The Bay Area has always been a hot-bed for experimental poetry, from the Beats and the famous Six Gallery reading to Ferlinghetti’s City Lights enclave to the San Francisco Renaissance that yielded such poetic powers as Rexroth, Duncan, Spicer and Blaser. Thankfully, it is not just a thing of the past as a thriving scene continues to produce interesting poets on both sides of the Bay. One such poet is Joseph Noble, whose poems and essays have appeared in various journals such as OR, New American Writing, Hambone, Five Fingers Review, The New Review of Literature, Talisman, Eleven Eleven, and others. Six poems from his series, between, were included in the exhibit “Social Behavior Lab” at the San Francisco Exploratorium.
In 2006 Noble’s first full length book of poetry, An Ives Set, was published by lyric& Press. Fellow poet, Laynie Brown, described the book thus: “In An Ives Set, Joseph Noble has composed an intricate musical vision, a tribute to Ives, and a dedication to the dynamic nature of sound. This is a book which listens adroitly and reminds us that hearing is also a re-framing, a reconfiguring of residence and a paradoxical profound mode of address.” Poet and band-mate Andrew Joron puts it another way: “Noble has somehow tinkered a radio out of words, and tuned it to receive transmissions from a lost paradise of music. Yet Noble’s line is listening, not to sound alone, but to pure pattern. Here, writing itself is graphically recast as a rhythmics of perception. By tapping into and upon the head of the ex-centric American composer Ives, Noble’s poetry retrieves and retries the truth of a voice in resistance to its own (social as well as sonic) medium. And like the composer whose work is poised and recomposed in this work, Noble is an American original.” An Ives Set was followed by a chapbook, Homage to the Gods, published by Berkeley Neo-Baroque in 2012. Noble has also written various reviews of poetry works.
Not content to merely wield the quill Noble plays flutes and saxophones in a group known as Cloud Shepherd with fellow poets Andrew Joron and Brian Lucas (photo by michaelz). Formerly known as Free Rein the group was born of “Second Mind,” an art/poetry/music gathering in 2008, and the group of experimental poets decided to form a trio in order to experiment with various forms of avant garde music. As evidenced by their 2011 CD, Helioscript, from Auricular Records, the group (now a quartet with percussionist Mark Pino) explores an improvised and artistic blend of ambient, atmospheric and drone styles as well as incorporating a shared interest in certain 20th Century classical and jazz composers. The group has also performed with another Skylight Press poet, Will Alexander, who accompanied them on the piano.
Skylight Press is thrilled to publish a new poetry collection from Joseph Noble entitled Antiphonal Airs, a work that continues his exploration of the sacred link between sound and the written word.