Monday, May 31, 2010

Leslie Scalapino, 1944 - 2010

Compendium of Scalapino's works,
by KPH.
Leslie Scalapino passed away on May 28, 2010 in Berkeley, California. She was born in Santa Barbara in 1944 and raised in Berkeley, California.

An experimental writer associated with the West Coast Language poets, Leslie Scalapino attended Reed College and received an MA in English from the University of California at Berkeley. Scalapino’s writing often blurs the distinctions between poetry, prose, and even the visual arts—her book Crowd and not evening or light (1992) includes photographs with handwritten notes. Her collections include Considering how exaggerated music is (1982), that they were at the beach-aeolotropic series (1985), and the trilogy The Return of Painting, The Pearl, and Orion (1991). (From
PennSound currently has a moving in memorium message on their front page, with links to other resource pages on her, including their own author page. There is also a tribute page up on

KSW has a sound recording from a reading she did in 1995, introduced by Colin Smith. She read from from New Time (Wesleyan 1999), and from her novel Defoe (Green Integer 2002).


Nikki Reimer is the author of [sic].


Lemon Hound said...

Thanks Nikki. Very sad.

m said...

Thanks for posting about her. I'm ashamed to say that I'm not familiar with her work at all, so I followed the link the KSW archive and unfortunately the first set cuts out during her first poem and the second set isn't available. I don't know if it's my lousy connection or if something is wrong on the KSW side, but hearing just the first bit of her first poem, I *really* want to hear more.

I'm going to track down some of her books. Any suggestion which would be a good one to start with?

rodney k said...

Hi m,

FWIW, I just tracked down "It's go in the horizontal: Selected Poems, 1974-2006" at the public library.

"Zither & Autobiography" is also a good point of entry. It mixes clear autobiographical detail with the totally unique way she handles subjectivity (reader's and writer's) in her poetry.

m said...

Thanks, Rodney! Will look for both.

drakealley said...

The Poetry Foundation also has a few poems by her in their online archive of poems. Another good place to start.

Lemon Hound said...

Nice blog, make me miss Vancouver even more than I usually do.

drakealley said...

Thanks, Sina. By the way, I just read Expressway last week -- a really good book for oil spill melancholia. I like that it's not just a critique, but also a vision and challenge. Here's to doing as undoing, doing as soothing. Maia