Tag Archives: Jason Tandon

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Jason Tandon

Nightcap

From this hillside heaped with melon leaves
we watch a golden foil settle over the city,

the outskirt factories shuttling smoke out to sea.
Today after work, after many bad days at work,

I punched the banister into a gap-toothed smile.
On the news we heard of the innocent bystander

caught in a hail of bullets. We imagined
downy feathers in a pendulum descent.

You pull the wine from the rapid of a cold brook.
Exhausted stars recoil into night.

Our mouths, open and soundless,
taste peach on our tongues, a hint of clove.

Q: Where is your favorite place to write?

A: I like a small room with a good sized desk and a window, someplace where I can sit, type, and stare.
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Q: Do you remember the first poem you read that really blew your mind?
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A: Three poems actually, all read in college. “Blackberrying” by Sylvia Plath, which I still hold up to be an ideal lyric poem. “For the Union Dead” by Robert Lowell for its linguistic dexterity, his torrents of jagged sound–Lowell was the first poet that used language in a way that I had never read or heard. For a long time I wanted to write like Lowell, and still return to him when I feel like my lines have run stagnant. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which still remains one of my favorite poems. I loved how it sprawls, yet how tightly constructed it is; I loved the lines “I should have been pair of ragged claws/ Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” Also since the age of eighteen I have often felt like an anxious, balding old man.
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Q: What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you in the last 12 months?
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A: Interesting isn’t the right word, but the most incredible life event was certainly the birth of our son. He’s such a happy, happy kid, an absolute joy to come home to everyday. I’ll let you know what happens when he turns two.
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Jason Tandon is the author of three collections of poetry, Wee Hour Martyrdom (sunnyoutside, 2008), Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt (Black Lawrence Press, 2009), winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award, and Quality of Life, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press.

“Reading Tandon’s poetry is like pushing through the twelve hours of an all-night Relay for Life.”

Emi Greiss wrote a very favorable review of Jason Tandon’s Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt for the Green Hills Literary Lantern. Here’s our favorite excerpt:

Reading Tandon’s poetry is like pushing through the twelve hours of an all-night Relay for Life.  At 9:00 PM the white paper bags decorated to honor fighters and victims of cancer are lit up from the inside by candles and make you cry.  At 6:00 AM, tired and drained, you laugh to see those special luminaries lining the track crumpled up and thrown away.

You can read the entire review here.

Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, which won the 2006 St. Lawrence Book Award, is available from Black Lawrence Press and Amazon.

Writing in Inappropriate Spaces

There’s a great new review of Jason Tandon’s Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt. The review, penned by Emi Griess is available for your reading pleasure online over at the Green Hills Literary Lantern website.

To whet your appetite, we’re posting some of our favorite sections here:

Jason Tandon gives us the bleak, funny, and depressingly, hilariously boring aspects of life and writes in the inappropriate spaces where they overlap: a Buddha statue cohabiting with a garden gnome and lawn jockey, meditating to chainsaw background music; an anniversary celebration planned with the help of whatever was lying around or on sale; the every-morning occurrences at a Kwik-Stop.

Reading Tandon’s poetry is like pushing through the twelve hours of an all-night Relay for Life.  At 9:00 PM the white paper bags decorated to honor fighters and victims of cancer are lit up from the inside by candles and make you cry.  At 6:00 AM, tired and drained, you laugh to see those special luminaries lining the track crumpled up and thrown away.

You can read the entire review by following this link.

Also, if you’d like to order your own copy of Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, you can do so by going to the Black Lawrence Press website or to Amazon.

The St. Lawrence Book Award Early Bird Special

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for the 2010 St. Lawrence Book Award, an annual award that is given for an unpublished collection of short stories or poems. The St. Lawrence Book Award is open to any writer who has not yet published a full-length collection of short stories or poems. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes are awarded on publication.

Previous winners of The St. Lawrence Book Award include Marcel Jolley, Stefi Weisburd, Jason Tandon, Fred McGavran, and Yelizaveta P. Renfro. Last year’s winner was Brad Ricca.

The entry fee for the prize is $25 and the deadline is August 31, 2010.

Because we know that many writers have been hit especially hard by the economic downturn, we are offering a fantastic early bird special. If you submit your manuscript to The St. Lawrence Book Award before June 30, 2010, we will only charge you the price of one of our titles. The choice is yours. Most of our titles are priced between $14 and $18. (And we carry great chapbooks that are only $9!)

Here’s how it works:

1) Go to www.blacklawrencepress.com.

2) Click on the “Books” button on the left side of the page.

3) Order a title that interests you.

4) Shortly after placing your order, you will receive an email from Paypal with your receipt. Keep that for your records. Don’t worry about forwarding it to us; we can cross-check everything on our end.

5) Send your cover letter and manuscript to editors@blacklawrencepress.com before June 30, 2010. In your cover letter, note the title that you purchased.

6) That’s it!

We look forward to reading your submissions!

-The Black Lawrence Press Team

The Unbiased Heckler, A Fine Addition to Your Poetry Collection

Thanks to the good people at the Midwest Book Review for including a brief review of Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt in their Small Press Bookwatch section:

There is no one more unbiased than the heckler, because he hates everyone equally. Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt is a collection of poetry from Jason Tandon who provides a dry, witty analysis of the world through his verse. Entertaining and insightful, “Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt” is a fine addition to any community library poetry collection.

