Towards a Disorientalist Poetics

•April 14, 2017 • 2 Comments

My statement of poetics “Towards a Disorientalist Poetics” is up at Post-Crisis Poetics. The essay provides some critical context to “Disorientations,” one of my poetry books in progress.

And check out Post-Crisis Poetics for new posts every day this month. Other contributors so far have included Nicholas Komodore, Josef Kaplan, Brenda Iijima, Carrie Hunter, Roberto Harrison, Rob Halpern, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Helen Dimos, Jeff Derksen, alex cruse, Dereck Clemons, Olive Blackburn, and Brian Ang.

Excerpts from “Disorientations” in ARMED CELL 12

•April 10, 2017 • Leave a Comment

There are some excerpts from my book-length poem in progress “Disorientations” in the new issue of Brian Ang’s zine ARMED CELL. More from “Disorientations” can be found in past simple 11.

Some Observations on Power and Poetry

•April 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

My essay “Some Observations on Power and Poetry” was just published in EVENING WILL COME: A MONTHLY JOURNAL OF POETICS 65 (April 2017), which is a special issue on “POWER AND|OF|IN POETRY” curated by the always dynamic Evie Shockley. My piece reflects upon the relationship between power and poetry in poems from the 1970s by Raúl Zurita, Audre Lorde, and Juan Luis Martínez.

Other contributors to this issue include Cameron Awkward–Rich, Lillian–Yvonne Bertram, Jaswinder Bolina, Amy Sara Carroll, Cortney Lamar Charleston, Tafisha A. Edwards, Paolo Javier, Becca Klaver, Dawn Lundy Martin, Philip Metres, Saretta Morgan, Urayoán Noel, Metta Sáma, and Stacy Szymaszek.

As Shockley says in her introduction, “Knowledge is power, and ignorance is a privilege you pay for in units of power. Those of us who have less power can less afford not to know what composes, drives, and circumscribes our worlds. In these pieces, you will find a great deal of different kinds of knowledge radiating in small but potent doses. Get in there, and come out s/w/inging . . . .”

Making a Living While Making a Difference in the Arts (U Albany; Humanities 354; Wednesday, April 5, 2:00-5:00 PM)

•March 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

An Evening with Local Writers (Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY; Friday, May 5, 7:30 PM – 8:45 PM)

•March 15, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“Poetry Homework”: Pedagogy, Memory, and Politics in the Visual Poetry of Juan Luis Martínez

•February 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment
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from Juan Luis Martínez’s El poeta anónimo (o el eterno presente de Juan Luis Martínez). São Paulo: Cosac Naify, 2012.

My article “Poetry Homework”–about the great Chilean poet Juan Luis Martínez–was just published in the recent issue of A Contracorriente: A Journal on Social History and Literature in Latin America. This is the opening paragraph:

Memoria Chilena, the digital archive run by Chile’s Department of Libraries, Archives, and Museums, calls the neo-vanguard book artist and visual poet Juan Luis Martínez “el secreto mejor guardado de la poesía chilena” [the best-kept secret of Chilean poetry]. Martínez’s obscurity, no doubt, stems from a combination of overlapping reasons—from his geographical positioning to his uncompromising hermeticism to the material scarcity and limited circulation of his book-objects. Thus, recovering the secret of his poetry—a secret which Martínez himself took pains to encrypt—requires a combination of labors that are archival, historicist, intertextual, translational, and hermeneutic.

Most Anticipated Small Press Books of 2017

•February 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Big Other has aggregated a list of the most anticipated small press books of 2017 according to writers such as Kate Angus, Nathaniel Baldwin, Jeff Bursey, Tobias Carroll, Annie DeWitt, Claire Donato, Brian Evenson, and many more. Here are my two modest contributions:

Not One Day by Anne Garréta. Translated from the French by Emma Ramadan. Publication Date: April 11, 2017. Deep Vellum Press.

In the introduction to Barbara Henning’s Looking Up Harryette Mullen (2011) Juliana Spahr somewhat blithely describes the Oulipo as being “not only mainly French but also mainly male.” Spahr continues, “I believe they admitted a woman once. She seems to have quit at some point.” Though Michèle Métail is no longer an active member, the Oulipo–contrary to Spahr’s suggestion–added four formidable women to its ranks between 1995 and 2009: Michelle Grangaud, Anne Garréta, Valérie Beaudouin, and Michèle Audin. Work by the women members of the Oulipo–arguably some of the most exciting writing being produced by the group–is largely underappreciated in an Anglophone context due, in part, because much of it has not yet been translated into English. Deep Vellum Press has been making major strides in rectifying this lack. In 2015, Deep Vellum published Emma Ramadan’s translation of Garréta’s debut novel Sphinx, an innovative love story that avoids pinning down the genders of the two main characters. And in 2016, Deep Vellum released Christiana Hills’ translation of Audin’s One Hundred Twenty-One Days, a brilliant example of what Linda Hutcheon has called “historiographic metafiction,” a postmodern form of highly self-reflexive writing that “both install[s] and then blur[s] the line between fiction and history.” Not One Day will give English speakers a better sense of one of the Oulipo’s most gifted and provocative writers; and it will likely be a key text in discussions about gender, the Oulipo’s legacy, and formal constraint.

Wild Geese Returning by Michèle Métail. Translated from the French by Jody Gladding. Introduction by Jeffery Yang. Publication Date: March 14, 2017. New York Review of Books.

This critical anthology of “Chinese reversible poems”–its focus is on fourth century poet and expert palindromist Su Hui–may help us reconsider the relation between the classical and the avant-garde. Hopefully Wild Geese Returning will show that Métail’s contributions to literary culture needn’t be exclusively defined by her former affiliation with the Oulipo.