Posts tagged Fjords vol 1

Two of my poems from Fjords vol 1, “Hands” and “The Killing Trees”, have been turned into songs by Kelly Schirmann and posted here. 
kellyschirmann:

I have a couple new recordings up at Austin Hayden’s 90’s Meg Ryan project. They are translations of sorts from two of Zachary Schomburg’s poems, Hands and The Killing Trees. There’s also a bunch of other stuff from rad geniuses like Sampson Starkweather, Leora Fridman, Donald Dunbar, Morgan Parker, Dillon J. Welch, & lots of others. I recommend listening to them while brainstorming ways to decolonize our society of its own institutionalized shittiness.

Two of my poems from Fjords vol 1, “Hands” and “The Killing Trees”, have been turned into songs by Kelly Schirmann and posted here

kellyschirmann:

I have a couple new recordings up at Austin Hayden’s 90’s Meg Ryan project. They are translations of sorts from two of Zachary Schomburg’s poems, Hands and The Killing Trees. There’s also a bunch of other stuff from rad geniuses like Sampson Starkweather, Leora Fridman, Donald Dunbar, Morgan Parker, Dillon J. Welch, & lots of others. I recommend listening to them while brainstorming ways to decolonize our society of its own institutionalized shittiness.

THE BOOK OF JOSHUA IS NOW AVAILABLE
*You may use coupon code “BLOOD” for $5 off if you order it in the month of June. 
I am very proud to officially announce that my fourth book of poems, The Book of Joshua, will be officially published by Black Ocean on July 15, and is now available for pre-order from Black Ocean. TBOJ, written around the same time as Fjords vol.1, is a singular narrative bildungsroman told in a series of prose poems that span an entirety of a life (1977-2044) told from the perspective of the unnamed main character. 
The narrative is divided into three sections: Earth, Mars, and Blood. The long poem, Blood, was recorded with Kyle Morton, of Typhoon, and can be listened to here at Black Cake Records. 
The Book of Joshua is my fourth book to be published by Black Ocean, an independent press of which I could not be more proud. This is a cloth-bound hard-cover edition, pearl foil stamp, with a light blue dyed trim. The cover, as with the first three books, The Man Suit, Scary No Scary, and Fjords vol. 1, is designed by Denny Schmickle. 
This summer I will be on a reading tour to support TBOJ with Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Mathias Svalina, and a number of other poets at various points along the way. Below is a list of the places and dates. There are more details in the Upcoming Readings section of this site, and I’ll be updating these details there as I go. 
7/2. Portland, OR.
7/6. Seattle, WA. 
7/8. Missoula, MT. 
7/10. Salt Lake City, UT. 
7/11. Denver, CO. 
7/12. Lincoln, NE. 
7/13. Council Bluffs, IA.
7/14. Iowa City, IA.
7/17. Davenport, IA. 
7/19. Chicago, IL
7/20. Chicago, IL 
7/21. Pittsburgh, PA. 
7/23. Northampton, MA. 
7/24 Boston, MA. 
7/26. Newport, RI. 
7/27. Governor’s Island, NY. 
7/28. Brooklyn, NY. 
7/29. Philadelphia, PA. 
7/30. Washington DC. 
7/31. Richmond, VA. 
8/1. Raleigh, NC. 
8/2. Columbia, SC. 
8/3. Tallahasse, FL. 
8/4. New Orleans, LA. 
8/5. Baton Rouge, LA. 
8/6. Austin, TX. 
8/7. Marfa, TX. 
8/9. Las Cruces, NM.
8/11. Tucson, AZ. 
8/13. Tucson, AZ
8/14. Los Angeles, CA
8/15. San Francisco, CA

THE BOOK OF JOSHUA IS NOW AVAILABLE

*You may use coupon code “BLOOD” for $5 off if you order it in the month of June. 

