“Dans la poésie c’est toujours la guerre.”

– Osip Mandelstam

“A poet is not a cable car.”

– Jack Spicer

Dispatches from the Poetry Wars Celebrates the Start of 2018

Dear Fake U.S. President:

As they say in Ghana with a grin, You suck butter out of your saggy bum. Or as they say, giggling, in Haiti, Up yours and the last eighteen generations of your ancestors, you racist buffoon in a baggy suit. In El Salvador they slap their knees and chant, You eat pubic hair with salt dip. He who has the intelligence of a sand trap, the Namibians chuckle, shaking their heads. Accept the fact that you’re as greasy as a triple bacon cheeseburger deep fried in rat fat, shout the good-humored Bolivians, waving from their burros. Why don’t you take a crap in your hand and slap yourself in the face while bulldozing the olive orchards of persecuted Zionist settlers on the West Bank, say the funny Palestinians. Ass-dandruff-will-not, they sing in merry Syria, dancing at weddings. May your fingers turn into treble hooks just as you get a horrible itch in your privates, they chortle in joke-happy Somalia. What they say in mirthful Nigeria is probably best of all, they say, sitting outside their huts, May the cat eat you and then may a giant lizard eat the cat and take a dump on a rock so hot the fetid crap sizzles in the sun. Or as they say in Mexico, where there are more drug houses than automobiles, May the bow of a violin enter your anus repeatedly. Even in grumpy old neo-fascist Norway they tweet that You are Lord of donkey balls. You couldn’t caddy for Malcolm X, and he didn’t even play golf, wink the gleeful Vietnamese, from their banana leafed shacks.

Dear Readers:

Anyway, even as the world looks on in dream-horror at what U.S. America has wrought, welcome to the first 2018 issue of Dispatches from the Poetry Wars. Peruse our prodigious index, bookmark the site, and come back for more. As usual, we have assembled a veritable cornucopia of riches for your pleasure and stimulation. And more is soon coming, so don’t stay away too long. We had the Astro Poets do a chart for us, and they’ve predicted that as the moon enters Aquarius and Venus ascends in Cancer, or something like that, we will bring together more readers than Poetry, the Paris Review, the Boston Review, and LARB combined. We welcome your comments, observations, criticisms and praise as we continue to address the diversity of the being-together that is Dispatches. We’re already more impolite, self-deprecating, and flat-out fun than any of those self-important places, so the Astro Poets are probably onto something. They’d better be: We had to pay them $3000 for the reading. So welcome, and read on.

Dispatches from the Poetry Wars: A poetry shithole since 2016 – and proud of it. 

Please note that the pdfs are more readable when downloaded.

The full index of new material is available at the bottom of the home page.



OBU Manifestos #47 & #99

OBU Manifesto #47 Obu is losing its focus. That complicated clarity it claimed as its claim, that seemed (but only seemed) to be going nowhere--turns out to have been going nowhere. The solidarity, forthrightly utopian, that it gestured toward turns out to be, in...

OBU Manifesto # 433

OBU says, shut it down. Is Donald Trump the ostensible head of the government, the Chief Executive? The Commander in Chief? Then there should not be a government for him to be head of. Let him do his act in front of no audience. Pull the plug. Put the cameras on...

Rain Taxi

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Chicago Review

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Lana Turner Journal

Lana Turner Journal

Category Index




Dispatches Editions






Virtual Chapbooks

Dispatches – January 2018 Update

Click a box below to view the full upload list for that category.

Dear Emily Post-Avant: Advice for Poets

Edward Sanders – Joanne Kyger glyph

Anne Waldman – Summoning Eclipse for Joanne Kyger

Edward Sanders – In Praise and Memory of Joanne Kyger

M.G. Stephens – A Memory Palace of War and Profits

Aldon Nielsen – Special China Disdpatch

Bridget Minamore – Audre Lorde’s “Your Silence Will Not Protect You”, a review (link)

Dispatch #28 – To Whom Does Poetry Belong

Dispatch #29 – The New Totalitarianism

Dispatch #30 – A Thorn in the I

It’s Time to Marginalize the University and Revive the Café (link)

OBU on Facebook (link)

This Is How a Woman Is Erased From Her Job (link)

Ammiel Alcalay, Dispatches Editor, on Literature in 2017, in BOMB (link)

Wilfred Laurier statement on the Independent Invesitgator’s report on Lindsay Shepherd’s interrogation (link)

John Rigney – John Keats’ One Sentence Reviews

 “It’s been so beautiful!” – on Tracy K. Smith’s big Chinese adventure and the case of the missing writers

It’s been so beautiful

Liu Xia Is Not Free: Call On President Xi Jinping To Release Poet From House Arrest (link)

Francine Prose on Literature, identity, and the death of the Imagination . . . (link)

George Kalamaras interview and poems (link)

Susan Lewis at BAP (link)

Brian Ng – We Have Killed Poetry and We Can Prove It (link)

200th anniversary of John Keats’s penning of his formulation of “negative capability” (link)

From our Literature Is Weird Department (link)

New book by Lewis Warsh (link)

New Chicago Review Issue

Welcome to New Dispatches Contributing Editors

Cynicism Never Ceases at the $$$Poetry Foundation: Commodifying and Curating the Resistance from their $22,000,000 Palace

No Single Kind of Discourse Will Be Believable by Itself: an Interview with Dispatches Contributor, Susan Gevirtz (link)

200th Anniversary of “Negative Capability”

Mar con Soroche – revista de poesía y otras menudas comarcas

A New Book of Essays by Dispatches Contributor Barry Schwabsky

The Anxiety of Poetry – Interpreting the Jill Bialosky Scandal, by Sarah V. Schweig (link)


Omar Al-Nakib – Also–Fifteen Toddler Quatrains

Josely Vianna Baptista  – Three Texts from Roça Barroca, translated by Chris Daniels

Peter Boyle and MTC Cronin – 5 Collaborative Poems

John Bradley  – View from the Moon

Andrew Dubois – 3 poems

Clayton Eshleman – A Tantrik Keelson

Norman Fisher – 9 Poems

Tirzah Goldenberg – 4 Poems

Clive Gresswell – speak

Gene Grabner – 2 poems

Roberto Harrison – to draw

Emily Izsak – 2 Poems from 25

Kent Johnson – It’s Hard Being a Famous Poet

Adam Katz – 2 Poems

PJ Laska – The Fall of America

Heller Levinson – 3 Poems

Stephen Lewandowski – 2 poems

Steven Manuel – 3 Poems

Thomas Meyer – Lilac Revision

Garry Thomas Morse – Unsettled 9 & 10

Xi Penn – Poems of the Late Tang (a book of magazine verse)

Robert Podgurski – 3 Poems from Wandering on Course

Kelly Shepherd – 2 Poems

Tod Thilleman – Death of Foucault

Steven Toussaint – 4 Poems

Anne Waldman – Questions for Citizens

Lissa Wolsak – from Lightsail

Charles Whittaker – 4 Poems

Daniel Zimmerman – Two Poems

Graphemics portfolio