Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Obododimma Oha and Anny Ballardini are pleased to announce the new Anthology on the Poets' Corner:

While the He/art Pants: Poetic Responses to the 2008 American Elections. We wish to thank all the contributors who have made it possible, and invite you to read and spread the good news.

Here's an excerpt from Co-Editor Obododimma Oha's Editorial (click on excerpt for whole thing):
the 2008 presidential election was unique because it was the first time in the history of the United States that a person of Black/African descent was contesting for the leadership of the country (which, given the global position of the US, amounted to being the major leader in the world). As the election campaigns advanced and filled, not just the country, but the whole world with a strange sense of urgency, a significant dose of creative responses also came from artists both within the US and the outside. It was as if the US elections called for a different form of imagination, a startling form of expression, a new critical energy, which the global literary community must provide to prepare our minds to watch the whole performance. It was obvious that poets (taken in a broad sense) were ready to challenge Plato’s view that poetry which does not work in tandem with the ideals of his imagined republic, be censored and poets with narratives that critique the gods be banished. No, they seemed to have a different idea of “the republic,” and, also contrary to W.H. Auden’s assertion in his poem “In Memory of W.B. Yeats” that “…poetry makes nothing happen,” were anxious to show that, as far as that republic is not just a place but also an idea, in fact, a condition of mind, they could engage discourse in ways that invite the population back to the free marketplace of ideas. Grace Cavalieri, writing in an impressive epistolary style in this anthology, puts it wittily in her advice to the world out there: “You may be selling the bottles, but the poets own the water.”

And here's an excerpt from Co-Editor Anny Ballardini's Editorial (click on excerpt for whole thing):
It was out of his own political thought that Dante created one of History’s most impressive poetic masterpieces. Ezra Pound paid with Saint Elizabeth's for his political statements. Poetry on social, economic, and political matters. Anti-war poetry. Poetry for freedom and for justice. The Internet itself as a place where poetry can be shared, a Utopian oasis. And now poetry for the elections. For some of us all human activity is political. For others politics remains just one specific choice and quite unconnected with poetry, even if (as seems likely) politics is the very substrate of any art, inasmuch as any human behavior forms itself out of the substance of our language. I would like to mention Foucault's writings and the writings of Deleuze & Guattari. Though Nietzsche had already revealed the angle from which our own contemporary criticism should observe whenever we ask ourselves who are we? and of what substance are we made?

And the anthology's Contents/Participants:

· While the He/art Pants: (Poetic Responses to the 2008 American Elections)
· Editorial: Obododimma Oha
· Editorial: Anny Ballardini
· Edward Mycue · Jared Schickling · Bill Morgan · John M. Bennett · Conrad Reeder · Tom McBride · Gerald Schwartz · Farideh Hassanzadeh-Mostafavi · Russ Golata · Evelyn Posamentier · Gina Sangster Hayman · Matt Johnson · Susan Bright · Daniel Zimmerman · Fan Ogilvie · Henry Gould · Carol Novack · Joseph Duemer · Peter Ciccariello · Spencer Selby · Eugen Galasso · Grace Cavalieri · Amy King · Halvard Johnson · Raymond Bianchi · Lars Palm · George Spencer · Bob Grumman · Wendy Taylor Carlisle · Br. Tom Murphy · Annetta L. Gomez-Jefferson · Uzor Maxim Uzoatu · Jukka-Pekka Kervinen · David Howard · Obiwu · Afam Akeh · Jim Leftwich · Charles Martin · Luc Fierens · Eileen Tabios · Donna Pecore · Francesco Levato · Tony Trigilio · Terri Moore · Barbara Crooker · Vincent Francone · David-Baptiste Chirot · Julene Tripp Weaver · Daniela Gioseffi · Obododimma Oha · Judith Laura

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