Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Steve McLaughlin's The American Scene

Around the time I moved to Portland, the Poetry Bus was on its well-hyped roll across the nation. Its local stop at the old Mississippi Studios was the first reading I went to here.

Four years and a mega-recession later, times have downsized. The foundation that publicized the tour has stepped away from paying bloggers; Mississippi Studios upgraded in a down market and became too pricey to host poetry; the planned film of the tour never materialized; and the bus idea, with its carbon debt, party vibe, and rented driver, seems out of step with our leaner, greener times.

One sign of the change—and the exchanges still possible despite it— is Stephen McLaughlins intrepid solo road trip for Jacket2, the new version of Jacket under way since John Tranter handed the keys to PennSound. As media editor for the new concern, Steve’s hitting 30 cities in 60 days to interview 90 poets for the site. You can follow his cross-country trek via Flickr, Twitter, or even hoarier social media like the blog.

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