MUSEUM OF AMERICAN POETICS
Guest Curator Program
Since 1987, when the Museum of American Poetics (MAP) began at poetspath.com, the site has been exclusively curated by poet, editor, and founder Jim Cohn. Over the years, as the number of MAP’s exhibits has grown, keeping up with the golden age of American poetic diversity has also grown more challenging. To better address the hidden harmonies within our flourishing and multiple communities of poets, MAP initiated a “Guest Curator Program” in January 2015.
MAP’s Guest Curators are invited to make their own recommendations for additions to one of the twenty-one specific exhibits the site maintains. Collaborating poets agree to take on their guest curating assignments, which are provided to MAP on a volunteer basis, for a two-year period. The generosity of guest curators allows the Museum of American Poetics to broaden and deepen the scope of poets that have had an impact on literature, culture, and language. Guest Curators, having demonstrated not only poetics excellence through their own language arts work and community activism, are willing to share their ethnographic expertise in order to rescue those otherwise invisible poets within their own cultures from obscurity.
Andy Clausen is the author of 40th Century Man: Selected Poems 1996-1966 (1996) and Home of the Blues: More Selected Poems (2013). Individual books of poetry include The Iron Curtain of Love (1984) and Without Doubt (1990), among others. His Ginsberg, Corso and Me (2009) is perhaps the ultimate insider’s view of the later days of the Beat Generation. Andy has travelled and read his poetry all over North America and the world (New York, California, Alaska, Texas, Prague, Kathmandu, Amsterdam etc.). He has maintained a driven intrepid lifestyle and aspired to be a champion of the underdog. He has had many jobs of variegated nature studying humanity and earning a living. He has written about his friendships with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Ray Bremser, Janine Pommy Vega, Peter Orlovsky, and many others of the Beat Generation. He has lectured at many Universities and taught at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, at Naropa. He was co-editor of POEMS FOR THE NATION with Allen Ginsberg and Eliot Katz (Seven Stories Press). He was an editor at LONG SHOT Magazine. He has backpacked around the world and has resided in over twenty states and provinces. For twelve years he conducted poetry workshops in the NY state prison system for Incision Arts. In 1999 Clausen began teaching poetry in the schools under the auspices of Teacher's & Writers Collaborative. Andy now resides in Woodstock, NY, where he teaches, writes, and performs his work in the New York area, Colorado, California and other venues. Allen Ginsberg wrote of him, “I would take a chance on a president Clausen.”
David Cope was born in Detroit (1948) and raised on the Thornapple River in Western Michigan. He was Grand Rapids Poet Laureate from 2011-2014. Allen Ginsberg once wrote he was “much absorbed in David Cope’s poetry as necessary continuation of lucid grounded sane objectivism in poetry following the visually solid practice of Charles Reznikoff & William Carlos Williams.” Cope is author of six books and a recent chapbook, Masks of Six Decades. He has received an award in literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1988), a Pushcart Prize (1977), and twice won the Dyer-Ives Poetry Prize (1971, 1972). He is editor of three anthologies: Nada Poems (1988), Sunflowers & Locomotives: Songs for Allen (1998), and Song of the Owashtanong: Grand Rapids Poetry in the 21st Century (2013). David has continuously edited and published Big Scream, his indie poetry journal, for the past 41 years, and has been a visiting poet at Naropa University on several occasions; he was instrumental in the writing and editing of “A Declaration of Interdependence,” featured in Disembodied Poetics: Annals of the Jack Kerouac School (Ed. Waldman and Schelling. University of New Mexico Press, 1994). Portions of his interview with Simon Warner have appeared in the Patti Smith section of the recent volume, Text and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll: the Beats and Rock Culture (Ed. Warner. Bloomsbury, 2013). The David Cope Papers (1972-2013) are curated at the University of Michigan Special Collections Library.
Photo by Ricardo Muñiz
A writer, editor, activist and educator, Nancy Mercado is currently an assistant editor of Eco-Poetry.org. She was featured on National Public Radio’s The Talk of the Nation and the PBS NewsHour Special: America Remembers 9/11. Also featured in The Encyclopedia of Hispanic American Literature (Facts on File) and inducted into The Museum of American Poetics, she is profiled in Latino Leaders Magazine, as “one of the most celebrated members of the Puerto Rican literary movement in the Big Apple.” Most recently she traveled to Havana, Cuba by invitation, to present her work at Casa de las Americas. Her work has been extensively anthologized in award winning literary collections such as Looking Out Looking In: Anthology of Latino Poetry (Arte Publico Press), Powwow, American Short Fiction from Then to Now, edited by Ishmael Reed and Changer L’Amérique Anthologie De La Poésie Protestataire Des USA published by Maison De La Poésie, among many others. She served as the Guest Editor of Phati’tude Literary Magazine’s issue; ¿What’s in a Nombre? Writing Latin@ Identity in America. For eleven years, she was an editor of the acclaimed underground literary and art publication, Long Shot; serving as its editor-in-chief for one of those years. The author of, It Concerns the Madness (Long Shot Productions) and the editor of if the world were mind; a children’s’ anthology published by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Mercado also authored 7 theater plays which have all been produced. Nancy Mercado continues to present her work throughout the US and abroad as a featured poet and conference panelist.
