Friday, April 5, 2013

Re-poeting the Frontier: Edward Dorn, Diane Hueter Warner, Karen Holmberg, and dg nanouk okpik

I'm grateful to the Kansas City Star for their support of literature, including my "On Poetry" column. Here is the

start of the recent "Western Edges" review, working east to west. This is one of the few American reviews of Illinois/Black Mountain poet Ed Dorn's Collected Works, which was published in England at the end of last year. He spent a semester at Ks. University in 1969, and I was lucky to audit his class and see him around town. He had a huge influence on many of us. Buddy-poet Steve Bunch has been reminding me of that year: Robert Bly, Robert Duncan, and Galway Kinnell were visiting readers. I thought this was normal. Diane Hueter Warner is another fine poet, who spent some time at KU also. Karen Holmberg attended Mizzou. Dg nanouk okpik is a newcomer, and wow, she's amazing. Here is a start, but please go to the KC Star page for the full review.

"The Western frontier appears on the earliest European maps, with sea serpents encircling Terra Incognita. American poets continue to renew myths of exotic territories just beyond the pale of civilization. Publication of Edward Dorn’s “Collected Poems” showcases his seminal revision of the literary West. Books by Diane Hueter Warner of Texas, Karen Holmberg of Oregon and Dg Nanouk Okpik, an Alaskan native, locate ever more remote distances of Western borderlands.Dorn’s thousand-page volume collects all his published and unpublished verse from 1964 to 2009, when he died. In total, the work documents the poet’s reconfiguration of the American West. Although he knew British poetics well, he located his explorations in New Mexico and surrounding regions.
Dorn is a fortuneteller. His epic “Gunslinger,” written between 1968 and 1975, opens in Mesilla, where the frontier exists today among Spanish, English, Apache and other Native language-speaking populations. Even the title “Gunslinger” is prophetic, as the current debate continues to highlight guns as essential parts of the American experience.Dorn’s slick hero would be as comfortable on YouTube as on the pages of this book. . . ."
To read the rest of the review: