Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

art is autonomous

Attention Span 2009 – Elizabeth Robinson

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Laura Sims | Stranger | Fence Books | 2009

This reflection on the early death of the author’s mother could have been bathetic, but instead it is quirky, perceptive and, while affectively convincing, strange.

Keith Waldrop | Transcendental Studies | University of California | 2009

A terrific, substantive collection.

Thomas A. Clark | of Woods and Water | Moschatel Press | 2008

Inheritor of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s mantle, Clark writes deceptively simple lyrics whose modulations creep up on the reader.

Eileen Myles | The Importance of Being Iceland | Semiotexte | 2009

This book of essays is really funny, but also astute, pointed, full of characteristic Myles dynamism.

Barbara Guest | Forces of Imagination | Kelsey St. Press | 2003

I just keep reading and rereading this one, and every time find Guest’s poetics sharp, often humorous, haunted, compelling.

Truong Tran | Four Letter Words | Apogee Press | 2008

These poems are formally lively, while the content here zings.

Orlando White | Bone Light | Red Hen Press | 2009

White is a young writer and this is his first book. Its intense focus interrogates language letter by letter.

Tyrone Williams | On Spec | Omnidawn | 2007

Completely engrossing.

James Laughlin | The Way it Wasn’t | New Directions | 2006

Notes toward a memoir that Laughlin never wrote, this book is vastly entertaining (JL refers to Bill Clinton as “Smiley”) and full of good literary gossip. It is also heartbreaking to get hints at how hard it is to keep a literary press alive, especially as Laughlin struggles to retain authors who are lured away by larger presses (e.g., John Hawkes, Anne Carson).

Myung Mi Kim | Penury | Omnidawn | 2009

Painful content, exquisitely sculpted writing.

More Elizabeth Robinson here.

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