Dennis Etzel Jr. discusses his latest book, My Secret Wars of 1984, released by BlazeVOX books, was a finalist of the 2012 1913 Press First Book Award, chosen by Rae Armantrout, a finalist of the 2013 SpringGun Press Open Manuscript Reading, a semi-finalist of the 2013 Subito Press Poetry Contest, and published in so many literary journals like 1913, DIAGRAM, Horse Less Review, Tarpaulin Sky, and Fact-Simile.
In its entirety, My Secret Wars of 1984 is an alphabetized 366-sentence conceptual poetry-memoir collage, using texts from the year 1984 (Lyn Hejinian, Ronald Johnson, bell hooks, Marvel Comics, Dungeons & Dragons, President Reagan, etc.) with sentences of my own—within the context of political and personal struggles of that time (my mother coming out in the midst of living in a conservative Catholic neighborhood, the threat of nuclear war, the recession, etc.).
To read My Secret Wars of 1984 is to ride an old wooden rollercoaster through a spacious gallery of stained-glass windows, all their colorful shards having been stolen, shattered, then chewed into shape: what we have here are gorgeous and wise assemblages of sharp, scavenged graffiti. Ricocheting from Pac-Man to Topeka to institutional structures to AIDS awareness to Reagan, Dennis Etzel, Jr. masters the skills of fragmentation and disharmony without losing one bit of torque. Sharpen your political acumen on this poetry-memoir of the highest order—and discover much pleasure in the process.
—Amy King, author of The Missing Museum
Etzel lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. He has an MFA from The University of Kansas, and an MA and Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies from Kansas State University. He has two chapbooks, The Sum of Two Mothers (ELJ Publications 2013) and My Graphic Novel (Kattywompus Press 2015), and a full-length poetic memoir My Secret Wars of 1984 (BlazeVOX 2015). His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, 3:AM, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, and others. He is a TALK Scholar for the Kansas Humanities Council and leads poetry workshops in various Kansas spaces. Please feel free to connect with him at dennisetzeljr.com.My Secret Wars of 1984
Sara Nicole Glass aka: MissConceptionJoin Prosperos and Spartan Press to celebrate the release of book #1 in the 2016 POP POETRY: #12poetsin12months sequence, Saturday January 23, from 8pm-11pm, at Prospero’s Books 1800 W. 39th St. KCMO.
Ms Glass has been performing, mentoring, and hosting spoken word poetry events in KC since 2008. She brings that psychedelic soul and intelligent hip hop and universal consciousness to the beat of fire hula spin and djembe cadence with words to be inspired by.
We are so proud to be presenting her first book of poetry, CLASS ACTION. The long running PIT Poetry Open Mic follows Sara’s featured reading from the book. 9:30 p.m. sharp! Featuring poets reading from “Class Action”: Glenn North, Stacy Flannery, Doug Rosenbrook, Esther Vickers, William Peck, Sharon Eiker, Cheri Lou Woods, & Asher Glass
Plus the live poetry improv band The Inspiration Monkeys.
Annie Raab, writer/critic, Senior prose editor at Kansas City Voices, and Vice President at Whispering Prairie Press talks about her residency in Tetouan, Morocco, May 8-June 5, 2016. This residency is a huge opportunity for Raab, who has emerged in the writing world through Kansas City Voices, The Pitch, critical arts and culture reviews, and her own published fiction. A solid month to write and work will help Raab focus on her writing and use it to find ways to grow the larger writing community in Kansas City. More about the project, including budget and goals, can be found here:
Things are Happening!
Immersion in an Islamic culture is an important facet of this project. The Muslim community is being targeted by political extremists and their image negatively impacted by religious fanatics. To write is to produce empathy and tap into shared human experience, and prose produced in a misrepresented community will be an effective way to change the conversation. Check out Annie’s writings at any of these links:
An event Friday January 15, at the Uptown Arts Bar located at 3611 Broadway will be held from 7pm to 10pm to assist Annie in funding the project. Join us for readings, music, and a variety of talent on stage.
Green Olive Arts: http://greenolivearts.com/
Godfrey Riddle, Development Manager with ArtsKC discusses The Learn To Lead Series. The series is for current and aspiring leaders to learn about nonprofit arts board and committee service. We are particularly interested in engaging the young and diverse professionals. Each session includes a panel of prominent community champions in the arts and board service. The sessions build on each other so it’s beneficial to attend all four. The four sessions are $10 each and will occur on the 4th Tuesday of every month from 7:30 – 9a at ArtsKC in the Crossroads. The first session is January 26th.
You can learn more and register online at ArtsKC.org/Leadership or download a PDF to share via email or social media.