Attention Span 2010 – Pam Brown
Fanny Howe | Emergence | Reality Street | 2010
Poems from the 1970s to the 90s, out of print, now republished in this graceful, quiet (or ‘hushed’ as Ashbery says on the cover), yet tough-minded collection.
James Schuyler | Other Flowers : Uncollected Poems | Farrar | 2010
More James Schuyler, found by the editors James Meetze and Simon Pettet. These poems are often uncannily intimate, casual, campy, funny, sweet and, as usual, exact and intense.
Brian Henry | Wings without Birds | Salt | 2010
The long poem ‘Where We Stand Now’ written over a period of six months as the year turned in 2002-03 is the centerpiece of this wonderful collection about the complex beauties and restrictions of domestic life—fatherhood, sex, cleaning, work, neighbours. Living and writing poetry variously, Brian Henry is diversifying.
Laurie Duggan | The Epigrams of Martial | Pressed Wafer | 2010
Marcus Valerius Martialis and Laurie Duggan know a lot about the things that detract from the vocation of poetry writing. This conveniently pocket-sized book is witty, funny, droll, wry, incisive. “As a writer of epigrams/ my royalties are minimal/ though I keep Arts Bureaucrats/ in well-paid positions./ But remember this:/ I’ll be on open access/when they’re buried in the stacks.” And “Why do you call me an old fucker?/ Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?”
Simon Leys | With Stendhal | Black Inc | 2010
Simon Leys introduces and translates into English for the first time three linked pieces: the recollections of Stendhal’s famous friend Prosper Mérimée, the impressions of novelist George Sand and a recently discovered whimsical list of the supernatural powers he wished he possessed, by Stendhal himself.
Lisa Samuels | Tomorrowland | Shearsman | 2009
A book-length poem. Lisa Samuels sustains a conceptual post-colonial premise. The poem is political, intense, serious and gives a great sense of a gradual building of mixed ideas and images as the new arrivals explore ‘Tomorrowland’. Impressive.
Justin Clemens | Villain | Hunter Contemporary Australian Poets | 2009
The book’s title is a homonym for “Villon”—François Villon, the fifteenth century French poet, thief, and vagabond who died young at 32. Whirling around many forms—villanelle, couplet, free, sonnet, experimental—the poems are melodramatic, atmospheric, sometimes hallucinatory. There are some villainous and violent thoughts and scenes—dreams and acts that include everything from a hangover to a very funny art critique. Clemens has an affinity with the mythical underworld and its darknesses and here he writes his sonnets to Orpheus.There is a kind of antic energy in Justin Clemens’ poems as they leap from the risky edge of his intellect. He dares to push boundaries. There is little elegy here – anxiety and an often ludic tone dominate sweeter thoughts.
Ken Bolton | A Whistled Bit Of Bop | Vagabond | 2010
Embracing the abstract via collage. Here are Bolton’s usual concerns—art, time, friendships, family, books, blues and jazz. And there is also ‘Australian Suburban Garden’ a meandering poem that easily extrapolates out from the view of the garden from a front porch into art, Europe and, philosophically, time.
Havi Carel | Illness : the cry of the flesh | Acumen | 2010
Philosophers have paid a lot of attention to death but rather less to illness. Yet illness is an almost universal human experience and can make us think deeply about who we are and what our relationship is to our bodies and to the world we live in.
What is illness? Is it a physiological dysfunction, a social label, or a way of experiencing the world? How do the physical, social and emotional worlds of a person change when they become ill? And can there be well-being within illness? Philosopher Havi Carel draws on the French phenomenological philosopher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s distinction between the biological body and the lived body, as well as the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger’s ideas about existence, in order to challenge the way we understand illness
Carrie Etter, ed. | Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by U.K. Women Poets | Shearsman | 2010
Twenty-five experimental women poets. Includes brief poetic statements. An exciting collection of what could be called the ‘non-Mainstream’ in contemporary U.K. poetry.
Christine Wertheim, ed. | Feminaissance | Les Figues | 2010
Identity is dead. The 21st-century subject is an unstable fiction with no identifiable features or group affiliations. He’s a man without inherent qualities, a post-human ideal. But those who have long been hailed as Other exist in a different relation to this ideal. Unlike those traditionally self-possessed I’s, these Others may find themselves split between a yearning to be contemporary and unqualified, and longing for a continued allegiance to their qualitative, albeit constructed, group identity.
‘It is with an awareness of this more ambiguous and refined notion of self that ‘Feminaissance’ approaches questions of femininity and its relation to writing. Topics include: collectivity; feminine écriture; the politics of writing; text and voice; the body as a site of contestation, insurgence and pleasure; race and writing; gender as performance; writing about other women writers; economic inequities; Hélène Cixous; monstrosity; madness; and aesthetics.’—from the blurb.