So, just after posting the previous note I received some links to poems by Justin Evans. They are here, here & here. At times blogs are a quick way of finding information. What strikes me on a first, summary reading is that yes, they might be described as rural, if that distinction is indeed useful. They are also fairly straight-forward & appear largely (auto-) biographical. They could also be called poems of (& in) place. For the most part I think they work well. If, however, I may offer some basic criticism, it sometimes feels like the words stand in the way of the poems. I would suggest reading, & maybe playing around with, some haiku - Yosa Buson would probably be the most useful one - & the first two books, Riprap & Myths & Texts, by Gary Snyder. That would be for brevity &, for want of a better word, form &, of course for some damn fine poetry. Now, I may well be way out of line here. (If I am, say so & I'll edit it out). There may be things at work here that isn't visible from just a handful of poems. Things that may have to do with his spoken prosody or any manner of other things. & besides, I'm not really all that much of a teacher of anything. & yes, I'll be keeping an eye on where mr. Evans goes in the future, there is something that interests me in a body of work such as he seems to be building. & I fear truly rural poets are an endangered species.
On to other things. On july 30 Nuclear Assault released their first new album in 12 years, Third World Genocide, & if the two songs on their website are anything to go by, the hiatus did them a (third) world of good. A band with as much long-term impact on my writing as N.A., but who don't know there is such a word as hiatus, is Chumbawamba. So far I've only heard the snippets from their new album, A Singsong & a Scrap, that are on their website. Of course the only things I can be certain about with Chumba is that they won't sound like they did on their last album & that they will sound good. After a couple of noisy swinging albums, this is an accoustic one. Once, many many moons ago, they began as some kind of disjunct punkrock band. Well, as far as I'm concerned they are one of the very few, say two or three, punk bands still around.
& now for something completely different; a deformed penguin. I'll resist the temptation to lecture & simply say "enjoy".
Some crime writing. A writer I haven't read yet, but who seems interesting, is Duane Swierczynski. Maybe I haven't yet got on your nerves about Robert B. Parker, or Sara Paretsky - anyone who can give the Patriot Act such a beautiful & savage beating as she does in Blacklist is forever included in my hall of fame. So are two writers quite distinct from the P persons & from each other; Tony Hillerman & Janwillem van de Wetering (this article about him, by Henry Wessells, is really good). The common feature that makes me mention Hillerman & Wetering in the same sentence, not once but twice, is that their views on crime, law, morals & justice differ radically from that of almost all other crime writers & of all so called western societies.
&, finally, I just learned that Kirby Olson has his first chapbook of poetry forthcoming. That is one book I'm curious about