Archive for April 2009
Keston Sutherland | Hot White Andy | Barque | 2007
The most astonishing poetic performance in English of the century so far. My review uh effusion is on Jacket so I’ll leave it at that.
Rob Halpern | Rumored Place | Krupskaya | 2004
So everyone knew about this but me, and I can’t wait for new work by Halpern. A densely-implicated (in all the history of that word) poetic work, while passionately driven. That’s its affinity with Keston’s.
Barbara Guest | The Blue Stairs | Corinth | 1968
How dumb! Only in typing this have I realised that The Red Gaze is a little joke on The Blue Stairs. Anyhow, Guest has been my obsession through the year, and I am sitting in England hoping the Collected Poems will reach me soon. This choice is a bit arbitrary, but I found a signed copy for almost nothing.
Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007
The acme of chick-lit.
D.S. Marriott | Hoodoo Voodoo | Shearsman | 2008
Morally, philosophically and politically complex meditations on black history and culture in clear language and regular syntax (the complex language is reserved for Marriott’s critical writing, see Haunted Life, Rutgers 2007). Untouched by any present fashion; fearless integrity.
Robert Kaufman | Various essays | NA | NA
Writing about Barbara Guest, I discovered Kaufman’s ‘A Future for Modernism’ published in American Poetry Review in 2000. After acres of dreariness, here was reading worth reading. I’ve been collecting Kaufman since.
Edward Gibbon, ed. David P. Womersley | The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire | Penguin | 1995
An unabridged copy was on the shelves of the Chicago apartment we sublet a couple of years ago. I started at the beginning. Then I asked for the unabridged Womersley edition for a birthday present, seeing the hardback set at a go-for-it-or-regret-it-forever price. Should keep me going for a decade and generate mordant comparisons with another empire’s decline and fall.
Cy Twombly | Various works | Tate Modern
The most bothersomely enigmatic of twentieth-century artists. Back I go, time and again, scratching my head. If I scratch it enough, my scalp too will streak and splodge.
Lorraine Ellison | Soul Sister: The Warner Brother Recordings | Rhino Handmade | 2006
At last the problem of vinyl and deck on one continent and CD collection on another is solved (yes, I ripped my Ellison albums onto iPod, but she needs a vaulted ceiling, not earbuds).
M.I.A. | Kala | Interscope | 2007
I stole from ‘Paper Planes’ (as well as Duke Ellington) for my new book. But this is joy in a mash-up (and on a running machine, let me advise).
Priscilla Becker | “Blue Statuary” and “Instrumental” | Open City 18
Matthew Dickman | All American Poem | ms | forthcoming
Paul Fattaruso | Bicycle | Akashic | 2008
Adam Frelin | Trees Hit By Cars | Remaprint | 2007
Ben Mirov | Seven poems | H_NGM_N 7
Kristi Maxwell | Realm Sixty-Four | Ahsahta | 2008
Antonio Porchia, trans. W.S. Merwin | Voices | Copper Canyon | 2003
NA | Official CB Dictionary | Book Craft-Guild | 1976
PROXY | Titus Adronicus Soundtrack | PROXYsound | 2007
Abraham Smith | Whim Man Mammon | Action | 2007
Craig Morgan Teicher | Brenda Is In The Room | Colorado | 2007
About Jillian Weise.
Ben Lerner | Angle of Yaw | Copper Canyon | 2006
This book isn’t new, but it’s new to me. I think Ben Lerner is brilliant.
Katie Degentesh | The Anger Scale | Combo | 2006
Like Ben Lerner, Katie Degentesh is new to me (I guess I’m a little slow) and really exciting. This is my favorite flarf.
Joseph Massey | Out of Light | Private | 2008
Joseph Massey is a relatively new arrival, but his minimalist, Zen-like poems seem like old friends.
Ron Silliman | The Age of Huts (compleat) | California | 2007
Ron Silliman is, of course, an old friend. It’s terrific to have his seminal early work back in print.
Fanny Howe | The Lyrics | Graywolf | 2007
As always, Fanny Howe blends the personal and the political into poems that sing.
Juliana Spahr | The Transformation | Atelos | 2007
Spahr’s poetic memoir blends the personal and the political in a different way.
Naomi Klein | The Shock Doctrine | Metropolitan | 2007
This is a clear, scathing history of the depredations of the Neocons.
Graham Foust | Necessary Stranger | Flood | 2007
I’ve been a Foust fan for awhile. His spare, skewed version of the lyric appeals to me.
Joseph Lease | Broken World | Coffeehouse | 2007
This is the first Joseph Lease book I’ve read. He’s got a funny way with desperation and anger that I appreciate.
Think of Buñuel’s The Exterminating Angel. The way it becomes impossible for a group of people to take leave of one another, to cross a threshold into open air—until, and just as arbitrarily, it becomes possible again. Think of the following posts as the exit each individual makes after the inexplicable ordeal inexplicably ends. I’ll be posting several a day through mid-May or so, at which point the whole installment will join its predecessors here. Keep in mind that contributors were writing in the late summer and autumn of 2008. A directory of contributors can be found here.