Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Waldrop

Attention Span 2011 | James Wagner

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Cedar Sigo | Stranger In Town | City Lights | 2010

Elegant, whimsical. Checked humor. Clear attention to craft. A talented poet.

Christine Hume | Shot | Counterpath | 2010

Slowly building a surreal temple of exquisite disturbances. House Flies, Alaska, now the Night.

David Lespiau, trans. Keith Waldrop | Four Cut-ups, or The Case of the Restored Volume | Burning Deck | 2010

My mini-review here.

Leslie Scalapino | Floats Horse-Floats or Horse-Flows | Starcherone | 2010

High art: imaginative and political. Her understanding of Time-In-The-Sentence is what makes the stories go.

 Lissa Wolsak | Squeezed Light—Selected Poems 1994-2005 | Station Hill | 2010

Sublime writing. My review.

Jena Osman | The Network | Fence | 2010

Atmospheric realism of uncanny stitching. Surgical.

Eléna Rivera | Remembrance Of Things Plastic | LRLE | 2010

Graceful, ghostly, poetic memoir.

Various authors, ed. Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young | A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism | Chain Links | 2011

My mini-review here.

Nada Gordon | Ululations blog | Blogspot/Google | 2011

The raw, vital poetry.

Alta Ifland | Voice of Ice | Les Figues | 2007

Crystalline, carefully laid, prose poems.

Stephen Ratcliffe | [assorted daily poems] | Facebook | 2010-11

Fugue of viewing / sensing / intellecting.


James Wagner is the author of the chapbooks Query/Xombies and Geisttraum (Esther Press, 2010), the short-story collection Work Book (Nothing Moments, 2007), and three poetry collections: Trilce (Calamari Press, 2006), After the Giraffes (Blazevox, 2005), and the false sun recordings (3rd bed, 2003). Wagner’s Attention Span for 2010, 200920082007200620052004. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2010 – G.C. Waldrep

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Gustaf Sobin | Collected Poems | Talisman | 2010

The poetry book of the year, for me. A gorgeous summation of Sobin’s lyric achievement. Should be on every American poet’s bookshelf.

Anne Carson | NOX | New Directions | 2010

Lisa Robertson | R’s Boat | California | 2010

Andrew Joron | The Sound Mirror | Flood | 2009

He really has the best ear of any poet I know writing in English. Trance Archive (City Lights, 2010) is also worth any reader’s time who isn’t already following Joron’s work.

Evelyn Reilly | Styrofoam | Roof | 2009

Sandy Florian | Prelude to Air from Water | Elixir | 2010

In my opinion, and for what little comparisons may be worth, Florian is the most original practioner of the Anglophone prose poem in our moment. Her other 2010 title is Of Wonderland & Waste, from Sidebrow.

Yang Lian, trans. Brian Holton | Riding Pisces | Shearsman | 2008

A major contemporary Chinese poet who has not yet found his American audience. He’s better served in Britain, where his other recent collections include Concentric Circles (2006) and Lee Valley Poems (2010).

Julie Carr | 100 Notes on Violence | Ahsahta | 2010

Keith Waldrop | Several Gravities | Siglio | 2009

The perfect companion to his ever-so-slightly-earlier volume Transcendental Studies, which won the National Book Award. The collages are wonderful, and the selection of his lyric work is judicious.

Jack Collom & Lyn Hejinian | Situations, Sings | Adventures in Poetry | 2008

Mahmoud Darwish, trans. Fady Joudah | If I Were Another | FSG | 2009


Also rereading pretty much all of Leslie Scalapino and Fanny Howe this summer—at least the lyric work—alongside some Alice Notley I’d missed hitherto. Waiting for some new/fresh time to read J. Michael Martinez’s Heredities, which looks fantastic, and the new translation of Raul Zurita’s Purgatorio from California.

More G.C. Waldrep here. Waldrep’s Attention Span for 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2009 – Michael Gizzi

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Keith Waldrop | Transcendental Studies | California | 2009

Brian Evenson | Fugue State | Coffee House | 2009

Brian Evenson | Last Gasp

Robin Kelley | Thelonious Monk | Free Press | 2009

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood | 2009

Lisa Jarnot | Night Scenes | 2008

Kit Robinson | Train I Ride | Bookthug | 2009

Robert Pogue Harrison | Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition | Chicago | 2008

William Carlos Williams | White Mule

Richard Holmes | The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science | HarperPress | 2008

More Michael Gizzi here.

