Archive for the ‘Featured Title’ Category
Tyrone Williams | On Spec | Omnidawn | 2008 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 3 mentions in Attention Span 2008
Massively riveting. A linguistic ultrasound into the innards of language. (Marcella Durand)
Cornucopia of hybrid texts. Jimmy Webb and Jacques Derrida tango on one page: “Pop ain’t s’posed to drawl and corn in the bright can’s just plain wrong.” “Derrida clarifies and develops this difference between the Platonic and Christian concepts of the soul in Chapter Three.” (Keith Tuma)
Also mentioned by Michael Kelleher.
Richard Deming | Let’s Not Call It Consequence | Shearsman | 2008 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 3 mentions in Attention Span 2008
Incommensurate space between the verb and the noun. Whatever we dream, whatever we group by words. (Patrick Pritchett)
Rachel Zolf | Human Resources | Coach House | 2007 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 3 mentions in Attention Span 2008
The back cover suggests reading this book as “the creative potential of salvage” and that’s a pretty good description. This book has a pissed-off ironic tone that reveals how junk-language permeates our everyday life, and there’s no redemption: “Our abstractions stink of pure gibberish.” Ain’t that the truth! This book is definitely not wallowing in abstractions – which is very refreshing. (Kristin Prevallet)
Like spam but better, Human Resources reworks the junk language of the internet to bring to the surface it’s conflicted relationship to desire. On the one hand, spam is work written by a bot. On the other hand, spam is work written to be an intrusion in lives of people who are not bots: to spark the reader’s interest with its outrageous subject-heading or its surprising collage of often-sexualized language. Zolf uses this language to write a book not written by a bot, a book about desire as articulated by a person who speaks the language of spam, a language which is not necessarily rational, but which as immediate as a Jaguar eating a man’s face (as seen in Apocalypto). This book is spazzy, surprising and over-the-top. Since I only like things that are over-the-top, I like this book. (Steven Zultanski)
Also mentioned by Joel Bettridge.
Peter Culley | The Age of Briggs & Stratton | New Star | 2008 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 3 mentions in Attention Span 2008
Momentum, ease, and a gift for gab are never sufficient for a book to be as enjoyable as this one. But when the poet is also a collector and historian of minor experience, these qualities begin to seem pretty foolproof. “A walk / on gilded splinters / in terrycloth / slippers,” with birdsong loud and clear when the TV is turned off. (Benjamin Friedlander)
A poem or series of poems that here, in its second “installment”—the mind behind the writing is too restless and indefatigable and curious for the word—seems suddenly and absolutely capable of most defiantly rippling out through the various juggernauts of the twentieth century’s collapse and into the present to encompass the brute history and giddy trials of a whole finicky continent, and beyond. Culley explores recent (and not-so) American history with the tamp’d down precision of Lorine Niedecker, the rumpled reach of Charles Olson. (John Latta)
Plowing on Sunday. Plowing North America. (Michael Scharf)
Jules Boykoff and Kaia Sand | Landscapes of Dissent: Guerilla Poetry and Public Space | Palm | 2008 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 3 mentions in Attention Span 2008
Field manual for the practice of not sitting on hands, pitched against “the almost imperceptible social octave known as normality.” (Rodney Koeneke)
The smartest demonstration and open invitation I’ve seen of what a poetics off the page and engaged with the world does, can and might look like. (Tom Orange)
Also mentioned by Joel Bettridge.
Joseph Lease | Broken World | Coffee House | 2007 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 3 mentions in Attention Span 2008
I’ve carried this book from country to country for the last year and a half, picking it up whenever I need to think—or rather hear—the poem. Lease has something of Palmer in him, something of Creeley, a bit of Spicer. The argument of the book is chilling, and sad, and somehow, redemptive. I’m into reading books where I actually feel a poet on the other side, the flesh & blood one, who knows when to cast identity upon the page like a stone tossed into the lake. I read a book like this and I want to borrow some of his moves and drink a glass of Merlot. (Dawn Michelle Baude)
This is the first Joseph Lease book I’ve read. He’s got a funny way with desperation and anger that I appreciate. (Rae Armantrout)
Also mentioned by G.C. Waldrep.
Joe Brainard | The Nancy Book | Siglio | 2008 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 4 mentions in Attention Span 2008
A much-anticipated event, heightened even further for me by getting to see the exhibit at Colby College, Maine, at which many of these works were on display, earlier this summer. (K. Silem Mohammad)
“I have burned down the sky.” (C.E. Putnam)