Attention Span 2012 | Brenda Coultas
The Last Whole Earth Catalog | 1971
Coveted this catalog for years for the big deep blue portrait of our home planet (NASA photo). Bought for 10 buck at the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society bargain bin. Dated in many ways, still an interesting and relevant resource for building a sustainable society off the grid. Quotes from Kenneth Patchen, Kerouac, and other beats.
Catherine Taylor | Apart | Ugly Duckling | 2012
Knocked out by Taylor’s amazing memoir on race, responsibility, and family. A memoir in the John D’Agata sense, in its non-traditional interpretation of the essay form. Maybe more in the spirit of Chris Marker. Taylor’s book is a brave contemplation and investigation of South African history and of her mother’s activism against apartheid.
Ed Sanders | Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts | online edition
So legendary that I never was able to read due to its rarity. Mostly and sadly, I saw it wrapped in cellophane priced at a 100 bucks or more. Ecstatic when it came online. I almost die laughing at absurdity of the humor and nearly cry at the beauty of Sander’s audacity and vision of a nonviolent protest against the uptight authority of the state and the church. Still vibrant, the work holds up. Great primer for all of humanity.
Juliana Spahr | Well Then There Now | Black Sparrow | 2011
On many lists but deservingly so for Spahr’s relentlessness and innovation. She goes at it again and again, trying out new ways to talk about human impact on the environment by incorporating lost (extinct) and invasive species into narratives that show the depth of that impact on ecosystems.
Gail Scott | the obituary | Nightboat | 2012
First world novel set in Montreal that teaches us a new way to read fiction. Through fracturing the narrative one hears the layers of voices, the cadences inside the language and come away with a sense of Canada’s uncomfortable past.
Lisa Robertson | R’s Boat | California | 2010
Brought this at The Bookstore in Lennox, MA., from one of the best curated poetry sections in this country. I needed brainy and beauty language to open up my headspace.
C.A. Conrad | A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon new (soma)tics | Wave | 2012
I love the energy of this big joyous book. I find that Conrad’s (soma)tics ground me in the present and in my body. They make me aware that I am a physical and spiritual being. Conrad and Kristin Prevallet are both serious pioneers in developing the field of poetry and the body-mind connection. Exciting to see where their techniques for unblocking our minds will lead. I will certainly be paying attention.
Dawn Lundy Martin | Discipline | Nightboat | 2011
Elegy about a troubled and troubling father. About discomfort, about cracked bodies and lives, written in taut prose blocks. Simultaneously direct and indirect story telling in dense and fragmented narrative.
Brenda Coultas lives and works in New York City. She is currently writing an elegy for the end of paper and print.
This his her first contribution to Attention Span. Return to 2012 directory.