Attention Span 2009 – Sawako Nakayasu

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Keith Waldrop | Several Gravities | Siglio Press | 2009

Vanessa Place | La Medusa | Fiction Collective 2 | 2008

Janet Sarbanes | Army of One | Otis Books/Seismicity Editions | 2008

Eric Hoyt | The Earth Dwellers: Adventures in the Land of Ants | Simon & Schuster | 1996

George Kubler | The Shape of Time | Yale University Press | 1962

Kurt Schwitters, trans. and ed. Jerome Rothenberg & Pierre Joris | Pppppp: Kurt Schwitters Poems, Performance, Pieces, Proses, Plays, Poetics | Exact Change | 2002

Daniel Heller-Roazen | Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language | Zone Books | 2005

Seiichi Niikuni | Works 1952-1977 | Shichosha | 2008

Piero Heliczer | A purchase in the white botanica | Granary Books | 2001

Viktor Shklovsky | ZOO or Lettersd Not about Love | Dalkey Archive | 2001

Caroline Dubois, trans. Cole Swensen | Caroline Dubois: You Are the Business | Burning Deck | 2008

More Sawako Nakayasu here.

Attention Span 2009 – Elizabeth Robinson

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Laura Sims | Stranger | Fence Books | 2009

This reflection on the early death of the author’s mother could have been bathetic, but instead it is quirky, perceptive and, while affectively convincing, strange.

Keith Waldrop | Transcendental Studies | University of California | 2009

A terrific, substantive collection.

Thomas A. Clark | of Woods and Water | Moschatel Press | 2008

Inheritor of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s mantle, Clark writes deceptively simple lyrics whose modulations creep up on the reader.

Eileen Myles | The Importance of Being Iceland | Semiotexte | 2009

This book of essays is really funny, but also astute, pointed, full of characteristic Myles dynamism.

Barbara Guest | Forces of Imagination | Kelsey St. Press | 2003

I just keep reading and rereading this one, and every time find Guest’s poetics sharp, often humorous, haunted, compelling.

Truong Tran | Four Letter Words | Apogee Press | 2008

These poems are formally lively, while the content here zings.

Orlando White | Bone Light | Red Hen Press | 2009

White is a young writer and this is his first book. Its intense focus interrogates language letter by letter.

Tyrone Williams | On Spec | Omnidawn | 2007

Completely engrossing.

James Laughlin | The Way it Wasn’t | New Directions | 2006

Notes toward a memoir that Laughlin never wrote, this book is vastly entertaining (JL refers to Bill Clinton as “Smiley”) and full of good literary gossip. It is also heartbreaking to get hints at how hard it is to keep a literary press alive, especially as Laughlin struggles to retain authors who are lured away by larger presses (e.g., John Hawkes, Anne Carson).

Myung Mi Kim | Penury | Omnidawn | 2009

Painful content, exquisitely sculpted writing.

More Elizabeth Robinson here.

Lipstick Traces – June 2009

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Most of the mp3 files linked to on Lipstick of Noise live on other servers, but occasionally I upload clips to the Third Factory site hosted by Duration. According to the Awstats, these are the eleven most listened to tracks for June 2009:

Rosmarie Waldrop – Shorter American Memory of Declaration of Independence

Julie Patton – Alphabet Soup

Charles Baudelaire, trans. Keith Waldrop – Carrion

Eugene Ostashevsky – DJ Spinoza Talks to Flipper

Paul Dutton – Untitled

Alice Notley – In the Pines 14 (excerpt)

Lisa Robertson – “Plentifully of reason…” from The Men

Daniil Kharms, trans. Matvei Yankelevich – Blue Notebook 4

Jackson Mac Low – from Black Tarantula Crossword Gatha

Stephanie Young – fr. Betty Page We Love You Get Up

Charles Bernstein – Solidarity Is the Name We Give to What We Cannot Hold

Attention Span – Peter Quartermain

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Robin Blaser | The Holy Forest: Collected Poems, Revised and Expanded Edition | California | 2006

Won (as it should) the Griffin Prize for Poetry. Meticulously edited and with a useful introduction by Miriam Nichols. This book confirms Blaser’s strong claim for recognition as a major poet of his generation, and tells us how and why, from almost the very beginning, he was such a generative power in the San Francisco Renaissance. The poetry, a brilliant welding of philosophical, political and personal threads, demands of the reader the same alert wit and attention that Blaser himself brings to it. The management of sound is, bluntly, magisterial. Now available in paperback, and not to be missed.

Colin Browne | The Shovel | Talonbooks | 2007

Witty, sometimes hilarious, but passionate, troubled and deeply moving as well. An extraordinarily inventive poet of great patience and discipline. Overall a haunted book–even under the concocted absurd and comic adventures with the likes of Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida there’s that dark grim world of the early third millennium, so puzzled in its rueful unsettled relations with its past. As the blurb reminds us, this is a book “composed in wartime” – and note that pun in “composed.” A book whose disquiets strangely exhilarate. I find myself coming back to it again and again.

Gerald L. Bruns | On The Anarchy of Poetry and Philosophy: A Guide for the Unruly | Fordham | 2006

“There comes a time in the history of a discipline,” this book begins, “when it must start its history all over again, even if from scratch”–a familiar enough trope, I guess, but tellingly deployed as working principle throughout these thoughtful, learned, imaginative essays—Bruns has a terrific eye for detail, a memory which deploys them tellingly, and a mind which I’d swear never goes to sleep.

