How people read & how they publish is a wholly new Borgesian beast in the 21st century, and I think this is cause to celebrate.Speaking of water, and breaching, and resisting the neo-liberal status quo, King is also editing, with Heidi Lynn Staples, the Poets for Living Waters project, an online poetic and political response to the BP oil spill.
A few from the old guard characterize this growing multiplicity as "chaotic" and the "watering down" of poesy, as though mediocre poems never fell from industry presses, as though we might breach a mythological stalwart horizon and create too much. Really though, they fear losing the power to dictate the canonical and omit the peripheral, a fear that opposes asking exactly how we determine value and engage with texts, now that literature is opening to more democratic vistas reflective of our ever-changing population. That power speaks mountains about sustaining status-quo-think and keeping specific people "in their places."
The call for submission is as follows:
Poets for Living Waters is a poetry action in response to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico begun on April 20, 2010, one of the most profound human-made ecological catastrophes in history.
The first law of ecology states that everything is connected to everything else. An appreciation of this systemic connectivity suggests a wide range of poetry will offer a meaningful response to the current crisis, including work that harkens back to Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing regional effects.
Please submit 1-3 poems, a short bio, and credits for any previously published submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This reminds me of Rita Wong's Downstream: A Poetics of Water project, a research-creation-interrelationship project undertaken well in advance of our current crisis. Wong also has a wonderful resource page, for "people who want to think through water issues." Right now, that should be most of us.
Nikki Reimer has been bankrolled by Big Oil since 1980, but she is trying to think of small ways to make a difference.