You can get your own copy from Black Lawrence Press or Amazon. Alternatively, ask your community library to order a copy.

National Poetry Month Wrap-Up

As April draws to a close, we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Black Lawrence Press authors who participated in our National Poetry Month feature:

David Rigsbee, “Pilot House
Marcela Sulak, “Pomelo With Fallen Angel
Shelley Puhak, “War
T.J. Beitelman, “The Inciting Incident
Laura McCullough, “The Ellisionist
Jason Tandon, “Work
Abayomi Animashaun, “A New Religion
Carol Guess, “Kicks
Joe Wilkins, “A Roadside Diner in Iowa
Lisa Fay Coutley, “In the Carnival of Breathing
Matthew Gavin Frank, “After Il Sergente Serbo e Sua Moglie
Michele Battiste, “Nobody Leaves
Katharine Rauk, “How Many Weeks are in a Day and How Many Years in a Month?
Brent Goodman, “Another Prayer
Stefi Weisburd, “Behind My Ear is a Little Palace in Broad Daylight
Larry Matsuda, “Arc de Triomphe, 2003 Invasion of Iraq
Sandra Kolankiewicz, “Winter Sonata
Frank Matagrano, “Waiting with Alexandria for Her Mom
Hayden Saunier, “Beach
Kevin Pilkington, “Milk
Michael Hemmingson, “Sedona
Erica Wright, “Reservoir
Keith Taylor, “At the Living Creche
James Reidel, “Ave Maria afarensis
Helen Marie Casey, “Mary Dyer’s Courtship
Brad Ricca, “Workshop
Daniele Pantano, “The Oldest Hands in the World
Julia Cohen, “Panic at My Wilderness
Rachel Galvin, “In Cambium Lucida

And most importantly, thank you to everyone who read, shared, and commented on these poems — you’ve made this event a big success!

National Poetry Month Spotlight: Jason Tandon

WORK

It is my job for life to clear
a glacier from a deserted city block.
I’m given a garden spade
and an orange suit with reflective tape.

The street stretches beyond my sight
into a blue, cloudless sky, and to my right
one brick building, where Rachel sits
dangling her blistered feet over the roof’s edge.

She says she’s from the Bible.
Her story rings few bells.
In the end, her death in the desert
taught us only that beauty is skin deep.

I tell her the sun has lost its power to thaw
and of a vague sense that I’m saving lives.
I heave the spade into the ice and feel no muscle strain,
only the chips that fly and tick my face.

The ice re-forms. I chisel faster.
Wiping my forehead, I steal looks at her legs
to break this eternity into instants,
to tell my friends at the bar when they ask.

Q: Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on the day you wrote the above poem?

A:  I started the poem after a dream I had in which I was chipping away at a glacier. Someone asked me what I was doing, and I though I didn’t respond, I had a “vague sense that I was saving lives.” This was in the fall of 2004, I was living in Newmarket, NH and had just started my MFA at UNH. The poem took a couple of months, I think.

Q: What is the last book you’ve read that made you want to grab a pen and write?

A: Actually, I just had a week off and read Mark Strand’s Man and Camel, Twenty Poems of Tomas Transtromer (translated by Bly), and Jack Gilbert’s The Great Fires — all of them, for different reasons, made me want to write. It takes me a long time to read a book of poems. I am constantly sent off into my own daydreams and memories, sometimes after reading only a line or two.

Q: What is the most sublime meal you’ve ever eaten?

A: Summer of 2006. Players on Madison in Lakewood, OH. My brother and his wife took me and my then-fiancé out for dinner to celebrate our engagement — I had sesame encrusted ahi tuna, a special that night. I don’t remember the appetizers we ordered or the sides, but I remember it all being delicious. I’m sure the meal was enhanced by the occasion, it being a beautiful summer’s night (we ate outside), and a couple bottles of red wine.

Jason Tandon is the author of Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, winner of the 2006 St. Lawrence Book Award and available for purchase at Black Lawrence Press. For more updates on Tandon’s writing, visit his website: http://jasontandon.wordpress.com/.

BLP Celebrates National Poetry Month

Black Lawrence Press will celebrate National Poetry Month by featuring a poem by one of our authors every day on the blog. Each poem will be accompanied by a short Q&A with the author. Participating authors include:

Abayomi Animashaun
Michele Battiste
T.J. Beitelman
Helen Marie Casey
Lisa Fay Coutley
Matthew Gavin Frank
Rachel Galvin
Brent Goodman
Carol Guess
Sandra Kolankiewicz
Frank Matagrano
Lawrance Matsuda
Laura McCullough
Kevin Pilkington
Shelley Puhak
Katharine Rauk
James Reidel
Brad Ricca
David Rigsbee
Hayden Saunier
Marcela Sulak
Jason Tandon
Keith Taylor
Stefi Weisburd
Joe Wilkins
Erica Wright

So be sure to check the BLP blog every day in the month of April for some great reading!

Jason Tandon on The Writer’s Almanac (Again!)

Just nine days after his debut on The Writer’s Almanac, Jason Tandon is back again. This time his poem “For Our Anniversary”, which is also from Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, is the featured poem of the day.

Check out today’s edition of The Writer’s Almanac.

Jason Tandon on Verse Daily

Jason Tandon’s poem “Grace” from his book Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt (winner of the 2006 St. Lawrence Book Award) has been featured on Verse Daily.

Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt is available from Amazon and Black Lawrence Press.