Monday, September 16, 2013 lives!

Yes, may be the most esoteric of all the milk magazines online but we were the first. Since 1999, milk magazine has published a wide variety of poetry, fiction, and visual art. In 1999, there was no other milk magazine online or in print but now there are milk magazines in France, Japan, and Australia but we are still going strong. You may notice the format has changed a bit. Using Word Press allows readers to like, forward, or Tweet a page, and we plan to publish content on politics, music, film, and whatever else our contributors feel like writing about, in addition to poetry. Thanks for checking in to have a look.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My new book is now available: Vertigo Diary

Click here if you'd like to order my  second book VERTIGO DIARY, which is available now.

Larry’s poetry gives me the best kind of vertigo: the kind where you’re afraid of falling, but when you do you fall into a soft, meaty, sensual, smart ravine that shakes you pretty good, but instead of killing you it turns you into a Thinking Cocktail. What a scary and fine artist Mr. Sawyer is!
Andrei Codrescu, author of So Recently Rent a World (Coffee House Press)

Larry Sawyer’s Vertigo Diary speaks from a three-fold poetics of self-consciousness, critique and humor so that we chuckle at and choke on our collective shortcomings. This book contains so many thrilling moments of high altitude lyricism that are skillfully balanced by an urbane desire to “progress beyond the / Need to fill our silences with such idiot carcasses.” In the end, Sawyer’s woozy and exquisite poems are shadow messages from the other side of ourselves, messages that unshackle language and let it loose in a dynamic field of play. When I hear these messages, I feel a rare sense of freedom; that is, “To their telegrams I respond / with a ponderous liberty.”
Nathan Hoks, author of The Narrow Circle (Penguin)

The secret love-child of Frank O'Hara and Paul √Čluard, Vertigo Diary is a swirling romp into the city—through the mundane to the Pentagon to the not-so-probable. Sawyer's latest maps a world filled with beauty and longing, where the political, pop culture, and literary history meet in “our own private Pompeii.”
Megan Kaminski, author of Desiring Map (Coconut Books)

Larry Sawyer’s Vertigo Diary is a fine 21st century example of the poetry of the American Urban Sublime. More Ben Katchor’s Julius Knipl than Nelson Algren’s Frankie Machine, the author serves up a “moment salad” of incidentals in our day world and his sharp ear gets the real news down sans air quotes. Humane and wry, the book reads like the serial composition playing in my head—you just can’t tell what is awaiting you past the next period, comma or enjambment. Dialectic bebop.
Joel Lewis, author of Surrender When Leaving Coach (Hanging Loose Press)

In Vertigo Diary, Larry Sawyer gives us poems that are rich in idiosyncratic imagery and elusive, quotable metaphor (“Why was each moment such a miniature Troy?”). Sawyer’s exuberant sensibility has led him to confident lyric expression whose finest moments are beyond context.
Tony Towle, author of Winter Journey (Hanging Loose Press)

Larry Sawyer has curated the Myopic Books Poetry Reading Series in Chicago since 2005. With Lina ramona Vitkauskas he also edits milk magazine. Sawyer is also the co-director of The Chicago School of Poetics ( His poetry and literary reviews have appeared in publications including Action Yes, The Argotist (UK), The Boston Review, The Chicago Tribune, Coconut, Court Green, Esque, Exquisite Corpse, Forklift Ohio, Jacket (Australia), The Miami Sun Post, MiPoesias, The National Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The Prague Literary Review, Rain Taxi, Shampoo, Skanky Possum, Tabacaria (Portugal), Van Gogh’s Ear (France), Vanitas, Verse Daily, Vlak (Czech Republic), and elsewhere.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

2012: Not the End of the World

2012 is now kicking rocks and what a year for poetry in Chicago it was. As my year as “best” poet in Chicago ends (according to the Reader), I wish the new hopeful all the very best. Of course, there can be no “best” poet, no matter the locale, and I am just thankful that a few more readers took notice of my work. In addition, it was a huge honor to be invited to my alma mater, Wright State University, to read my poetry for Gary Pacernick and his assembled graduate students in Ohio. I traveled, read, and generally stood in awe of the number of poets in existence in Chicago and nationwide and was even able to avoid any use of the word yolo.

Poetry is in no danger. There is certainly no dearth of poetry in the United States but with so much sometimes the experience of being a poet writing in times like these is truly daunting. The Chicago School of Poetics offered its first master class in 2012, with poet Ron Silliman, who commented later “This is what a school truly should be – think of Black Mountain College – beyond all the boundaries & borders.” Stay tuned for additional announcements about upcoming master class instructors.

Although the apocalypse was not an option, the Myopic Poetry Series saw a full year with the poets Vyt Bakaitis, Kimberly Lyons, Elizabeth Robinson, Toby Altman, Joel Lewis, the Russian poets Dina Gatina, Lev Oborin, Alla Gorbunova, and Ksenia Marennikova, and also Christopher Hund, Jared Stanley, Catherine Theis, Debrah Morkun, Don Share, Mark Goldstein, Camille Martin, Philip Good, David Trinidad, Jen Karmin, and Bernadette Mayer to name just a few. I was also able to book Quraysh Ali Lansana and John Yau for 2013. I’m going into my eighth year as curator and I’m still as excited to host, as well as attend as a member of the audience. I was pleased to write an entry on Chicago poets and fiction writers for Ploughshares magazine and generally worked to near collapse on another manuscript that will be published by BlazeVox in 2013. (About which Andrei Codrescu writes “Larry's poetry gives me the best kind of vertigo: the kind where you're afraid of falling, but when you do you fall into a soft, meaty, sensual, smart ravine that shakes you pretty good, but instead of killing you it turns you into a Thinking Cocktail. What a scary and fine artist Mr. Sawyer is!”)

I still believe Chicago is the nexus for poetry in the U.S., and it’s a happy exhaustion I’m feeling but I must be forgetting something.