Fountainverse 2018 Recap

On October 12th, 13th, & 14th, small press poets from all over North America descended upon Kansas City to read poetry, sell poetry books, and enjoy all that KC has to offer. What used to go by the moniker of “The Kansas City Poetry Throwdown” (cf. https://jasonpreu.com/2016/04/19/some-of-the-writers-from-this-weekends-poetry-throwdown/ & https://www.facebook.com/pg/Fountainverse/videos), was this year rebranded with a new mission to focus on small presses publishing poetry.

In attendance were:

Outlandish Press (Cleveland, OH)

Spartan Press (Belle, MO)

Epic Rites Press (Alberta, Canada)

Aztlan Libre Press (San Antonio, TX)

Write Bloody Publishing (Los Angeles, CA)

CWP Collective Press (Buffalo, NY)

Additional, there were many representatives from Kansas City area poetry organizations & events, such as Kansas City Poetry Slam, The Riverfront Reading Series, and the Latino Writers Collective.

We partnered this year with Kansas City’s Charlotte Street Foundation and their help and support pushed us into new levels of what we could provide attendees and audiences.

The team that puts this event on is made up of Jeannette Powers, Samantha Slupski, Brandon Whitehead, and me.

I encourage any and all small poetry presses out there reading this to reach out to us (https://www.fountainverse.com) and make plans to attend next year. I can’t emphasize enough how much collaboration and cross-city pollination occurs every year after we put one of this events together. Even if you are not selected as a featured press/reader, there are plenty of opportunities for you to present and perform and sell your work.

Fountainverse 2018 Recap

Huron Cemetery Poems IX

August 22, 2018

It’s too hot to sit with the dead today
     so I float above them,
     hanging on for dear life to the strings
     of a bunch of many-colored balloons.
Up high, where the air is much cooler,
     the oxygen less dense.
The vacuum of space waits hidden above me;
     a black, gaping maw poised to chomp.

Death above, death below, dying in between,
     one hand gripping balloon strings,
     the other trying to choke down a mustard-soaked sardine sandwich.
In the distance, beyond the curve of the earth,
     a thing so monumental its name cannot fit into a human ear.
In the distance, all lived pasts and livable futures.

There may be a mustard stain on my crisp, white shirt
     but I’m afraid to look.
Perhaps the dead have asked me to stay away today.
It’s probably not so hot outside after all.


Capture

Huron Cemetery Poems IX

Shots in the Night: The Poetry Show!

http://www.kkfi.org/program-episodes/shots-night-poetry-show

This is an unusual Shots in the Night show. Tonight’s show is about our city, its people, its feelings, and its life, described through poetry by local artists.  If you think you don’t like poetry, you are in for a pleasant surprise, because many of these poems are more like storytelling.

Featuring: Gregory Cenac, Linda Kay Davis, Patrick Dobson, Sharon Eiker, Kathy Hughes, Silvia Kofler, Will Leatham, Michelle Pond, Jeanette Powers, Jason Preu, Larry Welling, and Brandon Whitehead.

Poems read by Rosena Baumli and Jason Preu.

Shots in the Night: The Poetry Show!

Believing, Doing, and Sharing in What Was True

We can walk around the block
in the time it takes us to listen
to Wang Chung’s ‘Dance Hall Days’,

so I wanted to write a poem
tying the song’s lyrics
to observations made along the way.

For instance, I’d quote,
“And take your baby by the ears”
as we stroll by the police station

while employing certain literary tools
to highlight comparisons between the cops
and now-faded pop stars from the 1980s.

And I’d somehow tie together,
“And you need her and she needs you,”
to urban gentrification

and how pushing away the poor has somehow
escaped potential developers of downtown Kansas City, Kansas
despite wholly reshaping Kansas City, Missouri into something…else.

And then I’d end the poem repeating,
“Dance hall days, love, dance hall days
dance hall days, love, dance hall days.”

But without a smoking sax solo,
the entire affair seemed hopelessly missing
that something wholly necessary for lasting greatness.

Believing, Doing, and Sharing in What Was True