Postcard is an edited and continuously up-dated section of brief comment received on work in recent issues of HOW2, as well as excerpts from letters circulating privately among writers/readers and with HOW2 editors/writers. Your postcards and excerpted letter exchanges on literary questions appropriate to this journal’s focus are welcomed. Please send to Lauren Shufran

15 March 2006


A gathering of brief memoirs and BG poems (selected by her readers) to honor the life and writing of Barbara Guest 1920-2006.

Visit the memory bank HERE.


Ann Lauterbach

Tribute to Barbara Guest
(originally written for The Poetry Project Newsletter)

Barbara Guest died on 15 February in Berkeley California, where she lived with her daughter Hadley Haden-Guest. She was eighty-five years old.

Born in North Carolina, Barbara Guest spent most of her early life in California, where she gradated from Berkeley in 1943. Shortly thereafter, she moved to New York and became part of the community of artists and writers that became known as The New York School. But her poetics reached beyond this immediate coterie. Herself Defined: The Poet H.D. and her World, her 1984 biography of Hilda Doolittle (whose daughter, Perdita, was a life-long friend) helped to unpin this poet from Ezra Pound's imagiste label. She read widely in literature and philosophy, often turning to nineteenth-century writers such as Kant and Coleridge (she was never dissuaded from the idea of the imagination as crucial to poetic work). Like others in her generation of poets, she wrote art criticism and collaborated with visual artists, among them Grace Hartigan, Mary Abbott, Anne Dunn and Richard Tuttle.

In many ways, in the best sense, Barbara Guest was “a poet's poet” an artist whose work was and is known and admired above all by those who practice it. In her case, this knowledge and admiration seemed to grow outward, as if her work were at the center of a series of concentric circles with ever-widening diameters. If she began her poetic life as a member of the first generation New York School , she ended it as an altogether singular artist whose work has become seminal for innumerable poets in the generations that followed. There is little doubt that the fulcrum of her initial impact was on women writers committed to an innovative poetics, grounded in modernist possibilities, whose work resisted both overt feminism and formally reductive post-modern schemas.

As the lyric and its suspect I-based narratives came under increasing disdain among the most explorative poets of the 1970 and 80s, Barbara Guest's work offered a route around the suspect banalities of a simplistic subjective “voice”. More than any other poet of her generation, Guest found an integrity of line based not so much on the Olsonian model of breath as on, say, Kandinsky's drawings or Stravinsky's dissonant yet melodic phrasing. She once remarked to me that she thought the most important value in a poem was “mystery”, by which she meant something more than mere Surrealist strangeness or surprise; neither gothic miasma, nor spiritual, existential doubt, but what I take to be a fundamental phenomenological wonder. In her work, this wonder is the condition of both an imaginative virtuosity of presence, and a cool tonal detachment.

One wants to say that, among her early poet associates--- Schuyler, Koch, Ashbery, O'Hara --- Barbara Guest was the poet with the most powerful investment in abstraction as a formal principle that could allow sensuous and conceptual frames to intersect, blur, and inform each other. Unlike O'Hara, she did not opt for a persona; unlike Ashbery, she did not split the self into a congregation singing the same polyphonic hymn; she was closest in temperament to Schuyler, whose absorption in the details of visuality found some affinity with her own. But for Guest, the visible was rarely stabilized as observed image, it was instead a kind of temporal/spatial index of the fluxual instability of language and perception. This realized itself in currents of inflection and perspective that weave linear and non-linear elements into intersecting, dazzling arcs. As Charles Bernstein pointed out, in his 1999 talk to celebrate Guest's receiving the Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement, her work was continually “testing the limits of form”.

Guest's late work is capable of a precision so liberated and austere that it verges on a kind of essential riddle, in which thinking and perceiving become annealed to each other even as they appear to witness divergent paths. Her output was nothing short of astounding: starting in 1989 with Fair Realism, from Sun & Moon, she produced more than a dozen works of poetry and criticism, sometimes more than one book in a year. This sustained productivity was testament to both her fierce concentration and her evolved, unswerving ambition for poetry. What finally gives her work its significance is, at least for me, its profound insistence on, and evidence of, the poem as a necessary human artifact.

The gracious and persevering maker has left us, but what she made will challenge and enlarge our world for a long time to come.

[Click here to view Ann Lauterbach's tribute in the How2 memory bank.]

