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Posts Tagged ‘Ayane Kawata

Attention Span 2010 – Joshua Edwards

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Pedro Ramos | Black Scabbard Research Centre | self-published | 2010

A pamphlet of menacing b&w coastal photos by a young Portuguese photographer who lives in Australia. It uses original work as well as photos appropriated for various media and friends. Highlights include a child sitting on a dead shark, a cliff diver, kissing teenagers, a bat being fed with a syringe, and a back-lit figure in a hoodie. Ramos is from Madeira Island, and his photos have been particularly helpful as work on a manuscript about my birthplace, Galveston, with my dad, using photos he took of the island about thirty years ago. Galveston has the dubious distinction of being featured in a forthcoming low budget sci-fi film, Monsters. Set mostly in Mexico and on the border, the movie’s scenes of devastated, carpet-bombed landscapes were filmed on Galveston after hurricane Ike. The film’s editor said “But we didn’t really need to create an illusion of mass destruction in Galveston,because it was already there, everywhere, after the hurricane. All we had to do is block out any view of the highway in the background. Otherwise, we got millions of dollars’ worth of production design for next to nothing.”

Samuel Amadon | Like a Sea | Iowa | 2010

Like a Sea is a formally restless book full of restless poems that are by turns aphoristic, hilarious, image-driven, sad, and meditative. As various as the poems are, Amadon’s voice is clear, albeit a chorus.

Rae Armantrout | Versed | Wesleyan | 2009

I heard Armantrout read for the first time earlier this year. I liked her poems before the reading, I loved them after. This book has plenty of the wit of pain, the pain of wit, etc.

Anne Carson | Nox | New Directions | 2010

I’ve mostly just stared at the pages of Nox, wishing I could place memoir and history in such elegant folds as does Carson. I think Rexroth would have gone apeshit for this thing.

Brandon Downing | Lake Antiquity | Fence | 2009

Lake Antiquity is beautiful and it makes me laugh.

Andrew Joron | Trance Archive | City Lights | 2010

What an ear! “Constellations for Theremin,” an excerpt of which is in this book, is one of the most stunning poems I’ve come across in a long time. Joron writes like someone born yesterday to parents from tomorrow.

Ayane Kawata, trans. Sawako Nakayasu | Time of Sky & Castles in the Air | Litmus | 2010

Another great translation by Sawako Nakayasu. I was lucky to read this in manuscript form, and I’ve been rereading it since. Ayane Kawata’s terrifying dreams make for awesome poems.

Ibn Khalawayh, trans. David Larsen | Names of the Lion | Atticus/Finch | 2009

One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen (designed by Michael Cross), Names of the Lion is better beheld than commented on. Larsen’s introduction and notes are excellent.

César Moro | La tortuna ecuestre y otros poemas en español | Biblioteca Nueva | 2002

I heard about Moro last summer from a Peruvian friend. Unfortunately, he’s pretty much unknown to English readers and very little of his work has been published in translation. We’re doing a feature on him in Mantis, publishing some of his French poems from Love Until Death (he wrote mostly in French, his second language, after moving to Europe in his twenties). La tortuga ecuestre y otros poemas en español consists of his first book and some uncollected early work.

Sawako Nakayasu | Texture Notes | Letter Machine | 2010

A book of surfaces and dreams, voyages and events, measurements, meals, colors, and, above all, the body pressed up against the world. Another year, another great book by one of my favorite poets.

William Wylie | Route 36 | Flood | 2010

Flood did a terrific job producing this book of b&w photos of landscapes and small town architecture in Kansas and Colorado. An introduction by Merrill Gilfillan provides some context. My dad is a documentary photographer, and I’ve always been interested in the lyrical possibilities of projects like this that reflect the essential gaze. I hope Flood publishes more photography titles, and I’m definitely going to look into Wylie’s other books.

More Joshua Edwards here. Edwards’s Attention Span for 2009, 2007. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Patrick F. Durgin

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Tan Lin | Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking [AIRPORT NOVEL MUSICAL POEM PAINTING FILM PHOTO HALLUCINATION LANDSCAPE] | Wesleyan | 2010

I wrote the following blurb for Tan’s metadata event: Tan Lin is the first poetic conceptualist with personality; it is no wonder he has paid scholarly attention to Eliot. But what was tradition has dissipated, as if it so needed, into detritus, and that cultural clog of ingredients are what you find “controlled” in SCV. In my estimation, this is the best book of poetry written yet this century, and precisely because the politics it demands are yet to come, but their context already so familiar.

