There wouldn’t be an experimental poetry scene to speak of here without Spare Room, which brings to town readers from the same tribe that tends to circulate between the Poetry Project or Segue Series in New York, Small Press Traffic and 21 Grand in San Francisco, Subtext in Seattle, Kootenay in Vancouver, In Your Ear or Ruthless Grip in DC, I.E. in Baltimore, Woodland Pattern in Milwaukie, Myopic in Chicago, or The Smell in L.A., just to name a very few. The fact that that’s only a few—that there’s a network of “Spare Rooms” across the nation—indicates the health, really the lifeblood, of a poetry culture the media and arts funding biz more or less ignore.
While I’d like to see the poets who travel here get paid more, there’s a bliss in that ignorance, too: the fundamentals of the poetry economy Spare Room’s a part of remain sound despite downturns, budget cuts, shifting enrollments, shrinking bequests or bloating windfalls. As Portland collects more arts refugees from the big cities, I hope Spare Room carries on for 100 more.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 25 at 2 PM
SPARE ROOM’S 100th READING
Gallery Homeland (at the Ford Building)
2505 SE 11th Ave., Portland, OR
From Helen Adam to Louis Zukofsky, from Futurism to Personism, from Hiroshima to Blackhawk Island, from a Polish count to a Peruvian communist, from Dada to MoMA, from prisoners of war to secret agents, from mimeographers to bloggers . . . come hear a small but representative slice of the extraordinary range of poetries practiced in the past century!
Readings should end around 6 or 7 PM; feel free to come in or out at any time.