Attention Span 2011 | Erín Moure
Theodor Adorno, trans. Rodney Livingstone | Lectures on Negative Dialectics | Polity | 2008
Not Negative Dialectics in itself, but a real way into that book, this book holds Adorno’s preparation notes for his lectures on his theory of intellectual experience that became ND. The lectures provide both a way into Adorno’s methodology in that book, and also lay out a kind of field of responsiveness, as Adorno prepares to address an audience, and moves his ideas outward. I love books like this, that let me enter into a practice more deeply.
Oana Avasilichioaei | Spelles | No Press and Hex Laboratorium | 2010
Echoes of the medieval distaff gospels, and of performance of poetry as voice (for there is a CD) and as spelling, performance of spelling (and the “elle” in “spelles” is a critical gendering of the text) as performance of the book without author (for the author’s name figures nowhere on or in the object/book), now in the hands of the reader. Echoes yes of Bergvall and Robertson here, and of the performancing in and out of English that is characteristic of Avasilichioaei’s work.
Caroline Bergvall | Meddle English | Nightboat | 2011
Bergvall’s strange rich turnings in and returnings to an English that is old, raw, syncopated, new. And feminist!
Natalee Caple | The Semi-Conducting Dictionary | ECW | 2010
Strindberg’s life. Poems amazing in their structures and a book that opens a wonderful presence and questioning of gendering.
Paul Celan, trans. Pierre Joris, ed. Bernhard Böschenstein and Heino Schmull | The Meridian: Final Version—Drafts—Materials | Stanford | 2011
Drafts, preparatory notes, revisions, and references to Paul Celan’s seminal speech on poetics, the Meridian speech. A poetics in movement, meticulously prepared. Essential.
Phil Hall | Killdeer | BookThug | 2011
These long-lined essays in poetic form are both a poetics and an autobiography of a poetic practice, and are an incredible entry (like the Adorno, like the Celan) into a poetics of space, movement, articulation, process, by a Canadian poet often underestimated.
Christian Hawkey | Ventrakl | Ugly Duckling | 2010
Trakl tracked and trailed by Hawkey, keenly on-key. Tremulous, lovely, Hawkey explores language’s strangeness by entering the foreign language—German, here—in its physicality and in its links with a human person, Georg Trakl, and another human person, Christian Hawkey. Curiously, as well, the book makes a lovely pairing with my own O Resplandor (also 2010). To enter the body of the other, by reading, in any language, making one’s own language strange.
Anxo Angueira and Teresa Bermúdez, eds. | Que lle podo ofrecer a quen me intente? un monográfico sobre Lois Pereiro | Xerais and U Vigo | 2011
A look at the work and life of the iconoclastic Galician poet Lois Pereiro (1958-1996) that includes an anthology of his poetry in translation, portraits of him by other writers, a transcript of a major reading he gave in A Coruña shortly before his death, critical articles, and new poems by others.
Meredith Quartermain | Recipes from the Red Planet | BookThug | 2010
These stories simply delighted me. Their broken turns of logic and semantics are lovely and reflect, somehow, the way I think. To read and reread.
Timothy Snyder | Bloodlands | Basic | 2011
The most comprehensive look at Eastern European 20th century history, at the turmoils, genocides, exclusions across an entire territory between Germany and Russia. A history that was kept from me, in any case, in school in Canada, and that, I suspect, is still not taught. Snyder’s book enables a new look at the area and will inspire future historians; a signal book.
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