Christopher Coredon with Ann Williams | A Dictionary of Medieval Terms & Phrases | D. S. Brewer | 2004

If you like words, then this is a fun book—lots of nifty words I didn’t know, lots of more or less useless information, like “overslop” (a cassock or gown is how that started out), little essays on things like “Ordeal, trial by” (which is pretty horrific) and “ Cocaktrice” (a heraldic monster “with fatal halitosis”—its breath would kill—which came from a cockerel’s egg hatched by a serpent; became a term for whore). Abundant cross references, but also lots of connections as you browse.

Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna | Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle | DAP / Santa Monica Museum of Art | 2005

Clothbound exhibition calatogue, nearly 400 pages of illustrations and biographical mini-essays on familiar and not so familiar names: Bruce Conner, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure; Toni Basil, Ben Talbert, Zack Walsh. Annotated inventory of Semina’s individual components; Essays, chronology, letters, and a fairly thorough index. Terrific.

Daphne Marlatt | The Given | McClelland & Stewart | 2008

The publisher calls this a “haunting and multi-layered long poem”; Marlatt says it is the final volume of her novel-trilogy, Ana Historic and Taken. It’s actually both: brilliant, condensed writing, clear though mostly implied narrative, an utterly astonishing meditation on memory, family, the past, the place and role of women, the debts and presences we carry in us. Moving, memorable, writing (and reading) driven by attentive love.

Meredith Quartermain | Matter | BookThug | 2008

I’d plug this book even if it was by somebody else because I love the basic conception, and I love even more its accomplishment. In 1852 Peter Mark Roget, secretary of the Royal Society, published his taxonomy of the English language in his Thesaurus—the species and genera of “ideas”—abstract relations, space, matter, intellect, volition, affections. The poems here explore the relations of inner and outer, world and mind, human and animal. Mind’s matter; matter’s mind. “Knowledge stands on belove” says one sentence in the excursus which closes the book and asks “How can humans mean? Next to birds, trees.”

Maurice Scully | Several Dances | Private | 2007

Scully every so often prints off several dozen (or more) copies of his latest work and send it off to various folk—Meredith and I happen to be two of them—so I’m not sure I should list this 73-page book here at all, at least, not until it finds a trade or even little publisher from whom you can buy it. But Scully really is one of the few really outstanding current Irish poets not in the over-worked Yeats tradition (along with poets like Randolph Healy, Trevor Joyce, Billy Mills, Geoffrey Squire and Catherine Walsh) and he’s someone to look for. No quotation can do justice to this spare language in diverse forms, but here’s a little bit


this is a day.
this is a moment
in a day. this
is the point of

intersection of
a moment in a day

but the stanza (and sentence) doesn’t end there. A persistent mind, snagging on details of words, thought, language, behaviour, with delight in the writing even when the world lived in is as wrong-headed and wrong-hearted as it is. Someone to be reckoned with, he has several books from such as Etruscan, Reality Street, and Wild Honey.

Keith Waldrop |The Real Subject: Queries and Conjectures of Jacob Delafon with sample poems | Omnidawn | 2004

This is a sad but funy book, and I love it. Jacob Delafon, Waldrop’s invention, is unusually inconsequential in his relations with a pointless world, inert even, a tourist of idle possibilities. Thus he “finds in Partridge’s dictionary, // shit! mother, I can’t dance // which, according to Partridge means nothing at all, being simply what one says ‘just for something to say.’” The cumulative effect is mad hilarity. And sometimes real beauty.

Patrick Wright | Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War | Oxford | 2007

A fascinating, slightly gossipy and anecdotal history of the career of the iron curtain from its introduction as a Safety Curtain in theatres in the 1790s to its deployment as metaphor by Winston Churchill in 1945 and since the demolition of the Berlin Wall as reflective of a way of thinking about the world. As one might expect from Wright’s earlier books—such as On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain (1985), The Village that Died for England (1995), and Tank: The Progress of a Monstrous War Machine (2000)—this is really good (and unconventional) cultural / social history by a literate and witty writer / thinker. I learned a lot, and not just via such byways as peptide research on both sides of the iron curtain. Much like good conversation with someone who knows a hell of a lot more than you do.

John Yau | The Passionate Spectator: Essays on Art and Poetry | Michigan | 2006

If I were still teaching undergraduate English courses I’d put this book at the top of the Recommended Reading list: passionate and lucid essays which teach you (and me) how to read and how to think about poetry and art, without once talking down to the reader. And jam-packed with information you didn’t know you needed. The opening essay, on Frank O’Hara’s art criticism, is worth the price of the book. The other essays don’t disappoint either. Such a collection of Yau’s essays is long long overdue.