Greatest Hits: Twelve years of poetry and ideas from compost magazine

Overview

Twelve years ago, a guy named Bush was president, the country was in the midst of turmoil in the Middle East, and, although the president enjoyed unprecedented support, seeds of opposition were beginning to spread. Some things are slow to change. Meanwhile, Boston was experiencing a harsh recession and Jamaica Plain (one of Boston’s southern neighborhoods) became a low-rent mecca for aspiring artists, musicians, and writers.

A blend of inspiration, naiveté, technology, and ...

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Overview

Twelve years ago, a guy named Bush was president, the country was in the midst of turmoil in the Middle East, and, although the president enjoyed unprecedented support, seeds of opposition were beginning to spread. Some things are slow to change. Meanwhile, Boston was experiencing a harsh recession and Jamaica Plain (one of Boston’s southern neighborhoods) became a low-rent mecca for aspiring artists, musicians, and writers.

A blend of inspiration, naiveté, technology, and vision led a handful of these artists to found compost magazine. Their mission was to facilitate a better understanding of the world’s people through art and literature by re-internationalizing poetry in the United States, by showcasing emerging and established artists in the Boston area and across the continent.

Early issues featured translations from Russian, Bengali, and Bulgarian; sketches and artwork by inter-national and Boston-area artists; and poetry and interviews with Robert Pinsky, KRS-ONE, and Rosanna Warren. Each issue contained a feature on the poetry of a culture other than mass culture USA, a section called "Hear America Singing" that featured established and emerging writers from the U.S., and a section that presented Boston-area artists and writers.

Much of the inspiration for compost’s international slant came from the publisher James Laughlin and the translator Kenneth Rexroth. Laughlin was one of compost’s earliest enthusiasts, as well as their most frequent contributor; and the magazine created a Memorial Translation Prize to honor Kenneth Rexroth.

Greatest Hits contains a range of work from compost’s twelve-year run, an overview of the magazine’s conception and history from two of its editors, and a preface by Rosanna Warren.

Kevin Gallagher and Margaret Bezucha are two of the founding editors of compost magazine.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780939010776
  • Publisher: Zephyr Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Compost mortem
Vietnam
The sky in a bomb crater 3
Truong son east, Truong son west 4
[3 poems] 5
Question and answer 10
Haiti
The valleys' signposts - Haitian art and literature 12
The long walk home 13
My broad back 30
The bull at Nan Souvenance 31
If the pope knew 35
To and from 36
Reversibility 38
Hoping for Lavalas 39
China
[3 poems] 42
Fragments of shadow 44
City in hibernation 47
[2 poems] 48
[2 poems] 50
Ireland
A nomad 52
[2 poems] 53
Astronauts 55
Broken arrow 56
Goddess 57
To "the last good poem." 58
[2 poems] 67
Old spice 69
Zimbabwe
New writing from Zimbabwe 72
[2 poems] 79
This soil 80
The identity crisis 81
Betrayal 82
Armenia
From foremost to endangered 88
A handful of ash 93
After a war 95
Ars poetica 96
Autobiography 97
Dusk 98
Few 99
Earth 101
India
Women poets from Calcutta 104
Bengali women writers 109
Truth is God 114
[3 poems] 125
Escalator 128
Long-lived and blessed with sons 129
King 132
Reflections 133
Reflections 134
The swam 144
The tulips dream 145
[5 poems] 146
Untitled 155
[2 poems] 156
Catechizing the dandelion 157
Uncles 158
Uncles 160
[2 poems] 168
[3 poems] 170
The good life 174
At the fruit stand 175
As timber in a shallow rain 176
Dreams of hands and metamorphoses 177
[6 poems] 178
The couple 181
Dear Marni 182
Eddie and Juliet 184
Immigrant home movie, 1963 185
Ed. Bullins alive! 186
Snickers 201
Marija Says 209
[3 poems] 210
Whisky worms 214
Puer 216
Red River crossing 217
After wartime 218
A murder, after Goya 219
"Whatever the flesh suffers ..." 220
The business ethics of poets 220
How should one live? 222
Psalm for my pilon 243
Psalm for my pilon 244
From The lower east side 256
[2 poems] 258
[2 poems] 259
[2 poems] 263
Fishers of the morning 264
The poetry of things 266
Oaf 274
Unfurl the snare 275
Abecedarian 277
Leavers 279
On James Laughlin 281
[6 poems] 282
[9 poems] 289
There's nothing worse 295
Making Bola 296
An emergent light 297
Arabesques 298
For Gloria, Mario, Mayra, and Juanin 299
From 1001 ... 301
If God was Chicano 306
Rogelia Cruz 307
The anthropomorphic cabinet 308
The code 309
Abraham Lincoln 310
Abraham Lincoln 318
[2 poems] 324
From Hearsay sonnets 325
Cold fried fish and brown rice 326
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