Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Allyssa Wolf

Attention Span 2010 – Allyssa Wolf

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Teresa Carmody, Vanessa Place, and Christine Wertheim, eds. | Feminaissance | Les Figues | 2010

everyone has his reason, That’s what’s terrible

Luce Irigaray | Elemental Passions | Routledge | 1992

Boris Groys | The Weak Universalism | online here

Mark Wallace | Felonies Of Illusion | Edge | 2008

Joshua Clover | 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This To Sing About | California | 2009

More Allyssa Wolf here. Her Attention Span for 2009, 2008. Back to directory.

Written by Steve Evans

September 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

Attention Span 2009 – Allyssa Wolf

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Bob Dylan | Saved! The Gospel Speeches of Bob Dylan | Hanuman | 1991

This book is about the size of one’s palm, bright pink, the letters in shiny gold cursive. I looked at it every day for a long time, particularly in October.

David Bret | Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr | Da Capo | 2006

My friend Amanda Milius lent this to me. She said she read it every night before bed through a hard time, and I also read it every night through a hard time. For that reason it’s a very important book. It is mostly lies and vicious gossip that is probably all true. It reads like Sade’s Juliette, except instead of having its philosophical tale cut with long, bizarre, mechanical, boring scenes of painful sex, this author pastes in long, bizarre, mechanical, boring scenes from Joan’s films. My first published poem included Joan Crawford as Joan of Arc. Hardcover, black, no dust jacket, crushed spine.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead | The Internet | 1240 BC

I’ve been reading this a lot because I’m writing a version of it for Cannibal.

Various Authors | Rolling Stone 1968-1971 | Unknown

This book is gigantic. I think if you stood it up it would come to almost your knees. It smells like somewhere in the seventies. It weighs like 30 pounds. When I read it it was like having a small person in your lap. A rectangular person—with no head or arms or legs—just all jaw. It’s the original issues, all bound together between heavy black plates. The news in each issue across this time was the unfolding of the Altamont story. Philip Jenks lent it to me.

Vanessa Place | Statement of Facts | Mark (s) | 2009

This is good work. It’s a radical realism extending from the line of Charles Reznikoff. It’s a fierce feminism that can be in this time where supposedly it can’t be—not a fuck-me feminism and not focused at all on the author’s pain or glory. It makes it disgusting to talk about how talented and empathetic the author is, even though this author obviously is. This statement of facts in this class-room is what is often advertised as ‘hardcore-real’ when it’s branded ‘on you,’ and not a lifestyle brand. So this work is at least a breathing close facsimile of something not there in literature supposedly there. Statement of Facts probably wouldn’t be ‘written,’ or not handled with this care and knowledge of its contents, and the people in its contents, if this author wasn’t working outside of academia, as a criminal defense lawyer. Thank you scholars, but to make some ideas apocalypse people need to come from other places and disciplines or this kind of work will never happen in literature, it will just pretend to happen. Anyway, this fucked me up. I know the people here. A lot of people do, or are. I would have liked to have seen this placed in the Pottery issue, although I liked her Gone With The Wind piece in there as well.

Donald Judd | Various Works | Chicago Museum of Modern Art | November 2008

Donald Judd | Complete Writings 1959-1975: Gallery Reviews, Book Reviews, Articles, Letters to the Editor, Reports, Statements, Complaints | The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design | 2005

It’s funny maybe and hard to explain to certain someones why Donald Judd is so wildly exciting to me. Probably for some of the same reasons I admire Place’s radical realism, and then on top of that his hysterical high-art aestheticism and emptying logic. This was the first time I’d seen his work in flesh time. I walked back and forth in front of his boxes and cantilevers obsessively looking at angles and shadows from angles.

I also love his writings.

More Allyssa Wolf here.

Written by Steve Evans

September 9, 2009 at 11:59 am

Featured Title – The Middle Room by Jennifer Moxley

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Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 4 mentions in Attention Span 2008

moxley-middleThere’s a quality to the tone of this book, as if Tolstoy were resurrected as a Valley Girl, that is truly charming. It’s also nice to be reminded that, when it comes to literature, “charming” finally does transcend all else. This book succeeds in engrossing me in the details of all sorts of things that I would have thought I had no interest in, as well as being completely (but not at all brutally) honest about the real motivations for writing poetry. (Stan Apps)

The acme of chick-lit. (John Wilkinson)

Also mentioned by Allyssa Wolf and David Dowker.

Written by Steve Evans

June 1, 2009 at 9:13 am

Featured Title – The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

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Roberto Bolaño, trans. Natasha Wimmer | The Savage Detectives | FSG | 2007 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 5 mentions in Attention Span 2008

bolano-savageThe tale of two wild poet boys in an On The Road Adventure… at least that’s how the book is characterized by reviewers. It seems to me to be more about the attempt to recover the mythology of poetry and the bohemian ethic of beauty, love, and self-indulgence … remember when we were racy, spontaneous, scandalous, drunk, oversexed, high on ambition, low on productivity? Not me, I came of age in the 90s. But I remember clearly thinking that literature ended with my generation—now that’s youth! Bolaño hits it on the head (sometimes…). In my reading, however, Natasha Wimmer is the true genius here—she’s clearly an amazing writer herself, and the book reads as if it was written in English. Quite a feat, given how raunchy most of the language is. (Kristin Prevallet)

I read it too, and it’s as good as they say. The best conventional novel about avant-gardism ever! (Stan Apps)

Mentioned by Gina Myers, Allyssa Wolf, and Michael Kelleher.

Written by Steve Evans

May 30, 2009 at 10:21 am

Featured Title – In the Pines by Alice Notley

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Alice Notley | In the Pines | Penguin | 2007 | Goodreads | LibraryThing | 7 mentions in Attention Span 2008

The American sound, clear and chill—need I explain? (Simon Schuchat)

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

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. (Erin Mouré)

Also mentioned by Elizabeth Treadwell, Allyssa Wolf, David Dowker, and G.C. Waldrep.


Alice Notley was the most-mentioned author in Attention Span 2007, with eight mentions for four separate titles, including Alma, or the Dead Women and Grave of Light: New & Selected Poems, 1970-2005.

Grave of Light also featured in Attention Span 2006.

Three titles—Coming After: Essays on Poetry, Disobedience, and From the Beginning—were included in Attention Span 2005. Disobedience was also mentioned in Attention Span 2003.

Written by Steve Evans

May 26, 2009 at 5:41 pm