Reading of “Volcanoes/Organics” and Other Poems

On September 18, 2018, I read some poems with Julie Suarez-Hayes at SUNY Oneonta  in Oneonta, NY for the Red Dragon Reading Series. I read “Volcanoes/Organics” and “Nothingness Introduced into the Heart of the Image,” from The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015), and “Fallout: New Vegas” and “An Open Letter to Narcissus: The Magazine by Narcissists, for Narcissists,” from The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017). I concluded with a couple poems from a new project, which I have omitted from the recording. Roger W. Hecht provided a wonderful introduction. Thanks to Ruth Carr for the recording, and to George Hovis and Bob Bensen for inviting me to read.

Here is a link to the audio.

And a clip of “Volcanoes/Organics”:

 

Reading at the Community Arts Network of Oneonta

I will be a featured writer at the monthly Writer’s Salon held by the Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO) on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. CANO is in the Wilber Mansion at 11 Ford Ave. in Oneonta, NY. There will be an open mic, followed by a roughly forty-five minute reading of my work and a Q & A.

I will be reading selections from my first two books, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015) and The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017), along with poems from my sequence, 2013-2016: Sonnets, and new poems from an untitled project.

Upcoming Readings on May 18 and June 13

I will be giving two poetry readings in Pittsburgh over the next couple months.

On May 18, 2017 I will be reading at Piccolo Forno at 7:00 pm to accompany the release of issue 7 of the After Happy Hour Review. Also reading will be Bob Hartley, Daniel Parme, Celine Roberts, and Daniel M. Shapiro.

On June 13, 2017 I will be reading at the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series. Also reading will be Nikki Allen, Jennifer Jackson Berry, Jason Irwin, Sharon Fagan McDermott, and Kayla Sargeson.

Review of The Rocking Chair

My debut poetry collection, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015), just received its first review by Mike Good in volume 53, no. 2 of the Hollins Critic (their website). Though not available online, I was able to access it through my library and the AcademicOne File database, and a print copy looks like it should be available shortly for order.

An excerpt: “The poem’s content reaches often and expansively, shifting from personal narrative, classics, baseball, to philosophy, politics, pop-culture, sci-fi, western, geology, mathematics, and academic double-speak, sometimes in the span of a single sequence. . . . While annotations across a book-length outline of a poem might deter even the most intrepid reader, in the end, Fest’s debut is heartfelt, entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny. . . . [It] appears to be an invention to tame, preserve, and organize culture’s excess, but evades easy definition” (19).

The Rocking Chair

I am happy to announce that my first volume of poetry, The Rocking Chair, is forthcoming from Blue Sketch Press in 2015. I have worked on this book for many years and am delighted that it is finally seeing the light of day. Here is a description. More info to come.

The Rocking Chair by Bradley J. Fest

Bradley J. Fest’s debut work, The Rocking Chair, is a long poem that emerges from the detritus of contemporaneity, absorbing and accumulating whatever it can from the networked chaos of the overmediated present. Assembled from science fiction and the western, critical theory and hardcore, videogames and phenomenology, footnotes and simulation, diabolism and hyperarchivalism (etc.), this work yawps through diverse material and discursive registers. Working from the footnote and endnote as primary formal constraints, Fest invents a poetry in conversation with the Man with No Name as much as John Ashbery, Alain Badiou, Stephen Hawking, or The Blood Brothers. The poems abuse textuality through misplaced rigor and confused genre archetypalism, across sections and subsections of lyric reflection and play, in order to discover vibrant and vital materialitites. As humorous as it is deeply serious—declaring the task of “making anxiety fun”—The Rocking Chair enacts a radical poetics of assemblage and emergence, seeking to articulate some way of being and an imaginary commensurate with life in the twenty-first century.