Bombay Gin 38.1

Bombay Gin heads into a very exciting 38th year in print! We are thrilled to announce that the new Editor-in-Chief of Bombay Gin for the 2011-2012 school year is J’Lyn Chapman, former JKS advisor and current adjunct faculty member. This year’s editorial board consists of graduate students Heather Goodrich, Jade Lascelles, Stephani Nola, Jess Hagemann, Kristen Park, Alice Virginia McClain, and Katie Ingegneri. Undergraduate Rachel Palmateer has signed on to be the newest addition to the Bombay Gin family as a staff assistant. Please email Katie Ingegneri, the Graduate Assistant for Publications, at with any questions, ideas, or submissions you may have.

The theme for 38.1 is “threshold,” a concept implemented by featuring different kinds of work from the same person (such as an interview and poetry, poetry and art, etc.), in addition to exploring the ideas of transition, borders, space, and transformation. It has been very exciting for the editors to solicit many of the visiting faculty from the 2011 Summer Writing Program for this issue, and some of the confirmed featured authors will include Ana Božičevič, Thurston Moore, and Vanessa Place.

Bombay Gin’s spring issue (38.2) will be open to general submissions. Submissions may be dropped off in the JKS office. Due February 15, 2012. For more info, click here.

Look for us at the JKS readings, where we will be selling recent issues and giving away bundles of our abundant supply of historical back issues. Please contact Katie if you are interested in obtaining back issues for yourself or students.

Follow us on Facebook and at our new blog site, to stay updated on exciting upcoming events and submission guidelines!

Summer Writing Program 2012

Hello, Camp Kerouacers! Thank you for a beautiful Summer Writing Program in 2011. We had a blast, and we’re busy constructing the Temporary Autonomous Zone of SWP 2012, for June 11-July 8.

In the first week, we’ll focus on Archival Poetics and the War on Memory. Guests that week include Stacy Szymaszek, E. Tracy Grinnell, Prageeta Sharma, and Charles Alexander. Archivapoeia is a deeply engrained ethos of the Kerouac School, and co-founder Allen Ginsberg saw it as an antidote to memory loss perpetuated by the oligarchs and plutocrats. We will focus this week on our “memory banks” as writers. What are the sources and texts and ideas we cherish? How do we work with rescuing the work of others as well, and consider the technologies for future preservation?

For the second week, we’ll turn our attention to Cultural Rhizomes and Intentional Communities, with guest faculty Margaret Randall, Pierre Joris, Nicole Peyrafitte, Stephen Motika, Vincent Katz, Sherwin Bitsui, CA Conrad, and Julia Seko. Our work this week will seek inspiration from intentional communities such as Black Mountain College, diasporas of the Middle East and South America, and Native American praxis.

In the third week, we’ll dive into Science, Sanity, and Evolution, with Anne Waldman, Ambrose Bye, Tisa Bryant, Julie Carr, Samuel R. Delany, Selah Saterstrom, HR Hegnauer, and Karen Randall. Let’s rescue language from the pundits and politicians and shine a light on the inspiring and scintillating glories and minute particulars of the symbiotic biosphere!

In our final week, Performance Week, we’ll storm the stage with luminaries Laurie Anderson, Thurston Moore, Amiri Baraka, Caroline Bergvall, Tracie Morris, Claudia Rankine, Roberto Tejada, and Jena Osman. We’ll also honor the collaborative work of the ever-expanding poetics sangha in the realms of letterpress and digital printing, recording studio and small press publication, all elements of our study and passion at the Kerouac School.

We’re also excited to be reintroducing the SWP Scholarship in memory of kari edwards. More information about this and other scholarships will be available on the website,

Gary Snyder @ Naropa

Notable Utterances: “Language that has been saved rather than forgotten”–Gary Snyder

Pulitzer Prize Winner Gary Snyder visited the Jack Kerouac School on November 16th and 17th, as the Frederick P. Lenz Distinguished Lecturer in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values. A lecture, a chat, a reading. With more than 1000 in attendance over the course of two days, Snyder left numerous “notable utterances.” His web-like lecture reminded me of Silko’s notion on storytelling: “unpremeditated and unrehearsed,” creating a structure of new patterns in thought. After the lecture, a devoted fan gave me a small jar of Rocky Mountain honey to give him. For a moment I thought, how trustworthy is random honey from a random person…

His chat included a departure on Japanese syllabary and Duncan’s statement that “poetry must have music and magic.” When asked if he could explain the magic, Snyder said: “The magic is a big topic; that’s why I was talking about the music”; then laughed. As it turns out, Duncan’s magic is an amalgam of traditional magic and the metaphoric, that which is unpredictable and surprising.

On two occasions, I picked up Snyder from his hotel to drive him to and fro. Both times, he was in the lobby, partaking in the free coffee and cookies. Prior to the reading, we sat in oversized faux leather chairs and discussed “Axe Handles”–its pedagogical significance. The way the text creates a through line from Ezra Pound to Shih-hsiang Chen, from his son Kai to himself. The poem is both precise in the present moment of shaping the axe handle and expansive in its historical movements. He thumbed through the index of one of his books, then marked the page. When he read the poem during the reading, a murmur spread through the darkened room:

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
“When making an axe handle
the pattem is not far off.”
And I say this to Kai
“Look: We’ll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with-”
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It’s in Lu Ji’s Wen Fu, fourth century
A.D. “Essay on Literature”-in the
Preface: “In making the handle Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand.-
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

FOR MORE ON THE VISIT, click here.