The Cultural Society Turns Ten
The Cultural Society will be ten years old this September and I can say without a doubt that I never thought it would last this long. The original guiding policy has sustained the CultSoc ((As it has come to be known, pronounced, “cult-sōsh”)), since the start: I post what I like. In the course of time I have had the opportunity to publish some printed and/or bound work as well, always adhering to a similar, if not the same criterion. I think it has more often than not served me, my contributors, and our audience well.
Though I actively publish poetry and perform and release recorded music, I’m not in the competitive publishing or music business. This distinction is worth noting not only because it is a matter of preference but because it might explain some of the decisions I’ve made in the course of the last ten years.
The CultSoc has developed along two sometimes incompatible lines: what I would like to see at the website ((Allowing for such material’s appearance in my inbox and the limitations of available technology, whether broadly or those at my immediate disposal.)) and what I would like to see and hear in the tactile world. ((In either case, my anticipated profits equal that of the other.)) What has mattered to me is something like posterity but without the grandiose or sentimental baggage of that term. My assumption has been simple: having the CultSoc allows me to stay in touch with old friends, make new ones, present work that otherwise might not find it’s way to an audience; at bottom is the fact that if I like it, someone else might, too.
So here we are, ten years later, still enthusiastic about new work from familiar people and unfamiliar work from new people. Trends have brought a wide variety of contributions: interviews, picks, photographs, paintings, videos, music, and live performances. The majority of the CultSoc’s activity has, however, boiled down to mostly one thing and that one thing is poetry.
I think this has occurred for several reasons, some related to technological developments and their accompanying activity ((e.g. the blog boom through the last decade provided a steady flow of reviews, links, reflections, quotes; the growing ease and comfort with which we spend time online)), and some unique to poetry ((Text-based, this site has always loaded quickly over any internet connection; poets are usually solid self-promoters; the medium and its constituents are, by and large, a chatty group)).
I’m not sure there’s a whole lot to add to these thoughts except that I remain grateful to my contributors, without whom there would be far less beauty and understanding in the world. I am also grateful to the readers of this website and to those who listen to and read our recordings and publications. Your support assures us that we’re not simply casting our work into the void. And though I’m not sure being limited to such casting would keep us from carrying on with our work, it is no small comfort to know that we need not worry about it.
In which our editor manages to stick to a semi-annual schedule.
This update features work from some new and some prior contributors: Michael Autrey, Sally Delehant, Joel Felix, and Joseph Massey. The picks are mine. Feel free to dive right in.
In other news here’s a review of Peter O’Leary’s Luminous Epinoia and a recording of O’Leary (laryngitically) reading from his work.
Cultural Society recording artists, BELLS≥, are playing a show in DC this weekend to benefit FIGHT SMA, a cause close to our hearts. If you or anyone you know is in or near the Nation’s Capitol this Friday, please join us.
Further, we’re looking forward to Chris Glomski’s forthcoming The Nineteenth Century, which will be available from this society this summer.
Further still, we’re laying plans for a Cultural Society 10th Anniversary Event, the location and particulars of which are yet to be determined but we’re shooting for October.
Shout, shout: (version); JCNJ; EL/JP!; Wiselephant West; PBNY; O’D.s; Cody; Magpies; Princes; Bandmates; z./S./J.; Neo-Modernists; NJNY; GDCo.; D./D.T.B.; & you.
This update features poems from Topher Hemann, Dan Rosenberg, Jamie Townsend, & John Tipton. Picks come courtesy of Drew Kunz.
As mentioned previously, we’ve got new books/chapbooks from Peter O’Leary, Douglas Piccinnini, & myself. You can order them directly from the CultSoc, so please have a look. Just click up top on publications.
In relevant news: Norman Finkelstein’s Inside the Ghost Factory is now available from Marsh Hawk Press.
