A Home for the Humanities and the Arts

•April 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Screenshot from https://www.albany.edu

Here’s a bit of critical/creative thinking:

What sort of home?

How well supported are the housekeepers?


Continue reading ‘A Home for the Humanities and the Arts’

“April 17, 2013”

•April 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

My poem “April 17, 2013” is currently being featured as the banner at Ink Node. Perfect–it seems–for today, 4/17.

Ink Node is “a new model for how a literary magazine can work.” Rather than having issues, it publishes “new poetry on a continual basis, and featuring one new, never-before-published poem on our homepage every week.”

“April 17, 2013” is a poem included in my forthcoming book Words on Edge (Black Square Editions), which will be published later this month on 4/30.

Andrew Joron’s “What Spills Spells”

•April 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1517-18, pen and black ink with wash, 16.2 x 20.3 cm.

“Spillage […] is the formless form of non-resemblance,” Andrew Joron tells us in his essay “What Spills Spells,” which marvelously takes on, among other things, George Bataille’s notion of “l’informe,” Leonardo da Vinci’s deluge drawings, and Pound’s and Olson’s ideogrammic/glyphic methods. Joron’s piece is part of the Poetry Foundation’s April Blogathon for National Poetry Month.

My take on Joron’s luminous new book of poems The Absolute Letter (Flood Editions, 2017) appeared in Hyperallergic back in November. “What Spills Spells” is an excellent primer to Joron’s poetic philosophy/philology and makes for a perfect companion to The Absolute Letter: “A vestige of the Absolute remains […] in the arbitrary, contingent shapes of the letters of the alphabet—their rills and runnels are coagulations of an untamed turbulence toward which the poetic Word perpetually tends.”

Cecil Taylor (1929-2018)

•April 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

elegiac stone plant
one lobe grass shingle
spark weights quick
bandillero first later
perhaps cloth lighted
back over sil effulgent
flower aroar matador
effortless Veronica
quilt pleated notion stops
rhythm sights ground
cartilege sweat
standing pace apart
nimble feet door ajar

–from “The Musician,” Arsenal: Surrealist Subversion 3 (Spring 1976)

Andrea Applebee’s Aletheia (Black Square Editions, 2017)

•April 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

This month I’m teaching in my advanced poetry workshop Andrea Applebee’s fascinating collection Aletheia, a recent volume from the exquisitely curated Black Square Editions. I’m particularly enjoying the beautiful lyric “To Listen”:

Filaments, principles, the lift
and sway, drop and run: uneasy
furtive arrangements of a body.

Musically, then, we persist
in unnecessary but comforting caution.
And maybe that is all there is to it:

the burden of knowing sinks like an oyster
lost at first glance, never to be heard from again.
What a waste.

Lost, as the light in wild crawling things
shimmering at the edges of seas is lost
after low tide.

A grassy hill unfolds damp colors.
The sky speaks no one’s language.

It seems, on a quick first read, a clever synthesis of, say, Marianne Moore and Jack Spicer. And there’s a wonderful fluidity in this subtle and resonant sonnet, which provides the perfect architecture for unfolding perception and fine-grained attention. I admire how, in the first stanza, the dense assonance, the contrasts of concretion and abstraction and of vertical and horizontal movements, and the deftness of the parallel structures give way to an earned casualness in the second stanza that sets up the navel of the poem: a neat engagement with the cliché “world as oyster” to present, in fresh ways, an epistemological crisis. The penultimate stanza offers both extension and illuminating analogy, and the poem ends with a couplet that yokes together land and sky and attests to an inscrutable and fleeting but, nevertheless, rich sensory experience. A moment’s monument, indeed.

“Hurry to join shock brigades!”

•April 2, 2018 • Leave a Comment

What advantages and risks do untenured colleagues face when they try to combine the roles [of poet and critic], a problem largely but not entirely institution-specific?
-from Heather Dubrow’s “Two roads diverged?Jacket2, June 8, 2015.

On the one hand, [T.S.] Eliot wants to reserve a privileged place in the English critical sphere for poet-critics; on the other, he wants to protect them from shouldering too much of the burden of critical labor […] The immense weariness of Eliot’s poetic voice […] is the voice of a writer who feels called on to do too much, to do things that are against his true nature, and whose lyrical achievements have come about only through hard labor and stolen time. His poetry is designed to sound as if it were the product of an intense internal struggle, as though it were an attempt to wring feeling out of an exhausted shell. It is this affect, more than any particular principle or methodology, that Eliot bequeathed to the poet-critics of his generation and the next: the glamour of overwork, of near exhaustion…
-from Evan Kindley’s Poet-Critics and the Administration of Culture (Harvard UP, 2017).

Double Take 25: 4/10/18, 7PM, NYC

•April 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
apexart, 291 Church Street, NYC

Organized by Albert Mobilio, Double Take is a unique reading series that asks poets, novelists, editors, and artists to respond to an open-ended prompt, in this instance: shock.

Ryan Chapman
Jeff Dolven
Marcella Durand
Michael Leong

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP encouraged.

Ryan Chapman is the author of the forthcoming novel Riots I Have Known (Simon & Schuster, 2019) and the illustrated book Conversation Sparks (Chronicle, 2015). His writing and illustrations have appeared in GQ.com, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed, BOMB, and an Australian teen magazine.

Jeff Dolven teaches poetry and poetics at Princeton University. He is the author of three books of criticism, Scenes of Instruction (Chicago 2007), Senses of Style (Chicago 2017), and the admittedly hasty Take Care (Cabinet 2017), as well as essays on many subjects, including Renaissance metrics, Fairfield Porter, poison milk, Shakespeare’s reading, and player pianos. His poems have appeared in magazines and journals in the US and the UK and are collected in a volume, Speculative Music (Sarabande 2013). He is also an editor-at-large at Cabinet magazine.

Marcella Durand’s recent publications include Rays of the Shadow (Tent Editions, 2017) and Le Jardin de M. (The Garden of M.), with French translations by Olivier Brossard (joca seria, 2016). Other books include a collaboration with Tina Darragh, Deep Eco Pré (Little Red Leaves); AREA (Belladonna); and Traffic & Weather (Futurepoem), written during a residency at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She lives in New York City, where she is working on two long pieces: Mirror Lines, a piece for two mostly opposed yet sometimes resonant voices, and The Prospect, which wonders what our prospect(s) for continuing inhabitance might be. She has also finally completed her many-years-in-the-making translation of Michèle Métail’s book-length poem, Earth’s Horizons/Les Horizons du sol, excerpts of which have appeared/will be appearing in Seedings, The River Rail and Asymptote.

Michael Leong’s most recent books are Cutting Time with a Knife (Black Square Editions, 2012) and Who Unfolded My Origami Brain? (Fence Digital, 2017). His new book of poems Words on Edge (Black Square Editions) is scheduled for release at the end of April. Excerpts from his book-length poem in progress “Disorientations” is forthcoming in Best American Experimental Writing 2018. A former NEA Literature Translation Fellow, he is currently Assistant Professor of English at the University at Albany, SUNY.

Albert Mobilio is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a MacDowell Fellowship, and an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. His work has appeared in Harper’s, Hambone, Black Clock, BOMB, Cabinet, Open City, Paris Review Daily, and Tin House. Books of poetry include Bendable Siege, The Geographics, Me with Animal Towering, and Touch Wood. A book of fiction, Games and Stunts, has just been published by Black Square Editions. He is an assistant professor of literary studies at the New School’s Eugene Lang College, an editor at Hyperallergic Weekend, and contributing editor at Bookforum.

apexart’s programs are supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation, Affirmation Arts Fund, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Fifth Floor Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.