Sign up by email to receive periodic poetic postings from Alexandra

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'm thrilled to be on an upcoming poetry panel with Sheila Fiona Black and Sharon Olinka at the 5th Annual 2017 San Antonio Book Festival. Come join us at 3pm on April 8th for a rich conversation about poetry and all its possibilities and to celebrate "women's words"! All of this takes place at the Central Library in downtown San Antonio and on the beautiful campus of the Southwest School of Art. See what three women poets with newly released books of poetry have to say about the poetry-making process and the creative journeys each of our recent books took us on! Click the link below for full details: 

The 5th Annual San Antonio Book Festival--Women's Words: Three Texas Women Poets

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hineni Magazine, Sound Engineers, A Poem, and the start of 2017:

It was great to bring in 2017 by being featured in this wonderful new literary journal, Hineni Magazine. My work was featured alongside many other marvelous poems by Sheila Black, Octavio Qunitanilla, Ellen McGrath Smith, and so many others.

Check out this rich and gutsy magazine, put together by Jennifer Bartlett.

Here is my poem with (I know) a long cinematic-type title:)  Just click the title and link below:

This poem was partially inspired by watching Wim Wender's "Lisbon Story," with the wonderful Rudiger Vogler playing a frumpy but forever cahrming, somewhat forlorn, sound engineer. He is in Lisbon on the hunt for a screenwriting friend, who has disappeared in enigmatic Wenders style. Phillip Winter (Rudiger's character) is just trying to make a movie, and as he waits in his friend's apartment, hoping he shows up one day, he finds himself falling in love with the city and a singer and recording the sounds of Lisbon in the most off-handed, poetic way.

But I digress. Here is the poem:

The Sound Engineer with his Castanets and Feathered Pillows

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Wonderful interview by Kaveh Akbar at Divedapper with the poet Francine J. Harris on her new poetry collection: play dead (April 2016), recently out by Alice James Books. Read on to find out about some of Harris's thoughts on poets "preventing the calcification of language" and on "textspeak" and other matters such as verbing nouns and nouning verbs! Click the link below to read the interview in full!
            Nouning Verbs and Verbing Nouns--An Interview with Francine J. Harris at Divedapper 
                                                                  by Kaveh Akbar

Monday, July 25, 2016

"Dear Jean Seberg"--a Video Trailer for My New Book of Poems Kiss/Hierarchy

I'm excited to announce that the video book trailer for my new book of poems Kiss/Hierarchy (Rain Mountain Press 2016) is now up on Youtube and viewable for all those interested. This video is my poem, "Dear Jean Seberg," set to to a montage of images connected to this 1960's movie star's uncanny rise to fame. Plucked from a small midwestern town and discovered by the film director Otto Preminger, Jean Seberg found herself playing Joan of Arc at the age of 18, and with only having acted in high school productions before this!

Created by Mark Knox of KnoxWorXMedia, this video is a sensual homage to 1960's film, the at times sultry graininess of black-and-white film, and the New Wave Movement in French Cinema that Jean-Luc Godard spearheaded with others. Seberg's role on Breathless (1960), directed by Godard, was a key part of this New Wave and helped re-ignite her stalled film career at the time (after the commercial failure of Joan of Arc (1957)). A look at the ephemeral nature of fame and at the tenuous, vulnerable beauty of this midwestern film star, the video offers an example of the poems that make up my new collection. If you like slowly-smoked cigarettes, hastily-conceived heists, and unlikely love stories, you might enjoy this video and the film-saturated poems in Kiss/Hierarchy. 

Click the link below to view the video on Youtube.

"Dear Jean Seberg" a Poem by Alexandra van de Kamp

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Poet Hadara Bar-Nadav Discusses the Prose Poem and Writing Poems without Linebreaks

A fascinating interview from Jet Fuel Review with poet Hadara Bar-Nadav on how writing prose poems helped her navigate grief in her latest poetry collection: Lullaby (with Exit sign).

Here's a sample of Bar-Nadav's thoughts on sound in prose poems and poetry composing in general. I wholeheartedly agree with this idea of sound as key to a deeper, more "visceral" method of finding one's way while writing (and even revising) a poem:

"I especially enjoy pushing sound in prose poetry.  When I read the work of someone like Karen Volkman or Simone Muench, I see how the prose poem can create opportunities for very visceral treatment of alliteration, assonance, and consonance, and rhyme and off-rhymeI’m also a great believer in allowing the poem to go where it may, and, as you noted, sound was a major compositional device in the writing of these poems.  At the same time, sound also enabled me to revise these poems, which I said aloud dozens of time as I revised.  All this to say, sound can be both a compositional device and a tool for revision. "

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Nano-Interview with Genre-Bending New York Times writer David Shields

Last week I had the pleasure of being able to interview David Shields, the New York Times bestselling author of such books as Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (2010) and the very frank and unapologetic nonfiction book--with its eye-stopping title--The Thing about Life is that One Day You'll be Dead (2008). I know few writers who would let me know, within the first 10 pages of a book, that “over the course of [my] life, [I am] likely to take about 850 million breaths” (The One Thing 10), but Shields is just such a writerA true advocate for "literary collage" or for evolving beyond our more traditional ideas of writing our stories through a narrative frame with a clear beginning, middle and end, Shields is an intriguing commentator on what it means to write meaningfully in our fast-paced, reality-blurred and digitally-infused times. Here is a link to my "nano-interview" with him for The Rivard Report, published on May 10th, 2016: War is Beautiful author David Shields Coming to San Antonio.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Throat Singing

It was a delight to interview a fellow WordTech poet, Susan Cohen, for the Delphi Quarterly Review. Cohen published her first full-length book of poems, Throat Singing (2012) with WordTech Communications, under their Cherry Grove imprint for lyrical poetry. Able to write equally with wry humor and with an unflinching look at the precarious state of being human, Cohen is a deeply smart, musically-rich poet. To find out more about her work and to sample some of her poems, whose titles can offer up unexpected predicaments, such as: "The Woman Who Feels No Fear," feel free to read this interview I conducted with her published this month in the Winter/Spring 2016 issue of The Delphi Quarterly Review.