Paul Blackburn has long been one of my favorite poets (he provided one of the first poetry posts at LH), and I’m happy to discover (via wood s lot) that back in 2000 Jacket magazine had a section devoted to him in their October issue, including his Statement:

My poetry may not be typically American, or at least in matter, not solely so: but I think it does make use of certain techniques which, even when not invented by American poets, find their particular exponents there in contemporary letters, from Pound & Doctor Williams, to younger writers like Paul Carroll or Duncan or Creeley.
  Techniques of juxtaposition.
  Techniques of speech rhythms,
        sometimes very intense,
        sometimes developed slowly, as
        one would have
    conversation with a friend.
Personally, I affirm two things:
           the possibility of warmth & contact
            in the human relationship :
as juxtaposed against the materialistic pig of a technological world,
where relationships are only ‘useful’ i.e., exploited, either
   psychologically or materially.
            2º, the possibility of s o n g
within that world: which is like saying ‘yes’ to sunlight.
  On the matter of song: I believe there must be a return toward the
musical structure of poetry, just as there must be, for certain people at
least, a return to warmth within a relationship….


  1. Just like a man: too much analysis and declared intentions and not enough poetry. And I don’t like prose masquerading itself as verse; even the rythmical one.
    Here, as reciprocal gesture, I’ll give you an opposite example: brilliant poetry, written down as prose.
    Sorry, everybody: in Russian.

  2. I like it, thanks! (And yes, Blackburn is very much a guy.)

  3. Kudos on you for reading Jacket and spreading its word. Jacket is one of the finest online poetry journals. I find it seems to be read only by poets. That’s too bad.
    I subscribe to over 100 different blog feeds in diverse areas, from technology to linguistics to economics to sports, news, statistics, you name it. Out of the many diverse blog posts I skim or read each day, yours is the first post outside of blogs from poets to make a substantive claim about poetry, much less to cite Jacket. Thank you for that as well.
    I now await the moment a non-poet writes about a living poet (which excludes the living dead poets guised as New Formalists). Now that’s some truly *dangerous* territory.

  4. I agree about Jacket, and I think you’ll find, if you enter “poet” into the site search box on the right, that I’ve written about a fair number of living poets.

  5. “the materialistic pig of a technological world”
    Seems like technology is damned either way: it either separates us from nature (it’s too abstract) or it’s a “materialistic pig,” and separates us from abstract human qualities.
    People sure do love to hate on technology.

  6. I did just search your blog on term “poet” and I must admit I am impressed. Very impressed. Your blog is a marvelous exception.
    I get a little excited when smart people outside of the poetry cloisters write about journals in which I have published.
    I think you would particularly enjoy the work of my good friend Murat Nemet-Nejat. He is a leading translator of Turkish poetry and has an unparalleled sense of translation, some of which he has expressed in his essays on the subject, some of which simply can only be seen in his translations in themselves. His recent release _Eda_ has some fascinating work by a number of modern and contemporary Turkish poets including perhaps the most remarkable work by a young Turkish poet named Küçük İskender. I believe Murat has even written for John Tranter before as well.
    I also recommend the journal Fulcrum which unfortunately is not available on the web. It may also match your tastes. Like Murat’s work, Fulcrum reflects an independent editorial mind and a flair for the boundaries of language.

  7. Thanks for the recommendations!

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