Jack London Is Dead: Contemporary Euro-American Poetry of Hawai’i featuring JKS Alumn Janna Plant!


On Saturday, June 8 at 7:30 PM Counterpath will host the Launch for Jack London Is Dead: Contemporary Euro-American Poetry of Hawai’i & TinFish Press Feature with Margo Berdeshevsky, Ya-Wen Ho, Janna Plant, Eric Paul Shaffer and Maged Zaher. Hosted by Susan M. Schultz.

Tinfish Press was founded in 1995 to publish experimental poetry from the Pacific. Tinfish published a journal through 20 issues, but now concentrates on chapbooks and full-length books of poetry. Ron Silliman has called Tinfish “one of the great small presses of the United States.” Our catalogue can be found at tinfishpress.com.

Jack London Is Dead: Contemporary Euro-American Poetry in Hawai?i (and Some Stories):

Many white (or, as this anthology calls them, Euro-American) poets have made Hawai`i home, either permanently or for a significant portion of their lives. But, in a place marked by communities of writers marked as “local” or Asian or Indigenous, there is no such community of Euro-American writers. Euro-American poetry seems to exist at two poles, either as the writing still to be resisted by non-white writers, or as work that comes from somewhere else, and is thus not relevant to Hawai`’s literature. This anthology features seventeen writers of poetry (and some prose), as well as their statements about being a Euro-American writer in Hawai`i. It looks at what happens after Euro-American literature has been de-centered, de-canonized. Jack London is Dead presents writers whose work has been deeply influenced by Hawai`i, and whose poetry adds valuable voices to a complicated mix of ethnic cultures. Featured in this volume are the more experimental of the myriad Euro-American voices among Hawai`i’s many exciting writers.

Janna Plant lived on O’ahu full time from 1996-2009. She moved there when she was 19, having never visited or done any research about the place. The new context was an experiment. She left in 2009 to pursue an MFA from the Kerouac School in Boulder, Colorado, and missed Hawai’i’s wildlife so much that she purchased a cockroach encased in Lucite for her kitchen shelf. She learned poetry from the wildernesses of O’ahu, and returns there often. She is the author of The Refinery (BlazeVOX), an experimental essay about the processes of gender. Other work can be found online and in print at such places as Diagram, Fact-Simile, and Matter Journal. She has work forthcoming in A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park (Wolverine Farm Publishing), as well as a chapbook from Roots + Limbs Press.

Margo Berdeshevsky currently lives in Paris . She is author of the poetry collections, Between Soul and Stone, and But a Passage in Wilderness, (Sheep Meadow Press /2011 & 2007,) and a book of stories, Beautiful Soon Enough, (illustrated with her photo-montages,) recipient of which received Fiction Collective Two’s American Book Review/Ronald Sukenick/ Innovative Fiction Award (University of Alabama Press/2009.) Other honors include the Robert H. Winner Award from the Poetry Society of America, 8 Pushcart Prize nominations, 2 Pushcart “special mention” citations. Her works are published in journals in England, France, Hawai’i and throughout mainland USA, including Kenyon Review, AGNI, New Letters, & Poetry International. She lived and wrote in Huelo on Maui for twenty-five years; taught as a “poet in the schools” throughout the islands; and traveled across other oceans. She worked in a survivors’ clinic after the 2005 tsunami in Aceh, and she currently lives and writes in Paris, France. Please see her websites: http://www.redroom.com/author/margo-berdeshevsky and http://margoberdeshevsky.blogspot.com/

Ya-Wen Ho graduated from her BA/BFA conjoint degree at the University of Auckland in 2011. She suffers the happy problem of having more ideas than the time and resources to execute them all, which is why she loves writing the kind of long poem found in her first book, last edited [insert time here], TinFish Press in late 2012: these poems allow her to revel in a plethora of ideas in a compact and economic form. She’s currently working on starting an experimental writing journal lea phs.

Susan M. Schultz has lived in Hawai`i since 1990 and teaches in the English department at the university there. She is author of several books of poems and poetic prose: _Aleatory Allegories_ (Salt), _Memory Cards and Adoption Papers_ (Potes & Poets), _And Then Something Happened_ (Salt), _Dementia Blog_ (Singing Horse), _Memory Cards: 2010-2011 Series_ (Singing Horse) and _”She’s Welcome to Her Disease”: Dementia Blog, Volume Two_ (Singing Horse–they like me!). She is also a critic, editor, and publisher. She founded Tinfish Press in 1995, and a fervent blogger, at tinfisheditor.blogspot.com. In her free time, she watches her beloved St. Louis Cardinals on mlb.com and hangs out with family in Kan`eohe.

Eric Paul Shaffer is author of five books of poetry, including L?haina Noon and Portable Planet. His poetry appears in North American Review, Rattle, Slate, and The Sun Magazine, as well reviews in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, and Scotland. His work is anthologized in 100 Poets Against the War (Salt, 2003), The Soul Unearthed (Tarcher/Putnam, 2002), and the recently-released Ecopoetry Anthology (Trinity University Press, 2013). Shaffer received the 2002 Elliot Cades Award for Literature, a 2006 Ka Palapala Po’okela Book Award for L?haina Noon, and the 2009 James M. Vaughan Award for Poetry. He was the guest speaker at Hawai’i Pacific University’s 16th Annual Ko’olau Writing Workshops (2013). Burn & Learn, his first novel, was published in 2009. Shaffer lives on O’ahu and teaches composition, literature, and creative writing at Honolulu Community College.