Gare du Nord

Five issues, edited by Douglas Oliver and Alice Notley (1997-1999)

Cover art by Laurent Baude. Full PDFs of each issue are available by clicking the button below individual issue descriptions.

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Gare du Nord

Vol. 1 No. 1, published 1997

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from "Editorial": We salute all those who serve experimental poetry and prose, whether in perfect bound mags or in the internet flare of the websites. There's a space in between we hope to fill. Something's needed that's faster off the ground than the solid mags but more satisfying than a downloaded flimsy.

Gare du Nord is looking for the best new work in poetry and prose and we aim to get it out quickly. The present issue hasn't got all the features we'll be including--e.g., French poetry, or book reviews. We'll build in the other elements as we go.

Since Britain, the U.S. and France travel to us here beside Gare du Nord, we'll do our best to act as a rail-crossing point, providing a good mix of work from as many different cultures as we can find, with a proper balance of gender (of course) and genre (less obvious). Easily bored, we'd like to be bratty and funny, as well as serious. Easily put off by the merely shallow, we'd like to present the linguistically complex too.

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Gare du Nord

Vol. 1 No. 2, published 1998

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from "Cosmic Chat" by Alice Notley:

they were sexist in 68.

Still sexist in 78, 88. 98? everyone

says not. how can you know

'When I die,' he says to me, 'we'--

he and his sidekick--'will become the

voice of your poems.' Against a

starry background.

There is no more sexism

except if elected to parliament. in

England, your tits are remarked on by

your colleagues, and you aren't

allowed to say 'cervical' with impunity.

The Diana furor was sexism;

why am I writing this again and again

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Gare du Nord

Vol. 1 No. 3, published 1998

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from "Chatting About How to Talk About It" by Notley and Oliver:

X: I'm under the impression that in our world there's one way of talking about poetry that predominates right now, that comes out of recent literary theory and the university but has permeated the avant-garde poetry world. And then there's another way of talking about poetry, which the mainstream uses, which is old-fashioned, not very interesting and is mostly used to talk about the handful of people they like to talk about. But there are other poetries that need to be talked about, and there doesn't seem to be a handy way to talk about them. So our subject today is, how can we talk about poetry?

Y: Well let's try to think of ways of talking about poetry which are lacking in the present-day discussion. It's quite easy to go on a diatribe about how an academic way of talking is very ungraceful.

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Gare du Nord

Vol. 2 No. 1, published 1998

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from "Chatting About Language and Tone" by Notley and Oliver:

Y: Or for a particular work. What do you leave out, what do you put in.

X: But that's very traditional, with Kipling and so on, it's the whole trick of things.

Y: Well in prose writing, but in poetry it isn't talked about so much. In my own work, in regard to those long talking pieces in the 80s, they are presumably about the details of my life, but I left my 'I' consciousness, my first-person-singular consciousness out of them, they're composed almost entirely of things people say, so you don't have a sense of a person behind them thinking the work, that was something I left out for a long time. I put it back in when I wrote At Night the States. Then when I wrote The Descent of Alette I left out my life entirely, although I put the 'I" in; my whole life was out of it though my city was in it.

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Gare du Nord

Vol. 2 No. 2, published 1999

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from "Chatting About How to Talk Poetry and Politics, Oh No!" by Notley and Oliver:

X: You can just try to reflect what it's really like to live a life, not what it's like to write a particularly narrow form of poetry whose ambition is to conquer the realm of poetry and exercise a wrong power in it.

Y: The world is full of voices saying different things, and one can say oh well there are too many to listen to, or actually one can say I think I'll listen to them all, let's just try to listen to them all, like stay relaxed and I might be able to take in a lot of them. It's just this one lumpy world, it's horrible you know, and we're all in every part of it all the time. We can't isolate politics from something else, we can't isolate different parts of politics from each other, we can't isolate the sexes, we can't isolate the races, we can't isolate anything right now.