In our own words: A Generation Defing Itself (Volume 8)


 

Πληροφοριακά και μόνο θα σας παραθέσω την συμμετοχή μου σε μια παγκόσμια ανθολογία ποίησης που έχει ως άξονα αναφοράς τη γενιά μου. Αυτή τη γενιά που δεν οριοθετείται ως γενιά του 9ο ή του 2000 αλλά τελικά περιλαμβάνει τους ποιητές που γεννήθηκαν από το 1962 εως και το 1982 και δραστηριοποιήθηκαν εκδοτικά περί το 2000.

Δεν θα χρειαστεί να πω τίποτα σχετικά με θέματα που έχουν σχέση με την παγκοσμιοποίηση ή τι κοινό θεματικό, μορφολογικό ή άλλο άξονα μπορεί να ΄χουν ποιητές από ογδόντα διαφορετικές χώρες. Θα σας πληροφορήσω όμως πως οι συμμετοχές για την ανθολογία αυτή ξεπέρασαν τις δέκα χιλιάδες και τελικά σχηματίστηκε ένα βιβλίο με περίπου 200 δημιουργούς με ποιήματα, διηγήματα, ή άλλες μορφές λόγου σε 288 σελίδες.

Για να είναι πιο αντικειμενική η πληροφόρηση που σας παρέχω θα καταγράψω όσα περιλαμβάνονται στον πρόλογο της έκδοσης και ταυτόχρονα θα δημοσιεύσω κάποιες από τις πρώτες κριτικές σχετικά με την ανθολογία.

This book series is a platform from which a generation (born 1960 to 1982) is speaking out about its realities, dispelling the narrow, simplified stereotypes created by the mass media and commercial marketing.

This book series now includes more than 1000 «voices» in essays, poetry, music lyrics, short stories and verse from around 80 countries.

«an eclectic sampling of the human condition in all its passions» – ParisAtlantic

«collection kicks with ‘x’ poetry» – The Michigan Daily

«consistently excellent and penetrating verse.» – The Times of India

«a project worth doing and worth reading» – PopMatters

«lets the voice of its people sing like an anthem» – Maelstrom

«a kaleidoscope of the post-Vietnam generation» – BoekSpraak (Netherlands)

«a collection as rooted in the generation that has produced it as it is timeless» – The Compulsive Reader (Australia)

About the Series    
  This series intends to reflect the full diversity of this generation – its experience, observations, speculations, aspirations, hopes and fears. Accordingly, contributing writers are from most countries, cultures, belief systems and a wide variety of backgrounds. Also, because the search is for stark realities from all representatives of this generation, and «political correctness» is minimized, individual texts may be contrary to the tastes, beliefs and convictions of individual readers. Bear in mind, though, that to lay any claim to being a documentary the integrity of this project’s mission requires openness, and no real censorship takes place. The only exceptions are where texts represent little more than gratuitous violence and/or blatant sexual content with no conveyence of insights into this generation.  A minimalist approach is taken in identifying contributors. For example, only very concise contributor bios are included. It is felt that the mission of the series is better accomplished by treating compositions as «voices» in a «generational chorus». Geographical locations of contributors are, however, included, and in some cases short explanatory texts, such as special accomplishments, even age, where the editor feels this information helps the reader better understand the context of a composition. Pen names are acceptable, but not «anonymous». In contrast to the austerity of the books, ample space is provided at this website to link to contributor websites, and to highlight books, recordings, even artworks of the contributors.  A «release» to print will be sent out to the authors of compositions selected as «candidates» for the next volume. This release gives mwe the right to publish a composition, however, the copyright remains with the writer. Around 50% more candidates compositions are chosen than will ultimately fit into the book. This is in part because some writers wind up being outside the age range for this series, while other writers can no longer be contacted. This also provides the editor with sufficient material to create a «balanced» layout of the book.  Contributing writers will receive a free, complimentary copy of the resulting book. If specificially requested, and addresses are provided, translators also receive free copies, as well as publishers/record labels. Further, contributors may order additional books at a 40% discount off the cover prices. Finally, if the project generates sufficient revenues, contributors will share in any «net profit» achieved.

