jay/jen besemer - gorgeous hybrids and recombinant poetry

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Four Tips for Working with Editors
I am guest-editing a special issue of NERVE LANTERN with Joel Allegretti!
Register for My Four-Week Poetry Class at Spudnik Press; In Conjunction with Printer's Ball 2015 PUSH & PULL !
New Interview up at Rain Taxi (and a review I wrote, too)
David London's Magic Outside The Box in Chicago - April 22, 2014!


"silicone" vs. "silicon"
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Nerve Lantern: Axon of Performance Literature
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seventh annual chicago calling arts festival
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The Querist of Forms
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Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics
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The Querist of Forms


New Interview up at Rain Taxi (and a review I wrote, too)

Check out this conversation between me and my friend Magus Magnus, in this summer's online edition of Rain Taxi!

And in the same issue, here's my review of Gregory Robinson's book of poems, All Movies Love the Moon!

hy-performance hyperformance

In an alternate universe, I am at the University of Southern California earning an MFA in Acting.  Inthis universe, however, I am slowly coming to realize the lifelong importance of performance to my artistic practice.  When I say lifelong, I mean from the age of about 9 onward, to the present.  I used to act when I was a kid.  When I was 15, some friends of mine and I wrote and produced aStar Wars-themed radio play, winning a contest and bringing geeky honor to our already geeky honors high school.

Dec. 7: Myopic Poetry Series: Join Me!

Sat. December 7:  I read with friends at the glorious Myopic Poetry Series!  Convulsive Editions' OUIJA reading features a surrealist seance, many Convulsive surprises, plus more TELEPHONE games from me.  With Toby Altman, Michael Anichini, Jay Besemer (yes that's me), Chad Chmielowicz, and Nathan Hoks!  Celebrate Convulsive Editions and Chicago-style poetry and poetics!  7pm (Poetry O'Clock).

Looking for Lew

 Note: This essay was written after re-reading the second printing of the original edition of Lew Welch's collected poems,Ring of Bone, published in 1979 by Grey Fox Press. A new expanded edition, with a preface by Gary Snyder, was published in 2012 by City Lights. 

How can I even start to discuss the widespread fascination with poets who die young and tragically, either by their own direct hand or by the workings of madness or addiction? What can possibly provide reassurance—to poets, to non-poets—in these biographies of loss?

TELEPHONE is officially released today!

POETRY10/1/13 Brooklyn Arts Press   


poems by Jen Besemer

$14.95 print / $9.99 ebook
108 pages / Pub date: October 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-936767-23-6
Brooklyn Arts Press is pleased to announce the publication of Telephone, the debut poetry collection of Jen Besemer.Telephone is availible in print, pdf, & ebook editions fromBrooklynArtsPress.com.Print editions are also available from Small Press Distribution, Amazon, & for order through your local bookstore.

Tagged: The Next Big Thing Blog Interview Project

I was tagged by my dear friend and collaboratorj/j hastainto participate in the ongoing blog interview project, "The Next Big Thing."  For this project, I am to respond on my blog to the same questions j/j used, then tag five others to do the same on their blogs--or to guest blog here-- each of whom then tag five others themselves. Here, the questions refer to one of my forthcoming books.  And I will add names and links to the blogs of the authors I "tag" right here, as they agree to participate:

Guest Blogger at Drunken Boat

See my essay "Collage-Mind" at Drunken Boat! Thanks to Dan Godston for inviting me to send occasional dispatches.

The Querist of Forms: Pretensions to Accessibility

Pretensions to Accessibility 

Poets are people who make poetry, whatever that means. I make poetry that interests me, and trust that my audience is made up of those who are also interested in what I make. I find my work is strongest and most satisfying to that audience when I am true to my own priorities and my own poetics. I do not work with much concern over "accessibility," which in the context of poetry refers to whether or not the "general reader" will be able to find value in the work--maybe through a recognition of cultural allusions in the content, through emotional resonance or empathy with the feelings described, or through relating to the experiences of the poet as narrated in the poem.

Between Reading at Mess Hall Chicago: This Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 pm

Come up (or down, or over) to Rogers Park's own Mess Hall this Friday for the Between Reading! 

The Between Reading presents texts based on the creative reading of and response to Nicholas Alexander Hayes's first novel Between. The source text examines perception and identity in a decaying American town. True to the shifting planes of perception in the book, writers and poets were invited to respond to the work through whatever modes they preferred. Their responses have been compiled in the Between Compendium.

guest blogger for Zipper

Here is a post I wrote for Nicholas Alexander Hayes' blog Zipper.
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