Durbin is a Los Angeles-based artist and author of four books of poetry. Her art and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Art Forum, Art in America, The Believer, BOMB, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the international 2017 Turn on Literature Prize for Electronic Literature for her poetry app, Abra.
Poole was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She received a BA from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry from The New Writers Project at The University of Texas at Austin. She has received fellowship support from the James A. Michener Center, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, The Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency, and Yaddo. In 2017, she was a finalist for the Keene Prize for Literature. Her poems and essays have appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, CutBank, Denver Quarterly, Poet Lore, Cold Mountain Review, Porter House Review, HuffPost, and elsewhere. Her arts and culture writing has appeared in Publishers Weekly, the PloughsharesBlog, Sightlines, The Texas Observer, Texas Monthly, Scalawag, and Bon Appétit. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her growing collection of found butterflies.
Rachel Longis the author of the poetry collection My Darling from the Lions, available from Tin House. First published by Picador in the UK, it was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Costa Poetry Award, and was named a Best Poetry Book of 2020 by The Guardian.
Long is the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, which is housed at Southbank Centre in London. My Darling from the Lions is her debut collection. She was born in London, and resides there today.
Stein is the author of five books including the novel Self Careand the poetry collection Dispatch from the Future. She has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Allure, ELLE, The Cut, Salon, and Slate. She is a recipient of an Amy Award from Poets & Writers and The Cut named her poet laureate of The Bachelor.
Allen was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She is the recipient of the 2018 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction for her essay collection When You Learn the Alphabet, awarded by Kiese Laymon. She has been featured on C-SPAN, interviewed in The Rumpus and Poets & Writers, and her work has been taught by New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds alongside that of Jamaica Kincaid and Eve Ewing, among other distinctions. She lives in San Antonio.
Betts is a poet, essayist, and national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice. He writes and lectures about the impact of mass incarceration on American society. His previous books include the poetry collections Bastards of the Reagan Eraand Shahid Reads His Own Palm, and a memoir entitled A Question of Freedom. A graduate of Yale Law School, he lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
Leidner is also the author of two feature films: the sci-fi noir Empathy, Inc. (2019) and the relationship comedy Jammed (2014), as well as the story collection Under the Sea (Tyrant Books, 2018), the poetry collection Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow, 2011), and the book of aphorisms The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator, 2011). He lives in California.
Forrest Ganderis the author of the poetry collection Twice Alive, available now from New Directions. In 2019, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection Be With.
Gander’s other books include Core Samples from the World, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has collaborated frequently with other artists including photographers Sally Mann, Graciela Iturbide, Raymond Meeks, and Lucas Foglia, glass artist Michael Rogers, ceramic artists Rick Hirsch and Ashwini Bhat, artists Ann Hamilton, Tjibbe Hooghiemstra, dancers Eiko & Koma, and musicians Vic Chesnutt and Brady Earnhart, among others.
Gander was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up in Virginia. In addition to writing poetry, he has translated works by Coral Bracho, Alfonso D’Aquino, Pura Lopez-Colome, Pablo Neruda, and Jaime Saenz. The recipient of grants from the Library of Congress, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting, and United States Artists Foundations, he taught for many years as the AK Seaver Professor of Literary Arts & Comparative Literature at Brown University.
Mik Granthamis the author of the debut poetry collection Hardcore, available from Short Flight / Long Drive Books.
Grantham is the founder and co-editor of Disorder Press which she runs with her brother. Her work has appeared in New World Writing, Hobart, Maudlin House, The Nervous Breakdown, and Fanzine. She currently lives in New Orleans. Hardcore is her first book.
Now playing on Otherppl, a conversation with Michael Schumacher. He is the editor of The Fall of America Journals, 1965-1971, by the late Allen Ginsberg, available now from the University of Minnesota Press.
Schumacher is also the author of the acclaimed Ginsberg biography Dharma Lion (Minnesota, 2016). Along with Ginsberg’s Iron Curtain Journals and South American Journals and Conversations with Allen Ginsberg (all from Minnesota), he has edited Family Business, selected correspondence between Allen and Louis Ginsberg, and The Essential Ginsberg, a reader of Ginsberg’s best work. He lives in Wisconsin.
Because poets tend to live as outsiders, poetry communities can be a vital part of our lives and an essential part of American poetics. My questions relate to poetry communities I have known.
How did you get introduced to the world of poetry?
When I was young, a friend introduced me to the poets that gathered around St. Mark’s Church in New York City during the 60’s and 70’s – Anne Waldman, Ted Berrigan, Ed Sanders, etc. Nothing in my sheltered life prepared me for the life of the poets on the Lower East Side. America loves its outlaws and the poets of the Lower East Side were poetry outlaws. They did not have regular jobs. They chose not to be plugged into the mainstream American life. They were not university professors or even teachers. They lived in 4th or 5th floor walkup apartments with bathtubs in the kitchen. They had almost no furniture, slept on mattresses on the floor. They lived outside of any American life that I knew anything about. When I read poems and books with such titles as “Bean Spasms”, “Things to do in Providence,” or “Great Balls of Fire.” I thought What is this and who would name a magazine “Fuck You, A Magazine of the Arts”? What are they doing?
This morning the birds
ate most of the black sunflower seeds.
I fill up the feeder,
watch squirrels on the grass
look at asparagus fern in the garden
and read old poems.
I move from room to room,
think about my mother, my sister.
I sit quietly for a long time
then mail letters and observe the hummingbird.
Weatherhead is a writer and artist from Chicago, Illinois. His other books include the poetry collections TODD and Cats and Dogs — and a chapbook, The Kids I Teach, with Mallory Whitten. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…
—I Corinthians 12:13
I’ll try to explain.
First you immerse.
Okay, go ahead.
There’s water all around.
You’re suddenly submerged
Next, let go. Start slow.
Simply stretch straight out, face down.
Flippers if you have them help.
Occasional gentle foot movements
And you shoot forward.
You can peer up, lift your mask and see
The green rim of distant coast.
(But we’re not doing that now.)