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Spring 2011 / 3.14

The George Stanley Issue

“This is the Place”: A Conversation with George Stanley
After Desire
from “The Green Man”
Pollock’s Echo, 1951
George Stanley Picture, a History
Dear Jack
Savor a rose
A Reading: Beginning with George Stanley’s “Feeling Out”
Memorial Reading for Michael Gizzi
“The dawn wind pats their hair”
Interview with George Stanley (1998): Excerpts
The Inland Empire
Our Man in Terrace: George Stanley
“Who Marks the Changes?”: George Stanley at The End / The Beginning
George Stanley, an appreciation
Two Bits on the Green Guy
North of California Street: A Tall Serious Girl
Self-Portrait on George
Snow moon stars twinkle
There’s a Then (for GS)
Winning is Temporary, Friendship is Permanent
A Man and A City
Public Transport: George Stanley’s Vancouver
Vancouver: A Cut-up
Careless in Vancouver
George Stanley: The Metaphysics of Place
Excerpts from Into the Blind World
Messages to and from
A Ballpark Figure
COVER: George Stanley, UC Berkeley, 1965 Photographer: Tove Neville, Stanley Archive, Contemporary Literature Collection, Simon Fraser University


Michael Barnholden’s books include Circumstances: Alter Photographs (Talon 2009); Street Stories: One Hundred Years of Homelessness (Anvil 2007), and Reading the Riot Act (Anvil 2005). He is the publisher of LINEbooks, and managing editor of West Coast Line. He teaches English at Emily Carr and the Native Education College. He claims to have met George Stanley at the York Street East Commune in the early seventies at a writers’ meeting.

Ken Belford is the author of seven books of poetry. Belford has lived in the roadless mountains of the headwaters of Northern BC’s Nass River for half his life. He writes a lan(d)guage of subsistence, with a sub-text of origins and evolution.

Daniel Bouchard: “I was introduced to George Stanley’s poetry by Kevin Davies. Then, editing the small magazine, The Poker, I wrote to George for poems and happily published his work in three of the nine issues that appeared. We met when George read in Boston in 2003.”

George Bowering is an old-time Vancouver writer. His latest poetry book from Talon Books is My Darling Nellie Grey. He is the 2011 recipient of the Lieutenant-Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1971 he and George Stanley both lived at 2499 York St.

Rob Budde teaches creative writing at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. He has published seven books (poetry, novels, interviews, and short fiction), his most recent books being Finding Ft. George (Caitlin Press) and declining america (BookThug). His book Poem’s Poems is forthcoming from Snare.

Ted Byrne is a Vancouver poet. Recent work includes Beautiful Lies (Capilano University Editions) and Sonnets: Louise Labé (forthcoming from Nomados). He first met George Stanley on page 15 of Caterpillar 11. He has always remembered the lines, “Tell me again what you said, it is possible everything I think is wrong.” He envies Mr. Stanley’s status as a foreign-born Irishman and his absence from The New American Poetry. “North of California Street” first appeared in The Rain (www.rainreview.net).

Joshua Clover is a scholar, poet, and journalist. His most recent books include The Matrix, a book of film criticism, and 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This to Sing About. He is currently a Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, Davis. He was one of the judges who awarded the Shelley Memorial Award to George Stanley in 2006.

Stephen Collis’s most recent book of poetry is On the Material (Talon Books 2010). George Stanley has occupied important real estate in his cognitive map of poetry since he moved to Vancouver in the 1990s.

William Corbett is a poet and memoirist who lives in Boston’s South End and teaches writing at MIT. He has edited Just the Thing: Selected Letters of James Schuyler, 1951-1991; is on the advisory board of Manhattan’s cue Art Foundation and directs the small press Pressed Wafer. His current books are Albert York (Pressed Wafer) and The Whalen Poem (Hanging Loose Press). Note on “Memorial Reading For Michael Gizzi”: Michael Gizzi and Craig Watson’s Qua Books published George Stanley’s A Tall, Serious Girl: Selected Poems: 1957-2000, edited by Kevin Davies and Larry Fagin. This made George’s poetry more available in the United States than it had ever been before.

Pierre Coupey, writer, editor, educator, visual artist, first met George Stanley in the late ‘60s across a table of beer in the Cecil, and years later was happy to have him as a colleague in Capilano’s English Department. Pierre’s work is represented by Gallery Jones in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest, and in Spring 2013 his work will be the subject of a three-decade survey jointly curated by the West Vancouver Museum and the Art Gallery of the Evergreen Cultural Centre.