22 March 2006

Rosmarie Waldrop


Where language stops matter begins. Of words. The simple contact with a wooden spoon. I don’t easily give up on the uncertainties that might, if only for a moment, alleviate grief. But time is perishable. I believe. A sense of consciousness comes precisely. From the flow of perceptions. Relations of warfare and polka dots. And you cannot twice capture the flash of identity between subject and object.

The poem begins in silence, you wrote, mystery, wild gardens, pitch within the ear, chalk, rivulets, shifting persona, shuffling light.

As long as we’ve not reached, as in a dream, the fibrous, woody substance of words. We are prisoners. Of narratives in the room. Sprawling to consider an emphasis falls. On reality. Neither thick lids nor vowels inclement can obstruct the transparency of the dragonfly’s wings. While the brain establishes consciousness through stimuli occurring not more than a twenty-fourth of a second apart. You occupy the lotus position.

The poem is fragile, you wrote, the contour elusive, ropes sway, heavy violets, galactic rhythm, sibilants, solitude edged, upward from the neck, provokes night.

When approaching death we cannot go into the matter of darkness. Viewed on the screen of distance, your shadow rephrased. Forbids the instant disclosure. The necessary night entangled in the folds of preoccupation until the next bold seizure of dawn. It is the connecting between moments—not the moments themselves — that is consciousness. Field broken by low running water, dour sky, the earth in twists moving like the water into the body—is memory of self.

The poem is a resume, you wrote, of impalpable vision, the clair-obscur of thought, a brown mouse, twilight soup, the figure appears, adoptive day, scorched tongue, the edge, always.

After your death we find matter. For many fine tales about your life. And work. The speculative use of minerals, like beryl, to prevent attachment to words from overflowing. To catch the fraction of a second when the seam of present and future is visible in the flash of the lizard, its flight. Loss requires restructuring all of our consciousness, our relation to sunrise. And giving way to the emotions.

The poem draws blood, you wrote, kicks away the ladder, rose marble table, folds of skin, mirrors, fans, nimble wind, multiplied by frost, the rage of night.

[Click here to view Rosmarie Waldrop's tribute in the How2 memory bank.]

22 March 2006

Rena Rosenwasser

Guest’s Musicality: My recollection of the collaborative process


MUSICALITY was produced in 1988 on a letterpress. The drawings were printed offset, but the text was hand set with old fashioned hard lead type. Thus there is no file document on the Kelsey Street Press computer that contains the poem.

Kelsey Street Press made a decision to honor Barbara by returning to our early roots. When the Press began in the early seventies we printed and handset all our books on an old Vandercook Press. We did this in the basement of Patricia Dienstfrey's home on Kelsey St., in Berkeley, CA.. By 1988 the Press no longer was printing on letterpress, nor was it situated in Patricia's basement.

In 1987 we hired Peter Koch to print MUSICALITY at his Oakland letterpress shop. I went there over a repeated period to set the type. This was done, letter by letter, in Bodoni metal type. The process provided me with an intimate relationship to the text, and to the spaces (leading) between the words and lines. I did this directly from the pages of Barbara's manuscript [see BG Memory Bank, for final text of MUSICALITY]. The poem appears in the book as she spatially expressed it on her typed page.
My recollection of the collaborative process:

Musicality (the poem) was inspired by a body of work by the painter, June Felter. During the 1980's, June produced a series of drawings of Sonoma County's landscape. Drives she took through the countryside inspired these sketches and watercolors. A body of gently luminous paintings also followed.

Barbara wrote Musicality in response to the images.

Robert Rosenwasser, my brother, and I worked on the design of the book. Our efforts were a collaboration in tandem with June and Barbara: We laid out the pages of the poem. June had a flat file in her house that contained dozens of these drawings and watercolors. Robert and I made our choices so that there would be a visual flow to the book. It took us quite a few goes before we found the perfect form. We tried to create a pacing of images to and of spaces that resonated with the measure of the poem. The text wasn't altered to align with the poetry lines, rather the images were chosen to work visually with the rhythm of the words and space. During this stage of the book neither Barbara nor June were involved. It wasn't until we‘d completed our layout that we turned to June and Barbara to see how they felt about what we had done.

03 November 2005

from Lisa Samuels

What I would ask is an impossible question how we can be more 'global' than we are. An obvious question for me to ask, possibly an unfair one, since it ties in most immediately with my upcoming move to New Zealand. Which is itself not exactly Yemen, where I also lived though in my more adventuresome twenties.

I think of this matter today, though, because I recently heard a lovely talk whose points resonated with my interests too in opening up critical practice to less rationalist & Newtonian procedures. In this case the speaker emphasized visual interpretations of conceptual imaginations: emotional weather in digital form, media permutations via art.

At the end of the talk I asked how these views were received in countries outside of the U.S. and the UK, since it seems to me that rationalism and exegetical thinking are more an Anglo-American fixation than perhaps elsewhere. The speaker spoke of the reception of her ideas in France and Germany – and that was it. So I thought: she has given versions of such talks in the U.S., the UK, France, and Germany. And that's all, when she is a world-known poet, book artist, and digital media wiz? Why?

One answer – perhaps the only answer – is money.

After all, my future New Zealand colleagues would like to have conferences and the like on their fertile soil, and the major prevention is that fellow academics/artists outside Australia don't have big travel budgets. Where I have been teaching in the U.S., for example, there are lotteries for small amounts of cash to help with such a trip, and many persons avoid conference attendance because they cannot count on any support.

But it is nigh-on impossible to 'get global' by reading magazine issues devoted to a momentary group of 'foreign' writers. Such reading is an excellent thing to do, to be sure. But it doesn't substitute for taking one's whole body to another hemisphere or continent – perhaps especially, for probable readers of How2, a non-occidental one.

Money, and time. For how does one organize a life to do such heavy lifting of oneself and a retinue of some number of weeks and, perhaps, other persons?

So I despair of real globalism. At least in current conditions.

Maybe another way to compensate, in addition to reading those 'foreign writers' issues or editions wonderfully published by devoted editors, is to find as many ways as possible to push the imagination outside of whatever western provincialism we inhabit.

For one of my recent ponderings is that everywhere on earth is provincial. The problem arises when a country has too much room in which to be provincial: a master-country is a bloated provincialism.

Hence Russia, the U.S., China, and their once and future lost and absorbing interiors.

Lisa Samuels
November 1, 2005

18 May 2005

Hannah Weiner’s Early and Clairvoyant Journals

The Archive for New Poetry at the University of California at San Diego is pleased to announce the publication of an online edition of performance artist / poet Hannah Weiner's "Early and Clairvoyant Journals", edited by Patrick F. Durgin.

These early journals document the development of Weiner's notion of "clairvoyance" as well as the literary form she became known for in recent memory, "large-sheet poetry" (aka, "clair-style").  The "Clairvoyant Journal" itself is published in its entirety (181 pages in length).  And all the texts are presented as high-quality scans of the original typescripts, giving the reader the opportunity to appreciate the visual impact of "large-sheet poetry."

2 May 2005

from Susan Schultz

TinFish Goes Mad!


Tinfish Press has a number of fine volumes of poetry coming out this year and into the next.  In order to defray the printing costs, which are considerable, we are asking that you purchase some existing books from us (see ) or simply offer a modest donation to the press, which is now non-profit. 

Here are the books that are coming:

Cribs, by Yunte Huang.  Huang’s first book of poems, which moves vertiginously between baby cribs and word cribs, English and Chinese.

Surgical Bru ez, by Sherman Souther.  Souther is a retired surgeon who earned his MFA at Naropa and lives on Kauai.

Composite Diplomacy, by Padcha Tuntha-obas.  Tuntha-obas is a Thai writer in English whose book looks at the lyric through Thai and English lexicons.

Growing Still, by Deborah Meadows.  Marvelous lyrical, philosophical meditations from Meadows, whose book Representing Absence came out recently from Green Integer.

Poeta en San Francisco, by Barbara Jane Reyes.  Like many of our books, this one examines the bi-furcation of the diasporic experience, this time from the Philippines, through language and the poet’s wandering through San Francisco and its history.

When the Plug Gets Unplugged, by Kim Hye-sun, translated by Dee Mon Choi.  A book of poems about rats by an important feminist South Korean poet.

Tinfish 15: more of Tinfish’s selection of experimental work from the Pacific region.

