Episode 17: Kaveh Akbar prescribes THE NEIGHBORHOOD DOG by Russell Edson + THE MINOTAUR’S THOUGHTS ON POETRY by Miroslav Holub

Oh yes, it’s KAVEH AKBAR in da house Pharmacy this week!

All the poems we prescribe and talk about in this episode can be read here: http://bit.ly/2xu8VST

Kaveh’s debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is just out with Alice James in the US and Penguin in the UK, and his chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press. The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and teaches in Florida.

Kaveh also founded and edits Divedapper, a home for dialogues with the most vital voices in contemporary poetry. Previously, he ran The Quirk, a for-charity print literary journal. He has also served as Poetry Editor for BOOTH and Book Reviews Editor for the Southeast Review. Along with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, francine j. harris, and Jonathan Farmer, he starred on All Up in Your Ears, a monthly poetry podcast.

CONTACTkaveh@kavehakbar.com or on Twitter @KavehAkbar.

If you’ve enjoyed the episode, please (pretty please) could you leave us a nice review on iTunes,  

Also, in the next year, I’m trying to raise funds for the S.H.E College Fund initiative in Kenya by learning 52 poems in 52 weeks. Here is my 52 Poems in 52 Weeks Donations Page: https://chuffed.org/project/52-poems-in-52-weeks 

If you’re feeling some poetry-love after listening, a donation, no matter how small (or large) would be greatly appreciated. 

Don’t forget, the Poetry Pharmacy is open every day on Twitter, dispensing poems for whatever ails body and soul. Feel free to @/DM us there, or email us here (thepoetrypharmacy AT gmail.com) with your requests for a poem prescription.

[Theme music for the podcast is by Aretha Franklin played by the wonderful coversart & also Ahmad Jamal from his album Tranquility]

2 thoughts on “Episode 17: Kaveh Akbar prescribes THE NEIGHBORHOOD DOG by Russell Edson + THE MINOTAUR’S THOUGHTS ON POETRY by Miroslav Holub

  • The Neighborhood Dog is one of those poems that, when I first read it, gave me chills. Not perfect poem chills but this is a weird art-house-film/ scary movie chills. But the more I read it (especially out loud) the more I fall in love with the mouth-feel of it and the dreamy-creepy world of that little neighborhood. That menacing dog and gooey limp hatchet are, as the narrator suggests in the last line, only the beginning of something more. I wish I had more to contribute, and I vacillate between the possibility that there is deep, undiscovered meaning in Edson’s lines and that there may actually be no more meaning than the fact that Edson simply created something surreal and lasting with no hidden message. You know, like that mashed potato mountain Richard Dreyfuss makes in Close Encounters. Maybe it’s a crazy wonderful place drawing us into mysterious world. Or maybe Edson liked to play with his words like kids play with their food! Either way–it hooks you in and keeps you coming back.

  • I think you’ve perfectly encapsulated some of my feelings about the poem here Christine, thank you!

    Love the mashed potato mountain reference.

    I think you’re definitely onto something when you talk about the mouth-feel of the poem. I didn’t read it aloud when Kaveh first suggested the poem to me, and I think it only really came alive when he first read it out. Some poems already have that kind of life on the page, but I think the Edson needs a voice to lift it into our inner-worlds, just like a Grimms fairy story does, which Kaveh draws parallels between on the podcast. Thank you for taking the time to comment on the poem.

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