Make It True meets Medusario was launched at the 6th Cascadia Poetry Festival (2019) in Anacortes, WA. A bilingual (Spanish and English) anthology that is a combination of our 2015 Cascadia anthology Make It True (see below) and the iconic Spanish language anthology Medusario. Jose Kozer, Paul E Nelson, & Thomas Walton, Editors.
Alejandro Carrillo and Dana Nelson translators.
MAKE IT TRUE MEETS MEDUSARIO brings together poets from divergent languages, cultures, and aesthetics to create a…conversation…a fertile meeting place for ongoing ideas about poetry that might trouble the all too-easy academic labels and the subsequent segregation those aesthetic and political divisions cause within the larger, global poetry community.—Matthew Trease, from the introduction.
MAKE IT TRUE MEETS MEDUSARIO resides mostly in its ‘meeting’—the acquaintance made between poetries, poets, languages, and experience particular to the very-western lands and seas of the Americas—Cascadian and ‘Latin American’—one speaking the other in fresh understanding and harmony, through strangeness and pleasure. This anthology is the home we’ve been looking for, the interesting facts of poetic imagination through the magic of translation. Enriched by an introductory, contextualizing essay by Matt Trease and a concluding essay on the poetics of the Latin American Neo-Baroque by José Kozer, this anthology is a dignified counter-weight to the habit of polarities and divisions.—Sharon Thesen
The poet George Stanley’s concept of Aboutism—that poems be about something—is an important notion when all else seems ‘to fall apart.’ Poetry is the act of making a world, impossible as it is, to somehow cohere with meaning. What this anthology brings us are poets in that attempt—bold, open, and alive to say something that beautifully translates us to a borderless world.—Barry McKinnon
Make It True: Poetry from Cascadia, published by Leaf Press, was launched at Vancouver Island University, Friday, May 1st, at 7:30pm, at the 3rd Cascadia Poetry Festival. This first bioregional poetry anthology in Cascadia is a collection of innovative and influential poets of the bioregion which stretches from Cape Mendocino in the south to Mt. St. Elias, Alaska, to the north and to the Rocky Mountains in the east. It will be a survey of the bioregional poetry scene, beginning with an introduction by the co-editors: Paul Nelson, Nadine Maestas, Barry McKinnon and George Stanley.
The tenor of the poetry will arise from the comments made by George Stanley at the 2014 Cascadia Poetry Festival on the “Innovations from Here” panel. On that occasion he discussed how Modernism was a revolt in part from the excesses of Romantic poetry and Post-Modernism was a revolt in part from the academic and formalist influence on poetry in North America. (Some notes on his talk are here.) He said that what we have in large part in contemporary poetry is irony, a tone which has permeated everything in our culture from sitcoms to advertising. A revolt from that would be poetry that is realistic, or sincere, without giving up the use of speech, as Charles Olson said, that is “least careless and least logical” and techniques such as experimental lyric, spontaneity, collage and other composition methods. Work that exudes, as Robin Blaser put it, “a spiritual chase.” We believe the times we live in call for a deeper response to issues like economic inequality, climate chaos and out-of-control capitalism which on a separate panel at CPF2 Stephen Collis likened to a “doomsday device.”