Split Series Vol. 4: Coteries and Gossip & My First Visit to the University of Maine
Authors: David Trinidad and Jennifer Moxley
Publisher: The Lettered Streets Press (2019)
“Before we are the poets we are meant to become, literary friendships prop us up and give shape to our ambitions,” writes Jennifer Moxley in her introduction to David Trinidad’s chapbook. The Split Series Vol. IV features a chapbook each from Moxley and Trinidad, who in diary entries from writing programs and conferences reveal the friendships, connections, and heroes who keep them writing.
In My First Visit to the University of Maine, Moxley chronicles the 1996 National Poetry Foundation Conference on the 1950s, where she runs into several Language poets, cheers her partner on, and is inspired by panels on Edwin Rolfe and Thomas McGrath. In Coteries and Gossip, Trinidad records his week teaching at Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program in 2010, hanging out with Joanne Kyger and Anne Waldman, and taking notes on reading and writing advice.
Honest and full of poetry gossip, both chapbooks show the writer outside the role of “author”—in a bar, in the classroom, on a moonlit drive, at McDonald's, browsing for gifts, watching TV, and sharing scotch. These entries give a peek into the unique intimacies poets form with each other and serve as a fascinating record of the writer’s life when not writing.