I am very proud to officially announce that my fourth book of poems, The Book of Joshua, will be officially published by Black Ocean on July 15, and is now available for pre-order from Black Ocean. TBOJ, written around the same time as Fjords vol.1, is a singular narrative bildungsroman told in a series of prose poems that span an entirety of a life (1977-2044) told from the perspective of the unnamed main character. 

The narrative is divided into three sections: Earth, Mars, and Blood. The long poem, Blood, was recorded with Kyle Morton, of Typhoon, and can be listened to here at Black Cake Records

The Book of Joshua is my fourth book to be published by Black Ocean, an independent press of which I could not be more proud. This is a cloth-bound hard-cover edition, pearl foil stamp, with a light blue dyed trim. The cover, as with the first three books, The Man Suit, Scary No Scary, and Fjords vol. 1, is designed by Denny Schmickle

This summer I will be on a reading tour to support TBOJ with Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Mathias Svalina, and a number of other poets at various points along the way. Below is a list of the places and dates. There are more details in the Upcoming Readings section of this site, and I’ll be updating these details there as I go. 

7/2. Portland, OR.

7/6. Seattle, WA. 

7/8. Missoula, MT. 

7/10. Salt Lake City, UT. 

7/11. Denver, CO. 

7/12. Lincoln, NE. 

7/13. Council Bluffs, IA.

7/14. Iowa City, IA.

7/17. Davenport, IA. 

7/19. Chicago, IL

7/20. Chicago, IL 

7/21. Pittsburgh, PA. 

7/23. Northampton, MA. 

7/24 Boston, MA. 

7/26. Newport, RI. 

7/27. Governor’s Island, NY. 

7/28. Brooklyn, NY. 

7/29. Philadelphia, PA. 

7/30. Washington DC. 

7/31. Richmond, VA. 

8/1. Raleigh, NC. 

8/2. Columbia, SC. 

8/3. Tallahasse, FL. 

8/4. New Orleans, LA. 

8/5. Baton Rouge, LA. 

8/6. Austin, TX. 

8/7. Marfa, TX. 

8/9. Las Cruces, NM.

8/11. Tucson, AZ. 

8/13. Tucson, AZ

8/14. Los Angeles, CA

8/15. San Francisco, CA

A few years ago, one of my proudest professional moments, I was part of a series of many performances, starting with a week-long stint at the Poetry Foundation, and then an east coast tour, of my poems from Fjords by a Chicago-based shadow puppet company called Manual Cinema, a composer, Kyle Vegter, and a string quartet, Chicago Q Ensemble. If you missed those performances, you can watch a 15 minute excerpt of it here (the entire performance was over an hour), and get a pretty good idea of how things went down. 

I want to tell you a few things about Kelly Schirmann. First off, the new music issue of Evening Will Come on The Volta is out, and she is included in it. She sings and plays guitar on “Casting Out the King of Boys,” a poem of mine from Fjords vol. 1

Also, her band, Young Family, just released its second album, King Cobra, which is available as a cassette from Spork Press

And her audio poetry chapbook record label, Black Cake, is going strong, with new releases by Emily Kendal Frey, and new releases forthcoming very soon from Danniel Schoonebeek and Lisa Ciccarello

One morning, Andy Fitch and I talked on the computer-phone. I was in Taiwan. He asked me questions about Fjords vol.1, among other things, and we just talked and talked. He did the same thing with 59 other people who published books in 2012, and transcribed all those morning talks into a book called 60 Morning Talks. Ugly Duckling Presse published it. It’s only $20. That’s only a little more than 33 cents per talk. 

One morning, Andy Fitch and I talked on the computer-phone. I was in Taiwan. He asked me questions about Fjords vol.1, among other things, and we just talked and talked. He did the same thing with 59 other people who published books in 2012, and transcribed all those morning talks into a book called 60 Morning Talks. Ugly Duckling Presse published it. It’s only $20. That’s only a little more than 33 cents per talk. 

In the summer of 2009, after getting an email about running over a squirrel from Brandon Shimoda, and then after getting an email from Mathias Svalina about a mermaid, I decided to re-work their stories into little dream poems. This is how Fjords started. Since then, the first volume has won the Oregon Book Award and is now in its second printing. It has a gold foil stamp on the cover instead of silver, but all the poems are still the same, including that squirrel one, and that mermaid one (which became the Black Angel of Death).

In the summer of 2009, after getting an email about running over a squirrel from Brandon Shimoda, and then after getting an email from Mathias Svalina about a mermaid, I decided to re-work their stories into little dream poems. This is how Fjords started. Since then, the first volume has won the Oregon Book Award and is now in its second printing. It has a gold foil stamp on the cover instead of silver, but all the poems are still the same, including that squirrel one, and that mermaid one (which became the Black Angel of Death).

My friend, Steve Leathers, recorded a song using some instruments, his voice, and the words of a poem of mine called “Leaving the House” from Fjords vol 1. Listen to it here. Then listen to me read it here with the Chicago Q Ensemble at The Hideout in Chicago. Can you tell these versions apart? 

My friend, Steve Leathers, recorded a song using some instruments, his voice, and the words of a poem of mine called “Leaving the House” from Fjords vol 1. Listen to it here. Then listen to me read it here with the Chicago Q Ensemble at The Hideout in Chicago. Can you tell these versions apart? 

A composer and singer living in Zurich, Julia Schwartz, has set some of my poems from Fjords vol 1 to music. This one in particular is for a poem called “Don’t Step on the Frog.” She hasn’t recorded any yet though. 

Are there any musicians out there who would want to give this a shot? Who is up for the challenge? 

This track, HANDS, is part of a collaborative project I’m starting with poet/musician, Kelly Schirmann, in which she adapts some of my poems from Fjords, vol 1 into songs.

For years, I’ve been meaning to put some of Denny Schmickle's art on my arm, since it is already on all three covers of my poetry books and almost all issues of Octopus Magazine. About two years ago, Denny made a glow in the dark poster for a poem of mine called Terrible Deer. This is its deer, his deer, my deer, and it is terrible. 

For years, I’ve been meaning to put some of Denny Schmickle's art on my arm, since it is already on all three covers of my poetry books and almost all issues of Octopus Magazine. About two years ago, Denny made a glow in the dark poster for a poem of mine called Terrible Deer. This is its deer, his deer, my deer, and it is terrible. 

Yesterday, while Skyping with Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s poetry class at the University of Arizona, I was asked to read poems to a classroom of over 50 students, but the computer on their end had no camera and no speaker. I was sitting at a table in the center of PSU’s Urban Plaza, reading poems loudly into my computer without being able to see or hear anything on the other end, without knowing if anything was working, without being able to interact with anyone, without seeing anyone’s expressions or hearing anyone’s laughs. I was just reading poems into the air of the public plaza, and I had to trust that they were going somewhere. Reading poems like that was everything like what writing poems feels like.
At one point, a deaf man approached me and handed me a card that invited me to give him a few bucks. I was in the middle of reading a poem about being on an airplane shouting I love you I love you without anyone being able to hear me when this deaf man interrupted me. He didn’t know I was reading poems to a room of 50 people in Arizona—he didn’t know they were watching us. Neither one of us could hear or see anything in Arizona as everyone in Arizona could hear and see us just fine. I told him I was busy, but he couldn’t hear me. I felt dumb for doing that. He couldn’t hear me, and I couldn’t hear anyone in Arizona. He pointed to the card but all I could do was say I was sorry and make a weird I’m sorry gesture that eveyone in Arizona could see, and I handed his card back to him. Then I continued to read the poem about no one being able to hear me while I could hear no one in Arizona and while the man who couldn’t hear me was walking away. There was a dead mouse a few feet away that whole time too, its skull crushed flat on the bricks. I stepped on its already dead body before any of this. I can still feel its body in my arches.

