Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The seventy-five contributors to Attention Span 2011 referred to 856 works in all. Single mentions constitute fully three-quarters of the total list, but as in previous years there are some patterns of overlap: one title was mentioned by seven contibutors, another by six, three books were cited five times, four four times, twenty-three three times, and fifty-three were mentioned twice.
Titles Mentioned Five Times or More | Click on contributor initials to view individual lists
Amanda Nadelberg | Bright Brave Phenomena | Coffee House | 2012
It’s been another Year of the Song Cave & it’s hard to believe that Nadelberg’s Building Castles in Spain, Getting Married, the second book in this peerless series, emerged in November 2009. The Age of the Song Cave is too long (it’s ongoing) to properly document here but it seems wrong not to sing some books: Amaranth Borsuk’s Tonal Saw (“tremble | fire | A | kind | of | fire” & “o | o | o | stumble” & “mmandm | Append”), Jane Gregory’s Some Books (“Instead of this book I set out to prove the birdnoise to the bird as my mind was in my office and my office was in my mind.”) Jared Stanley’s How The Desert Did Me In (“Uh! Principia, uh, I’ll think about it.”), Macgregor Card’s The Archers (“There there, manual severity / of being, bonus being, being general / general poet—”), and Graham Foust’s To Graham Foust on the Morning of His Fortieth Birthday (“Tiny hawks of poetry all over you, you sit at screens to punch a book into the world.”), Lisa Jarnot’s Amedillin Cooperative Nosegay (“odyssia’s very original boobs and the warm apt facts of john thaw”) to list just half the 2010 titles. Songcavewise, 2011 has been nonstop, too. To name only the first few (well, half): Andy Fitch’s solo Island, Rod Smith’s whatwow What’s the Deal, Peter Gizzi’s purplegreen Pinnochio’s Gnosis, Jennifer Moxley’s worldly Coastal, and Dana Ward’s doubleheader, The Squeakquel. When I visited the Cincinnati of The Squeakquel, I told Dana that my dad had left Erga kai hemerai in the car back in Kentucky, so he lent me Bill Luoma’s Works and Days (with a graceful note from Michael Gizzi: “Dear Mr. Ward”) which probably would have just been this list if I hadn’t left it in a car bound for Kentucky. One of the greater Song Caves, Geoffrey G. O’Brien’s Hesiod (“All song at once, isn’t this / like balancing the needs of friends?), a working over of Hesiod’s ‘Days,’ is as beautiful as the original chruson genos, the Golden Age. Like Luoma’s, O’Brien’s Works is as ageless as H’s. (And an H is not even an H.) All of this just to say that Amanda Nadelberg is our age’s poet in an Age of Poets. Awaiting Bright Brave Phenomena is like waiting for the things themselves to appear, brighter and braver and phenomenally more than ever before.
Brandon Brown | The Persians by Aeschylus | Displaced
Farrah Field & Jared White | Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Book Shop | Est. 2011
Bookstores need to get brighter and braver in the Post-Border’s Age and Brooklyn is the beacon. Jon Beacham’s Hermitage presses on, as The Brother in Elysium, on Bedford Ave. Around the bend, Book Thug Nation maintains a sill full of Book Thug (no relation). Above all, may Adam Tobin’s unbeatable Unnameable Books, in Prospect Heights, outlast all of us. Into the fray, enter poets Field and White, whose Berl’s, growing so well it may have a roof before Fall. When I made a pilgrimage to their table at the Brooklyn Flea, I found the only thing one can ask, exactly the one book I was looking for in the whole world. No small feat considering they display around 20 books on any given day. Tyrone Williams’ beautiful, everything-breaking elegy, Pink Tie (Hooke Press, 2011). Chapbooks to seek at Berl’s: Wondrous Things I Have Seen (Mitzvah Chaps, 2010) by Herodotus, jk by Brandon Brown (aka Aeschylus aka Catullus) & Preserving The Old Way Of Life (Factory Hollow Press, 2007) by Shannon Burns.
James Copeland | Fax II | self | 2011
CAConrad | MUGGED Into Poetry | Cannot Exist | 2011.
Copeland knows, and how, his Hölderlin. Does Coolidge (circa THIS 6) know his Copeland, writ large? Fax II exists, tho it doesn’t say so. Andy Gricevich’s Cannot Exist (Issue 7 has Conrad + Coletti, Copp, Hauser, Higdon, Larsen, Ward, &c) exists chapbooks! Besides Conrad’s: Roberto Harrison’s Bridge of the World, Sara Larsen’s The Hallucinated, Jess Mynes’ How’s the Cows. Conrad continues being amazing. His devastating reading of “MUGGED Into Poetry” (written after he was mugged en route to a reading by new CE co-editor Lewis Freedman) at the Supermachine 3 launch awed my mom. Cannot wait to get her A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon (Wave Books, 2012). Until then, I got her Heather Christle’s The Trees, The Trees (Octopus Books, 2011).
