Video Recording of Orlando White Receiving Poetry Center Book Award @ SFSU

Orlando White & Patrick James Dunagan
Video Recording of Orlando White Receiving Poetry Center Book Award @ SFSU

Orlando White receives the Poetry Center Book Award for LETTERRS (Nightboat Books) and reads with award judge Patrick James Dunagan at the SFSU Poetry Center !

Here's what Dunagan has to say about LETTERRS:

'San Francisco poet Robert Duncan remarked: “There is no end to the task of bringing the sounds into our conscious art.” (“Notes on the Structure of Rime”) As a critical reader I am always looking out for those poets whose work answers Duncan’s oracular call for unabashed attention to how the language of the poem is presented so as to be thereby sounded; a poet who sets the poems upon the page as though the realization of a musical score, readied for the eye to hear as the ear sees. Over in Arizona, native born Diné (Navajo) poet Orlando White churns out just such work, attuned to “a lilt of sound: curve murmurs” (“EMIT”). White’s LETTERRS presents forward-learning contemplative action towards what constitutes an avant-garde poetics of today: a bracing engagement of/with advancing a spatial “open space,” page-as-field, poem-writing. White describes how “The white space is just as important as the text in a poem, whether it’s the counter that shapes an O or S, a line break after a word or a caesura within a line.” (“Functional White: Crafting Space & Silence”) His use of caesura and spacing within the individual line of the poem designates breath, measure, and the fragility of even individual letters. While with a quick glance through LETTERRS “the blank” white space of the page may be deemed deceptively sparse in appearance, upon sustained reading White’s employment of the practice proves to be truly nothing less than masterfully accomplished."

You can read the judge's full statement here.

You can view the entire reading from 4/27/2017 below: