Review of John Olson’s “The Nothing That Is”

Steven Fama, the world’s #1 John Olson fan, is at it again with a brilliant new review of Olson’s latest. How bout this cherry-picked quote on poetics:

“You favored a type of poetry that was wild and surreal. A poetry full of phantasmagoria and fugitive meaning. The poetry of delirium. A poetry that did not point in one direction but in many directions. A poetry that capitalized on the inherently hallucinatory properties of language. It had been your experience that most people did not care for this type of poetry. People preferred a more transparent poetry which presented a single lyrical emotion in an anecdotal setting. The bland and acceptable poetry which was generally featured on NPR, read by Garrison Keillor, and got all the NEA grants.

About Splabman

Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson: Founded: SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival Wrote: American Sentences (2015), A Time Before Slaughter (2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme Editions, Brazil, 2013). His 2015 interview with José Kozer was published in 2016 (Ranchos Press) as Tiovivo Tres Amigos. Interviewed: Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, Diane di Prima, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Brenda Hillman, among others and is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, including the festival, a MOOC (Innovative Cascadia Poetry), interviews with Cascadia poets indigenous elders and activists, and the anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia. Paul is co-editor of that anthology as well as 56 Days of August the poetry postcard anthology and writes an American Sentence daily. *MOOC = Massive Open Online Course
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