Attention Span 2010 – Erín Moure
Chus Pato | Secesión | Galaxia | 2009
Pato’s “biography” in a kind of poetic prose, and long meditation on what it is to write poetry. A huge section of it in English translation appeared last year in Hayden’s Ferry Review, issue 44. Makes me think of my own life and what it is to make a mark on a page and call it poetry. (in Galician)
Judith Butler | Frames of War | Verso | 2009
Mostly books or exhibitions that have Americans agonizing over their own national excesses tire me out. Do something, people! This book I haven’t yet fully absorbed but Butler has trenchant analyses and in some ways goes through and further than Agamben’s bare life. The grief element and the question of whose lives are grievable is part of my own work these days too.
Mark Goldstein | Tracelanguage | BookThug | 2010
Myung Mi Kim | Penury | Omnidawn | 2009
Lisa Robertson | R’s Boat | U of California P | 2010
These are three books of poetry I have read and read and carried and examined in the past year and which make me glad for poetry.
Rachel Zolf | Neighbour Procedure | Coach House | 2010
One of the most publicly important books of poetry of the year, in my view. There are spots where it uses forms in ways that seemed a bit easy (there were openings for more pressure) but overall a stunningly provocative and incisive book.
Shimon Redlich | Together and Apart in Brzezany: Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, 1919-1945 | Indiana | 2002
A book that has been important for my own work in the last year, and to my trying to understand the tri-national or tri-ethnic culture that the 20th century destroyed in the place where my mother was born.
Uljana Wolf | Falsche Freunde | KOOKbooks | 2009
Of course I can’t read German but the form and intent of the book are clear to me, its armature and the way it is executed, and I can tell the language is acute. I did translate a few of the pieces into English for a reading of Uljana’s, to read with her, and though my translations were also alterations of sense, they were based on sound and I was quite liking what her poetry was giving me. A young German poet to watch! (in German)
Jean-Luc Godard | Film Socialisme | POL | 2010
The film hasn’t come to Montreal yet but the text and photos awe and break me. “Et ça existe la volonté des peuples.” Analyzes without analysis, just with movement in space and text: socialism is what makes us human in the face of all else. Seminal. (in French)
Chus Pato | Fascinio | Galaxia | 2010
This book first appeared in 1995, five years before Pato’s groundbreaking m-Talá, and is now reissued in the Dombate series (which combines seminal poetic works in Galician with new works). The surprising thing is that reading this book after m-Talá, after Charenton, and (for me as I read Galician), after Hordes of Writing (to appear in 2011 from Shearsman in English!), after Secession (translation in progress) – all groundbreaking and explosive books in their way –Fascinio reads anew, as if it were published today and actually comes after the books that it originally preceded. A peculiar example of time going backwards and poetry exceeding whatever grasp one first imagined for it. (in Galician)
Iannis Xenakis (drawings), Ivan Hewett, Carey Lovelace, Sharon Kanach, Mâkhi Xenakis (essays) | Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary (series Drawing Papers, number 88) | The Drawing Center, NY | 2010
Carrying this book around with me now after seeing and hearing the exhibition at the CCA in Montreal (it will also be at MOCA-LA from Nov 7 2010 – Jan 30 2011) and its use of space and laws of curvature and displacement in nature is blowing my mind. Oh poetry, I think! I went to the exhibit with Chus Pato, who already knows Xenakis’ work. Funny how someone from a small town in an obscure part of Spain can have a fabulous education and know of these things, whereas I stumble along…anyhow: talk about conceptual, procedural work, in two dimensions, in three, in four.