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ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

INTRODUCING DOVEGLION PRESS: HTTP://WWW.DOVEGLION.COM



LITERARY BLOGGERS Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo have inaugurated a new online literary journal which could prove helpful in the gargantuan effort of breathing life to poetics and poetry. Doveglion Press will speak for itself, hence, this first post reprinted en toto.

It is also this corner's response to Barbara Jane Reyes's call for "Community Building" in literature and the arts (particularly poetry). A patently worthy "crusade", Reyes's cause lends itself easily to world wide web. This should be an auspicious beginning.

First Posts in the Doveglion Press: (http://www.doveglion.com/)

Have come, am here.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Welcome to the official website of Doveglion Press.

Doveglion Press is an independent publisher of political literature and orature. We are committed to publishing aesthetically diverse and challenging works of strong artistic merit.
Doveglion, the pen name which Jose Garcia Villa crafted from the dove, eagle, and lion, is a fantastic and hybrid creature, signifying the writer’s ability to embody multitudes, and from splintered selves, to reinvent, and to reconstruct him/herself anew.

Future projects include a semi-annual print journal, interactive blog with rotating guest writers, and an audio/video gallery.

Maiden Post
Manifesto
The Oxford English Dictionary definition of “manifesto” is as follows:
manifesto, n.
1. a. A public declaration or proclamation, written or spoken; esp. a printed declaration, explanation, or justification of policy issued by a head of state, government, or political party or candidate, or any other individual or body of individuals of public relevance, as a school or movement in the Arts.
b. In extended use: a book or other work by a private individual supporting a cause, propounding a theory or argument, or promoting a certain lifestyle.

2. A proof, a piece of evidence. Obs.
manifesto, v.
rare.
intr. To issue a manifesto or manifestos.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the manifesto, particularly that I don’t see many. Last year, the Poetry Foundation featured a series of poetic manifestos, and really, one of the only ones I found interesting was Thomas Sayer Ellis’s “The New Perform-A-Form: A Page Vs. Stage Alliance.” I have previously written in response to Ellis’s manifesto:

I commend him for really expanding and exploring that space between page and stage and speaking to the the perception that performance is lowly and undisciplined. This in-between space I believe most of us really do inhabit; for me it is something more like a spectrum between page and stage. Within this spectrum, we don’t occupy a fixed point.

I read his manifesto and thought about all of the times an emerging artist of color has said to me that poetry and spoken word are not the same thing. It’d been infuriating me because it was so divisive; poetry belonged to the “academy,” and spoken word to the “masses.” The line drawn between the two seemed non-negotiable; I resented having to choose one over the other. Around the same time that I read this manifesto, I was in the process of writing my own essay, “Some Thoughts on Teaching Poetry to Spoken Word Artists,” which is included in the anthology, Poets on Teaching: A Sourcebook (University of Iowa Press, 2010) to discuss why erasing that line is so important to me. I have made a note to myself to include Ellis’s manifesto as one of my syllabus items when teaching poetry and even Filipino American literature.

I bring this up because I am interested in how so many of us seem to share these similar or related ideas and beliefs about poetry; it’s helpful to find others who are doing the kind of work that not only affirms our own, but enables us to continue growing our bodies of work, refining our beliefs and practices and our articulation of our beliefs and practices. This is the the growing of community, which begins with committing the words to the page, and sending them into the world.

This was written by Barbara Jane Reyes. Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010, at 1:29 am. Filed under Preview. Tagged manifesto, Thomas Sayers Ellis. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

---oO---

3 Comments
1. Anisa wrote:
Hey Barbara, I haven’t attended nearly enough spoken word performances, but I have come across this discussion, and people who believe spoken word and poetry are two different animals– spoken word being beneath poetry.

Recently I bought a copy of Willie Perdomo’s “Where a Nickel Costs a Dime” and was blown away by the beauty of his reading on the disk that was included. It made me think of the Kerouac recordings– some of my favorite.

I don’t see why the two should be viewed as separate.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm Permalink
2. Albert Casuga wrote:

I agree with your position that there should not be a dividing line between written and spoken poetry. Poetry (lyrical, narrative, elegiac, etc.) has always been recited and performed. It is absolutely unnecessary nor is it helpful to shear these of its oral traditions. When was the last time our Poet Laureates were called upon to recite their poems to the throngs and throngs of massmen who could be inspired to reach heights of thoughts and emotions akin to those felt in the agoras, the ampitheatres, and the temples of the ancient forums where poetry was even considered cathartic?

When was the last time we had a Yevtushenko galvanizing the surging feelings of audiences? What’s wrong with replicating the lyrics and music of the Beatles as performed poetry? Let’s get Dylan Thomases reciting in street corners or T. S. Eliots busking in the subways.

Poetry, among the literary arts, had its furthest reach when first composed and recited by poets in Ancient Greece or China. The “academy” ,unfortunately, has contributed to its stagnation as a “perfomed” art. Poetry barely lives through plays like those of Shakespeare. Should it find its ultimate demise in lazy prose ramblings disguised as poems because they have truncated lines that find no use for music, rhythm, and charged language?

Let me find time to write a contribution to firm out a Poetry Manifesto which is much needed at this point when charlatans think a pile of words (sans evocative images frequently) or a succession of rhyming or alliterative sounds make for poetic “rap”.

An Ars Poetica must, indeed, be posted on every door of every closet poet who need not be afraid that he his writing for an absent audience or an indifferent barbarian throng.

Doveglion Press is a significant addition to online blogging when printed poetry has practically died in academic literary journals. Curiously, however, some of the online poetry blogs have resorted to charging fees for considering poems during their reading periods. (Ah, the almighty dollar!)

(En passant, “Have come. Am here.”, Garcia Villa’s ontological “rap” need not remain as a cathartic poetic orgasm. It is an ars poetica.

ALBERT B. CASUGA
http://ambitsgambit.blogspot.com
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 4:46 pm Permalink

3. Barbara Jane Reyes wrote:

Hey folks, thanks for your comments.

Yes, to disconnect “spoken word” and poetry is to be ahistorical. I tend to wonder if “spoken word artists” consciously take on this label to separate themselves from these long poetic traditions (of various cultures, not only English and USA-American poetry), because in that separation, there’s more perceived freedom to write without others’ expectations to bog down the artist.
From my own experience, I’ve just always been surprised how many emerging writers of color just can’t bring themselves to call themselves “poets,” when they are indeed composing and performing verse. Or when I tell them that poetry and spoken word are the same thing, they respond as if I’ve spoken a different language to them. I just don’t know where this came from, and no one can tell me.
Another thing I’m told is that “literary = academic = white,” which is problematic and inaccurate.
I do hope this isn’t because emerging “spoken word artists” don’t want to read literature.

Finally, Albert, on “have come, am here” as ars poetica! Yes!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm Permalink
2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks
1. Doveglion: Manifesto : Barbara Jane Reyes on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 1:37 am
[...] all, so I am also blogging at Doveglion Press. My first post, “Manifesto,” is here. Doveglion Press is still finding its legs. An inaugural project is in the works; I promise to say [...]
2. Intuitive Intertextuality » Blog Archive » Dovelgion - The online poetics journal of Oscar Bermeo on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 5:50 pm
[...] first post Manifesto is already generating some nice discussion which is exactly what we’re looking for. I hear [...]
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