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Posts Tagged ‘Lyn Hejinian

Attention Span 2011 | Cathy Wagner

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Cecilia Vicuña and Ernesto Livon-Grosman, ed. | Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology | Oxford | 2009

Beautifully polemical anthology that situates Latin American poetry in its complicated historical and cultural matrices. Alongside work by poets we’ve heard of (or should have), represented here are Aztec and Mayan poems addressing the European invasion; astonishing oral poetry, old and new; and a selection of visual and concrete poetry that connects the midcentury concrete poetry revolution to indigenous traditions. The anthology draws attention to the influence of indigenous poets on avant-garde internationalistas: “The poet is a God. Don’t sing about rain, poet. Make it rain!” an Aymara poet told Vicente Huidobro. Many poems here reflect what Vicuña calls “a poetics of resistance.” I was elated by Gabriel Gudding’s translations of the Nicaraguan Ruben Dario, whose poems Englished had never shaken me before.

Christopher Nealon | The Matter of Capital: Poetry and Crisis in the American Century | Harvard | 2011

Brilliantly makes its case: that contemporary and recent poetry has all along been influenced by and actively investigating the workings of capital. I didn’t agree with every one of Nealon’s interpretations of individual poems, but I rarely find myself reading criticism with this much note-taking gusto. I have been telling everyone about this book.

Srecko Kosovel, tr. from Slovene by Ana Jelnikar and Barbara Siegel Carlson | Look Back, Look Ahead: The Selected Poems of Srecko Kosovel | Ugly Duckling | 2010

Contemporary of Rilke’s. Imagine Rilke with lashings of John Wieners and Khlebnikov.

Carla Harryman & Lyn Hejinian | The Wide Road | Belladonna | 2011

An enviably intellectually-fecund friendship set itself the important work of trying to think and write sex, collaboratively, as women. I wish I’d had this book years ago. “We eroticize our earthly situations and conditions and likewise they eroticize us…Our vagina accommodates the proverbial railway station it has sometimes been compared to. To be enormous is a wish that comes over us in our hot desperation. Then, miraculously, everything on earth swells to our proportions.” Yup that’s how it works. Crazy smart and crazy sexy.

Dana Ward | The Squeakquel, pt. 1 & pt. 2 | The Song Cave | 2011

In this and in Typing Wild Speech and his newer work Ward is making something new with poetic narrative. Blows forward fast in dawn glow. Bliss to be with.

Ryan Walker | You Will Own It Permanently | regs times | 2010

Charming dorky conversational smart friendly, just adorable; I don’t know how you can get hold of this one, as it’s self-published—try bathybius.com/duh, or Lulu.

Sommer Browning | Either Way I’m Celebrating: Poems and Comics | Birds, LLC | 2011

Again charm, and serious wit, plus arch and goofy drawings. Somebody sent me this and I opened it after a hard day and was lightened. Thanks.

Juliana Spahr | Well Then There Now | Black Sparrow | 2011

Ethical effort is the engine of Spahr’s poems. (I am using an anti-ecological metaphor on purpose, because self-consciousness about the harm a contemporary subject does to the world is central to Spahr’s writing.) Sometimes the effort feels embarrassing, as if the poem’s tires have gone flat because it didn’t want to use up too much air while driving—the effort feels effortful. But then the effortfulness twists before my eyes so that I see that it is part of the poem (it becomes an aesthetic method), and that she is brave for allowing the effort to be part of the poem’s armature, and that an enormous risktaking intelligence is guiding the poem and organizing its anxious pleasures. I like to feel my suspicions of this work, and I like the thinking I have to do when I think about its challenges poetic and extrapoetic.

William Fuller | Hallucination | Flood | 2011

There is something hilarious about the way William Fuller’s profession (chief fiduciary officer at a trust company) is fetishized by his fans, as if he knows something other people don’t—he’s got the secret. Maybe he does. Wry mystical intelligence and pleasure in the word-hoard throughout, and the last poem “The Circuit” is worth the price of the book.

Evie Shockley | The New Black | Wesleyan | 2011

Witty and sharp. Uses many playful forms (often versions of acrostics) to examine the injustices, racist and otherwise, that manifest in the ways we address and describe one other. The formal play means that our attention keeps on being drawn to surface. As the Oulipians saw, surface reconfigured has the potential to disrupt what plays over our thought-screens; these poems are North American instances of Vicuña’s “poetics of resistance.”

Marianne Morris | Commitment | Bad Press & Critical Documents | 2011

Shiny gold-paper-covered chapbook from a younger Canadian poet living in London who grabs all of us, especially the banks, by the hairy scruff and shakes till falling money turns to fumes that light up the shit we’re in. Chris Nealon might want to check it out. A lot of pissed-off marvelously riotous poetry is coming out of the islands off Europe right now. Just got hold of Frances Kruk’s Down We Go chapbook, which is like a cracked white china bowl of shiny nails, and Chris Goode’s new anthology of young (all under 30) English poets, Better than Language: An anthology of new modernist poetries, also worth reading.

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Catherine Wagner teaches at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her latest book is My New Job.

Wagner’s Attention Span for 2010. Back to 2011 directory

Attention Span 2011 | David Dowker

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Will Alexander | Compression & Purity | City Lights | 2011

Caroline Bergvall | Meddle English | Nightboat | 2011

Michael Boughn | Cosmographia | BookThug | 2010 

Clark Coolidge | This Time We Are Both | Ugly Duckling | 2010

Robert Duncan, ed. Michael Boughn and Victor Coleman | The H.D. Book | California | 2011

William Fuller | Hallucination | Flood | 2011

Carla Harryman & Lyn Hejinian | The Wide Road | Belladonna | 2011

Susan Howe | That This | New Directions | 2010

Alice Notley | Culture of One | Penguin | 2011

George Quasha | Verbal Paradise | Zasterle | 2010

Leslie Scalapino | The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom | Post-Apollo | 2010

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More David Dowker here.

Dowker’s Attention Span for 201020092008200720062005. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Dan Beachy-Quick

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Daniel Tiffany | Infidel Poetics | Chicago | 2010

G.W. Leibniz, ed. Nicholas Rescher | Monadology | Pittsburgh | 1991

Allen Grossman | True-Love: Essays on Poetry and Valuing | Chicago | 2009

Julie Carr | 100 Notes on Violence | Ahsahta | 2010

Lucy Ives | Anamnesis | Slope | 2010

Devin Johnston | Creaturely and Other Essays | Turtle Point | 2009

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood | 2009

David Markson | Wittgenstein’s Mistress | Dalkey Archive | 2006 (reprint)

Peter Riley | A Map of Faring | Free Verse | 2005

Jack Spicer | The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer | Black Sparrow | 1980

Lyn Hejinian | Saga/Circus | Omnidawn | 2008

More Dan Beachy-Quick here. Back to 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

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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 – Kit Robinson

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Clarice Lispector | The Stream of Life | University of Minnesota | 1989

Benjamin Moser | Why This Life: A Biography of Clarice Lispector | Oxford University| 2009

Carla Harryman | Adorno’s Noise| Essay | 2008

Anne Tardos | I Am You| Salt| 2008

Lyn Hejinian | Saga/Circus | Omnidawn | 2008

Rodney Koeneke | Rules for Drinking Forties | Cy Press | 2009

Michael Gizzi | New Depths of Deadpan| Burning Deck | 2009

Clark Coolidge and Bernadette Mayer | The Cave| Adventures in Poetry | 2009

Andrew Joron | The Sound Mirror | Flood Editions | 2008

Lewis Warsh | Inseparable: Poems, 1995-2005 | Granary Books | 2008

David F. Garcia | Arsenio Rodriguez and the Transnational Flows of Latin Popular Music | Temple University | 2006

More Kit Robinson here.

Attention Span 2009 – Joel Bettridge

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Linh Dinh | Jam Alerts | Chax | 2007

Tom Bissell | The Father of All Things | Pantheon | 2007

Michael Frayn | Copenhagen | Anchor Books |1998

Lyn Hejinian | Saga/Circus |
Omnidawn | 2008

Devin Johnston | Sources | Turtle Point Press | 2008

Hank Lazer | Lyric & Spirit | Omnidawn | 2008

Nathaniel Mackey | Splay Anthem | New Directions | 2006

Marilynne Robinson | Gilead | FSG | 2004

Cole Swensen | Ours | University of California Press | 2008

Rodrigo Toscano | Collapsible Poetics Theater | Fence | 2008

Andrew Zawacki | Petals of Zero Petals of One  | Talisman House | 2009

More Joel Bettridge here.

Attention Span 2009 – Charles Alexander

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Full disclosure: In part I’m playing Chax’s horn, but mostly because I REALLY love those books!

CA Conrad | The Book of Frank | Chax Press

Steve McCaffery | Slightly Left of Thinking | Chax Press

Karen Mac Cormack  | Implexures — complete edition | Chax Press

Jacque Vaught Brogan | ta(l)king eyes | Chax Press

Michael Cross | in felt treeling | Chax Press

Barbara Guest | The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest | Wesleyan

Jack Spicer | My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poems of Jack Spicer | Wesleyan

Ron Silliman | The Alphabet | Univ of Alabama Press

Myung Mi Kim | Penury | Univ of California Press

Hank Lazer | Portions | Lavender Ink

Lyn Hejinian | Saga/Circus | Omnidawn

Charles Alexander publishes Chax Books.