The Operating System

6th Annual NAPOMO 30/30/30 :: Series Introduction 2017

HAPPY POETRY MONTH, FRIENDS AND COMRADES!

For this, the 6th Annual iteration of our beloved Poetry Month 30/30/30 series/tradition, I asked four poets (and previous participants) to guest-curate a week of entries, highlighting folks from their communities and the poets who’ve influenced their work.

I’m happy to introduce Janice Sapigao, Johnny Damm, Phillip Ammonds, and Stephen Ross, who have done an amazing job gathering people for this years series! We’re so excited to share this new crop of tributes with you. Below, each of these intrepid editors tells us a little about their intentions, process, and a little about what you can expect to find in their weeks.

Can’t wait for the 30 entries to come? there’s 150 previous entries from past years here! You should also check out Janice’s piece on Nayyirah Waheed, Johnny’s piece on Raymond Roussel, Phillip’s piece on Essex Hemphill, and Stephen’s piece on Ronald Johnson’s Ark, while you’re at it.

This year’s series starts with today’s entry, featuring poet / activist Michelle Lin author of A House Made of Water (Sibling Rivalry Press) writing on Chen Chen.

This is a peer-to-peer system of collective inspiration! No matriculation required. Enjoy, and share widely.

– Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Managing Editor/Series Curator

napomocurators2017

[l-r: Janice Lobo Sapigao, Johnny Damm, Phillip Ammonds / Trinity Rayn, Stephen Ross]

WEEK ONE :: CURATED BY JANICE LOBO SAPIGAO

These writers with San Francisco Bay Area roots who’ve honored and shared their love and praise of poets remind me that to write is to spend time. I asked Rachelle Cruz, Denise Benavides, mgb, Steffi Drewes, Michelle Lin, Erick Sáenz, and Li Patron to write their poetic homages, so that I could, in essence, spend time with them and the words that keep them company. In and outside of writing, I admire these folks – and the ones they’ve written about – because of their activism and the literary spaces they’ve created for queer, trans, nonbinary, DIY/DIT (do-it-yourself/do-it-together), students, and communities of color. Each of these writers has, in the past year, published their first book, or zine, or seminal script for a theatrical production. This year has been, as we say in the Bay, Hella Lit.

This is what we spend our time doing.

In the Bay, we refused to be slept on by outsiders. We are always awoken by our passion for righting the wrongs and social change. We are known for our diversity and liberal politics, but this masks our resistance and the disparities we see slowly produced every day.  We are writing, emerging, and honoring the folks who’ve cleared a path for us to share.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Janice Lobo Sapigao is a daughter of Filipina/o immigrants. She is the author of two books of poetry: microchips for millions (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2016) and Like a Solid to a Shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2017.) She is a VONA/Voices and Kundiman Fellow, and the Associate Editor of TAYO Literary Magazine. She co-founded Sunday Jump. She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from CalArts, and she has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies with Honors from UC San Diego.

WEEK TWO :: CURATED BY JOHNNY DAMM

PROPOSITION:

Every time a WRITER sees another WRITER on the street, WRITER # 1 yells the following question:

“Who are you reading?”

WRITER # 2 answers, also yelling, and at the first word, EVERYONE on the street stops walking, presses hands over mouths of cooing/crying babies, slams down car brakes and hurriedly unrolls windows.

EVERYONE listens, the world not allowed to resume until WRITER # 2 stops yelling.

SMALL REVISION:

Keep everything exactly the same, except make sure that WRITER # 2 is a talented writer, a fascinating writer, that WRITER # 2 is the present or future of what literature should be.

PROPOSITION:

Hush, y’all. Listen as Colette Arrand, Stephen Emmerson, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, E.G. Cunningham, Douglas Luman, Travis Sharp, Raquel Salas Rivera, and Terri Witek yell into the street.

Johnny Damm is the author of Science of Things Familiar (The Operating System, 2017) and three chapbooks, including Your Favorite Song (Essay Press, 2016), and The Domestic World: A Practical Guide (Little Red Leaves, forthcoming). His work has appeared in PoetryDenver Quarterlythe RumpusDrunken Boat, and elsewhere. Visit him online at johnnydamm.com.

WEEK THREE :: CURATED BY PHILLIP J. AMMONDS

Poets are fingerprints
A menagerie of textures
that leave a unique cultural-
impression on the world

The seven poets that I have the honor of curating for the week of April 16-22, are varied in tone, approach, inspiration–but all have a thundering presence that thrums the strings in your soul. They demand that you be present and feel whatever you will.

Throughout this week, readers will take a journey through waves of love, self-reflection, mourning, discovery, tribute, longing and acceptance.

To hear these poets speak life into their muses and perform their work, please come to our reading, Tribute, at Dixon Place on Monday, April 24th at 7:30 PM.

Phillip J. Ammonds, a Brooklyn native, is a founding member of the writing collective Writeous, with whom he has co-produced three chapbooks.  Phillip curates Rainbows Across the Diaspora, the queer text reading series at Dixon Place in New York City. Phillip also performs his work as Trinity Rayn, Drag Poet.  His work has appeared in the anthology Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam’s Call (Vintage Entity Press, 2013),HIV: Here and Now Project, Yellow Mama and The Operating System.

WEEK 4 :: CURATED BY STEPHEN ROSS

The community of poets and scholars convened here for the OS’s National Poetry Month has never existed, as far as I know, in the same geographical or electronic space. Yet I’m moved to see that the members of this new community (excluding the New Yorkers) all hail from the places I’ve lived that mean the most to me: Montreal, the UK Midlands, North Carolina, Georgia. I canvassed old friends and new acquaintances, as well as friends of friends, to contribute to this year’s Poetry Month, and am delighted to find how meaningfully the contributions resonate with each other. These mutually reinforcing energies are not simply a matter of aesthetic and/or political affinities between the poet-scholars and their poets, but emerge from each contributor’s recognition and appreciation of the particulars of their chosen poet. 

Contributions by Charles Gonsalves (on Barbara Guest), Sarah Huener (on Eileen Myles), and Aaron Goldsman (on Tommy Pico) span three generations of what some might still be pleased to call the New York School–which generation are we on now? Other contributors attend to the limits of poetics: Klara DuPlessis reflects eloquently on Anne Carson’s (de)creative refusal to finish a book, while Zohar Atkins ponders William Bronk’s endless rewriting of the same poem. Aaron Belz’s tribute to Robert Bly’s translations of César Vallejo speaks to the winding, unpredictable process of poetic influence.

Stephen Ross is a literary scholar, translator, and editor. He earned his PhD in English from the University of Oxford in 2013 and is a founding editor of the literary web-journal, Wave Composition. With Ariel Resnikoff, he is working on the first-full length translation and critical edition of Mikhl Likht’s Yiddish modernist long-poem, Processions. He is a contributing editor for The Operating System’s Unsilenced Texts series, and also co-editor with Dr. Alys Moody of the forthcoming anthology, Global Modernists on Modernism (Bloomsbury, 2017), a 190,000-word sourcebook that draws on a large archive of historical materials — statements, manifestos, letters, prefaces, introductions, hybrid works, etc — by modernist practitioners across the arts, with a special focus on untranslated, poorly disseminated (in English), and ‘forgotten’ texts. His current book project is a study of modern American poetics and objecthood.

One Commment

  1. […] I’m happy to introduce Janice Sapigao, Johnny Damm, Phillip Ammonds, and Stephen Ross, who have done an amazing job gathering people for this years series! We’re so excited to share this new crop of tributes with you. Hear more from our four guest editors in the introduction to this year’s series. […]

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