Tim Dlugos | A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos | Nightboat | 2011
Patrick James Dunagan | A Gustonbook | Post-Apollo Press | 2011
“It’s hard enough to find a parachute / in New York City, I remember thinking, / but finding one the right shade / of canary is the accomplishment / of the sort of citizen with whom / I wish to populate my life.” Dlugos’ “Parachute” (and Conrad’s devastating reading of it) is one of the saddest, and most beautiful, wakes, and makes me cry every time. And “G-9”, with its double wake, is the great elegy of our time. If Steve Carey was the news of 2010, and to me, too, he was, Dlugos is, to me (with Carey, still, too) the news of 2011. Except to me (tho nothing new is in print) the news was, and will be for some time, Peter Seaton, who would not have existed so suddenly and indispensably in my life without Craig Dworkin’s Eclipse. A Book + Craig Dworkin = Eclipse. (Dworkin’s own The Perverse Library, like all of his books, is to be owned.) I’ve only started settling into Dunagan’s There Are People Who Think That Painters Shouldn’t Talk: A Gustonbook, but already it’s taken its place next to Coolidge’s Guston’s Collected Writings (UC, 2010). Banes’ (copy of) Rodefer’s Four Lectures aside, “Writers paint, they don’t speak.”
Emily Pettit | Goat in the Snow | Birds, LLC | 2012
Ben Estes | Alan Felsenthal | The Song Cave | Sea Ranch
I’ve been in love with Pettit and her poems since I first read three of them, in the second issue of Seth Landman’s Invisible Ear, in October 2008. Her poetry workshop at Flying Object is a laboratory for making poets, and no wonder why: reading her poems taught me how to write. There are so many great Bens (at least ten), and Ben Estes, whose Cymbals (“Like a container for a flower inside of a flower.”) opened The Song Cave, is beyond exception. If Estes’ Lamp Like L’Map (Factory Hollow Press, 2009) is every indication, and it is, his The Strings of Walnetto Arrangements (Flowers and Cream, 2011) will be every sensation. There are a few Alans, too, but only one this one. The ultimate symmetry would be an ultimate Song Cave; until then, the inaugural Sea Ranch, a split with his co-editor, is the best start imaginable. Long live, Song Cave, up with the Sea Ranch. P.S. Dos-a-dos are the new split 7”s. Flying Object paired James Copeland w/ Alex Phillips. I would like to hear Will Edmiston’s effing great Effie (3 Sad Tigers Press, 2011) b/w Lewis Freedman’s Freedman’s font-glossed Non-Symbolic Non Symbolic Non-Symbolic (for Catherine Malabou)
Renee Gladman | Event Factory | Dorothy, A Publishing Project | 2010
Rachel B. Glaser | Pee on Water | Publishing Genius | 2010
Prose by poets, does saying that make this not bending my own one-from-2011 rules? Whatever, Glaser is killing it in 2011: poems plenty, “Turid,” the soon famous “Ellen” story. Gladman, of course, is one of the Greats, and who wouldn’t have started a press, as Danielle Dutton (whose Sprawl, Siglio, 2010 fits right in here) did, to publish Gladman’s Ravicka trilogy? That the sequel, The Ravickians (Dorothy, 2011), is to be published on the same day as Gary Lutz’s Divorcer (Calamari Press, 2011) will make deciding what two books to read on that day very easy.
Alice Notley | Culture of One | Penguin | 2011
Bernadette Mayer | Studying Hunger Journal | Station Hill | 2011
China Miéville | Embassytown | Del Rey | 2011
Dana Ward | This Can’t Be Life | Edge | Forthcoming 2011
Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö | The Story of a Crime | Various Publishers | 1965-1975
Maureen McHugh | Nekropolis | Eos | 2002
Patrik Ouedník | The Opportune Moment, 1855 | Dalkey Archive | 2011
Paul Chan | The essential and incomplete Sade for Sade’s sake Ebook | Badlands Unlimited | 2011
Paul Chan | Phaedrus Pron Ebook | Badlands Unlimited | 2011
Rosa Luxemburg | The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg | Verso | 2011
Jacques Rancière | The Philosopher and His Poor | Duke | 2004
More Anne Boyer here.
Back to 2011 directory.
George Bowering | My Darling Nellie Gray | Talonbooks | 2010
Political. Playful. A textbook in procedural possibilities. Also thoughtful and heartfelt.