If you would like to give money toward one of these forthcoming publications, we will thank you on our website. Donations of $50 or more come with a free Tinfish publication of your choice.  Any help you can offer to publish work from the Pacific region is much appreciated.

aloha, Susan

Susan M. Schultz
Editor, Tinfish Press
Kane`ohe, HI 96744
Susan M. Schultz
Now available: And Then Something Happened

29 April 2005

Joyelle McSweeney wrote:

… i must share the news about my new press, action books — we're looking for poetry that goes too far. our first three books are by lara glenum, arielle greenberg, and aase berg. check us out at!

Dear Kate,

I wrote to Arielle about recent Apogee Press titles to see about having them included in your HOW2 "In Print" section. She suggested I write to you.
So I re-enclose the list.

Thanks, Alice Jones


Maxine Chernoff, Among the Names
Berkeley, California. 2005. $14.95.
Apogee Press.

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, In the Absent Everyday
Berkeley, California. 2005. $14.95.
Apogee Press.

Kathleen Fraser, Discrete Categories Forced into Coupling
Berkeley, California. 2004. $12.95.
Apogee Press.

Alice Jones, Gorgeous Mourning
Berkeley, California. 2004. $12.95.
Apogee Press.

Pattie McCarthy, Verso
Berkeley, California. 2004. $12.95.
Apogee Press.

Stefanie Marlis, cloudlife
Berkeley, California. 2005. $12.95.
Apogee Press.


20 April 2005

From Victoria Brown:

Dear Colleague,

Charles Bernstein and Hank Lazers, editors of the University of Alabama Press series Modern and Contemporary Poetics, thought you might be interested in receiving news of a recent milestone reached by the series…

Modern and Contemporary Poetics Celebrates Its Twentieth Volume

TUSCALOOSA, AL—At a time when university presses are under increasing financial pressure, forcing many to abandon traditional areas of scholarship, The University of Alabama Press has been quietly bucking the trend. With the publication of Peter Middleton’s book Distant Reading: Performance, Readership, and Consumption in Contemporary Poetry, the Press’s Modern and Contemporary Poetics series will celebrate its twentieth volume in print.

Edited by Charles Bernstein of the University of Pennsylvania and Hank Lazer of The University of Alabama, the series was established in late 1998. In the intervening six and a half years, the books published under its umbrella have quietly catapulted the Press’s already strong reputation into greater national prominence.

“Until I looked at the list as a whole I had ignored the fact that The University of Alabama Press has been responsible for most of the major critical statements on contemporary poetry in the past few years,” says Charles Altieri of the University of California at Berkeley. “This is an all too rare case when knowledge produces an overwhelming urge to express congratulations and gratitude.”

“Hank and I began the series with a double mission,” reveals Bernstein, “to publish new approaches to modern and contemporary poetry by, especially, younger scholars, and to publish major collections of critical essays and poetics by poets.”

…The twenty-first volume in the series, This is Called Moving: A Critical Poetics of Film, by award-winning writer, director, producer, and cinematographer Abigail Child, will be published later this spring.

The editorial advisory board for Modern and Contemporary Poetics is made up of scholars and poets from across the country. They include: Maria Damon, University of Minnesota; Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Temple University; Alan Golding, University of Louisville; Susan Howe, State University of New York at Buffalo; Nathaniel Mackey, University of California at Santa Cruz; Jerome McGann, University of Virginia; Harryette Mullen, University of California at Los Angeles; Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University; Aldon Lynn Nielsen, The Pennsylvania State University; Joan Retallack, Bard College; Ron Silliman; Lorenzo Thomas, University of Houston; and Jerry Ward, Dillard University.

13th April 2005

From Louise Crabtree:

What a wonderfully good thing...

Subject: Fwd: [csaa-forum] FYI: Intl Network of Scholar Activists
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 09:36:58 +1000

Dear colleagues,

I invite you to visit the website of a newly formed international organization: INOSA, or the International Network of Scholar Activists. The Network was formed at the Fifth World Social Forum this past winter by a group of scholars, students and activists from around the world. It is the outcome of on-going discussions by a number of groups that began at the Third World Social Forum in 2003.

The guiding aim of the Network is to mobilize those involved in tertiary education globally to take up the political challenges that arise out of their particular social roles and positions. The aim of the Network is "to promote more egalitarian relationships of mutual learning between individuals and organizations working within universities and those in other parts of civil society." It has three main goals and objectives:

  1. Support civil society: Promoting two-way flows of information that are necessary for developing relationships of trust and mutual respect between universities and civil society.
  2. Democratize and Socialize Knowledge: resist the expanding commodification of knowledge, which exacerbates the already gaping inequities in our world.
  3. Oppose neoliberalism on university campuses.