Yesterday, while Skyping with Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s poetry class at the University of Arizona, I was asked to read poems to a classroom of over 50 students, but the computer on their end had no camera and no speaker. I was sitting at a table in the center of PSU’s Urban Plaza, reading poems loudly into my computer without being able to see or hear anything on the other end, without knowing if anything was working, without being able to interact with anyone, without seeing anyone’s expressions or hearing anyone’s laughs. I was just reading poems into the air of the public plaza, and I had to trust that they were going somewhere. Reading poems like that was everything like what writing poems feels like.

At one point, a deaf man approached me and handed me a card that invited me to give him a few bucks. I was in the middle of reading a poem about being on an airplane shouting I love you I love you without anyone being able to hear me when this deaf man interrupted me. He didn’t know I was reading poems to a room of 50 people in Arizona—he didn’t know they were watching us. Neither one of us could hear or see anything in Arizona as everyone in Arizona could hear and see us just fine. I told him I was busy, but he couldn’t hear me. I felt dumb for doing that. He couldn’t hear me, and I couldn’t hear anyone in Arizona. He pointed to the card but all I could do was say I was sorry and make a weird I’m sorry gesture that eveyone in Arizona could see, and I handed his card back to him. Then I continued to read the poem about no one being able to hear me while I could hear no one in Arizona and while the man who couldn’t hear me was walking away. There was a dead mouse a few feet away that whole time too, its skull crushed flat on the bricks. I stepped on its already dead body before any of this. I can still feel its body in my arches.

A poem of mine from Fjords vol 1 called “The One About the Robbers” was reprinted in this month’s issue of POETRY in a section called “Poetry Not Written for Children that Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy” edited by Lemony Snicket. But please don’t let your children enjoy it.

A poem of mine from Fjords vol 1 called “The One About the Robbers” was reprinted in this month’s issue of POETRY in a section called “Poetry Not Written for Children that Children Might Nevertheless Enjoy” edited by Lemony Snicket. But please don’t let your children enjoy it.

I am proud publisher of four of the poetry books on Small Press Distribution’s Top 100 Poetry Books of the 2010s: #4. The Trees The Trees by Heather Christle, #17. Balloon Pop Outlaw Black by Patricia Lockwood, #42. Dear Jenny, We Are All Find by Jenny Zhang, and #47. Hider Roser by Ben Mirov.
And I am the proud writer of two of them: #11. Fjords vol 1 and #13. Scary, No Scary.

I am proud publisher of four of the poetry books on Small Press Distribution’s Top 100 Poetry Books of the 2010s: #4. The Trees The Trees by Heather Christle, #17. Balloon Pop Outlaw Black by Patricia Lockwood, #42. Dear Jenny, We Are All Find by Jenny Zhang, and #47. Hider Roser by Ben Mirov.

And I am the proud writer of two of them: #11. Fjords vol 1 and #13. Scary, No Scary.

The readers of The Believer seem to think that my book of poems called Fjords vol. 1 was, collectively speaking, their 11th favorite book of poems from 2012. I’ll take it.

The readers of The Believer seem to think that my book of poems called Fjords vol. 1 was, collectively speaking, their 11th favorite book of poems from 2012. I’ll take it.

