Poets by name 'C-Gi'
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Louis Cabri, USA

Louis Cabri’s essays on 20th-century U.S. and Canadian poetry and poetics have appeared in journals such as English Studies in Canada, Capilano Review, Open Letter, XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, Crayon, Jacket, Shark, and Tripwire. His poetry is forthcoming in Rampike magazine, recently appeared in Post-Prairie: An Anthology of New Poetry (2005) and in Logopoeia, and includes the book, The Mood Embosser, which won a 2003 award from the Small Press Traffic Literary Arts Center in San Francisco. The other year he co-organized a poets' symposium, "'The Social Mark: Poetry and the Social," for the Slought Arts Foundation in Philadelphia, and in the past was co-editor of the Canadian poetry magazine and press, Hole, and curator of the poets’ newsletter and poets’ dialogue series, PhillyTalks. He wrote a PhD dissertation on Zukofsky, Spinoza and Language Poetry for the University of Pennsylvania, and currently teaches in Canada at the University of Windsor.

Jeff Derksen, Canada

Jeff Derksen is a poet and c ritic who works in Vancouver as an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University. His critical writings on globalization and culture, urbanism, and art have been published extensively in North America and Europe. Derksen is the author of numerous books of poetry including Transnational Muscle Cars, Dwell, and Down Time. He is a member of international poetry group, The Social Mark and the urban research group, Urban Subjects. He is a founding member of The Kootenay School of Writing, a writer-run centre.

Christopher Doda, Canada

From my perspective, contemporary international political arenas, notwithstanding cultural and national differences, are inseparable from historiographic and mythological narratives. However, viewed through the multi-faceted prism of media, public politics are increasingly taking place as if they are ahistorical happenings, erupting fully-formed through the dynamics of here and now. With poetry, I try to infuse our present circumstances with the past by establishing patterns, drawing inferences, and blurring the easy answers of modern established opinions. By doing so I hope to better make sense of the chaotic present, at least for myself and for whatever readership I might have, by tapping into long historical and cultural memories. Still, the relation between politics and poetry is a lopsided one: politics will unfold as it will regardless of poetry but to remain relevant poetry must participate in the public domain. With Among Ruins I aim to participate in this uneasy dichotomy.

Rishma Dunlop, Canada

Rishma Dunlop is the winner of the 2003 Emily Dickinson Award. She is the author of three books of poetry: Metropolis (Mansfield Press, 2005), Reading Like a Girl (Black Moss Press, 2004) and The Body of My Garden (Mansfield Press, 2002). She is also co-editor of Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets (Mansfield Press, 2004), and her work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines. She is a professor of literature and education at York University in Toronto, Canada.

‘In recent years, I have worked to collapse the normally compartmentalized roles of lover, mother, poet, and professor. Further, I have blurred the boundaries between academic scholarship and artistic practice, and explored how political events intersect with the personal and sensual textures of daily life. My three collections of poetry – The Body of My Garden (Mansfield Press, 2002), Reading Like a Girl (Black Moss Press, 2004) and Metropolis (Mansfield Press, 2005) – have increasingly stressed the importance of that intersection between the political and private. But if I have occupied any consistent role it has been that of the witness, registering and recording the shock of recent historical events, including 9/11 and globalization. And to be a witness, as I hope my poetry demonstrates, is not to settle for a limiting identity; it is to open oneself and, like Walter Benjamin’s famous angel, one’s wings to history itself.’

Amy Evans, England

To Follow

Helen Farish, England

Intimates was published by Jonathan Cape in 2005. It won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and was short-listed for the T S Eliot prize. The poems concern themselves with the complex nature of relationships with lovers, with family and with self. They have been described as 'passionate yet wary' which reflects the negotiation which takes place throughout the collection between exposure and concealment.

Many of the poems employ a first person voice and they speak openly about the emotional and the sexual; attuned to the expression of a female erotic, the body itself becomes a site of inquiry. But the 'intimates' are also 'disarray and fear' and the loss of the father is a powerful theme throughout the book.

The strongest influences on the work have been American.

Ann Fisher-Wirth, USA

Ann Fisher-Wirth is the author of two books of poems: Blue Window (Archer Books, 2003) and Five Terraces (Wind Publications, 2005). She has also published two chapbooks: The Trinket Poems (Wind, 2003) and Walking Wu Wei’s Scroll (online, Drunken Boat, 2005) .
      She won a 2003 Malahat Review Long Poem Prize for “Olaus Magnus, Carta Marina,” the first section of a book-length poem Carta Marina. She also won the 2004 Rita Dove Poetry Award from the Salem College Center for Women Writers. In 2004 she received the Poetry Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Poetry Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission. “Walking Wu Wei’s Scroll Le Grand Fleuve à perte de vue,” received Honorable Mention in the 2005 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Kenyon Review, The Connecticut Review, ISLE, Solo, Feminist Studies, Runes, and many other journals, as well as online and in numerous anthologies.
      Ann teaches poetry seminars and workshops, environmental literature, and yoga, at the University of Mississippi. She and her husband, Peter Wirth, have five grown children.

