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Catherine B. Krause - The Literary Underground Wiki

Catherine B. Krause

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'''Benjamin C. Krause''' (b. 8 Apr 1985) is an American poet, editor, publisher, blogger, and occasional essayist and author from Youngstown, OH.
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'''Benjamin C. Krause''' (b. 8 Apr 1985) is an American poet, editor, publisher, and essayist.
=== Early Life ===
=== Early Life ===
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Krause was born in Indianapolis, IN and moved to Ohio when he was eight years old. He began his serious academic study of poetry in eighth grade with Robert Frost, and was unimpressed. His poetry teacher at the time emphasized the message of each poem, taking each one as a moral lesson, which did not serve to help matters much.  
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Krause was born in Indianapolis, IN and moved to Ohio when he was eight years old. In high school he took an interest in poetry under the tutelage of his Creative Writing teacher, the poet Terry Murcko.
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Luckily, she could not undo what Shel Silverstein had taught him as a child: that poetry was about sounds, words, and images, and that it need not even make any sense, let alone have a moral lesson.
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He attended Dickinson College in 2003, and studied Computer Science while continuing to write poetry. He took English courses up to the 300 level, which included Creative Writing classes, but he was short of a minor. He took a year off for medical leave from 2006-2007, and graduated in 2008.
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In high school he found a more sympathetic ear in Terry Murcko, an English teacher and local Youngstown poet and musician. Murcko was a firm believer in poetry as a medium meant to be read aloud and performed. He gave extra credit to students to attend local open poetry readings, which is where Krause first began reading his poetry aloud.
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After graduating, Krause was offered a job as a software engineer in Bengaluru, India in February 2009, which he accepted. Though he loved the experience, he eventually became severely ill and had to leave the country.
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Murcko also firmly believed music and poetry were interconnected; that lyrics were poetry and poetry was music. The idea of poetry as music strongly influenced Krause's future poetic direction.
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== Writing Career ==
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== College and Mental Illness ==
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After returning from India, Krause decided to try getting some of his writing published. He got his first poetry acceptance from [[Tipton Poetry Journal]]. His first nonfiction acceptance, "All Indians Love Ghandi," was by ''The Literary Bohemian''.
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Krause entered Dickinson College in 2003, planning to major in English and minor in Creative Writing. However, he soon came to realize how much his student loans were going to cost him after graduation, and opted for a Computer Science major instead. He continued to write poetry throughout his college career, though he stopped attending readings and did not take any more poetry classes. He reports that many of the poems he wrote in college were formal poems, though only one of these survives to this day, a piece of blank verse that only partially scans, which he had the ill judgment to submit to ken*again, an online journal that accepts 75% of submitted poems, including his. The poem is titled "Eternal," and he says he would rather forget about it, but it can be found somewhere in their back catalog.
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Around this time, Krause conceptualized a series of poems collectively known as ''Classifieds''. In these poems, the speaker is taking an ad out in the newspaper, and, usually through implication, the reader learns the whole backstory of the speaker, whether tragic or humorous. These "Classified" poems ended up being among some of his first poems to be published, and formed the basis for his first and only chapbook to date, ''Classifieds and Other Poems'' (erbacce-press 2010). It contained fourteen "Classified" poems, six of which had been published elsewhere previously, and two of which were later reprinted. This book is now out of print by his choice, as he plans to self-publish an updated, revised version with extra poems.
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In 2006, he suffered a psychotic episode that forced him to be hospitalized and sent home for the remainder of the semester. It was only to get worse, as the underlying etiology turned out to be a disease called schizoaffective disorder, a severely debilitating mental condition.  
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In 2010, Krause was a Featured Artist at [[Counterexample Poetics]], and featured in anthologies of the best poems published that year by ''Children, Churches & Daddies'' and ''Foliate Oak''. He also developed a poetry form called the '''quincouplet''', and his essay about it was the Featured Article in [[Galatea Resurrects]] 16.
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However, he was resolved to finish his studies, so he went back for his senior year in the Fall of 2007 and graduated in the Spring of 2008.
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Thus far in 2011, Krause has been published in increasingly more selective journals, most notably ''Gargoyle Magazine'' #57.