Some ideas on how to pursue these objectives are listed on the front page of the site, which is still a work in progress.

I invite you to join the listserv, which currently has a low message volume (you won't be swamped). The site is currently maintained in English and Spanish, with plans to add Portuguese and French in the near future.

I also invite you to look at an interesting essay by Michael Denning, which was presented at the meetings that led to the formation of INOSA.
It can be found at:

All the best,
Imre Szeman
Director, Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition
McMaster University / Canada

10 April 2005

From Zachary Schomburg:

Octopus #5 is alive!

It features:

New POETRY from Jean Valentine, Stan Mir, Craig Morgan Teicher, Wayne Chambliss, Dara Wier, Louis Armand, Paul Muldoon, Aaron Kunin, Standard Schaefer, Jennifer Knox, Kate Greenstreet, Matthew Thorburn, Daniel Coudriet, Shafer Hall, Bob Hicok, Joe Wenderoth, Barry Schwabsky, Christopher Janke, Jen Tynes, Rob Stanton, Paul Foster Johnson, Carolina Maugeri, Joshua Beckman & Matthew Rohrer, Jennifer Moxley, Chris Glomski, Shane McCrae, Dobby Gibson, Nathan Parker, Maureen Thorson, Lawrence Raab, and TRANSLATIONS of Daniil Kharms by Matvei Yankelevich and of Thanh Thao by Linh Dinh.

REVIEWS of Eric Baus’ The To Sound by Monica Fambrough, John Witte’s The Hurtling by Gina Myers, Matthew Thorburn’s Subject to Change by Richard Scheiwe, Noah Eli Gordon’s The Area of Sound Called the Subtone by Thomas Fink, Sarah Manguso (ed.) and Jordan Davis’ (ed.) Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books by Travis Nichols, and Peter Gizzi’s Periplum and Other Poems by Julie Misso.

ESSAYS including the first volume of The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming! by Matvei Yankelevich, a series of field notes on Russian-American poets and the question of bilingual poetry. This volume includes notes on Philip Nikolayev, Eugene Ostashevsky, Ilya Bernstein, and Genya Turovskaya. And including some thoughts on James Tate’s “Same Tits” by Ian Ganassi.

RECOVERY PROJECTS on William Heyen’s Lord Dragonfly: Five Sequences by Matthew Henriksen, and Kamau Brathwaite’s Ancestors by Joyelle McSweeney.

I hope you enjoy. As always, feedback is welcome.


Zachary Schomburg, editor


April 2005

EXCHANGE on Australian Literary Conferences: Calls for Papers

Hi again Isabel,

I asked Ann Vickery (ex-How2 editor) about conferences & she sent this.



----- Forwarded message from Ann Vickery <> -----

Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 04:27:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ann Vickery <>
Reply-To: Ann Vickery <>

Subject: Re: Aust lit conferences


Hi Kate,

Australian Humanities Review (which is electronic so should be able to be Googled) generally has a good list of Aust conferences, lit and otherwise.

Talk again when there's more time,



From: Isabel Haarhaus
Subject: Re: where2?
Date: 7 April 2005 8:02:21 AM

Thank you for these Kate!
I will definately look into the Hungarian one.

Many kind regards,


----- Original Message -----

From: Kate Fagan
To: Isabel Haarhaus
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 11:27 PM
Subject: Re: where2?

Hi Isabel,

You probably know already about ASAL, the Association for the Study of Australian Literature: Their 'conferences' page includes this Adelaide conference in July:


Writing Across Cultures: Fiction, History, Memory
Association for the Study of Australian Literature Conference
July 4-6 2005. Venue: Art Gallery and the State Library of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide.

For information, contact: Professor Susan Sheridan, Women’s Studies Department, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australian 5001, or email

…I also found this site but know nothing about it: It's the International Association for Australian Studies. They list a few conferences... check out this one in Hungary:

eVisions of Australia: Histories, Images, Identities
8th Biennial EASE conference
20-24 September 2005
University of Debrecen, Hungary

"This conference seeks to explore the multiplicity and nature of "change" in approaches to a variety of (inter- and multidisciplinary) issues that Australia is/was/has been concerned with during its history in the southern Pacific region. We also seek to explore how particular "visions" – whether in "visionary" or "visual" form – (have) underpin(ned), influence(d), symbolize(d), or illustrate(d) various ideas at a particular cross-section of the Australian space and time. Presentations focusing on the performing arts are especially invited and welcome. So as to accommodate the widening interest of our membership in viewing Australia in comparative, regional contexts, papers on/from New Zealand are also invited."

