Working Notes from Five Poets

GIULIA NICCOLAI: "In my own work, I try to demonstrate that all objects intrinsically possess the necessary elements for being a poem. If we simply dislocate them slightly from the everyday, matter-of-fact, blind and humble use we put them to, the poetic elements in the objects will reveal themselves." From "Feminism and Italian Avant-garde Art," delivered at U.C.L.A., March, 1978. Niccolai's books include Harry's Bar e altre poesie, 1969-1980 (Feltrinelli, Milano, 1981) and Singsong for New Year's Adam & Eve, No. 29 in the Tam Tam chapbook series. Her Italian translation of Gertrude Stein, A Geographical History of America, was published in 1980 by La Tartaruga. "Printed wall piece with thread" is reprinted from Poema & ogetto, (Geiger, 1975), featured in "Invisible City" No. 18 through 20, edited by John McBride and Paul Vangelisti. Her work will soon be available, in English, in Book Series No. 5, from Invisible City.

MARSHA CAMPBELL: " 'A Little Something to Do with Emily Dickinson' is in great part an attempt to make a visual comment on ED's stocky rhythms, using words to symbolize beats somewhat as in a musical score, where the use of space on the page importantly indicates time-values of sounds." Campbell's published work includes Dear Daddos, a chapbook from e.g. press, 1983; and poems in Violent Milk, Channel and Five Fingers. A new chapbook will appear in 1986 from Channel Arts.

PHYLLIS KOESTENBAUM: "Two staggered columns essentially even, page after page the same, 23 lines in each. Constricted plenty. Again I have reproduced my life. Working titles: 'An Overabundance,' 'Relationship,' 'In the Minds of Composers.' When it became two columns, it became 'Shopping Spree.' The frustration of margins: can't go beyond them more than a few spaces. Happy accidents: interesting end words butting margins. The schizophrenia of the two columns: they can overlap only one letter, can't overlap often or columns will appear more connected than separate. If the columns don't ever intersect, if the lines are too short within the columns, the movement is jerky, not accurate to the thinking voice, which is long and fairly even but not continuous, a hesitant, interrupting flow, which is the way I speak not in poems." Koestenbaum's books include oh I can't she says, Christopher's Books, 1980, and 14 Criminal Sonnets, Jungle Garden 1985.

NORMA COLE: "In the studio of the book, fields of language and image, word & line, collapse together--conjunction, precipitation.
'I whose profession it is to make things out of silent, invisible things' (Poussin)--pages become buildings, their ruins. There is no such thing as background." Norma Cole is a Canadian who has been living in San Francisco for the past eight years, teaching (elementary school), writing and painting. Recently she participated in the San Francisco Open Studios '85. Her work (drawing, poetry, translation) has appeared in Acts 3 and Acts 4.


DIANE GLANCY: " ' Eee ay who tow' is about the jumbled way the world looks to someone who is not familiar with it--or born into it. It's the way I look at the English language. The wonderment of its variety and variables--the exciting 'misreadings' of it. Hosanna, for example, is also rendered, annosoh, sohanna and nasohna. The same is true of ansonal. . . It is simply the misrepresentation of arsenal. . . Words are tied down to their basic structures but free to roam and sometimes transmute to other forms". . . "Yet I am left standing with a kernel of joy in my hand. It is to yodel and inhabit even for a brief moment that space between the octave jump as we are thrown from one sphere to another". . . (last quote from Glancy's essay "Part II in an Essay in Which There is Really No Part I.") Diane Glancy is Artist-in-Residence for both Oklahoma and Arkansas Arts Councils. Her essay "Some Thoughts on Our Uncommon Language" will appear in a forthcoming issue of Sulfur. In 1984 she was winner of the $1,000 playwriting prize from Five Civilized Tribes. Her poems may be seen in A Gathering of Spirits, Sinister Wisdom Press.

go to:

Giulia Niccolai,

Marsha Campbell,

Phyllis Koestenbaum,

Norma Cole


Diane Glancy

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