it.

Thin Air

 

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Red Earth Review

Today I was notified that this summer Red Earth Review, a journal out of Oklahoma City, will be publishing one of my Detroit poems. The poem refers to some very specific sites in the city. Volume 2 is due out in July.

RedEarthReviewCover2013-07

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Those in the know have long recognized the rich literary raw material in Jack Johnson’s life story in particular and in boxing generally. Mining this vein, however, risks alienating potential readers ignorant of or averse to the sport. That’s their loss, one might say, accurately enough. It’s a loss, because readers might miss fine, insightful, moving, shocking, revealing, intelligent and stylish writing because of prejudices about the purported subject. If the writing is any good, it shouldn’t matter if the reader previously gave a damn about pugilism or even disliked it thoroughly.

It’s a loss for writers too, who could end up unread because of associations with a marginal or unpopular topic. It could happen to Adrian Matejka, for instance. The drawing of Johnson in trunks and gloves on the cover of The Big Smoke could cause many timorous poetry consumers to look elsewhere. (I suspect something similar happened with my Fighter’s & Writers, which at least some people mistook for a sports book, despite the second half of the title…) By becoming the first black heavyweight champion of the world in the early twentieth century, and by flouting all conventions relating to interracial sexual relationships, Johnson challenged mores in multiple ways and exposed racism in its rawest form. He overcame adversity only to confront more adversity. Heroics and humiliation always intertwined. In his personal life, he could be a brute and a heel. Matejka imaginatively explores these aspects of Johnson’s biography and persona in his brisk poems. One can and should appreciate them regardless of his or her attitude toward boxing.

Big Smoke

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Detroit has a lively arts scene and I’m proud to contribute to it in my modest way. My father and I will present portions of our ongoing photography/poetry collaboration as part of M.L. Liebler’s Detroit Tonight Live Series in May. I’ll read several Detroit-related poems as my father’s pictures of the city are projected. Other performers schedule to appear:
• Poet Sophia Rifkin
• Performance Writer Stephen Dueweke
• Blues & Americana Musician Maggie McCabe
• Poet Writer L. Bush
The show will take place May 30 from 7 to 9 pm at the Jazz Café at the Music Hall, 350 Madison Avenue, Detroit. Liebler always assemble diverse and diverting bills for this series.
www.jazzcafedetroit.com

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My poem “Road Bird” appears in the Winter 2013 issue of The Avalon Literary Review, which can be obtained here: www.avalonliteraryreview.com.

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