Posts Tagged ‘I-90 Manifesto


The I-90 Poetry Revolution Begins 9-3-11

The second most important date in the history of American poetry is September 3, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. This is when poets from all over the country will gather at A Different Path Gallery to read poems announcing and supporting the I-90 Poetry Manifesto. (You can read the manifesto here  or as PDF here.)

The I-90 Revolution Reading Poster

Besides reading the poems that will be heard ’round the world, it will be the release party of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics issue 14.

Redactions Issue 14 front cover(Special thanks to Kenny Lindsay for his help on the Tominator style for the letters.)

The final list of readers isn’t complete, but all the poets in issue 14 have been invited, including:

Corey Zeller, William Wright, Joe Wilkins, Antonio Vallone, Bill Tremblay, Daniel Tobin, Claudia M. Stanek, Matt Smythe, Martha Silano, Gregory Sherl, Ravi Shankar, Edwina Seaver, Wanda Schubmehl, Karen Schubert, John Roche, Michael Robins, Joseph Rathgeber, Nate Pritts, Derek Pollard, Dan Pinkerton, Eric Neuenfeldt, Laura E. J. Moran, Lindsay Miller, Philip Metres, Laura McCullough, Djelloul Marbrook, Gerry LaFemina, Keetje Kuipers, Les Kay, Kitty Jospe, Jonathan Johnson, Gwendolyn Cash James, Adam Houle, William Heyen, Andrei Guruianu, Richard Foerster, Jonathan Farmer, Deirdre Dore, Laura E. Davis, Jim Daniels, Charles Cote, Peter Conners, Holly Virginia Clark, Alex Cigale, Jan Wenk Cedras, Rob Carney, James Capozzi, John Bradley, Tricia Asklar, Sherman Alexie, Lisa Akus, and guest editor Sean Thomas Dougherty.

Don’t miss it. As Sean Thomas Dougherty says, “There will be poetry so beautiful it will change your life.”

A Different Path Gallery is located at 27 Market Street in Brockport, NY.

The event is free, but bring a bottle of wine if you can.

If you’re on Facebook, you can add it to your calendar here: I-90 Poetry Revolution Facebook page.

If you want a PDF of the poster, click The I-90 Revolution Reading Poster PDF.


Happy First Birthday to The Line Break

One year ago today I began The Line Break blog. Since then I have posted 144 blog entries, which is almost three posts per weeks.

Birthday Cake Wine Glass

Birthday Cake Wine Glass

Anyway 13,381 thank yous to each person who has visited.

Here is a list of the most popular posts, starting with the most popular first.

  1. I-90 Manifesto
  2. The Thought-Farts in Rae Armantrout’s Versed and Elliptical Poetry’s Velvet Rope
  3. Thomas Sayers Ellis’ Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems
  4. Lineation: An Introduction to the Poetic Line
  5. 2014 World Cup Predictions
  6. Wine Spectator’s 2010 Top 100 Wines
  7. 2011 NFL Playoff Predictions
  8. In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day Seventy (Ruffino Modus Toscana 2007 vs. Monte Antico Toscana 2006)
  9. Djelloul Marbrook’s Brushstrokes and glances
  10. About (which isn’t really a post).

Enjoy, and please keep reading.//


The I-90 Poetry Revolution Reading – The Beginning. The Manifestation.

This is my 100th post, so it should be a good one. I hope that it is. I’m going to post some movies and pictures from my reading with Sean Thomas Dougherty from Friday, October 22, 2010, at A Different Path Gallery in Brockport, NY, when the I-90 Poetry Revolution took physical, oral, and aural form.

The reading began with me reading the I-90 Manifesto. (The first few words, “Like the highway which we live on, we embrace the,” were not recorded. The whole manifesto is here: And special thanks to my girlfriend, Melissa, for taking the pictures and the movies.

Then Sean read. Here he is in action.

Sean Thomas Dougherty with Striking Urgency

Sean Thomas Dougherty with Striking Urgency

Sean Thomas Dougherty up Close and Personal

Sean Thomas Dougherty up Close and Personal

Sean Thomas Dougherty with the Audience

Sean Thomas Dougherty with the Audience

And here he is in action reading “There Is No Idea Here.”

Then I read what is probably the first I-90 Poem, Muriel Rukeyser’s “The Road.”

And here are few images of me reading.

Tom Holmes Reading

Tom Holmes Reading

Tom Holmes Reading a Long Poem

Tom Holmes Reading a Long Poem

Tom Holmes Suddenly Reading in the Dark

Tom Holmes Suddenly Reading in the Dark

And here I am reading for the first time ever “Paleolithic Person Explains Why He Paints Deep in the Cave.”

And that was, in part, the manifestation of the I-90 Poetry Revolution.

Long live the I-90 Poetry Revolution!//


Black Mountain North, Today, You, Me, and Energy

Black Mountain North SymposiumWhat I’m learning at this Black Mountain North Symposium are community and energy. Black Mountain College with all its writers, artists, mathematicians, physicists, language teachers, et. al., had community and energy. Well, I knew that, and you probably did, too. What I didn’t know was that the community could even be seen in the school directory. It listed all the students first under the heading Community. Then it listed the faculty, the maintenance people, and the cooks. But there is more to community than that directory. That’s just an example of how unconscious it was.

