Featured voice on CANOPIC JAR


A person can be passionate about so many things, football, for example. In my case, it is primarily poetry — the way the words lift off the page and fill a space and linger, the way they make music and thus create an understanding. My thanks to Phil Rice and Ret Masilo for inviting me to their CANOPIC JAR to talk about my latest collection. http://canopicjar.com/featured-voices/alvarez/


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In a Form of Suspension

Dance improvisations by Romual Kaboré to poems from IN A FORM OF SUSPENSION by Pansy Maurer-Alvarez, read by the author.

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May 29, 2014 · 12:17 pm


My thanks to David Caddy for the first review of my new collection.  It appeared on the Tears in the Fence blog the night before the launch.

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What Edmund Berrigan and Andrea Moorhead have to say about IN A FORM OF SUSPENSION:

Click to read:


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IN A FORM OF SUSPENSION just out from corrupt press, Paris.


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On Barcelona, on the last day of May

2 poems, “Burnt-orange Sarabande” and “Painted Crown” from my manuscript IN A FORM OF SUSPENSION, appeared here with many thanks to Halvard Jonhson: http://onbarcelona.blogspot.fr/2013/05/pansy-maurer-alvarez.html

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The Next Big Thing

I was tagged by Dylan Harris who had been tagged by Lars Palm in this series of self-interviews.  I thank them both for this.  You will find the links to their blogs at the end of my answers.

What is/was the working title of the book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

After a conversation about experimenting with words with a poet friend over a glass.  And later while listening to songs by the Russian band, Peter Nalitch and Friends.  They sing in several languages but their English songs have obvious mistakes.  In fact some lines don’t make much sense at all:  the grammar’s wrong, the nuances in vocabulary are definitely off, there are strange about-turns and their pronunciation is distinctly creative.  To me, their mistakes became interesting and artistic, never distracting from the atmosphere or emotion of the piece.  Why not?  After all, the melody alone can’t hold a song together.  I’ve always been interested in exploring the edges of what’s understandable in a language.  How far can you stretch it, as a poet, before it becomes a mass of possibly beautiful but nonetheless incomprehensible sound patterns?  All this made me want, yet again, to experiment with my poetic language and use it to make emotional, sensuous sense.  And to do this in such a way that the brain would make connections/associations without thinking, thus grasping the lines instinctively.  Well, that’s almost a manifesto, which it wasn’t meant to be.  Or maybe it was.

What genre does your book fall under?


What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Movie rendition?  I don’t think an actor could play the part of a poem.  I’m not sure there’s a need.  Has anyone ever tried?  I’m curious!

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

“heads flung back, their voices float”

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

About a year.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I think I got carried away and answered this in the second question.  I could add that music always inspires me to write since I see poetry, first and foremost, although not exclusively, as music anyway.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, these are sensuous poems, so the reader will not only hear and see them, but smell, touch and taste them, too.  My language requires you to use your senses.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency.


In turn, I have tagged the following authors to continue this self-interview series:  Amy Hollowell, Marie Houzelle, Sabine Huynh and Anne Talvaz.  Although I invited men as well as women to do this, these are the writers who answered in the affirmative.

Link to Dylan’s blog:  http://dylanharris.org/and/c-nerd/metaverse.shtml

Link to Lars’ blog:  http://larspalm.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/the-next-big-thing/

Link to Amy’s blog: http://zenscribe.ovh.org

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