Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

art is autonomous

Attention Span 2012 | Don Share

leave a comment »

Ian Hamilton Finlay | Selections | California | 2012

A long-overdue and easily obtainable selection of Finlay’s work. While it doesn’t do justice to his landscape and visual creations, it is nevertheless a great sampling of his revolutionary poetry and aphorisms.

Aram Saroyan | Four Monologues | Epicenter | 2012
Ben Lerner | The Dark Threw Patches Down Upon Me Also | Epicenter | 2012

Full disclosure: I facilitated the publication of the two works above in a project for students at Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book & Paper Arts. Saroyan’s and Lerner’s works have been distinctly and aptly embodied in physical objects entirely conceived of and designed by talented young printers under the direction, respectively, of Clifton Meador and Inge Bruggeman.

Lew Welch | Ring of Bone: Collected Poems | City Lights | 2012

Too long out of print and therefore too long out of the discussion of modern American poetry, this ebullient and poignant work has been restored to its rightful readership.

Kenneth Goldsmith | Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age | Columbia | 2011

Even people who haven’t read it are talking about it.

Tav Falco | Ghosts Behind the Sun: Splendor, Enigma & Death | Creation | 2012

Part of the Mondo Memphis series, an unprecedented exploration of American history and music as filtered through the strange and dark sensibilities of those who passed through, or came to rest in, Memphis, Tennessee, my home town.

Janet Frame | Storms Will Tell | Bloodaxe | 2008

One of the strangest, most remarkable poets who ever lived. Frame stashed drafts of her late poems in a fountain that had been used as a goose bath; fortunately much work was retrieved therefrom to supplement her legendary collection, The Pocket Mirror. It’s inconceivable to me that so few American poets know her work.

Laura (Riding) Jackson | The Word Woman and Other Related Writings | Persea | 1993


Paul Durcan | Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being | Harvill Secker | 2012

Durcan is to poetry what sea salt is to chocolate.

Franz Wright | Kindertotenwald | Knopf | 2011

Po-biz cyberspace focuses on Wright’s personality, but fails to acknowledge that he has revitalized and reinvented the prose poem, something almost every other contemporary American poet has failed to do.

Mary Ellen Solt | Toward a Theory of Concrete Poetry | OEI, no. 51 | 2010

An exploration of Solt’s landmark anthology, with which this beautiful, absorbing, and useful volume is not to be confused.


Don Share is Senior Editor of Poetry and the author of a dozen books, most recently Wishbone (Black Sparrow), Bunting’s Persia (Flood Editions), and The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (University of Chicago Press), which he co-edited with Christian Wiman. His translations of the poems of Miguel Hernandez, which received the Times Literary Supplement Translation Prize and the Premio Valle Inclan, will appear in a new edition in 2013 from NYRB Classics. He blogs at Squandermania and Other Foibles.

Don Share’s contribution to Attention Span for 2009. Back to 2012 directory.

Written by Steve Evans

September 29, 2012 at 11:57 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: