Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Alice Notley

Attention Span – Simon Schuchat

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Tony Towle | Winter Journey | Hanging Loose | 2008

The romantic temperment, tempered by time, cool and classical.

James Church | Corpse in the Koryo | St Martins | 2007

North Korean detective Inspector O solves the mysteries of the universe.

Jack Spicer | My Vocabulary Did this to me | Wesleyan | 2008

All of me, why not take all of me!

Paul Clark | The Chinese Cultural Revolution: A History | Cambridge | 2008

An account, not of the politics, but of the culture—how those model operas were collectively created, what happened to painting, what about the movies—sympathetic and brilliant.

August Kleinzahler | Sleeping it off in Rapid City: Poems, New and Selected | FSG | 2008

The tough guy, a guilty pleasure.

Susan Naquin | Peking: Temples and City Life, 1400-1900 | California | 2000

A beautiful, granular history of the celestial capital when it was still itself, from the Yongle Emperor to the Boxers.

Benjamin Friedlander | The Missing Occasion of Saying Yes | Subpress | 2007

Lovely music of what happens, gracefully.

Alice Notley | In the Pines | Penguin | 2007

The American sound, clear and chill—need I explain?

Stephen Owen | The Late Tang: Poetry of the mid-9th century | Harvard East Asian Monographs | 2007

Belated companion to his high Tang masterwork, fully its equal—what you need on Li Shangyin, Du Mu, Bo Juyi, and the milieu.

Der Nister | The Family Mashber | New York Review Books Classics | 2008

Magic socialist realism in the shetl of Berdichev.

Ron Padgett | How to Be Perfect | Coffee House | 2007

As is.

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More Simon Schuchat here.

Attention Span – K. Silem Mohammad

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Jasper Bernes | Starsdown | ingirumimusnocteetcomsumimurigni | 2007

A dazzling book of poetry that achieves the experiential inventiveness and elaborative density of a novel without sacrificing its lyric autonomy.

Joe Brainard | The Nancy Book | Siglio | 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.

Jack Collom | Red Car Goes By: Selected Poems 1955–2000 | Tuumba | 2001

I wrote about Collom’s wonderful collaboration with Lyn Hejinian, Situations, Sings (Adventures in Poetry 2008) earlier this year for The Constant Critic. That book could easily have gone on this list as well. But I want to draw attention to this indispensable collection, which I picked up in June at Naropa, where Collom performs poetic miracles on a regular basis.

Patrick Durgin and Jen Hofer | The Route | Atelos | 2008

We’ve had a windfall of engrossing poetic memoirs and epistolary exchanges lately by Jennifer Moxley, Juliana Spahr, Bernadette Mayer and Bill Berkson, and others. Here’s another vibrant chronicle of the contemporary, in which two razor-sharp poets’ minds use each other as theoretical, political, and aesthetic sounding boards, and in so doing reveal the moving, living mechanisms that sustain a deep friendship.

Jennifer Knox | Drunk By Noon | Bloof | 2007

Knox is one of the few poets I can think of who still writes with great success in the familiar mode of the “dramatic monologue”: she makes it work partly by inhabiting its conventions like a kind of squatter and vandalizing them from the inside out, rendering the form unfit for occupancy by anyone else thereafter. Alternately and/or simultaneously sensitive, mean, elegant, smart, stoopid, and most of all, funny.

Jackson Mac Low | Thing of Beauty: New and Selected Works | California | 2008

The title says it all.

Sharon Mesmer | Annoying Diabetic Bitch | Combo Books | 2007

This book is like cherry-flavored anthrax in a Pixie Stix straw. Mesmer breaks all the rules of decorum, craft, and form—she even invents some new rules just to break them. I would like to see her and Jennifer Knox have a poetic slapdown in a big hockey arena somewhere. My guess is that it would end in a tie with the audience dead from hemorrhaging.

Sianne Ngai | Ugly Feelings | Harvard UP | 2005

Incisive takes on Melville, Stein, Hitchcock, Bruce Andrews, Nella Larsen, and much more. A key text for entering into many of the most lively and controversial discussions in poetics over the last few years.

Alice Notley | In the Pines | Penguin |2007

Dark, uncomfortable, haunting dream-speech. Recalls for me Spicer’s medium-like approach in works like Heads of the Town Up to the Ether.

Ara Shirinyan | Your Country Is Great: Afghanistan–Guyana | Futurepoem | 2008

Not Flarf, but that more “conceptual” vein of Google-collage practiced very interestingly in various ways by writers like Linh Dinh, Juliana Spahr, and Rob Fitterman. Shirinyan’s text does court flarfiness, however, with its inclusion of many of the unedited, offensive, and sometimes just silly things that turn up in searches for web text containing the phrase “[name of country] is great” (“Guam is great. really it is / shit, this is the place where i / found myself”). The minimal amount of shaping Shirinyan performs (mostly adding line and stanza breaks, I think) is just enough to induce that uncanny “subjectivity effect” which is one of the things that makes reading the book so compelling.

Various Authors | DRUNK |  ongoing

A lot of the poetry these days that I find the freshest and most full of expressive innovation happens on this blog and its outlying zones. The all-caps convention is really just a surface device that (along with the alcohol, one imagines) enables invention—although the monotone “shouting” effect does convey a sort of defamiliarized emotive urgency.

Attention Span – Allyssa Wolf

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Alice Notley | In The Pines | Penguin | 2007

Lukas Moodysson | A Hole In My Heart | 2004

Lukas Moodysson | Lilja 4-Ever | 2002

Lukas Moodysson | Together | 2000

Detlev Claussen | Theodore W. Adorno: One Last Genius | Belknap | 2008

Enrique Martínez Celaya | NOMAD Series | Miami Art Museum | December 2007

Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007

Daniel Feinberg | Fortune Of Reversal | manuscript | 2008

Roberto Bolano | The Savage Detectives | FSG | 2007

Elisabeth Workman | Opolis | tÿpøgrafika | 2007

Nikki Sudden & Rowland S. Howard | “Debutante Blues” on Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc LP | Creation | 1987

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Allyssa Wolf on Goodreads.

Attention Span – David Dowker

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Kevin Davies | The Golden Age of Paraphernalia | Edge | 2008

Nate Dorward, ed. | Antiphonies: Essays on Women’s Experimental Poetries in Canada | The Gig | 2008

Craig Dworkin, ed. | The Consequence of Innovation: 21st Century Poetics | Roof | 2008

Susan Howe | Souls of the Labadie Tract | New Directions | 2007

Trevor Joyce | What’s in Store | New Writers’ / The Gig | 2007

Karen Mac Cormack | Implexures | Chax / West House | 2008

Nathaniel Mackey | Bass Cathedral | New Directions | 2008

Steve McCaffery | Slightly Left of Thinking | Chax | 2008

Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007

Alice Notley | In the Pines | Penguin | 2007

Rod Smith | Deed | University of Iowa | 2007

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More David Dowker.


Attention Span – Erin Mouré

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Rachel Blau DuPlessis | Torques: Drafts 58-76 | Salt | 2007

A persistent willingness to engage and not flinch. To see the world and the forces, challenges in it in ways that step outside the usual American version of world.

Wilson Bueno | A copista de Kafka | São Paulo: Planeta de Brasil | 2007

An American poet, in the other sense, the one in which Americans are south of the equator and we are North Americans. Brazilian, from the borderlands where Spanish and Portuguese are mixed, though this novel is in Portuguese.

VA | Radical Translation Issue | dANDelion Vol.33 No.2 | December 2007

Brief essays from 4 Canadian poets working in and through translation: Robert Majzels, myself, Oana Avasilichioaei and Angela Carr, plus other poems, from Nicole Brossard among others. From a conference organized at the University of Calgary by Robert Majzels in 2007.

Georges Didi-Hubermann | Devant le temps | Paris: Minuit | 2000

The time of the image is anachronic! I read this book in Spanish translation as the original was always out of the library.

VA | Barbara Guest Issue | Chicago Review 53:4-54:1/2 | Summer 2008

Guest always brings me joy, shows me how it is done, how persist is, how works work in time and words.

Phil Hall | White Porcupine | BookThug | 2007

The elusive dream animal, visceral. Cadence and narration in ways that few can understand narration. And our own animal. Read it!

Alice Notley | In the Pines | Penguin| 2007

Because of the way she can deal with subjectivity, the subject constituting itself in private, in public spaces, and over and over again, not an incomplete subject but one in motion against death and ruinous politics. And the way she works with narrative, image.

Chus Pato | Hordas de Escritura | Vigo: Xerais | 2008

A Galician poet, author of Charenton (Shearsman, 2006), how she works at blinding speed and utterly destroys the poem while writing poetry.

César Vallejo, trans. Clayton Eshleman | The Complete Poetry | California | 2007

A monumental work, amazing project, the dedication of a life, and even if I want to retranslate some of the poems to free Vallejo from Eshleman, it’s amazing. You see not only Vallejo here, risen whole, but the consistency of Eshleman’s reading, how he reads, what he sees when he reads lines of poetry. In 1983, Eshleman’s Collected Posthumous Poems of Vallejo changed my life. This complete volume seems to contain my own poetic history too. Strange, wonderful.

C. D. Wright | Rising, Falling, Hovering | Copper Canyon | 2008

This is one of the few American poets who has moved across the boundary and can see things outside of the mental enclosure in which most American thinking happens. An antidote in lyric, corrupting form, realizing narration’s sinews.

Giorgio Agamben | Homo Sacer | Seuil | 1995

Agamben’s thinking on how concentration camps can happen. “The biopolitial paradigm of the West today is the camp and not the city.” Essential reading for us all in an age when the camp has already torn the pointer off our moral compass (not just Guantánamo but the camps for illegal immigrants in Europe).

Attention Span – Pam Brown

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Maggie Nelson | Women, The New York School and Other True Abstractions | Iowa | 2007

Brilliant revisionist analytical critique of women poets Barbara Guest, Bernadette Mayer, Alice Notley, Eileen Myles and the painter Joan Mitchell and their relationship / connections with the ‘New York School’ and including consideration of the role of the feminine ‘true abstraction’ in the poetry and art criticism of ‘gay’ writers John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara and James Schuyler.

Hope Mirrlees | Paris : A Poem | Hogarth | 1919

I have only just discovered Hope Mirrlees’ long poem, via Melissa Boyde’s presentation at the Poetry and the Trace conference in Melbourne, July 2008. A wonderful, post-war, modernist, fragmentary flâneuse’ view of Paris , published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf in 1919. Available online as a pdf via google .

Alice Notley | Above the Leaders | Veer | 2008

Poems from Paris, 2006, reading like long one long poem surfacing from something like a pupa formed in the underground layers of the City of Light, the ‘city of Pentecostal girls in white tulle dresses’ where ‘…The dimensions were in tatters, the weather/provoked and bitter: You’ve already had your good times, it whispers.’

Rachel Blau DuPlessis | Torques : Draft 58-76 | Salt | 2008

Continuing her 22 year-long project Drafts, Rachel B du Plessis assembles numbers 58-76 here as ‘Torques’—energised twists, swoops, turns, drifts, folds of language that analyse the way ‘we’ live, write, work, hope, think, demonstrate, play—everything. Charles Bernstein’s advice on reading Torques—’Begin anywhere. Begin now.’

Julia Leigh | Disquiet | Faber | 2008

This book gives much pleasure, and pleasure of thought: brilliant artifice, exact contrivance, it is self-consciously mannered and filled with wit. It’s a strange tale of the return of an Australian woman and her two children to her home and family in a French chateau, and it seems to have sent reviewers scurrying after a category. Some settled for ‘Gothic’—I don’t think so. I see the book as sliding through various ‘categories’ like German Romanticism, French nouveau roman (Michel Butor, shades of Nathalie Sarraute) and mystery. More on my blog.

Chris McAuliffe | Jon Cattapan : Possible Histories | Miegunyah | 2008

A beautifully designed monograph tracing Australian artist Jon Cattapan’s art from his student days until the present—Dadaist grotesqueries, surrealist erotica of the Melbourne 1970’s punk scene, tracing the themes of isolation and longing into later explorations of global information flow and postmodern cities.

Michael Farrell | a raiders guide | Giramondo | 2008

Not T.S. Eliot’s ‘raid on the inarticulate’, Michael Farrell raids and liberates language from within itself. Smart, adveturous language play and close to graphic poetry. Also funny.

Christine Wertheim and Matias Viegebner | The noulipian Analects | Les Figues | 2007

An alphabetical survey of constraint-based writing. Contributors include Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök, Bernadette Mayer, Harryette Mullen, Johanna Drucker and more. Plus theoretical notes—‘Gender and constraint-based literature’, ‘Litteral Poetics’, ‘Materiality!’, ‘OULIPIAN ethics: Writing, the Group, and Pedagogy’ and so on.

Ouyang Yu | Reality Dreams | Picaro | 2008

These unsettling, breezily imaginative poems are reminiscent of deep-night jottings in an analysand’s bedside notebook. In Reality Dreams Ouyang Yu cooks up something much more complex than a simple surrealist recipe. Once you enter Ouyang’s dreamworld his stunning imagery never lets you drift off. This poetry is perplexing, comical, sometimes elegiac, sometimes mysterious and also often frankly visceral, sexy and sensual. Here, in one world-weary reverie, Australia is ‘so deadly boring, so boringly dead’ that we can only hope that a fearsome Chinese phantom might suddenly awaken the entire place by shouting thunderously loudly—‘Onya Ouyang!’

Eileen Myles | Sorry, Tree | Wave | 2007

Eileen says ‘I don’t mind today, but the everyday makes me barf’. Another anti-quotidianist (like Alice Notley) Eileen Myles writes from ‘today’ nonetheless. Terrific, clear, discursive, lesbian, american, female, INSIDER, clever and definitely POETIC. These big-talent, short-line poems affirm Eileen Myles’ commitment to the ‘total fucking gas’ school of US poetry.

Bob Dylan | Tarantula | Harper Perennial | 2005

I owned a copy of the 1966 edition and 42 years later I discover that it’s absent from my bookshelves (another unsolved mystery—where did my Velvet Underground LPs go?). Tarantula was reprinted in 2005. What a wit Bobby D was. ‘I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now’ and it kept me chuckling. Very funny and, now, nicely nostalgic. I read it on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney and recommend it for the short run.

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More Pam Brown here.

Attention Span – G.C. Waldrep

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I read dozens of poetry books, dozens of journals every year. The list that follows isn’t necessarily a list of recent books I “liked best,” but it is a list of the books I dreamed about, after.

Alice Notley | In the Pines | Penguin | 2007

Gennady Aygi, trans. Peter France | Field-Russia | New Directions | 2007

Gabriel Gudding | Rhode Island Notebook | Dalkey | 2007

Bin Ramke | Tendril | Omnidawn | 2007

Zachary Schomburg | The Man Suit | Black Ocean | 2007

Rosmarie Waldrop | Curves to the Apple | New Directions | 2006

Michael Burkard | Envelope of Night | Nightboat | 2008

George Oppen | Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers | California | 2007

Catherine Corman, ed. | Joseph Cornell’s Dreams | Exact Change | 2007

Daniil Kharms, trans. Matvei Yankelevich | Today I Wrote Nothing | Overlook | 2007

Joseph Lease | Broken World | Coffee House | 2007

Some others: Anne Boyer, The Romance of Happy Workers; Fanny Howe, The Lyrics; Johannes Goransson, A New Quarantine Will Take My Place; Cecily Parks, Field Folly Snow; Rusty Morrison, The Truth Keeps Calm Biding Its Story; Kristi Maxwell, Realm 64; Fredrik Nyberg, A Different Practice; Craig Morgan Teicher, Brenda Is in the Room; David Mutschlecner, Sign; Priscilla Sneff, O Woolly City; Tony Tost, Complex Sleep; Donald Revell, Thief of Strings; Noah Eli Gordon, A Fiddle Pulled from the Throat of a Sparrow; C.S. Carrier, “Lyric”; Julie Doxsee, “Fog Quartets”; Jack Boettcher, “The Surveyic Hero”; etc.