There is the community of help, as well, and celebration. Back then when a Black  Mountain person produced a journal, like Origin, Jargon, Black Mountain Review, et. al., the journal mattered. The editors actually published writers they believed in. Writers they thought needed recognition. Writers they wanted to celebrate. And, as a result,  those journals had energy rising from passion.

Black Mountain CollegeThe remains of all of that has been gathered by John Roche and put on display here as one entity at the Black Mountain North Symposium at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This conference is not only lectures that celebrate Black Mountain College and some of its writers and artists, such as Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, and Jonathan Williams, but the conference also gathers a few people who actually attended Black Mountains College. Students. Students who are now 81 years old. (Martha Rittenhouse who studied with Josef Albers and Charles Olson in 1947-48, Basil King who attended Black Mountain College as a teenager and completed an apprenticeship as an abstract expressionist in San Francisco and New York, and Martha King who attended Black Mountain College in the summer of 1955.) That is an amazing feat, and it will probably be the last time a gathering like this happens.

Oh, and Ed Sanders is here, too. I so want to meet him. I want to tell him the importance of The Fugs to me, especially “The Swinburne Stomp.”

I just haven’t found the right moment. He seems approachable. I did say hi to him, but then wasn’t the time to go any further.

Oh, and Robert Creeley’s wife, Penelope, is also here, despite her good friend and poet Michael Gizzi passing away the other day.

Beauty and the BeastBut as I said, there is more than the lectures. There are those people I just mentioned. The students. The students with their stories. Students telling stories of the past. The past with detail. Stories of the chemistry building burning down, and the students helping to reconstruct it. Stories of farming together. Stories of washing their dishes. Stories of the parties. And stories of the competition to make the best, perfect piece of art. But not a competition with each other, but with themselves. A competition to make something wonderful for class the next day.

I feel sentimental. I miss Black Mountain College, and I’ve never been there. Black Mountain College formed in 1933 and closed in 1957. (For a brief history, go here: I’ve even read a lot about Black Mountain College via Martin Duberman’s Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community and Fielding Dawson’s The Black Mountain Book. The former written by a historian; the latter by a student of Black Mountain College, who was also an amazing fiction writer. And I’ve read a ton of Olson, Creeley, Cid Corman, Robert Duncan, Williams, Sanders, et. al. But I never felt like I was at Black Mountain until today. My sentiments feel deep and strong. I’m sad it’s gone. I’m happy for this conference.

I feel like I’m a champion of poetry. I try to champion poetry and poets when and where I can, but I feel I’m not doing it well enough. With not enough integrity. I want to start a press to help poetry more and more poets, but really that won’t help. I need more integrity like the Black Mountain writers. I need a community and energy.

Where is today’s energy and community? Is it in the MFA programs with two- to three-year-long communities? If so, that is not enough. Those communities dissolve fast after graduation but not nearly as fast as the energy.

Energy depends on community. I would like to find or shape a new community. A community of help and celebration and the championing of poetry. Who wants to join? How shall we join? How will we connect? Is the I-90 Manifesto and Poetry Revolution the road to community? Let’s hope so.

Let’s energize.

Let’s make for the altar of imagination some sign, some image complex, some community of energy.//


I-90 Manifesto


I-90 Manifesto


I-90 Revolution

Like the highway which we live on, we embrace the bicoastal and the local but disdain coastal pretensions and inland parochialisms.

We disdain cosmopolitan elitisms and rural anti-intellectualism.

We embrace the idea of wanting to be elsewhere while at the same time loving where we are.

We embrace the exploratory and the formal but never at the expense of each other.

We disdain intellectualism that loses the human. The human must come first.

We embrace the heart and the gut and believe all truly great art emerges from the body.

The body is the place of the only universals.

We believe in greatness of the natural, the great lakes and the mountains, the big sky.

We believe in toughness like the factory workers, the immigrants, and the indigenous peoples that guard our rails.

We sing the northern hemisphere and the four seasons.

We sing the salmon and the seal. We sing the mountain lion and the ram’s ghost.

We sing the empty factory husks and shadows of lost limbs.

We sing with images and music.

We believe Poetry can truly make a difference in the lives of those who need it, but too often it does not.

We believe this is the fault of both Poetry and The System.

We believe that too often Poetry has deluded itself as revolutionary only to become more obfuscating than the system.

We believe Poetry must be part of the great struggle for human dignity.

We believe a poem is not a bullet or a plaything. It is not a pastime or something that is “appreciated.”

We believe in readers. A poem is written to be read.

Sean Thomas Dougherty (Guest Editor) and Tom Holmes (Editor)
Redactions: Poetry & Poetics

If you believe, if you want to join the I-90 Revolution, put your poetry submissions into one attached document or paste into the body of an email and send to redactionspoetry(at) (Replace “(at)” with “@”.) Also, if you live within 50 miles of I-90, please indicate that in your submission.

Please, no poems about I-90, highways, or roads.

For more information:

You may also submit poems not related to the I-90 Poetry Revolution following the above submission guidelines.


The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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