Jake Marmer

Nigun Poetics & Upcoming Gigs

I’ve been working on a series of poems inspired by the practice of Chassidic chanting – trying to recreate the state of being inside a nigun (or nign). There’s about a dozen of pieces already, some more crystallized than others. I’d like to start sending them around, submissions and all, but the issue is that the concept is esoteric. So the question is how to reference the nigun, and yet make it clear and accessible. I really don’t like footnoting in general – smn conceited about that. Or anyway, I don’t think a poet should explain his/her poetry. I asked a few people around and got some great feedback. My favorite bit of thinking came from Jerry Rothenberg. He suggested expanding a footnote into “poetics” – poetic discussion of the methodology. So, something inherently poetic, extension (and reflections) of the practice rather than a dry informational blurb. That feels very exciting – lots to think about there.

A few very different gigs coming up. The first is this Sunday at the Queens Public Library in Jamaica, Queens. They have these open mic series they host, and kindly invited me to be a featured reader. Something of a departure from my usual audience/locale but that’s what’s fun about it. Also, 30 min set without music? I’m also

Also, Dec 10th I’m reading at Stern College. Less of a departure and more like home-coming. Not that it was ever my home. Not that I have a home, educationally or transcendentally speaking anyway.

Finally, Feb 17th there’s a gig/conference on Jewish Poetics at the University of Minnesota that I’ll be part of along with a few great poets, including Adeena Karasick, Joy Ladin, Rachel Tzvia Back, and Erica Kaufman. All great folks.