Ann writes: 'I grew up in Berkeley, California, during the 1960's--a place and era which formed my political understanding. For nearly twenty years, however, I have lived in Mississippi, which has a long history of poverty, racial injustice, and environmental damage--but which also, however, possesses great cultural richness and superb natural beauty. At the Poetry and Politics Conference, I will read some of the poems I've written about Mississippi, poems which attempt to articulate its violence and damage, and respond to its vividness and beauty. I'll also read a pair of three-page poems about war. Titled "Sphinx, Star-gazer, Mountain" and "Army Men," these poems weave my experiences teaching poetry and yoga with the experiences of one of my students, who was called up from inactive ROTC reserve and sent to Iraq, and with my own conflicted feelings about my father, an Army man, and my Army brat childhood.

I am an environmental activist and I am adamantly opposed to current American domestic and foreign policy. Some of my work might be described as ecopoetry, and some of overtly addresses political issues and themes. However, I see the relationship between poetry and politics as incredibly complex.'

Charles Fort, USA

Born in New Britain, Connecticut, poet CHARLES FORT holds the Paul W and Clarice Kingston Reynolds Chair in Poetry at the University of Nebraska — Kearney. He is a 1994 winner of the Open Voice Award, given yearly to writers who have never read at The Writer's Voice, a literary arts project housed in YMCA's throughout the country. He is also the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize, and The Mary Carolyn Davis Memorial Award. His books include Town Clock Burning (St Andrews P, 1985; reprinted in the Classic Contemporary Edition in the Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series, 1991) and Darvil (St Andrews P, 1993). His most recent books are We Did Not Fear the Father, As the Lilac Burned the Laurel Grew, Immortelles, all Reynolds Chair Books, U of Nebraska at Kearney P, 1999. His poetry has appeared in Best American Poetry 2000, Best of Prose Poem International, The American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, The Carnegie Mellon Anthology of Poetry, and other places, including eleven anthologies. He holds the MFA from Bowling Green State University, and was the founder and director of the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Fort's research projects include the completion of a book-length poem, and a documentary based, in part, on the poem and the author's hometown. His newest collection is from Loganhouse Press, Frankenstein Was a Negro (2002).

“I think writers have to be inventive, to take risks in their work in the literary sense, be aware of what language can do and its possibilities.” — Charles Fort

Cori L. Gabbard, USA

Cori L. Gabbard is a doctoral student in English literature at the CUNY Graduate Center where she is specializing in medieval and 20th century British literature. She earned an M.A. in creative writing at City College where she wrote her poetry thesis under the direction of Marilyn Hacker. Cori participates in an informal poetry workshop that meets every other week in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
      ‘As a group, the five poems I'll be reading in Stirling interrogate the concept of "the official account." They call attention to how language has upheld the status quo, especially in relation to gender and racial issues, by endorsing particular narratives. Three of my poems are subversive responses to either The Mabinogion or W.B. Yeats' "Leda and the Swan" that give voices to the "voiceless" women in the aforementioned works. "The Best American Poet of the 19th Century" is concerned with notions of achievement in a world of unequal opportunity, while "The Seventh Day" is about the misreading of religious texts and its connection to tyranny.
      Stylistically speaking, the latter two poems are in free verse while the others are, to greater and lesser degrees, syllabic.’

Robert Gibbons, USA

Robert Gibbons is Poetry & Fiction Editor of the interdisciplinary journal Janus Head, in which he has published the work of Tomas Transtromer, Pattiann Rogers, Robert Bly, & others. Author of three full-length books of prose poems, Gibbons is the recipient of a grant from the John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund in order to attend the University of Stirling Conference, & travel in the UK. Five prose poems are included in this year’s anthology by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire, The Other Side of Sorrow: Poets Speak Out about Conflict, War, and Peace. His writing appears in numerous journals, including The American Journal of Print, Evergreen Review, Frank (Paris), The Literary Review, & The Mississippi Review. The latest collection, Body of Time, is most recently reviewed by the Romanian scholar, Camelia Elias, in Cercles, published in France.

Gibbons writes: ‘In my writing I’ve abandoned the line and stanza for the sentence and edge. Rhythm is not lost, nor breath. The prose poem attacks that blank page Godard sees as equal to the likeness of man, slashing & marking, quickness of needles tattooing. The act of writing requires, according to Duras, the physicality of breaking down the Black Block of work already there. Kristeva finds its origins in the preverbal, internal vessel of the chora rung by desire or cathexion. Cixous says that, “Since you read with your body, your body paragraphs.” Thus sentence, however lengthened or fragmented, thus edge, of brick, or bed? Quickly made! Open to all possibilities within a method of funneling things through the intensity of, “This is eternity. This now.” = Olson’s essay, The Resistance. In the context of this conference, surely one writes against, just as Kristeva finds revolt the lone justification for any act of writing in a day and age lacking effective protest, except in the arts, or in writing. Not that long ago Williams wrote, “The war is the first and only thing in the world today.” War takes many forms. He finished his introduction to The Wedge, “Such war, as the arts live and breathe by, is continuous. It may be that my interests as expressed here are pre-art. If so I look for a development along these lines and will be satisfied with nothing else.”’