Saturday, May 29, 2010

Leslie Scalapino. 1944-2010.

This photo of Leslie, Norma and I was taken in 1998 and, I think, has been on my bulletin board at work since then.

Remembering Leslie with great sadness and much love.


Blogger StandardSchaefer said...


Great photo. You guys are punk rock.

I've been thinking about her all day since you sent word. She was very kind to me as a young poet and very kind to students of mine when she visited Otis College of the Arts, where she taught at least one semester. I still remember the first time I read Leslie's work. THAT THEY WERE AT THE BEACH is where I started followed by DEFOE.

We are inclined to think of Leslie's work as being sort of Leslie's, not that she was tied to one style. It's just there are clear commonalities to it all.

This Whalen quote that is going around seems so apt: “Scalapino makes everything take place in real time, in the light and air and night where all of us live, everything happening at once.” So that is perhaps a gesture at her consistency.

But the truth is, if you followed her closely over the years, she had amazing range. That's certainly my sense, having early on gone from poetry to the fiction and back again and again. I always considered her much more than a poet. And then the plays...

Even when I couldn't always follow her (her being so vast) I always trusted the direction and shifts. Often, I wound up getting what she was getting at, maybe two books later.

I will remember her for having championed a lot of young talent.

One of the great culture workers.
One helluva an artist.

Thanks for posting it.

8:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home