Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

Rumpus Poetry Book Club First Impressions

When Stephen hit me with the email suggesting we do a poetry version of the wildly successful Rumpus Book Club, I didn’t know quite how to react. I’m a relatively busy guy, especially now that the semester has kicked back in, and it sounded like a lot of work. But we recruited some great people to do it with us, and here we are.

For the last month, we’ve been talking about Shane Book’s Ceiling of Sticks in the google group we set up for the book club. I say “we” even though I didn’t contribute to the conversation–I just lurked, mostly because I didn’t want to intrude on the club members, and because Shane and I are friends and I didn’t want that to mess with the dynamic of the conversation. (Aside: I didn’t have anything to do with the selection–Camille Dungy suggested the book independently, though I wholeheartedly agreed when she did so.)

It all culminated with the chat last night. All the advisory board was there, along with Stephen and Isaac and Shane and a handful of book club members, and I thought it went really well. Shane tried gamely to keep up with all the questions that were being thrown at him, even though that’s impossible during a chat like this, and the rest of us chimed in with occasional observations and non-sequiturs. As first times go, it went pretty well–not too many technical challenges so far as I could tell, and not too many lags or dead spots in the conversation. We had good questions from perceptive readers and solid answers from a poet who was engaged with them. I’ll post a link when we run the chat later (I assume we’re doing that) and you can get a taste of what I’m talking about.

Next up: Timothy Donnelly’s The Cloud Corporation, which I haven’t finished reading yet, and then after that, my selection, Jena Osman’s The Network, which is one of the wilder books I’ve ever seen.

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August 30, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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