The KGB Bar Book of Poems

Overview

Started in 1997 by poets David Lehman and Star Black, the KGB Bar poetry series is widely recognized as the hottest and perhaps the best reading series in New York. Located in the hip East Village KGB Bar, these Monday-night readings boast a fantastic variety and quality of internationally known poets from Charles Simic, Molly Peacock, and Katha Pollit to Marie Howe, Mark Strand, and Yusef Komunyakaa.

Now Lehman and Black have gathered work from the first three seasons into a ...

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Overview

Started in 1997 by poets David Lehman and Star Black, the KGB Bar poetry series is widely recognized as the hottest and perhaps the best reading series in New York. Located in the hip East Village KGB Bar, these Monday-night readings boast a fantastic variety and quality of internationally known poets from Charles Simic, Molly Peacock, and Katha Pollit to Marie Howe, Mark Strand, and Yusef Komunyakaa.

Now Lehman and Black have gathered work from the first three seasons into a wonderful anthology. Together with a generous supply of photographs and anecdotes from contributors on the most memorable thing ever to happen to them at a poetry reading, this unique book of poems reflects the amazing variety and energy of poetry today.

The poems range in style from Douglas. Crase's "Astropastoral" ("I have seen you on every horizon, how you are stored/And encouraged and brought to the brim/Until the round bounds of one planet could not hold you in") to Anne Porter's "Five Wishes." Offering a wide window into contemporary poetry, The KGB Bar Book of Poems debunks the myth of poetry's ivory tower to reveal the kind of raw, candid reading experience that truly brings poetry to life.

"The pre-Russian revolutionary locale gives the gathering a committed, not to say conspiratorial air, and it somehow manages to foster a true sense of camaraderie, experimentation, and open exchange between readers and audience. I've seldom enjoyed an evening of poetry and friendship more."--Jonathan Galassi (President of The Academy of American Poets), the KGB Bar poetry series

Every Monday night, the KGB Bar's poetry readings are packed to overflowing. Pulitzer Prize winners bumcigarettes from grad students and martini glasses are refilled between readings, while the best poets in the country share their latest work with a rapt audience.

The KGB Bar is the sexiest and arguably the best venue for poetry in New York City, and now The KGB Bar Book of Poems brings this hot literary series to the page. Icons like John Ashbery and Charles Wright appear here with other favorites such as Molly Peacock and Katha Pollitt. Many of the poets have also written anecdotes about their own most memorable poetry readings.

With dynamic black-and-white photographs throughout, The KGB Bar Book of Poems reflects the dazzling variety and tremendous energy of poetry today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688171094
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/22/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

David Lehman is the author of The Daily Mirror and the editor of The Best American Poetry series.

Star Black is the author of four collections of poems, and is a professional photographer.

They both live in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

POETS ON POETS by Nin Andrews

 

-I'm pretending not to see him so I can eat my lunch.

-But who reads that shit? About as true to life as a velvet grape.

-I think he judges poetry with his dick. And poets, too.

-What's the scoop on her? Is that her husband, or is he just hanging out in her hotel room for the duration?

-Personally I prefer not to think about his dick.

-His latest work, especially the poems about his dead father, begins to sound human.

-Think of it as a conductor's baton.

-Granted, she w iris all the prizes, but talk about grandiose.

-The latest inductee into the goddess cult. Like back in the sixties, when sex and war were the metaphors for consciousness-raising

-I bet they're really confessional, and she's a total pervert too.

-He knows how to network, who to climb, and when. Timing is everything.

-Insomnia, maybe chronic fatigue syndrome. I think it's just frayed nerves.

-I always admired your work but can't figure why it's been so marginalized.

-You want my phone number-,

-The illusion of the narrative appears in your work, but there's really a thread of the unspoken narrative, right?

-Are you married? Do you have children?

-Never even answered my inquiries, the pompous bastard.

-That's really sweet. Thank you.

-I think I have a blind spot when it comes to his work.

-Must be great to get away.

-I don't know why they don't just fire the asshole

-Reminds me of a gilt frame with no picture inside.

- She's eloquent enough, a nice cocktail poet.

-Did you see what he was wearing?

-She says it's none of my business what she writes.

-Poetry is a private affair. A kind of masturbation. An endless self-portrait.

-So what if he is another excellent specimen of the dead father poets.

-Where are the dead mother poets?

-I like the way you think.

-Yet another vapid, beautiful wind-blown babe-poet for the cover of AWP.

-Let's go out for a beer somewhere.

-I sure wouldn't want to live in his skin.

-A local dive would be nice.

-The way I see it, you're better off not getting famous too soon.

-I never even send out my work.

 

 

 

 

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