Sheila Heti | How Should a Person Be? | Anansi | 2010
I think of this as a conceptual novel as all the characters are real people. It’s constantly making us think about arbitrary boundaries between fiction and “the real.” Questioning and extending the form of the novel, too.
Eileen Myles | Inferno: A Poet’s Novel| OR Books | 2010
Cross-cuts are dynamite, I wrote across the top of page 76, the chapter entitled “Poetry is making money.” It’s a poetry page-turner.
Louis Cabri | Poetryworld | CUE Books | 2010
Louis has invented a whole new genre of sound-sight-reference cross-play unlike any poetry you’ve read anywhere.
Miriam Nichols | Radical Affections | Alabama | 2010
A brilliant synthesis of the last 50 years of literary history (the relation of poetry to philosophy), and a map of where we could go from here.
Dodie Bellamy | Pink Steam | Suspect Thoughts | 2004
I read Bellamy for her fascinating house of mirrors.
Kate Eichhorn | Field Notes | BookThug | 2010
Turns the anthropological machine on its head.
Renee Rodin | Subject to Change | Talonbooks | 2010
Renee speaks from the heart—across her kitchen table—about parents dying, about friends who survived the holocaust, about being young and in love.
Stephen Collis | On the Material | Talonbooks | 2010
Winner of this year’s BC Book Prize for poetry. And well deserved too!
Michael Boughn | Cosmographia: A Post-Lucretian Faux Micro-Epic | BookThug | 2010
Who could refuse an epic with Holstein cows grazing in it?
Meredith Quartermain’s Vancouver Walking won a BC Book Award for Poetry. The Dalhousie Review described Matter and Nightmarker as “perhaps the two most noteworthy titles” in recent radical poetry, “prescient, daring,” and “undoing the knot of human understanding.” Recipes from the Red Planet has been shortlisted for a BC Book Award for Fiction and the ReLit prize. Quartermain’s Attention Span for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004. Back to 2011 directory.
Seth Price | How to Disappear in America | Leopard | 2008
The ultimate how-to guide for the hobo Houdini in us all. The book itself has almost disappeared from circulation—for now at least, it can be ordered online from Ooga Booga.
Robert Kelly | Fire Exit | Black Widow | 2009
R Kelly may have reached the height of his fame in the 70s; he may be reaching the height of his powers in his 70s. The strongest case yet made against flarf….
Monica de la Torre | Public Domain | Roof | 2008
Will the real Monica de la Torre please stand up? An important addition to the growing pantheon of conceptual writing.
Miles Champion | Eventually | The Rest Press | 2008
The cover, the endpapers, the front matter, the body, the colophon…. A true chapbook de résistance.
Stuart Bailey, ed. | Dot Dot Dot 18 & 19 | Dexter Sinister | 2009-2010
The ne plus ultra of contemporary meta-journal design. Not well enough known among poetry types, Dot Dot Dot regularly features writing by Seth Price, Angie Keefer, Liam Gillick and more. Conceptual? Relational? Quasi-conceptual? Or all of the above.
Clark Coolidge | The Act of Providence | Combo | 2010
The graphomanic master returns with a hometown epic. In the grand tradition of Maximus and Paterson—sort of.
Chris Burnett | SprawlCode: descriptions | Preacher’s Biscuit | 2006
Got forty dollars burning a hole in your pocket? You could buy one share of BP and hate yourself. Or you could procure this beautifully printed, brilliantly conceived book that somehow hasn’t yet sold out, despite having been printed in an edition of only 100 copies. Consider cornering the market. (Special shout out also to Journal of Artists’ Books 24 edited by Craig Dworkin and Kyle Schlesinger, which features a fascinating meta-road trip dialogue between Burnett and Tate Shaw.)
Reza Negarestani | Cyclonopedia: Complicity With Anonymous Materials | re: press | 2008
Page turning theory-fiction. One part Bataille, one part Deleuze, one part Said, one part Pynchon: put them in a blender and you have an inimitably paranoid critique of the global petrocracy as seen from the perspective of the underground noosphere.
Drew Daniel | 20 Jazz Funk Greats | Continuum | 2008
A completely engrossing account of Throbbing Gristle’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats. Just the right mix of fandom and critical distance. Read it as you listen to the album—you won’t be bored.
Larry Eigner, ed. Curtis Faville and Robert Grenier | Collected Poems | Stanford | 2010
Who wants a wi-fi Kindle for $139 when you can have the four-volume Collected Poems of Larry Eigner? At $120, 3,072 poems comes out to less than four cents each. A bargain in disguise.