Apr 15, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Barrett Watten

This is what you're doing tonight: MOCAD, April 15, 7:00 p.m. FREE!!!!

Poetry is an oft-overlooked art. It's a bastardized one, too. You hear people liken visual art, even dance, to poetry -- but exactly what are they talking about? Aesthetic quality? The artist's ability to cleverly "tap into" something emotional? Fine. It works. Kind of.

But poetics is not poetry. Poetics unwraps the complex mechanics of language and structure. The careful crafting of space on the page, the deconstruction of a metaphor splayed and strecthed taut and the --- as Chris Tysh teaches --- jouissance, tangible or intangible, found in a word, line, stanza or complete works, are some of the poetic nuances poets such as Bill Berkson and Barrett Watten have seemingly mastered.

Better insight can be found tonight at MOCAD. The Woodward Line presents a special evening with poets Bill Berkson and WSU Prof Barrett Watten. Both are accomplished poets and educators, and Watten, from personal experience, has such a grasp on the mechanics of modern and post-modern poetry that one might refer to him not simply as a poet, but perhaps as a poeticist. Prepare to think ....

Chris Tysh John Sinclair

This is what you're doing tomorrow: MOCAD, April 15, 8 p.m.

Offering an entirely new meaning to the phrase "double-header," MOCAD presents Reading: Detroit City Poets & Print Culture, '60s & '70s. This is going to be one of theose "equally entertaining and educational" sorta nights. What does that mean to you? It means I will be there! Kidding. Kind of. It means, as MOCAD puts it, "an eveing dedicated to the poets and print culture of an enigmatic perios in Detroit's literary history."

But it's cooler than a soundbyte.

Poets from the legendary Artists Workshop will be in attandance, as will be Detroit poet laureate Naomi Long Madgett, the one-and-unarguably-only John Sinclair, Bill Harris, and George & Chris Tysh --- the later being one of this writer's favorite Detroiters (by way of France, of course).

If you dig poetry and you love Detroit, this will be a night you won't want to miss.

** Get there early for the Detroit UnReal Estate Agency presentation at 6 p.m.**