Shoutation: locals & interstates; PBNY (Mazel Tov?); LaChima; JCNJ; Syl; Westerly Conovers; Cody; O’D.s; Bandmates; Princes: ems; EL/JP!; z./S./J.; NJNY; (version); Neo-Modernists; Magpies; Luna (much loved, 1994-2010); & you.
New Publications Are Here!
Members of our society will be no stranger to the work of the inimitable Peter O’Leary. We’re proud to publish his latest, most ambitious, farthest-reaching, and personal collection of poems to date. It’s called Luminous Epinoia and you can order it by clicking here.
Also available are a poem by Douglas Piccinnini called SOFT, and a collection of several poems by Zach Barocas called Looking Up.
In the event that you need something to listen to while you read (and who doesn’t, at least part of the time?), please check out There are Crashes, the first recording by BELLS≥, an instrumental group from Brooklyn, NY.
Thanks again for your continued support and interest.
Poems, Publications, and a Record
This update has poems from Wes Benson, Roberto Harrison, Joseph Massey, David Pavelich, and Shannon Tharp. The picks are mine.
In other news, Peter O’Leary’s triumphant Luminous Epinoia should be in hand in a couple weeks and chapbooks from Douglas Piccinnini and myself should be back from the printer in a month. Additionally, so as not to lose sight of the CultSoc’s multimedia assault, the BELLS≥ record will be in hand in the next several days. Warm up your turntable, we’ll take care of the rest.
Shouting? Of course: Team SBS; (version); NJNY; local & interstate talents & interests; PBNY (Mazel Tov?); LaChima; JCNJ; Westbound Elephants; Syl; Julian Conover; Cody; Franklins; Magpies; Do’D.; Bandmates; Northbound Stillwaters; Princes: ems; El/JP!; z./S./J.; & you.
Images Since 2001
I’m pleased to report that the images have been restored. Which brings, as far as I know, the new site to full completion.
I almost forgot: today marks the ninth anniversary of this society. Happy birthday to all of us.
I launched the new website today, and though it’s incomplete, I’m happy to have it live nonetheless. A few known bugs at the moment:
1) The image posts contain no images. This portion of the site hasn’t been resolved yet.
2) The publications page contains images but some of the product pages do not. See item 1 above for an explanation. I also need to get the add-to-cart buttons in place for most of the publications and will do so a.s.a.p.
3) The archive currently goes back to 2004. I’ll be adding the first three years incrementally and hope that 2004-2010 provides sufficient material to satisfy you for the time being.
Otherwise, I think you’ll find the site an easier and more thorough experience. You can search by contributor, date, keyword, or category, which more or less covers the whole knish. I’ve also added a sharing feature, in the event that you’d like to post links to the social networks you use. Last but not least, you can now subscribe to the site or to individual contributors. So if you don’t want to deal with whole updates but can’t bear to miss new work from your favorite contributor, you can simply click the RSS next to their name and receive notification via Google Reader or whatever service you use for your feeds.
If you have any questions, comments, or bug reports, please send them to me via the contact page.
Thanks to the spectacular men of version industries for their work on this site; contributors past, present, and future; and you.
It’s a pleasure to be back on an update schedule. Civilian life has kept me from giving this site the attention it deserves but it looks as though things have simmered down to a dullish, distant roar.
Therefore, poems come from Robert Archambeau, Joel Bettridge, Norman Finkelstein, Roberto Harrison, Michael Heller, Steven Manuel, David James Miller, Amanda Nadelberg, Peter O’Leary, Adam Fleming Petty, Douglas Piccinnini, & Shannon Tharp. We’ve got two PDF downloads as well: one from Erika Howsare & Kate Shapira and another from new contributor Claire Donato. Michael Autrey brought us a review of Michael Hofmann’s work. As for images, we’ve got some photographs from David A. Fitschen. Picks are mine.
Shoutably: Team SBS; (version); NJNY; PBNY; LaChima; Indy Elephants; Stillwaters; Franklins; Magpies; Bandmates; Princes: ems; El/JP!; z./S./J.; Syl; Cody; local & interstate talents; & you.