Friday, 22 April 2016


My first USA published book was False Memory, 1996, from The Figures, the poetry press run by Geoffrey Young. I sent my manuscript there because I thought that the press was really outstanding, it included books by Bruce Andrews, Rae Armantrout, David Bromige, Clark Coolidge, Michael Davidson, Christopher Dewdney, Lyn Hejinian, Fanny Howe, Ron Padgett, Bob Perelman, Kit Robinson, Stephen Rodefer, Peter Scheldahl, Ron Silliman and some others I didn't know back then. These were the writers whose work interested me so I thought it would be a good fit. The only English poet on the list at that time was Tom Raworth. I went to Romana Huk's conference "Assembling Alternatives" at New Hampshire -- which got me over to the US -- and then I stayed with Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop in Providence, Rhode Island, and read at Brown University. From there I drove to Great Barrington via Emily Dickinson's house at Amherst, travelling with Stephen Rodefer. Geoffrey Young organised a salon at his house for the publication of False Memory. I read there with Stephen and with Ben Friedlander. I got to know Geoff through the post, working on the book with him, so clear and focused, I never had a better editor. We set it in Palatino on a mac, it was printed in a local trade printshop in Great Barrington. For the cover image of this funky looking chapbook he got a photo of Charles Le Dray's sculpture "Milk and Honey", 1994-96, which had just been bought by the Whitney Museum of American Art, I think the first major museum sale for that brilliant artist. There are hundreds of tiny hand made pots, all different, mounted in a glass vitrine. These photos were mostly taken by Geoffrey Young; I was fortunate to be in such company.

This is me reading with Stephen Rodefer, Ben Friedlander and Michael Gottlieb

Michael Gottlieb, me, Carla Billitteri, Pierre Joris

Belle Gironda
Carla Billitteri and Cheryl Donegan

Our host Geoffrey Young

John Mason, Christopher Funkhauser, Ben Friedlander

me, Stephen Rodefer, Ben Friedlander

Carla Billitteri, Pierre Joris, Liz Inglis, Cheryl Donegan, Kenny Goldsmith

Michael Gottlieb and me

Kenny Goldsmith and Laura Chester