American Sentences Reviewed

Buy the book, $11.99.

Buy the book, $11.99.

Michael Dylan Welch, who has been tracking my commitment to American Sentences for many years, made good on his promise to write a review of the book and wrote a very astute and fair one. I liked that he noted my allusion to a Jack Kerouac haiku and liked especially this paragraph, despite the use of the sixth word:

These and other Sentences show lifefulness, honesty, and an endless openness to whatever happens—not just to the experiences of life, but an openness to whatever ends up in the poems. In that regard they have much in common with Ginsberg’s approach to this form as well as to haiku. It’s an exploration of the aesthetics of Open Form, or what Olson called “composition by field,” which Paul explains as being “what comes into one’s consciousness,” underscoring that “The practice of writing a daily American Sentence will change that field, if one is open to change” (9).

The review appears in the latest edition of the Raven Chronicles and bully for them for running so many reviews in an age when they seem a lost art.

See also Greg Bem’s review:




About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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