Anticipated parameters for the books are:

  • approx. 200 contributors
  • 288 pages
  • 7×9 inches trade paperback
  • retail price less than $US 20

 

 MARK ANTONY15, APRIL 2000

FROM EPINIONS

GENERATION X HAS A VOICE

In Our Own Words: An Anthology of Poetry From a G…

«In Our Own Words» is wholly unique in that it succeeds in collecting poetry from Gen-X writers from around the world. The publisher, unlike others, has a great deal of respect for gen-xer’s and fights against the ugly perceptions of the «x» generation fostered by a media mostly comprised of sell-out former hippies who need to kiss the establishment’s butt in order to feel cleansed of their former behaviour.The international breadth of the chosen writers alone will strike you as something worthy of full investigation. Editor/Publisher, Marlow Peerse Weaver manages to include writers of perspectives around the world which is another leap in strengthening the revolve of a group misunderstood and maligned on the sole basis that we didn’t have the chance to act like idiots in the 1st Woodstock (which, of course, is now packaged by those same people as a «historical and cultural event.»)The ages ranges too are very impressive in that you feel a partner to many a person’s feelings. The widest spectrum possible is included to present romantic, political, social, emotional and cultural views often missing from the corporate news stories on television and in print in desperate need of a dead-body quota or a boogey-man to focus attention long enough to sell soap and expensive cars.

Poems like «Belfast 98» and «Days of Unemployment and Attachment Problems» run side by side other lighter works such as «A Chance Encounter with Relish» and «Verbs with Such Meaning.» 132 poems in all
constitute a project like no other published in America today. «In Our Own Words» attempts to collectively allow members of misunderstood generation speak their hearts and minds in uncensored poetic beauty.
You’ll read and appreciate their hopes and fears and the unspoken truth that they have inherited a mess of a society and world and are criticized for not having solutions to repair it. Which is a dilemma akin to handcuffing a person and asking them to defeat a professional boxer in full view of the entire world.

Members of my generation are not supposed to grow into their own, make their own unique mistakes, we are supposed to be born read to tackle the garbage and gutless decisions previously made by our parents who have had a major part in all the bad and good society presently offers. We are being set up to fall. «Generation Lee Harvey Oswald» is what some of my friends call us. We will find our own voice and way by making our own errors and solutions in our own time.

For purposes of full disclosure I feel it necessary to reveal that I too as a writer and playwright was invited to submit a poem to this project and have done so. Since this format is not a formal book review but merely an expert opinion, I offer it without feeling any tinge of conflict of interest. I have been honest and so you must decide. But whatever you decision please make it with informed knowledge of not only what I say and believe, but what you own experiences as a gen-xer shows you in today’s world. To sell oneself short is to be a slave to someone’s dangerous prejudice. Everyday I take the chance to be myself and not some media creation or group-think wannabe. Give yourself that same dignity.
In the world we live in today, you will actually be the rebel of righteous vision.

JAAM Magazine Review
From Issue No. 14 (October 2000)  In Our Own Words A Generation Defining Itself, Vol. 2, Editor Marlow Peerse Weaver, MWE Enterprises, $US10.95. This is the second in a continuing series of anthologies representing Generation X poetry. All contributions have been selected from over 11,400 submissions via the Internet and the book is distributed worldwide. Though still in its early stages the project could become a major anthology in its own right if the quality of poets contributing continues to grow with each edition. New Zealand poets included are Helen Rickerby, Mark Pirie and Yvonne Eve Walus (who was also published in JAAM 11). The poetry is varied and lively, from a wide range of cultural and political backgrounds and the book is contributed to from all over the world. This series could become historically valuable in years to come.

 

In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself by Marlow Peerse Weaver, ed.

By John G. Nettles

Things They Do Look Awful Cold

My generation is so comfortable with the idea
of annihilation
that we nuke our food.