For conferences outside Australia there's always the Modernist Studies Association conference (Chicago this year November 3-6: you have to propose panels by May 9 & be a member of MSA)…

Good luck with it,


On 05/04/2005, at 10:07 AM, Isabel Haarhaus wrote:

Thanks Kate,
I look forward to seeing the new issue.

Also, I wonder if you know of any good sites that call for papers to Australian literature conferences?

Kind regards,


Date: 29 March 2005 1:23:11 AM

Dear friends + poneme discussion list,

I have just started a new blog called "The Little Workshop". Not much to see so far, but you can follow my adventures in writing at:

This new blog has a different focus from my previous site, "The Jetty", which was essentially a writing project. "The Jetty" can be found at

All the best,

Cassie Lewis


Hello Romney --

Below is an excerpt from a message I received from Tina Darragh when she read the text of the talk I gave in the TALKS series curated by Robert Hampson in London . She is happy for it to go on the postcards section of How2 if you think it of interest to others.

All the best

Mark Leahy



I just now had some carrot juice and read your talk - ... and I laughed out loud at the doughnut coming out of the suitcase!! Dash was concerned by the sudden sound - I had to assure him that it was a good noise! ... such a clear differentiation of private vs. personal ... will help me with this eco-collab I'm working on with Marcella Durand because the big criticism of it is that use of descriptions of nature reinforces the isolated private sight of those looking at nature (but we are breaking up those descriptions to remove that sense of "natural bond with nature" which is kind of an ownership feeling).

Your talk is really helping me to think about these things - also the distinction you make about my work not being into the correct identification of fossils (THANK YOU!!) has given me another idea for the eco collab - a riff on the "is that a true boxwood or a faux thornberry?" sort of thing. The only tiny correction is that (and you've gotten this mistake from me because I misspelled his name in "RC'sS") it is Earle Stanley Gardner, not Earl, which Kevin Killian pointed out to me in the nicest way right after he read SR - Kevin should have been a librarian because he is so detail-oriented. I'm terrible, as you know, about seeing things I expect to see.

Another great thing in your talk - the word "bildungsroman" - I'm so happy not to be reinforcing that word!! What an ugly word! And I'm so glad that you bring in the part about identifying narrative as embarrassing, and that is about preset boundaries - I hadn't thought of it in that way before. Really, the whole talk is like that - I feel like I'm reading with you in all sorts of ways that I didn't "intend" and that is a peaceful feeling - I've let the texts be open enough for that to happen. Tina Darragh


Dear Kate

HOW2 looks very good indeed.

I thought I might bring to your attention  which features many innovative women writers, especially in the poetry section.  We publish, online, 9-14 poets each month; we were last year's winner of the UTNE Reader's poll for best online cultural coverage.  We are read by over 25,000 thousand people a month, world-wide; and our e-books have been downloaded over a quarter of a million times since 2002.

As poetry editor, I am always open to receiving poems - please do share the word with your colleagues.

best regards



"The germ of an idea": How to begin



Thank you so much for sending along Juliana's book; it's so beautiful. Having just re-read it again over the weekend, I am reminded of Inger Christensen's book 'alphabet' which Juliana  suggested I read for her class do you know it? Perhaps it is the use of repetition in both, but I think also it is their insistence of writing the intricate relations between 'things' in and of our world into existence--that 'hashing' as in Juliana's title. I will write something about it here as soon as I get my thesis in next week, then send it off to our editor at How2. Have you thought any more about writing in to Postcards?  Perhaps I can begin a string just with our communication as a starting point.

All the best and thank you again for the book.




Dear Romney,

What's your mailing address? I'll send you a review copy of the book. I think the Postcards discussion could work through the lens of the book- Juliana as an enabler of community/utopic vision come real and also a mirror of her written work. The conference is still very fresh in my mind, there are some links and a few in particular that could be part of this discussion/format.

Let me think it over some more in light of your response. I hope that's ok.