Last night, at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony, I got to go up on stage because Joanna Klink, who announced the winners of the Poetry category, said my name and the name of the book of poems I wrote called Fjords vol. 1. I won the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Poetry! The judge was Mary Jo Bang. 
Here’s a quick summary of what I remember saying once I got up there: Wow, this is so exciting. I have this fantasy of stepping over a chair when I win an award. So that is what I did. But my legs feel empty now so that wasn’t graceful. And (to the guy in the front row), I’m sorry about stepping on your nice hat. I’m glad these clothes didn’t turn out to be a bad omen (pointing to my jacket and tie and sweater). I wore them two years ago for when Scary, No Scary was nominated but didn’t win. When I put the jacket on today I noticed that my old name tag that says Finalist on it was still in there so I pinned it on (pointing now to both name tags on my jacket). (At this point I realize how I’m just rambling and hamming it up and haven’t said a single thing yet)(I forgot to say the joke I was going to say about thanking the person whose living room we were in (we were on a stage designed to look a little like a living room) and how I’m worried if those people would come home too early and find us in their living room and get mad)(Also I was going to take a picture from up on stage of everyone in the crowd and then look at it and say oh that guy in the 18th row has his eyes closed so let me try again because that is a good joke, but I forgot that too). I won on the second try so I’m doing better than Larry Colton (Larry Colton accepted the Lifetime Legacy award earlier and said he never won an Oregon Book Award)(I saw him laugh so that was a relief). Anyway, that poem (Joanna read a poem to the audience from Fjords called “Building of Unseen Cats”) was a true story. My building on 37th and Belmont almost burned down a while back. These poems were written entirely in Oregon, after I moved here in 2008, the first book of mine in which I can claim that, so I’m so proud that it won this particular award. Many of the poems are transcribed from the dreams of many of my friends in Portland, so I’d like to thank them, especially Emily Kendal Frey, who helped usher those dreams and these particular poems into existence. Also, all the poetry books on this year’s finalist list were published by independent presses, and most of them small presses. I’m so happy to be a part of that list, to represent small press, and to be part of the acknowledgement that small press is alive and well. And thank you to Mary Jo Bang and Oregon Literary Arts.
That’s pretty much what I said. I said it all inside a bright light. And then I walked back into a room where I imagined the dead go, and that I had just died, and everybody was congratulating me on such a good death.

Last night, at the Oregon Book Awards ceremony, I got to go up on stage because Joanna Klink, who announced the winners of the Poetry category, said my name and the name of the book of poems I wrote called Fjords vol. 1. I won the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Poetry! The judge was Mary Jo Bang.

Here’s a quick summary of what I remember saying once I got up there: Wow, this is so exciting. I have this fantasy of stepping over a chair when I win an award. So that is what I did. But my legs feel empty now so that wasn’t graceful. And (to the guy in the front row), I’m sorry about stepping on your nice hat. I’m glad these clothes didn’t turn out to be a bad omen (pointing to my jacket and tie and sweater). I wore them two years ago for when Scary, No Scary was nominated but didn’t win. When I put the jacket on today I noticed that my old name tag that says Finalist on it was still in there so I pinned it on (pointing now to both name tags on my jacket). (At this point I realize how I’m just rambling and hamming it up and haven’t said a single thing yet)(I forgot to say the joke I was going to say about thanking the person whose living room we were in (we were on a stage designed to look a little like a living room) and how I’m worried if those people would come home too early and find us in their living room and get mad)(Also I was going to take a picture from up on stage of everyone in the crowd and then look at it and say oh that guy in the 18th row has his eyes closed so let me try again because that is a good joke, but I forgot that too). I won on the second try so I’m doing better than Larry Colton (Larry Colton accepted the Lifetime Legacy award earlier and said he never won an Oregon Book Award)(I saw him laugh so that was a relief). Anyway, that poem (Joanna read a poem to the audience from Fjords called “Building of Unseen Cats”) was a true story. My building on 37th and Belmont almost burned down a while back. These poems were written entirely in Oregon, after I moved here in 2008, the first book of mine in which I can claim that, so I’m so proud that it won this particular award. Many of the poems are transcribed from the dreams of many of my friends in Portland, so I’d like to thank them, especially Emily Kendal Frey, who helped usher those dreams and these particular poems into existence. Also, all the poetry books on this year’s finalist list were published by independent presses, and most of them small presses. I’m so happy to be a part of that list, to represent small press, and to be part of the acknowledgement that small press is alive and well. And thank you to Mary Jo Bang and Oregon Literary Arts.


That’s pretty much what I said. I said it all inside a bright light. And then I walked back into a room where I imagined the dead go, and that I had just died, and everybody was congratulating me on such a good death.