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== Poetry Resurgence ==
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== Publishing Career ==
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Though he never stopped writing during college, during his senior year Krause began visiting writing workshop forums for critique of his work, which he found very honest and helpful. Some critiques were brutal, others reinforcing, and they helped his writing once again find some sort of aim and structure. It was at this point he got back in touch with Terry Murcko, who reminded him about making sure it sounded good to the ear.  
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Krause had had an interest in publishing for a long time, and he and two online contacts from Canada and Australia had been talking about starting an online literary journal, but nothing had come of it. So Krause started a blog called ''The Weekly Poet'', which featured 3-5 poems by the same poet each week, followed by a lengthy interview. The first poet featured in the blog was [[Felino A. Soriano]], whom Krause is still in contact with. Several more followed, but Krause soon began to take interest in more ambitious projects, and ''The Weekly Poet'' soon fizzled out. It is no longer available on the web today, but Krause still retains archives of most of the interviews.
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His mental illness made him very paranoid around other people, and the medication he was on for it made him appear socially awkward due to idiosyncratic movements, so he rarely attended readings. But he always read his poetry aloud after reading it, and after a while began recording MP3s of his readings for his own playback.
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As previously mentioned, Krause had been talking with online contacts from Canada and Australia about starting an international literary journal. This was finally established in late 2009 as ''Muscle & Blood''. Meanwhile, Krause had begun to take an interest in psychedelic art, and wondered if psychedelic poetry and fiction existed. Google and Google Scholar searches returned sparse results; though they existed, there was little being written about them, and there were no journals devoted to them. Thus, Krause founded ''Liebamour'' around the same time, which was originally a blog, with the promise of a print magazine to come. In order to bring these two journals under the same umbrella, Krause founded '''Diamond Point Press'''.
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== India and Post-India ==
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''Muscle & Blood'' took a whole year to come out with its first issue, in October 2010, but it was acclaimed by those who read it, and many of the contributors ordered multiple extra copies despite being given a free copy. Issue 2 was released in May 2011, and plans on a schedule of releasing every Spring and Fall.
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Krause was offered a job as a software engineer in Bengaluru, India in February 2009, which he accepted. He stayed there for six months before he couldn't take it anymore.
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''Liebamour'' released its first print issue in April 2010, and discontinued the blog soon after. It took until December 2010 for Issue 2 to come out, but it was well worth the wait; the second issue was twice as long, formatted much better, and included both an interview and a critical essay. Issue 3 will be music-themed, and is due out in July or August 2011. It will feature the first half of "Systems of Flux," a psychedelic novella by Eckhard Gerdes. The second half will be printed in Issue 4, due out Winter 2011. However, Krause's interest in psychedelic literature has begun to fade. Thus, Issue 4 will have a Guest Editor, and from Issue 5 on, Eckhard Gerdes will be taking over editing duties.
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When asked about the country, Krause generally describes it as "indescribable." Little is known about Krause's time in India besides what he has written, and much of that may be fiction. However, Krause generally reports having an incredible experience at first, but by the end of his stay, he was suicidal, and his worst fear was dying in a foreign land. His supervisors arranged for him to return home.
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Two days after returning from India, Krause reports having taken LSD, after which he decided he no longer wanted to be a software engineer or IT consultant or work in any kind of corporate job for the rest of his life. Relying on money he saved up, he devoted himself full-time to writing. He got his first acceptance from [[Tipton Poetry Journal]]. His next came from ''fourpaperletters'', and several more suddenly started rolling in. When these publications were posted, he would upload an MP3 reading to his personal website. He did this as a way of staying in touch with his oral poetry roots, in spite of the difficulty of attending readings due to his disease and medications.