Christine Wertheim, ed. | Feminaissance | Les Figues | 2010

One of several anthologies that have been useful to me in unexpected ways, the others include The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, and…

Brenda Iijima, ed. | eco language reader | Nightboat | 2010

Several things seem to be coming together lately: ecological thinking, somatics, conceptualism (updated, or exploited, depending), feminism, and it’s all here. What’s great about how this collection is comprised and presented is that it posits a center and clarifies the radius of sources past and present for making a foray—you don’t just sit there and absorb, as we say, “the material.” It invites practical pluralities of response. Praise seems beside the point.

Andrew Levy | Cracking Up | Truck | 2010

An old favorite (of a poet) from a new press. The cover shots of Ann-Margaret doing “Bye Bye Birdie” perfectly illustrate the methodically coagulated spurts of late-capitalist wisdom in these pages.

Hannah Weiner | Page | Roof | 2002

I typeset this book almost a full decade ago. Now I am rereading it for a talk I am preparing to give. I have always thought it deserved as much attention as Clairvoyant Journal. It is a family drama—practically no name-dropping, which might explain why it is overlooked and why, as a new father, I have that much more interest in cracking it.

Ayane Kawata, trans. Sawako Nakayasu | Time of Sky & Castles in the Air | Litmus | 2010

I have nothing but admiration for Nakayasu’s work as writer, translator, and editor. But this one, I wish it’d gotten to me before I ordered the books for my “20th Century Writing by Women: A World View” course. I did manage to fit in Werewere Liking, Mahasweta Devi (though not Breast Stories—why let it go out of print, fools?!), Nicole Brossard, and other old favorites. Kawata is a new favorite, though I have so little context for saying so, or understanding why, exactly, I feel this way. I chalk much of it up to Nakayasu’s skill as a translator, though. After all, I need a translator, thus I have some basis for evaluating it. Maybe Kawata is proto-A Tonalist

Laura Moriarty | A Tonalist | Nightboat | 2010

Unlike Cole Swensen, who blurbs the book, I wouldn’t set Moriarty’s work under the oft-speculated upon third way rubric. She knows her history too well—Laura, I mean. What’s important to me about this book is how the concept unfurls, and what it seems capable of including, e.g. one of the sharpest critical assessments of how aesthetic communities are born, function, and die. So the book is, a lot like Tan Lin’s book in this list, both a joy to read and a compelling challenge to believe. And so it’s sort of what’s missing from conceptual writing in its current phase, as opposed, say, to the half-step between language and “uncreative” writing: Jackson Mac Low or Hannah Weiner. It also manages to be attractive, i.e. that moment you realize you won’t look up from a page you’re reading to see whose face emits that voice you just heard, and, the writing now victorious, the lyric “voice” is decisively overthrown. As for myself being included in an A Tonalist clan, I defer to Brent Cunningham’s remarks on the matter.

Fiona Kumari Campbell | Contours of Ableism | Palgrave Macmillian | 2009

I’m working on a project concerning “post-ableism,” and this is the first book to take on the converse with a satisfying scope. I don’t agree with the entirety of her argument. And it could have used a sustained sitting with a copyeditor before going to print. But it’s a good continuation of what people like Simi Linton, Lennard Davis, Tobin Siebers and Michael Davidson have begun.

Eduardo Kac | Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond | MIT | 2007

This takes me from the “post-ableism” project to the next big essay I’m writing, this time on “New Life Writing.” New Life Writing is not bio art, but sometimes it gets awfully close.

Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra, eds. | The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future | MIT | 2006

Just when he was getting somewhere with disability by devising a new critical category, “dismodernism,” Lennard Davis organized a highly publicized sidestep to “biocultures,” from which he has never returned. I came to this book initially as part of a disability studies reading group in Chicago, and we read Vivian Sobchack’s essay “A Leg to Stand On: Prosthetics, Metaphor, and Materiality.” In it, she uses the metaphor/metonymy distinction to say something brilliant (though abrupt) about somatics. Someone ought to link that discussion back to dismodernism, right? I tried, but have since moved on to the other essays, all of which are pretty great.

Marc Bosquet | How the University Works | NYU | 2007

“1. We are not ‘overproducing Ph.D.s’; we are underproducing jobs. 2. Cheap teaching is not a victimless crime. 3. Casualization is an issue of racial, gendered, and class justice. 4. Late capitalism doesn’t just happen to the university; the university makes late capitalism happen.” It is also ruining my life.

More Patrick Durgin here. Durgin’s Attention Span for 2007, 2005. Back to 2010 directory.