More soon, and thanks for your expeditious response,




Dear Jane

I think Postcards is the perfect forum for such a discussion . I know Juliana just returned from her talk in NY, though we didn't get to talk about it much ourselves. I just returned from her class. I would love to hear from you on the subject, so please do write...thoughts, ideas, etc as you are processing it is fine too. Don't be shy when it comes to including fragments of exchanges you have on the subject with others, perhaps even Juliana or others who may weigh in on the discussion. 

As for the book, let me check with Kate Fagen (How2 editor) about reviews, though she has suggested we all, here at How2, write them and submit them. I would be happy to receive it myself and write a review for How2.  It could also stir another topic for discussion in the Postcard section. 

I look forward to the 'beginnings' of a piece/or discussion as it comes fragments/or disruptions is mothering is, it is so often like this.

Best and thank you for writing.




Dear Romney,

My name is Jane Sprague. I am a poet and publisher of Palm Press,, the recent sponsor of an exciting conference on small press publishing held in Ithaca, NY last weekend.

I'm writing because I'd like to send a copy of Juliana Spahr's recent book, things of each possible relation hashing against one another (Palm Press, 2003), to How2 for review purposes. Additionally, I'd like to write a piece or engage in discussion about the conference and the issues it brought up, particularly in terms of culture workers, feminism and small press publishing/community making. I am still processing much of the event (as the organizer) but feel that there is the germ of an idea or an essay somewhere in my thinking and I'm wondering how that might be explored within the context of How2.

Could you kindly respond when you have a chance? I am a mother and worker and full-time grad student in addition to my life as a poet, so- I know how it goes with finding time, etc.

Thank you very much. I anticipate hearing from you.

Jane Sprague



from Romney Steele

Dear Readers

I’m writing to introduce myself as the new editor of Postcards. I am a second year student in the MFA program at Mills College in Oakland, CA, and was recently a student of Kathleen Fraser’s at CCA in San Francisco. I am the mother of two children and my day job is writing and development for a small food company. I am excited to be a part of this journal and am looking forward to participating with a larger community of women writers. To help with this project and to expand the theme of community and our readership, we have enlisted fellow poet, Sun Yung Shin of Minnesota to work with us as our Midwest editor. Her engagement with the Asian writing community and her interest in cross cultural poetics brings an exciting element to the table and will hopefully encourage women from many various and diverse communities to join in the exchange. Although we have not met in person, it is my hope that together we can excite new and lively conversations, perhaps with old or recurring themes and issues, about postmodern women’s writing and therefore open up discussions between women writers in different writing communities. What is current in women’s writing today? What are some of the questions being asked by the new generation of women writers? And at what place do the new generation and the older generation of writers connect? What themes seem to persist across state lines and across oceans? There are many questions and many discussions to be had, and hopefully these pages will become a place for such dialogue to unfold. As we enter a new year, my wish is that the Postcard section will continue to be an active forum for women writers to discuss what’s current in their own communities, and by writing in, expanding our notion of community and shared interests amongst our readers. Welcome to Postcards!

Romney Steele



from Sun Yung Shin

Greetings from Minneapolis

It’s my turn to write and introduce myself as the other new co-editor of the Postcards section alongside Romney Steele. I also have two children and they are pre-school and school aged, and I’m thrilled to be participating in the wonderful world of How2 and women’s poetry. Thanks go to Kathleen Fraser for inviting me to participate. I am completing a master’s degree in education at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, I write reviews for Xcp: cross cultural poetics and Rain Taxi Review, write and teach poetry, and am co-editing an anthology with Jane Jeong Trenka (Language of Blood, Borealis) and Julia Sudbury (Other Kinds of Dreams: Black Women’s Organizations and the Politics of Transformation, Routledge) titled Outsiders Within: Transracial Adoptees Write on Race and Belonging. My illustrated bilingual Korean/English children’s book Cooper’s Lesson will be coming out in March 2004 from Children’s Book Press (San Francisco). I’m very interested in how poetics and poetic practices are in/formed by class, ethnicity, nationality, and one’s material conditions & location. What new directions will postmodern women’s poetry take? Can poetry take its place in this time of “globalization” and corporatized-technological dominance? What issues of production and reception will or can become important? As someone on the edges (orbit?) of poetry academia I hope that the Postcards section will be a place for lively discussion, dissent, and cross-cultural exchanges.