On April 1, the start of National Poetry Month, which, as we pointed out at the time, also happens to be the national day for celebrating lies, jokes, and (backstabbing) pranks, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars released a ton of new material, proving that you can have your cake and kick certain waste materials into the fan, too. And this time around Dispatches is no less jam packed with delectable, provocative, interrogative, penetrating linguistic and visual arrays.

And no less controversial, either. Most recently we have been up to our necks in accusations and legal threats because we posted an extensive conversation between poets Nathaniel Mackey and Barrett Watten extracted from Facebook posts and an email exchange. Some people felt that we violated the participants’ privacy. Others felt we violated their intellectual property rights. Some thought the exchange simply rehearsed old, uninteresting issues and that Dispatches only posted it to pick on one of the participants.

We disagree and have argued so in this venue. We feel the contentious issues are significant, and we have heard from many readers who agree. Numerous documents in this upload are pertinent to that event and the discussions it gave rise to and we urge you, gentle reader, to judge for yourself (herehereherehere, and here). And we are not done yet. Over the next couple of months, we intend to look more closely at the issues the exchange has raised regarding poetics and why they are important.

A lot else has happened since that April release as you will see by checking out the linked index below the news feed. An abundance of interesting writing and visual work awaits you. For us, however, the most exciting development has been the addition of a baker’s dozen of new and esteemed poetry camerados to DPW’s already venerable list of Contributing Editors. We are delighted and humbled to welcome to our company Anne Waldman, Keith Tuma, Norman Finkelstein, Margie Cronin (Australia), Nathaniel Tarn, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Jed Rasula, Don Byrd, Michael Basinski, Linh Dinh (Vietnam), Julien Poirier, George Kalamaras, and Vivek Narayanan (India). Stay tuned for more. DPW’s scope and audience is rapidly growing.


IMPORTANT NOTE
DO NOT PROCEED WITHOUT READING

Some things have changed at the web site. For technical reasons we have had to cut back on linked posts on the front page. Rather than containing all new posts as it used to, the News feed now will be home to material the editors feel is of immediate and pressing interest The best way to find out what’s in the new release is to visit the Update Index under the News feed. All the material, new and old, can be searched using the Department feeds at the top of the home page. You can also use our fabulous Author Search Index to find writers you like among the most diverse and active, if relatively secret, lists in the poetry world.


Please note that we will not be reading submissions to DPW until September 1. We are going on holiday. Our audience, as we said, has been growing at an alarming rate, and along with it, so have submissions. So great, in fact, has that growth been that we two, gimpy old guys, Fric and Frac, feel we are risking mental hernias, or even something worse (although some might find that to be not an unattractive thought). We want to keep doing this right, but we can’t do that if we burn out, or collapse.

We will of course still be posting our usual irregularly frequent trouble-making thingamabobs. The ones that get us lawsuit threats. But we need a break. Please understand us and our good will. One of us has a sheep to herd with his dog while the skies are blue and warm, and the other has a fly rod yearning for trout while the rivers are cold clear.

Thank you for being there. Thank you for resisting the Machine in whatever ways you can. It all matters. Long live William Blake, Anna Akhmatova, and Amiri Baraka.

–Dispatches

 Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, growling the common growl since 2016*

*see The Common Growl: Toward a Poetics of Precarious Community (ed. Thomas Claviez)