February 11, 2006

margareta waterman book release party

Spare Room Reading Series &
nine muses books

iteration: poems 1974-2004 margareta waterman

book release celebration and reading

Sunday, February 12th
7:30 pm

New American Art Union
922 SE Ankeny Street

Free admission

i am not a poet because i write poetry
i am a poet because
is grist for the mill
that grinds me into illumination
so that only words are left

whether i like it or not

She has a way of taking command of her lines with a distinctive assurance that is not only generous, as she fills the cadences with enlivening and revelatory inflection, but also demanding, as twists of her phrasings most reward those who pay attention. . . . as the thirty year career represented here demonstrates, writers do well to take responsibility for seeing their work through from conception to publication, in performance and in print. . . .

She has presented her work in Seattle venues . . . and traveled the country with it extensively: standing behind podiums, rocking and roving barefoot around the stage and through the aisles, and singing and chanting in performances that combine words and music. . . .

Although just one entire musical performance, "now and other times," a collaboration with Stephen Fandrich, appears in these pages, music infuses waterman's work. Rather than regular rhyme or meter, she seems to rely on an innate sense of rhythm to drive these poems, a rhythm that arises naturally, as it were, from her voice . . . Line breaks that create short, sharply tuned phrases or phrases that play off common locutions, and repetition of certain lines help set the tempo . . .

In these thirty years' worth of selections, the voices of lovers and gods, of protestors and travelers, of those who suffer and those who triumph may sing, yowl, whisper, and harangue, as her self, an aspect of herself, or in character of someone else altogether. . . .

Whether grouped in more or less traditional stanza-like clumps or set in parallel columns with italics setting off some sections, her lines read as scripts, with keys for emphases and pauses. Her tendency to take the part of gods and goddesses as she explores classical themes, her forthright sexual imagery, and her political barrages all have a certain confidence about them: this is a woman who is used to calling the shots. . . .

By presenting her work again in this format, outside of earlier contexts, waterman gives it a new and different look, particularly since she has, to cite the mathematics definition of iteration, applied herself to achieving a desired result by repeating a sequence of steps, always getting closer, in a quest that never ends."

—from the Introduction by Doug Nufer

the process is holographical. a poem comes. i read it. it speaks to me. to gather some poems for a reading or a book creates a further song, a meta-text. to vary the elements or even the order varies the meta-text. trying to gather correctly, truthfully, from a lifetime of poems, i find a landscape of expandable dimensions, a meta-space, familiar, without definition. somehow intrinsic. implicit, corollary.

and so i chose to make this book a general survey of my characteristic landscapes. i tried not to leave out essential elements of the fractal image i seem to have drawn, despite the uneven quality of the poems. it is not my skills and talents that i mean to exhibit, but the visions they are indentured to.

—from the author's apologia

iteration: poems 1974-2004
nine muses books isbn 1-878888-45-5 232 pages, decorated in gold and red
special celebration price $18
(for mail orders: add $2 for postage and make check payable to margareta waterman)

nine muses books nine muses mystery theatre
3541 kent creek road
winston, oregon 97496

*nine muses is a non-profit artists' collective. the design of each book is seen as a further step in the same creative process as produced the writings. performance poets used to working with painters dancers and musicians extend to the printed book some of the qualities of live multi-media performance; a blending of the poet's and the painter's eye gives the books an unusual degree of visual interest and beauty.