<![CDATA[My second book, Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipsticks is reviewed today at the Lit Pub. I want to thank Ilana Masad, who bravely fought for the right to review this book, and wrote a lovely, insightful review. She also pushed to have this see the light of day, so I am really grateful for her brave, honest, and wonderful words.
Also to Molly Gaudry, who runs the Lit Pub, and is a sweet friend, and a great writer also!
Here is the beginning of Ilana's words about D + T:
"In his famous essay "The Sentence is a Lonely Place,”Gary Lutz writes that the books he fell in love with were the ones “in which virtually every sentence had the force and feel of a climax, in which almost every sentence was a vivid extremity of language, an abruption, a definitive inquietude.”
Robert Vaughn’s newest book, Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits, which manages to pack thirty pieces in fifty-five pages, is a beautiful example of the kind of attention to detail that Gary Lutz admires.”
Read the rest here: The Lit Pub • Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits
Again, thanks Ilana and Molly, and everyone else at the Lit Pub!]]>
It's been a busy month! First, a book I highly recommend to pre-order from Sara Lippmann, The Doll Palace. It's a collection of short stories, and I am thrilled for Sara:
And now, for National Poetry Month!
On April 11, I read “Clouds” by Barbara Ras. I was introduced to this poem at Esalen Institute last summer, and it prompted me to write a poem called “Hummingbirds,” which is in Addicts & Basements:
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Clouds” by Barbara Ras – YouTube
On April 13, I read The Dead Woman” by Pablo Neruda. This poem, in various forms of translations from its original Spanish, is included in the masterful movie “Truly, Madly, Deeply” which I saw with my best pal, Andrea, on a rainy Amsterdam afternoon. We had no idea what we were in for! ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “The Dead Woman” by Pablo Neruda – YouTube
On April 14, I chose Amy King’s “The Woman of Zero.” Amy is multi-talented, and such a whimsical, deep, unusual writer. Such scope!
Robert Vaughan reads “The Woman of Zero” by Amy King – YouTube
On April 15, I read Indigo Moor’s Tap-Root from his quintessential book of the same name. I had the great fortune of meeting Indigo and hearing him read his stunning work at AWP Seattle:
Have you gone to a reading lately? Read a poem on the train or subway? Flown someplace exotic with a surprising book that changed your outlook? If not, what are you waiting for?
For every writer, there is the infrequent, yet pure joy of creativity, when expression literally comes through you and onto a page. Rare, it is, indeed, and when it happens, so exquisite. Well, there is a new joy, and it's profound. That of one's work being translated into another poet's own work, alchemical, organic, and transformative. Like a trance in motion. Please read this exquisite review of Addicts & Basements by Mark Kerstetter at his blog, The Mockingbird Sings. Thanks a million, Mark:
Robert Vaughan and Breathless | The Mockingbird Sings
For National Poetry Month, on April 9th, I read “untitled” by Marilyn Hacker from this poetry collection, all sonnets:
And here is the poem: ▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Untitled” by Marilyn Hacker – YouTube
Also, on April 10th (today) I read “Lullaby” by W.H. Auden:
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Lullaby” from W.H. Auden – YouTube
Tonight I will be on Bud Smith’s Unknown Show on Blog Talk Radio, and other guests include Michael Dickes, Janice Lee and Cort Bledsoe. Call in:
The Unknown Show with Bud Smith 04/10 by theliteraryunderground | Writing Podcasts
Also, check out the Wednesday Roundup recap at Entropy: Wednesday Entropy Roundup | ENTROPY
And if that’s not enough links, then I don’t know what to say. Have fun, be safe.]]>
<![CDATA[Today for National Poetry Month, I read Simon Perchik's poem (untitled) from Hands Collected, published at Pavement Saw Press:
Over the years, I’ve had numerous conversations with other poets, and more than often, Simon’s name is mentioned. His poems are staggering in volume, unique in voice and perspective, jarring, earthly devoted, and remarkably lovely.
As a nod to his oeuvre, I constructed a poem, utilizing only the first lines of a Simon Perchik poem, including the title (also, a Perchik first line). Here is the entire poem:
They were reaching for their mother’s breath
Wherever I turn the air needs water
and in the dark my pillow, abandoned
stone, stone, stone, not a drop
again, the sky rubbing against my legs
all the pieces must be found, make
this cup half ecstasy, half adrift
With those hefty walls a bank
even this tree :a stranglehold
And the dead can’t wait, they crouch
as if its stream would slow
What a long way- they know
this bridge as if before its crash
(all words excerpted from Simon Perchik’s Hands Collected: The Books of Poems (1949-1999)
(only first lines used to construct entire poem, including title)
And today, April 8th, I read Simon Perchik for National Poetry Month:
Robert Vaughan reads Simon Perchik’s poem, * from Hands Collected – YouTube
When is the last time you took a train? Had an unexpected picnic? Read a poem that took your breath away?
On April 6, I read Matthew Zapruder's "Sun Bear" from his new collection of the same name:
I read the title poem, which I find so playful, humane, and deep simultaneously:
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “Sun Bear” by Matthew Zapruder – YouTube
On April 7 (today), I read Natasha Tretheway’s “At Dusk” by Natasha Tretheway. This poem is in her collection called Native Guard:
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “At Dusk” by Natasha Tretheway – YouTube
Do you ever wonder who you are calling home? Do you ever take the time to be called? If so, to whom? How so?
Today for National Poetry Month, I read Dorianne Laux's "Woman in a Bar." This is one of ten poems from her exquisite chapbook, The Book of Women by Red Dragonfly Press:
Red Dragonfly Press: THE BOOK OF WOMEN by Dorianne Laux
Dorianne, for those who don’t know her, is a wizard! She is simply one of the best poets I know, and I consider myself so fortunate, my life has transformed as a result of every interaction we’ve had. Happy Poetry Month to you, DL, and may you always feel loved.
Here, then, is “Woman in a Bar” and enjoy: Robert Vaughan reads “Woman in a Bar” by Dorianne Laux – YouTube
Have you ever been in a bar? How about Fozzie’s? Boy Bar? King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut?
When is the last time you sat in a bar, and were completely captivated by someone else? What happened?
It feels surreal, how much this Kirkus Reviews surprises me.
In a new review, posted yesterday, Kirkus opens with:
“A fast-moving fusion of micro-fiction and free verse that peers into the places where people keep things most deeply hidden.”
And Kirkus wraps up their insightful review with this:
“A fascinating study of human attachment and loss.”
The entire review is here: ADDICTS & BASEMENTS by Robert Vaughan | Kirkus
I am blown away. Humbled. Thank you, Kirkus Reviews, for this wonderful feeling.]]>
<![CDATA[Hello friends! Today is a special day:
Happy Birthday, David Carter! May all your wishes come true.
Today, and in celebration of dear friends, and the joy of what true friends bring into our lives, I want to share my one and only trip to Calistoga, California. We did a road trip from my room-mate from college, Gregory and his then-wife, Kimberly's house in Pleasant Hill. We listened to all of the best tunes of the day, like Salt-n-Pepa's "What a Man," as we tore up the 680, speeding north through small towns of Contra Costa County. And, as we were often prone to do, the sounds of these towns (remember, we are all New Yorkers) sounded, well, rather like characters in a play. And so, Andrea "became" Benecia Martinez (a combination of two towns), David "transformed into" Marina Vista, and I was decidedly the child, Chilpanchango. Of course, the characters morphed as we improvised our new relationships, and Benecia became Chilpanchango's mother (?), while Marina Vista became the "bitchy aunt."
Are you already seeing how difficult this is to follow? And you thought only I was crazy! Well, if you want, you can read a version of a story I wrote about us all called "The Frog.” Hopefully you will enjoy it! I love and miss you, Andrea and David!
Today, for National Poetry Month, I am going to read Rigoberto Gonzalez’s “The Strangers Who Find Me in the Woods.” (Perhaps this is why those latino towns in California came to mind?) Enjoy!
▶ Robert Vaughan reads “The Stranger Who Finds Me in the Woods” by Rigoberto Gonzalez – YouTube
Do you like getting lost in the woods? What did you find last time? Was Hansel or Gretl with you? Did you come across a wicked witch?
<![CDATA[April has arrived in all her glory! One of the innumerable reasons I adore April is it's National Poetry Month! This year, like 2013, I will select a poem-a-day, and read it, for your listening pleasure. Hopefully you might meet some poets (and poems) that you are not yet familiar with?
On April 1st, I kicked off National Poetry Month by reading Russell Dillon's "Eternal Patrol." This is the title poem from his first full collection by the same title:
Russell’s poetry is dark, smart and infused with just the right amount of humor. Here is more about the collection: Eternal Patrol: Russell Dillon: 9780988228733: Amazon.com: Books
And here is my reading of “Eternal Patrol: Robert Vaughan reads Russell Dillon’s “Eternal Patrol” – YouTube
Yesterday, April 2nd, I also read the title poem from Laura Kasischke’s “Space, In Chains,” which is a phenomenal poetry collection and won the National Book Critics Circle Award:
“Kasischke’s intelligence is most apparent in her syntactic control and pace, the way she gauges just when to make free verse speed up, or stop short, or slow down.”—The New York Times Book Review
Here is my reading of “Space, in Chains:”
Robert Vaughan reads “Space, In Chains,” from Laura Kasischke – YouTube
What will I read today? More importantly, what will YOU read today? A subway poem? A billboard poem? Maybe it’s a conversation you have with a friend about poetry? I chatted on Facebook with Brian Alan Ellis the other day about Kenneth Patchen (among many other poets). Imagine how different our world would be if we spoke more about poetry than guns? If we read infinitely more poems than listen to stories that contain violence?