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Susan Gevirtz

Poetic Intermission: editor’s Note:

‘There’s a lot of silence between poems and someone has to fill it,’ said David Bromige once, after a particularly tedious George Oppen Memorial lecture here in San Francisco.
      My hope is to fill this section of Jacket, this silence, with thinking — not tedious — about Bromige’s poetry, until we can get back to what, in the interview here with Doug Powell, Bromige calls the ‘primary writing:’ ‘It was my understanding that one’s primary writing was at once the vehicle of one’s poetics.’
      The writing collected here is by Bromige’s writer-friends Kathleen Fraser, Bob Grenier, Gary Sullivan; and his ex-student writer-friends Doug Powell, Carla Hall, Heather Woods and Barbara Weber.* Special thanks is due to Tom Beckett, publisher and editor of The Difficulties, for giving us permission to reprint the annotated bibliography of Bromige’s work first published in Volume 3, No.1 of The Difficulties dedicated to Bromige’s work. Special thanks is also due to Charles Alexander of Chax Press who has published Bromige’s most recent book As In T As In Tether and has allowed Bob Grenier’s introduction to appear here along with a selection of poetry from As In T. Thanks also to John Tranter for agreeing to publish this section on Bromige.

Susan Gevirtz and David Bromige

      As is customary for Jacket, Tranter asked that this section include an interview, two or three discursive pieces about the work and some poetry. Fraser, Sullivan, and Grenier’s pieces, and the interview of Bromige by Doug Powell, address Bromige’s poetry and poetics, as well as his position historically in a larger community of poets. In order to give another kind of profile of Bromige over time I have included two annotated bibliographies which together make an almost complete bibliography: the first was compiled by Barbara Weber, Bromige’s student at Sonoma State University in the eighties; the second by Carla Hall and Heather Woods, students from the last class Bromige taught at the University of San Francisco in the fall of 2001. In both cases they interviewed Bromige about his books and used extended quotes from the interviews in their annotations.
      The biggest thanks goes to David Bromige himself — who helped put this section together to a degree that equals collaboration, whose poetry and conversation about poetry has been a main sustenance — also a kind of collaboration — over many years, for myself and many others.
      And who thankfully and repeatedly has answered ‘no’ to his own question:

— Susan Gevirtz, May 2003, San Francisco

* To Barbara Weber — If you ever read this: I tried to locate you but couldn’t find you. Thank you for your great annotated bibliography from The Difficulties reprinted here.

** Bromige, A Cast of Tens, p21.

Jacket 22 — May 2003  Contents page
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