My generation jumps
from trend to trend, so new,
so retro.

Poetry, for my generation
was a two month fad
on MTV, the revolution televised,
homogenized, and satirized.

My generation is a conglomerate, corporate
marketing effort.

I am not the voice of my generation.
I am the voice of no one
but myself.

(excerpted from a poem by C. C. Russell, Wheatland, WY, USA, from In Our Own Words)

They will never, thank God, remake The Big Chill, at least not anytime soon. It would prove difficult to tell the story of a bunch of friends who grew up in the 1980s pissing and moaning about their lost idealism, for the simple reason that most of us who cut our teeth on those years have so little idealism to lose. This is not a bitter statement. I’m just talkin’ ‘bout my g-g-generation.

The 1980s were, bar none, the most culturally diseased years of this century, the inevitable backlash of the malaise and idle narcissism of the preceding decade. As ‘80s nostalgia begins to gear up — even now, Old Navy is selling parachute pants — we can’t expect the same pattern of glossy-iconography-sans-icky-memories that marked nostalgia for the Fifties (Elvis, not Joe McCarthy), the Sixties (Woodstock, not Altamont), and the Seventies (Disco Duck, not Tricky Dick) to fall into place, because the Eighties were the decade without icky memories. We never managed to feed those starving Ethiopians — most of the wheat ended up rotting on a government pier because we forgot there was a civil war going on and the starving kids all lived in rebel-held areas — but didn’t Live Aid kick ass? We went from the greatest lender nation in the world to the greatest debtor and we had a minor stock market crash, but Reaganomics worked! Our heroes were all capitalist cutthroats like Trump and Gates, cryptofascist jerks like Oliver North, or hyperthyroid chest-pounders like Stallone and Ah-nuld. Ketchup was a vegetable. Trees caused air pollution. Greed was good. Love was a bat-tle-field…

Marlow Peerse Weaver’s ongoing project In Our Own Words: A Generation Defining Itself calls upon writers all over the world born between the years 1960 and 1982 to express the thoughts, hopes, fears, and concerns of “Generation X,” now that they’re old enough to qualify for nostalgia. It’s a daunting task, considering that the main complaint of most of these writers appears to be that they have no earthly idea what’s going on. The series is shot through with themes of rootlessness and lack of clear purpose, either because the writers feel betrayed by the preceding generation’s waffling idealism or because they are the first generation fully forced to cope with the collapse of social and technological boundaries. The consensus seems to be that Gen X is unicycling without a net over one hell of an abyss:

It’s interesting to see the difference between then and now… less than ten years. I experienced and consciously observed the loss of my rebellious ideologies, a conversion that took four or five years, from larva to adult. I can remember, rather clearly, points of confusion, in which I knew that I was supposed to rebel against The Man, The Establishment, or something, but… but… the responsible, freedom-crushing route just seemed to make so much damned sense that I wasn’t sure of what to do. (Jason Katzwinkel, Hinsdale, Illinois, USA).

This is not to say that all of the pieces in this collection are rants about The State of the World. The writing moves across a broad spectrum, from the societal to the intensely personal:

and fuck yes
i refuse, with abhorrence, to unfold my hands and slash
wrists in hoped
forgiveness
but not forgiven..
and be driven
with repentance faked for scrutiny of
those feathered fluffs of non-emotion
emotionally boggled by my current passivity.

(jessica garver, Madison, Wisconsin, USA)

In Our Own Words is meant to be read as a documentary, with the pieces following hard on each other like jump-cuts, one after another, and each piece in a different typeface to denote individual “voices.” Refreshingly absent are author bios with their long lists of prior publications. Weaver intends for this series to reflect a culmination of various viewpoints and styles into a single generational chorus, and as a document of the Gen-X zeitgeist the series works for the most part. Unfortunately, however, in his quest for honest representation, Weaver has let some real howlers in the door:

I am alone
in this great vast world.
struggling silently
struggling quietly.
Can you see my pain?