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== Classifieds ==
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Around this time, Krause conceptualized a series of poems collectively known as ''Classifieds''. Each poem is six lines, and in the style of a newspaper classified ad--someone is taking an ad out in the newspaper, buying or selling something, or lost or found something, or looking for work, etc. Anyway, in each Classified there is a subtext or backstory, often revealed through implication, that is usually either tragic or humorous but at any rate reveals more about the person taking out the ad than they intended. These "Classified" poems ended up being among some of Krause's first poems to be published, and formed the basis for his first and only chapbook to date, ''Classifieds and Other Poems'' (erbacce-press 2010). It contained fourteen "Classified" poems, six of which had been published elsewhere previously, and two of which were later reprinted. Since then, the seventeenth entry in the series has been published in ''Grey Sparrow Journal'', though 15-16 and any further ones remain unpublished.
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"Classified 2" was first published in December 2010 in [[Felino A. Soriano]]'s journal ''Counterexample Poetics''. This would come to be relevant in the coming weeks, months and years.
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== The Weekly Poet ==
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Krause had had an interest in publishing for a long time, and he and two online contacts from Canada and Australia had been talking about starting an online literary journal for a long time, but nothing had come of it. Not wanting to wait, Krause started a blog called ''The Weekly Poet'' around the time the ''Classifieds'' were first being accepted, which featured 3-5 poems by the same poet each week, followed by a lengthy interview. One of the first people to submit to ''The Weekly Poet'' was [[Felino A. Soriano]], who had recently accepted "Classified 2" for publication.
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Initially, Krause found Soriano's poetry incomprehensible, and wondered if it was a joke. Even looking at the paintings from which Soriano derived his poetry, Krause could not decipher Soriano's verse. Then, reading Soriano's bio, he noticed he was a fan of free jazz. That was when everything clicked. Remembering Terry Murcko's advice that poetry was music, Krause approached Soriano's poetry as free jazz in the vein of John Coltrane's ''Ascension'' or ''Interstellar Space'', and found it suddenly made sense to him. Felino A. Soriano became the first poet to be featured in ''The Weekly Poet''.
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Several more followed, but as the events of the next section unfolded, and Krause began to pursue other projects, ''The Weekly Poet'' fizzled out, and it is no longer available on the web today, though Krause still retains archives of most of the interviews.
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== Diamond Point Press ==
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As previously mentioned, Krause had been talking with online contacts from Canada and Australia about starting an international literary journal. This was finally established in late 2009 as ''Muscle & Blood''. Meanwhile, Krause had begun to take an interest in psychedelic art, and wondered if psychedelic poetry and fiction existed. Google and Google Scholar searches returned sparse results; though they existed, there was little being written about them, and there were no journals devoted to them. Thus, Krause founded ''Liebamour'' around the same time, which was originally a blog with the promise of a print magazine to come.
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''Muscle & Blood'' took a whole year to come out with its first issue, in October 2010, but it was acclaimed by its contributors, many of whom ordered multiple extra copies despite being given free copies. Its second issue is on track to come out in April 2010, and it plans on a schedule of releasing every Spring and Fall. Krause is taking steps to get ''Muscle & Blood'' on Kindle, where the first issue should be available shortly.
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''Liebamour'' released the first issue of its magazine in April 2010, featuring Felino A. Soriano as one of its poets, and discontinued the blog soon after. It took until December 2010 for Issue 2 to come out, but it was well worth the wait; the second issue was twice as long, formatted much better, and included both an interview and a critical essay. Issue 3 will be music-themed, and is due out in Summer 2011. It will feature the first half of "Systems of Flux," a psychedelic novella by Eckhard Gerdes, the second half of which will be printed in Issue 4, due out in Winter 2011. ''Liebamour'' plans to publish in the quarters when ''Muscle & Blood'' does not; thus Summer and Winter. It will also soon be available on the Kindle, but Krause plans to significantly touch up Issue 1 before readying it for Kindle publication.
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By this point, Krause and Felino A. Soriano were frequently exchanging emails, united by their belief in the synergy of poetry anD music. Krause proposed in 2010 to publish an e-chapbook of Soriano's material, part of a planned series by many solicited authors that would be websites of their own with their own domain names, which unfortunately never numbered more than one. But this one chapbook. ''Splayed Renditions of the Isolated Focus'', was by all accounts an excellent synergy of poetry and web design.
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In Winter 2010-2011, Krause came full-circle with an online-only journal under the Diamond Point Press banner, called ''twenty20 Journal''. It features poetry and fiction of 20 words or fewer, and is by far Diamond Point Press's most popular journal, calling into question many popular ideas about online vs. print journals. It normally publishes two issues per quarter with no specific theme, except in the Summer when it publishes three themed issues.
In Winter 2010-2011, Krause came full-circle with an online-only journal under the Diamond Point Press banner, called ''twenty20 Journal''. It features poetry and fiction of 20 words or fewer, and is by far Diamond Point Press's most popular journal, calling into question many popular ideas about online vs. print journals. It normally publishes two issues per quarter with no specific theme, except in the Summer when it publishes three themed issues.
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Krause has maintained a Facebook presence for Diamond Point Press and its journals since 2010, and has recently expanded them onto Twitter. He has also begun working on integrating the journals' websites with Facebook and Twitter, a task for which his Computer Science background comes in handy. Though it is time-consuming in the short-run, Krause knows that he cannot establish his press further without the innovative advertising options social networking provides, and he also knows that building a community out of one's fans is the best way to ensure continued loyalty.
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Krause is among the pioneers in selling literary journals as e-books, offering most of Diamond Point Press's catalog on Kindle, NOOK, and iBooks. He is developing a SmartPhone app for ''twenty20 Journal''.
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== Beyond Classifieds ==
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Meanwhile, Krause's writing has continued to evolve. After the release of ''Classifieds and Other Poems'', he felt a bit directionless, but this left him with a newfound freedom he had not felt in a long time. He started several series like Classifieds but with different ideas behind them, none of which he wrote enough of for a chapbook. He began experimenting with voice, style, diction, tone, form, typeface, indentation, and almost everything one can think of. He experimented with the line between poetry and prose, and continued to refine his ingrained concept that "poetry is music." An idea of the type of poetry Krause was writing at the time can be gathered from his [http://www.counterexamplepoetics.com/2010/03/benjamin-c-krause-featured-artist_7633.html|Featured Artist page] at ''Counterexample Poetics'' from March 2010, which features only writing from this time period, though it falls far short of encompassing the entire range of experimentation Krause was working with.
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Then, at some point, things began to settle down. Perhaps it was after his psychiatric hospitalization in mid-February, or perhaps he had just decided he had had enough of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what stuck. But Krause began to return to non-experimental freeverse, and when he did experiment, apply a lighter touch most of the time.
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He also further pursued his interest in minimalism, as begun by the ''Classifieds'', by writing some stand-alone short poems. Finally, in May 2010, he challenged himself to write a five-word poem. He titled the poem that resulted "Jerusalem," and thought it was a very good poem. It had two words on the first line, and three words on the second. He wrote four more poems with this pattern, and realized he had invented a new poetic form. Titling it "quincouplet," he registered quincouplets.com and started a blog there, updating it daily at times, but taking breaks for months at a time. It went over well with his friends and colleagues, and some even wrote one or two quincouplets of their own just to try it out, but the quincouplet was considered "Krause's thing" in its early days. The first sign of change came when a poet named M.A. Zamani began regularly emailing quincouplets to Krause. When Krause started ''twenty20 Journal'', he offered to publish one of them.  
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(will finish later)
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== Attitudes Toward the Internet ==
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Krause sees the Internet and technology as the greatest thing to happen to publishing since the printing press. He feels it is slowly turning the literary publishing world into a meritocracy, where quality reigns over reputation. Under the "new Internet order," he says, taking the safe/easy route in editing will quickly lump one's publication in with the 3,000+ and growing other literary magazines. Though he concedes that some magazines can still ride on reputation alone, he hopes the truly inventive new magazines will cut into their sales enough to force them to once again take a turn toward poetry and fiction that is truly innovative for its time, like the Modernists were for their time, or the Language poets for theirs.
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== External Links ==
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(will finish later)
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* [http://benjaminckrause.com/ Benjamin C. Krause]
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* [http://diamondpointpress.com/ Diamond Point Press]
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* [http://quincouplet.org/ Quincouplet.org]
[[Category:Poets|Krause]]
[[Category:Poets|Krause]]

Revision as of 15:29, 11 July 2011

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