Wang Ping was born in Shanghai and came to the USA in 1986. Her publications include Ten Thousand Waves, (poetry, 2014), The Last Communist Virgin (stories, 2007), The Magic Whip (poetry, 2003), Of Flesh and Spirit (poetry, 1998), Foreign Devil (novel, 1996), and American Visa (short stories, 1994). Editorial/translation projects include Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian (co-translation with Ron Padgett, 2010), Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (2000) which won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in the Humanities, and New Generation: Poetry from China Today (1999). Her The Last Communist Virgin won the 2008 Minnesota Book Award and Asian American Studies Award. Wang Ping’s multi-media exhibitions include “Behind the Gate: After the Flooding of the Three Gorges”, “All Roads to Lhasa”, and “Kinship of Rivers”. She is the founder and director of the Kinship of Rivers project, a five-year project that builds a sense of kinship among the people who live along the Mississippi and Yangtze Rivers through exchanging gifts of art, poetry, stories, music, dance and food. She collaborated with the British filmmaker Isaac Julien on Ten Thousand Waves, a 2010 film installation about illegal Chinese immigration in London. She is the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council of the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Artist Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the McKnight Artist Fellowship.
Dave Roskos founded Big Hammer magazine in 1988 in New Brunswick, NJ, under the imprint Proletkult Press. Soon after, he changed the name of the press to Iniquity Press/Vendetta Books and has published 17 issues of Big Hammer, 2 issues of New Jersey Bowel & Bladder Control, one issue of Ball Peen, and 3 issues of Street Value, as well as approximately 40 chapbooks by other poets and writers, including Tom Kryss, rjs, Kell Robertson, Harvey Pekar, Todd Moore, Joe Weil, Hal Sirowitz and Donald Lev. Dave curates the online Gonzo Library of the Indy Outlaw. He lives in his home state of New Jersey, where he works as a Life Skills Specialist for a non-profit Independent Housing Program, which serves people recovering from mental illness and addiction.
Ingrid Swanberg’s two new poetry collections are Ariadne & Other Poems (Bottom Dog Press, 2013) and Awake Green Panda Press, 2014). Recent work appears in the international journal Osiris, Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac (May 7, 2013), and the anthology The Mountain (Outrider Press, 2014). Her chapbook, Eight Poems, and the sequence, “in the dreamtime,” currently appear in the online Light & Dust Anthology of Poetry, and a letterpress chapbook, Three Bird Songs has been published by The Costmary Press (2012). Ingrid participated in the mimeo publishing movement of the 60s and 70s, collaborating with Sacramento, California, underground press editors D.R. Wagner and Ben L. Hiatt, and briefly corresponding with Cleveland, Ohio, avant-garde post-beat poet d.a. levy. A native Californian, she has lived in Madison, Wisconsin, since the early 70s, engaging in various poetry publishing projects, from women-focused mimeo poetry magazines in the 70s to editing the independent poetry journal Abraxas and founding and directing the poetry book series Ghost Pony Press (1980 –– present). Under the Ghost Pony Press imprint she published Zen Concrete & Etc., a major collection of levy’s work that has helped preserve his legacy as one of the 20th Century’s great poets. She has been involved in a number of other projects focused on levy, including co-editing, with Larry Smith, d.a. levy and the Mimeo Revolution (Bottom Dog Press, 2007), co-curating, with Karl Young, the d.a levy home page, and working as an archivist and textual editor in collaboration with the late Alan Horvath of Kirpan Press. levy is a central figure in her dissertation, Poēsis, Technē and Silent Writing: Lyric Poetry in the Destitute Time (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Comparative Literature, 2005).
Pamela Twining lives in Woodstock, where she raised her children and studied organic farming and healing with herbs. She has read her poetry in many venues, alongside Andy Clausen, Peter Lamborn Wilson, Mikhail Horowitz, Anne Waldman, Antler, Jeff Poniewaz, and Charles Plymell, to name a few, often with musical accompaniment provided by Cosmic Legends. Over the years she has developed a very personal style, sometimes tender and lyrical, sometimes brutally frank, resonating with the wisdom of her partially Native American heritage. Her work has appeared in Big Scream, Napalm Health Spa, The Café Review, Big Hammer, Poetrybay and others. Recent Work includes i have been a river… Selected Poems of Pamela Twining (2011), utopians & madmen (2012), and A Thousand Years of Wanting: the Erotic Poetry of Pamela Twining (2013).
Included in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature & The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, Ali Zarrin is a bilingual Iranian-American poet who was born in Kermanshah and immigrated to the USA in 1970. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington and is the author of 12 books of poetry & literary criticism in English and Persian. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in numerous international magazines and anthologies, and have been translated into other languages. He is a contributor to several international literary journals in Iran, Europe, the United States, and Canada, and has lectured and performed his poetry at many universities and colleges in the U.S. and Canada. In 1971 he met Allen Ginsberg in Denver and kept up correspondence and contact with him throughout the remainder of Allen’s life. In 1992, he published one of Allen’s letters as preface to his own book of poems Modern Marriage (Alien Books, 1993) which is mentioned in Ginsberg’s extensive and authoritative bibliography edited by Bill Morgan and published by Greenwood Press (1995). He found great inspiration and support in Allen’s friendship & poetry as well as his undying dedication to social justice.