Monday, September 18, 2023

W-E Poets Reading: The Bones






On September 17, 2023 through W-E Poets of the Pandemic and Beyond—a tri-coastal Zoom reading, the Steiny Road Poet (a.k.a. Karren Alenier) presented several selections from From the Belly: Poets Respond to Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons that included Nils Michals (CA), Susana Case (NY), Carolyne Wright (WA), Brad Richard (LA), and Karren Alenier (MD).





Each presenting poet followed this format:

—A sound byte of bio

—A signature poem

—Stein’s text (read by Karren Alenier)

—Response poem

—Remarks on process of writing response poem

—Introduction of next responding poet


An unedited video now sits on YouTube at:


Here is how to navigate this one hour plus footage:


 1:49     Introduction by Sandy Yannone

 6:00     Karren Alenier

11:30    Nils Michals

23:00    Susana Case

27:54    Carolyne Wright

39:40    Brad Richard

48:21    Closing remarks and Q&A, Karren Alenier, Carolyne Wright, Susana Case, Lynn McGee, Brad Richard, Sandy Yannone, Nils Michals



—Sandy Yannone’s introduction: She calls Alenier a Gertrude Stein whisperer and hopes to present all three volumes in this forum


—Karren Alenier: responds to Stein’s “Nothing Elegant.”

—Nils Michals: responds to Stein’s “A Chair.”

—Susana Case: responds to Stein’s “A Table.”

—Carolyne Wright: responds to Stein’s “Suppose an Eyes.”

—Brad Richard: responds to Stein’s “It Was a Black, Black Took.”


—Comments and Q&A:

 ­——Respondents appreciated getting assigned Stein text and felt that they wrote a poem that took them to a new place in their writing.

——Did respondent learn anything new about Stein?

——Responding to Stein’s work is an exercise in ekphrasis because her work is an object of art.

——The responses brought our world to Stein’s work and showed relevance.

——What did you learn about yourself as a poet in responding to Stein?

——Responding to Stein became a tale of gaining more life experience.

——Stein morphed in one poet’s prejudice from being the Jackson Pollack of poetry to a poet that brings out realities not seen before.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Feedback from a Reader

 Feedback from a reader is often more rewarding than what comes from a formal published review.





  As you know, I’m not a Steinian addict, but your book [From the Belly: Poets Respond to Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons] serves as an excellent introduction or textbook on to how to read, wonder and appreciate what she does.  Your emphasis on the invitation to play—to having fun with writing—is a lesson I need to absorb in order to write more pleasurably, perhaps more creatively.  As I slowly wade through the poems, thus far a few of my favorites include your “the wars of Leo Stein”,  “birth of the long dress made in America”, “two more purses” by Duhamel, “hat before snow” by Cavalieri, and “after “A Leave” by Armantrout.  Your challenging project certainly attracted some big name poets.  Kudos!      --Gary