Last night, Outside Voices Anthology authors read at the d.a. levy series coordinated by Boog City‘s David Kirschenbaum, at the lovely ACA art gallery. Since the Anthology was only recently canceled, I expected many things: no one to show up; to have to explain again my motives for giving it up; a lack of energy; anger, sadness. I did have to explain– once, to an old colleague– that I had given the Anthology up. But the other bad feelings I expected to characterize the event didn’t, and the crowd size was reasonable. Everyone seemed happy to see each other and the readings were mostly successful. I had the following feelings:
- Oh, these young poets are so promising and great and I wish I could just finish the Anthology so their work would be out in the world!
- These poets have grown since I solicited poetry from them. The Anthology may no longer be representative of their talents. I wonder what kind of Anthology I could make that would keep these guys associated and in touch with one another but not pin them down at any stage of their careers? That would grow with them?
(I like bullet points.) I had also been thinking about the comment here that an Anthology (especially a print one) would never be able to capture the energy and– life? of a community. Once you put something into print, it’s stagnant. This feels differently even with a book than with a chapbook– a book feels dead, while a chapbook feels like a landing on a staircase. So I’ve been thinking about how to make the Anthology project livable. It’s still a valuable project right now because there’s a big list of people on the website (like, the website is already fulfilling one aim of the Anthology– to bring people together). But I wonder how the project might morph into something else, something more useful to us as a group than a tome that will be consigned to a shelf?
Another thing I thought about at the reading was the sound component. As some of you know there’s a cd inclusion with the Anthology that featured sound poetry. It was edited by Canadian sound poet Max Middle. It’s a smaller venture, and thanks to Max’s good sense it is almost complete. So my friend and ally j.s. makkos told me that he will be able to put out this part of the Anthology within the next six weeks. This makes me happy– that someone is already doing something about it.