Mar 24, 2015

heading back to SoCal tomorrow for &Now: Blast Radius, I'll be reading with Nightboat this Thursday at 4PM, see you in the heat.


Mar 16, 2015

I'm participating in the Kathleen Fraser Tribute this Sunday, this is going to be a great event


Sunday MAR 22 @ CCA Writers Studio 5PM
195 De Haro (at 15th), California College of the Arts, 
San Francisco, 5pm, $10 
($5 low income; free to SFSU students,
Poetry Center 

& SPT members)
cosponsored by The Poetry Center, Small Press Traffic
and Nightboat Books 

Featured guests will include: Lauren Shufran, Frances Richard, Brian Teare, Latasha Diggs, Beverly Dahlen, Linda Russo, Eléna Rivera, Robin Tremblay-McGaw, Brenda Hillman, John Sakkis, and Jean Heuving.

Join Small Press Traffic and The Poetry Center, along with Nightboat Books, for our celebration of the life and work of Kathleen Fraser.

Kathleen Fraser has published more than 15 books, including mixed-genre collections, a chapbook of collaged wall pieces, and an essay collection. Her published works include What I Want (1973), New Shoes (1978), Each Next: narratives (1980), Notes Preceding Trust (1987), when new time folds up (1993), Wing (1995), il cuore : the heart-Selected Poems 1970-1995 (1997), Discrete Categories Forced into Coupling (2004), and movable TYYPE (2011). She is the founder of the American Poetry Archives, which she created while she was directing the Poetry Center, in the early 1970s, and teaching at San Francisco State University from 1972 to 1992. From 1983 to 1991 she published and edited the journal HOW(ever), which focused on innovative writing by women. She lives in San Francisco and spends each spring in Rome. 

Mar 13, 2015

it's going to be 80 in Oakland on Saturday, why not spend it indoors at a poetry reading? Jane GREGORY + me will read at La Commune, 2PM, 4799 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA

Mar 9, 2015

East Bay book release reading

I'm reading at La Commune next Saturday, March 14th for Steve Orth's Hybrid Moments series, really excited to be reading with Jane Gregory, 2PM start time, would be great to see you, whoever you are. 

"Hello and get ready cause Hybrid Moments is back with a vengeance. Please join us at La Commune Cafe and Bookstore inside of the Omni Oakland Commons on March 14th as John Sakkis and Jane Gregory kill you with poetry. This reading (I think) is the EAST BAY book release of John's newest book THE ISLANDS out now from Nightboat Books. If you miss this reading you need to remove your head from your bottom. Remember Hybrid Moments always starts at 2pm!!!

JANE GREGORY is from Tucson & lives in Berkeley. Her first book, My Enemies, was published by the Song Cave. New work is or will soon be in Critical Quarterly, Elderly & The American Reader.

JOHN SAKKIS is the author of The Islands (Nightboat Books, 2015) and Rude Girl (BlazeVOX Books 2009), as well as numerous chapbooks and ephemera. Since 2005 he has edited BOTH BOTH, a little magazine of poetry and art. With Angelos Sakkis he has translated four books by Athenian poet Demosthenes Agrafiotis: most recently Y'es and Diaeresis (forthcoming 2015 from Dusie Press);' their translation of Agrafiotis's Maribor (The Post-Apollo Press, 2011), was awarded the 2011 Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation. He lives in Oakland."

Mar 5, 2015

artist's book | poetry

Publisher: EstepaEditions
(Kate van HOUTEN) 

Paris, 2015

Estepa Press
165, Rue Charonne 75011, Paris, France
Bilingual edition: English & Japanese
Greek to Japanese: Hajime Ishida
Greek to English: Angelos Sakkis & John Sakkis

Poetry: Demosthenes Agrafiotis
Drawings: Takesada Matsutani

Feb 25, 2015

M. L. Harrison reviews The Islands over at Queen Mob's Teahouse

check it out like Greta checks out my aura

Feb 23, 2015


walking through China Town with Mosconi on the way to the PRB reading, Los Angeles

Jim Krull reviews The Islands for SPD Staff Picks

 ( for review copies)

"John Sakkis "The Islands" Nightboat Books


there is still a prejudice when

the trend-following flying fish of Phylakopi

hide behind ancient stone fortifications

begging to become blue ankle tattoos

    (p. 19)

A set of islands implies saturated areas, and a sea of difference to go

around that surface.

As a symbol an island could be a person, or thoughts, or memory, or

observations: a collection of them where a THIS is found; and

this THIS is surrounded by mysterious contents (the sea), part

floating on top, and whatever vast underneath. Or it could be one

of the bodies of land in the Aegean.


(Going from the book's first section through to the third.) I found both

an inability to successfully grasp and accept the flow of the

rhythms, and a quite deep and nearly sentimental attachment to his

images. I am drawn to a table on which young family members,

cousins, are half forced from play; the play that was equally

engrossing to me then as the memory of the meal is to me now.

I merely highlight one aspect in the variety of images and emotions

we are brought to bear into by the Author's presentation; the

quote picked above comes from some other aspect of youth,

different, but older, still transformed from the table experience.

These examples of the sensations created in reading are not to imply

that the book is one-way exploration of some special sense of

growing up. But the area is set as for what may happen, the ear

arranged for the later sections; there is a vast array that settles on



Only during the second section (or so I thought) did I have some

sense of how to read the rhythms. They become insistent; they

were insistent before, but I did not feel the beat in them, sense the

lines and phrases; they coalesce further than the first section let

allow, in its almost tranquil pace, so that more and more often

that pound and release is heard.

eight years

before the coin-baller

comes and returns

those fixins

that uncrowned

gold coin/ bothersome bluebird

because of you

I'm full of care

and wanting to

smith the stake

while downplaying

"the great indignity

of being kept

in the hospital for

an ingrown toenail"

(p. 89)

Layered on top of these changes in musical structure are other

senses of memory, of ancestors personal and cultural, immediate to

life experience and the experience of life in books of history, all

mixed, with a surveying exactness. But difference and variation

come through again, what is memorial or elegiac becomes

aggressive or abstract.

I do not mean to say that there is any one way to read through this

diverse book. Each section contains a different part of the total

variety of music, sometimes units thrown together in an unmarked

paragraph, sometimes laid out in a line down the page. Mazes of

references are deep-set and piled high, but are ordered as a half-

secret catalogue that gives a capability to the interested to search."