Peter Culley’s books include Hammertown, The Age of Briggs & Stratton, and To the Dogs. He lives in South Wellington on Vancouver Island. He met George Stanley beside Pierre Coupey’s pool in North Vancouver in the spring of 1978.

Jen Currin has published three books of poetry: The Sleep of Four Cites (Anvil Press 2005), Hagiography (Coach House 2008), and The Inquisition Yours (Coach House 2010). She teaches writing and literature at Vancouver Community College and creative writing at Kwantlen University and for Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio.

Beverly Dahlen’s work includes four volumes of the open-ended series A Reading, the most recently published of which is A Reading 18--20 (Instance Press 2006). A Reading: Birds is soon to be published as a chapbook by Little Red Leaves Editions new “Textile Series” edited and designed by Dawn Pendergast. Ms. Dahlen has also published widely in numerous periodicals and anthologies. She last considered George Stanley’s work, Vancouver, in an article for the online magazine Jacket.

Lew Ellingham: “I’ve never been with so tight a group: ‘the Spicer Circle,’ ‘Green Street poets’—the early 1960s in San Francisco cemented friendships, many to last a lifetime. George Stanley the only native of the group. I was born in 1933, George in ’34. We lived together for awhile. Those magic years.”

Dora FitzGerald: “Born: Hoboken, New Jersey. Moved to San Francisco in 1957. Met George during endless bar crawls. Had twins on Ibiza, returned to SF, then to NY where I married Russell FitzGerald. Arrived in Vancouver in 1970, worked various social work positions including Asst. Prof. at UBC. George and I shared a house in Terrace while we were both teaching at NWCC. Moved to Galiano in 1990.”

Kim Goldberg’s latest book is RED ZONE, a poem-diary of homelessness in Nanaimo, BC, where she lives. Her previous collection, Ride Backwards on Dragon, was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award. Despite her university degree in biology, she has yet to kiss a salamander.

Brook Houglum teaches writing and literature at Capilano University and is the current editor of TCR.

Lisa Jarnot is the author of four collections of poetry including Night Scenes (Flood Editions). She lives in Sunnyside, Queens, New York where she works as a freelance horticulturalist.

Reg Johanson is the co-author, with Roger Farr and Aaron Vidaver, of N 49 19. 47 -- W 123 8. 11 (PILLS 2008) and the author of Courage, My Love (Line Books 2006). He teaches writing and literature at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory.

Kevin Killian, a US poet and novelist, met George Stanley in the mid-'80s, perhaps at the White Rabbit Conference/Jack Spicer Symposium held in San Francisco in June of 1986. Killian’s most recent books are Volume II of his Selected Amazon Reviews, edited by Jason Morris, and Spreadeagle, a novel.

Basil King—painter and poet—was born in England, attended Black Mountain College and spent some important years in San Francisco in the late 1950s where he and George Stanley first met. Basil’s latest book, Learning to Draw/A History, is being published in 2011 by Skylight Press.

Martha King was born Martha Winston Davis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1937, attended Black Mountain College as a teenager, and married the painter Basil King in 1958 in San Francisco where their friendship with George Stanley began. She’s lived in Brooklyn, NY, for some 30 years.

Joanne Kyger: “Up from Santa Barbara to San Francisco in early spring 1957 I went to work for Brentano’s Bookstore, downtown at the City of Paris. A friend soon introduced me to North Beach and a very small bar called The Place, where I met John Wieners and Joe Dunn, who invited me to the informal Sunday afternoon poetry meetings run by Duncan and Spicer. After attending a few Sundays, George Stanley, a loyal member, took me aside and said, pointedly, ‘Some people are treating these occasions like a party. If you want to continue attending, you’ll have to read your poetry.’ After a week of highly fraught preparation, I did. And passed the ‘test’. And became an ‘official’ part of the Sunday afternoons.”

Michael McClure’s Indigo And Saffron: Selected and New Poems is fresh from the University of California Press. McClure and Ray Manzarek are wrapping up their third cd—Live From San Francisco. At 22 years old McClure was the youngest reader in the Six Gallery event.

Barry McKinnon: “the task of poetry? What I’ve wanted. The poem itself (an artifact/real place)—& I’ve also wanted the very moments of its act & its energy (integration/location)—to include, as well, a necessary disintegration of its conscious and unconscious premises. By this I mean the practice I see in George Stanley’s consistently remarkable work: he writes/builds a line that seems dismantled at the same time—to reveal accurate processes of mind and life moving to their jagged truths.”

Chris Nealon is the author of Foundlings: Lesbian and Gay Historical Emotion before Stonewall and The Matter of Capital: Poetry and Crisis in The American Century, as well as two books of poetry, The Joyous Age and Plummet. He teaches in the English Department at Johns Hopkins University.

Jenny Penberthy has known George Stanley since 1992 when they shared an office at Capilano College. In those early days of negotiating office computers, Jenny remembers George’s sage response to a dilemma: “Have you tried the right side of the mouse?” Jenny is a former editor of The Capilano Review; she’s happy to be a board member, a role she shares with George Stanley.

Stan Persky teaches philosophy at Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC. He’s the recipient of the 2010 B.C. Lt.-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. His forthcoming book is Reading the 21st Century: Books of the Decade, 2000-2009 (McGill-Queen’s 2011).

Meredith Quartermain and George Stanley shared an office and many English Department happenings at Capilano College in the mid-‘90s. Her most recent book, Recipes from the Red Planet, was shortlisted for a BC Book Prize for fiction. Nightmarker was a finalist for the Vancouver Book Award, and Vancouver Walking won a BC Book Prize for poetry.

Jamie Reid is a veteran Vancouver poet, first published in 1961, author of four volumes of poetry and several chapbooks, editor in early ‘90s of DaDaBaBy, a magazine of poetry and commentary. He first met George Stanley at the legendary Gino & Carlos bar in San Francisco in 1964.

George Stanley was born in San Francisco in1934. He attended the University of San Francisco and the University of Utah, then spent three years in the US Army. He attended the University of California (Berkeley) for a year, then dropped out of university for eleven years, most of which time he spent in North Beach (and New York) bars. In 1971, after receiving his M.A. in English from San Francisco State College, he moved to Vancouver. From 1976 to 1991 he taught English at Northwest Community College in Terrace, and from 1991 to 2003 at Capilano College (now University). He is the author of thirteen books of poetry: The Love Root (White Rabbit 1958), Tete Rouge / Pony Express Riders (White Rabbit 1963), Flowers (White Rabbit 1965), Beyond Love (Open Space 1968), You (New Star 1974), The Stick (Talon 1974), Opening Day (Oolichan 1983), Temporarily (Gorse 1986), Gentle Northern Summer (New Star 1995), At Andy’s (New Star 2000), A Tall Serious Girl: Selected Poems 1957¬2000 (Qua 2003), Seniors (Nomados 2006), and Vancouver: A Poem (New Star 2008). He was given the Shelley Memorial Award by the Poetry Society of America in 2006, was a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2009, and was Writer-in-Residence for The Capilano Review in 2010. His poems have been translated into French and Italian.

Gerald Stanley is a retired mental health counsellor living in Yachats, Oregon. As a volunteer, he chairs the committee that advises the Lincoln County government on mental health issues. He maintains an interest in academic and popular philosophy.

Sharon Thesen’s poetry books include News and Smoke: Selected Poems; A Pair of Scissors; The Good Bacteria; and mostly recently, Oyama Pink Shale. A longtime resident of Vancouver, she taught English at Capilano College and was an editor with The Capilano Review until 2005. She now lives near Kelowna and teaches in the Department of Creative Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Sharon and George Stanley once sat in adjacent chairs getting their shoes shined after having gone through U.S. Customs at YVR.

Simon Thompson is a professor of English at Northwest Community College in Terrace. His first book, Why Does It Feel So Late?, was published by New Star Books in 2009. He currently occupies NWCC’s George Stanley chair of poetry.

Michael Turner is a Vancouver-based writer of fiction, criticism and song. As the Ellen and Warren Tallman SFU Writer in Residence, he curated “to show, to give, to make it be there”: Expanded Literary Practices in Vancouver, 1954-1969 at SFU Gallery (Burnaby) in 2010. He blogs at this address: http://mtwebsit.blogspot.com/


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AUDIO / George Stanley reads a prose statement about poetry
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Letter Six on Value and Poetry
Letter Three on Value and Poetry
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