These pics of Hank Lazer are from the Poetry Flash Reading Series, featuring Hank and Mark Salerno, at the new Cody’s in Berkeley, which took place on April 5. Mark Salerno:


Hank has a new book out from Omnidawn titled Lyric & Spirit: Selected Essays 1996-2008


Hank Lazer is both a critic and a poet. His brand new book from Omnidawn Publishing, Lyric and Spirit: Selected Essays, shows new ways of writing spirituality and the lyric, drawing on Language poetry, Buddhist verse, the jazz of Monk and Coltrane, Heidegger, Derrida, and much more. Lazer is also the author of twelve books of poetry perhaps unique in their developmental track from the tradition of William Carlos Williams on into a Language-based tradition. His two most recent books of poetry are The New Spirit and Elegies & Vacations. With Charles Bernstein, Hank Lazer edits the Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series for the University of Alabama.

A little about the reading series, hosted by Richard Silberg (who I just met yesterday -a really cool guy):

“From 1982-2006, Poetry Flash curated one of the West Coast’s most exciting, inclusive, and longest running reading series at Cody’s Books on Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, a leading, historically significant, independent bookstore. (The series began in the late sixties/early seventies.) That store closed on July 10, 2006. However, the Poetry Flash reading series continues, alive and well. Over one-hundred writers—primarily poets—continue to be introduced each year by our host, Poetry Flash Associate Editor Richard Silberg in various locations listed below. Now, as in the past, our series is open to diverse poetics, while providing a forum for poetry’s best.” (quoted from the poetry flash reading series website)


I was going to post a copy of the Table of Contents of Hank’s new book to give you a sense of the essays, but instead i think i’ll have a little 2-part contest. first, i will post half of the table of contents and leave a few words omitted. to win the contest, you have to guess one of the missing words. the first to guess correctly wins. NOT ONLY THAT, we will give prizes to the FUNNIEST responses! so have fun! the prize: any OMNIDAWN book of your choosing!!!! the contest will be open for a week.


Introduction 21


The Lyric ___1___: Soundings, Questions, & Examples 29

“Vatic Scat”: Jazz and the Poetry of Robert Creeley
and Nathaniel Mackey 83

Lyricism of the ___2___: The Poetry of Rae Armantrout 95

The Early 1950s and the Laboratory of the Short Line 129

Nice Work If You Can Get It: John Taggart’s ___3___ 159

Q & A Poetics 171

Thinking/Singing and the Metaphysics of Sound 185