Words on Edge (Plan B Press, forthcoming)

I was very happy to have learned this week that my new manuscript, Words of Edge, won Plan B Press’ 2012 poetry chapbook contest.  My thanks go to the press, the readers, and to Robert Fitterman, who was the final judge.

Fitterman, of course, is a prominent conceptual writer, and I’ve been writing about conceptualism quite a bit these days.  In my recent article in Modern Language Studies, I explore the limitations of an “impure” conceptualism and I actually quote Fitterman in a footnote.  I’m a great advocate of editing and manipulating found materials–a practice I call “interventionalist conceptualism”–and I appreciate Fitterman’s flexibility in imagining a space for “impure” or “hybrid” conceptualism.  The quote I use comes from an interview that Fitterman did with Coldfront–it’s a discussion of Notes on Conceptualism, a text that Fitterman co-wrote with Vanessa Place:

The editing of appropriated materials is not “impure” as I see it, but the term “impure” was what we used to describe a conceptual project that chooses to trip up its own making—more sampling and less readymade. In terms of LeWitt’s idea of conceptual art making—where the artist must not interfere with the preset idea—one might see this sort of editing as a rupture or impurity of that more rigid form of conceptualism. My own work tends to be more on the “impure” side of the equation, so I’m certainly not suggesting a hierarchy here, and I think that might be a problem with the term “impure” for some readers.

Words on Edge certainly contains some examples of “impure” interference.  Stay tuned…

~ by Michael Leong on April 20, 2012.

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