(Scarlett Brooke, Storrs, Connecticut, USA)

Numerous song lyrics also appear within this jambalaya, which is at best a hit-or-miss proposition without the music to pull them together.

Weaver makes no claims to uniform excellence, acknowledging that many of the pieces in the collection are less than spectacular but asserting that his warts-and-all approach validates inclusion of even the bad writers. There is some merit to this idea in theory, except that Weaver isn’t taking testimony or extemporaneous conversation here. He is soliciting crafted prose and poetry, which is by its very nature artificial — the emotions behind the writing may be honest, but the writing itself is explicitly contrived and thus subject to judgment on its merits. This means that at some point Weaver must shed his documentarian hat and put on his editor’s visor, and the latter doesn’t fit quite as well. In future volumes — Weaver is currently taking submissions for volume four — it would be prudent to weed a few of the discordant voices out of the global chorus.

In Our Own Words is a project worth doing and worth reading, especially when it seems our generation is in need of more enduring legacies than it has heretofore produced. Our parents are bound by their memories and accomplishments and Weaver’s writers howl for that same validation, that same sense of identity and place, and for better culture than Diff’rent Strokes and better questions than “Where were you when Kurt ate the shotgun?”

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/in-our-own-words/

Κλείνοντας αυτό το άρθρο παραθέτω τα δυο ποίηματα τα οποία δημοσιεύθηκαν και είναι από το 3ο μου βιβλίο: CURRICULUM VITAE, Εκδόσεις Μελάνι

THIRTY – SIX

Thirty six years

Tearing out the pages of my truth

Sucking my lifeblood

Wearing down my words,

You menace me

Through all these years

     I’ve learnt to lock myself away

     inside the full length mirror in the dining room

Howling into a parallel dimension

Virtual

Examining my flattened toes

And my swelling belly

Pleasured

By your nocturnal queen bees’ stings

Learning moreover to suffer

To croak like a frog

To chirp like a rodent

Gazing skyward to mental forests with tall american trees

—We have no sequoias in Athens  

    We do not have these large hollows

           in which to hide the wreckage of our childhood

           to shake our wet plumage

           to have blood run down from our lips

as when biting sleep’s freshly laundered pillows

we arrest the tremors of a nightmare

or of a painful orgasm—

Put your arms around me sharp night-eye

I will fall asleep in the cleft of your tongue

I will breathe you in

I will possess you

I will be touching you

Inside your cavernous mouth

Laid out along the sockets of your teeth

I will decay.

CURRICULUM  VITAE

 Maria has a postgraduate degree in pornography

Panos in specialist pharmacology

As well as a PhD in chemical substances

Yiannis, nee in ‘69

Nightly endorses the axioms of rock

Though, nowadays, a faithful of Madonna, Radiohead and Bjork

Bjork imitates the whale song

The experts of my time deem this metaphysical

My friends stopped falling in love five years ago/ They claim that love is a cannibalization of tears/ They also speak of/ Subzero temperatures in a lover’s arms

Μy friends/ My best friends/ Marvel that I still fall in love/ And though I’ve put in an order for a marble bed in order to be totally cool/ Nevertheless while lying / Forgive me, I mean leaning/ Against walls, planks, pillars and cars/ I forever find myself before the perennial miracle:

Of my soul rattling

My heart bleeding

My mind leaving me

Insofar as it isn’t the other/ —Who in an attempt to describe the pencil of poetry/ might well not find the word for how the mouth got to the feet—

But I rather

Egocentrically erotic

Rising and kneeling

Stretching and bending

Going in and pulling out

Kissing and being kissed

With ardent devotion and skill

And I grunt when I come

Because for me the whale is a distant voice

But dogs even in my time

Still make love in public

Yiannis Antiochou

 

Το βιβλίο μπορείτε να το αγοράσετε από τα διαδικτυακά βιβλιοπωλεία όπως της Amazon.com ή Barnes and Noble. 

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