Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

art is autonomous

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Farrell

Attention Span 2011 | Astrid Lorange

leave a comment »

Michael Farrell | thempark | Book Thug | 2010

thempark uses Ashbery’s Where Shall I Wander and Hotel Lautréamont as templates. Which is to say, the poems take Ashberian hairpin-bends and fill them with a million nanobots. Some are built from the data of top-40 jams and TV broadcasts, some are the gnats that asphyxiate inside a fruit salad tub, some are outtakes from a doco on Australian tea biscuits and birdsong.

John Paetsch | Hex Nihilo | bas-books | 2011

This is the future: Philadelphia is flanked by the Pacific Ocean, trees are data-sets, everything is smuggling everything else and speeding up a highway, aliens are radios like Spicer told us years ago. The future has two modes: prose so funny it pulls groins; sparse verse that empties guts.

J. Gordon Faylor | Sebaceous Heph | bas-books | 2010

This book has you right on the edge of getting a joke, limbered yet straining for relief, hands about to clap: you’re right there… And then, the syntax does a sneaky, rude little deviation and you’re suffering the immensely cruel pleasure of not-knowing. It’s perfect timing, perfect anti-comedy, and smart in a way that squeezes sebum everywhere.

Kieran Daly | PLAYS / FOR THEATRE | bas-books | 2011

This collection speaks to the performance(s) of: proposition, philosophy and non-philosophy, gift economy, chronic boredom, auto-didacticism, tinkering, naming. You have a window, carpet, access to light, you are in a performance, and it’s that perfect moment where you laugh because it’s truly funny to just be moving your elbow or fixing a pipe.

Chris Alexander | Panda | Truck | 2011

This book was composed collectively by anyone who’s ever described the panda from Kung Fu Panda. This book was curated perfectly by Chris Alexander, who shows the inexhaustible, partial, oriented, polemical, dedicational labour of description. This book is an Everybody’s Autobiography.

Leslie Scalapino | How Phenomena Appear to Unfold | Litmus | 2011

A brilliant collection of essays somewhere between poetics, criticism, event-theory and demonstration of an entirely alien grammar that does everything at once. Scalapino reads and writes into four dimensional cubelets, cubelets that construct truly new things for thinking.

Charles Bernstein | Attack of the Difficult Poems | Chicago  | 2011

Queer pedagogies, queering pedagogies. This book is about professing, teaching, file-sharing and reading-as-writing, because of, and in spite of, all manner of constraint.

Kristen Gallagher | We Are Here | Truck | 2011

One has historically asked oneself: is light made of particles or waves? And the answer, these days, is generally: both! Like, when, you’re dreadfully lost and can’t find your way on a map, you both are and are not located, and you both are and are not moving meaningfully. In this book, you try to find a house, and find something a lot more interesting. As Stein would say, there is no there there! Thankfully!


Astrid Lorange is a PhD candidate, poet, teacher, researcher, occasional band member and homebrewer from Sydney, Australia. Her books include Eating and Speaking, Minor Dogs and Pussy pussy pussy what what (Au lait day Au lait day).

Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2011 | Pam Brown

leave a comment »

Adam Aitken | Tonto’s Revenge | Tinfish | 2011

‘You want to shout Fuck Tourism /but that would be nostalgic.’ A chapbook of poems written while Australian poet Adam Aitken was a visiting writer in Manoa, Hawai’i. Encounters with academic administration, homeless people, bus passengers, a lament for Danno from ‘Hawai’i 5 0’. A nice pocket-size mix.

Louis Armand | Letters From Ausland | Vagabond | 2011-08-02

Louis Armand says ‘We remain, as Zukofsky says, the toy of paradox’. Letters from Ausland brims with paradox and moves in and out of languages, places, thoughts and imagery with an uncontrived precision. These poems are so richly cognitive and intensely imaginative that they can be revisited, read and thought about many times.

Ken Bolton | Sly Mongoose | Puncher & Wattman | 2011

This book is veritably fecund with diverse ideas and references—from Baroque art to Althusser to Jackie Gleason to Juliet Greco to Ron Padgett—inventive notations, appreciation of relationship – both friendship and family—and plenty of terrific jokes. Ken Bolton writes like no-one else in Australia. I could exhaust the lexicon of positive superlatives in praise of these poems because Sly Mongoose is a wonderfully compelling collection.

Ken Bolton, ed. | Coalcliff Days 1979-1982 | Jellied Tongues | 2011

A collection of work by poets and artists who congregated at Coalcliff outside Wollongong, south of Sydney, at the beginning of the 1980s. A silk screen printed cover, drawings, photos, film stills, prose and poems. A big book of early 80s and contemporary gems.

Chris Edwards | People Of Earth | Vagabond | 2011

Playful typography, mistranslations of Mallarmé, renditions of Rilke, cut ups and collage, misquotation, and a long, definitive queer poem—’A revisitation of the plague’. As one critic put it ‘part Goons, part Proust’, this book collects Chris Edwards earlier chapbooks and presents new and ingenious experiments in poetry.

Michael Farrell | thempark | BookThug | 2010

Can’t better the blurb here—’Farrell is caught between a themepark designed by Ashbery and a “thempark” where the others live’ says Michael Davidson. Five stars!

Brian Henry | Lessness | Ahsahta | 2011

More thoughtfulness, exactness and redaction from Brian Henry. Poems that sneak up on your consciousness and lodge there for ages after you’ve read them. A collection of work written over thirteen years from 1995-2008.

Duncan Bruce Hose | One Under Bacchus | inken publisch | 2011

The first poem ‘lyrebird’ and the last ‘An Allegory of Edward Trouble’ are parodic fragmentary rewritings of the legend of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly, including the 1970 film with Mick Jagger as the hero. Also poems that parody Laurie Duggan’s (a parodist in his own right) intellectual-Australiana series ‘Blue Hills’ and a homage to Ted Berrigan and more. To quote one poem’s facetious title, this collection is ‘Anglo but Cosmic’.

Kate Lilley | Round Vienna | Vagabond | 2011

A sequence of poems thinking (and joking) about ‘Fraud’s Dora’ and other clever feminist sleights. Illustrated beautifully with Melissa Hardie’s C19 croppings.

Astrid Lorange | Eating and Speaking | Tea Party Republicans Press | 2011

‘One is also chips’ both the sawyer’s, the potato’s and the fictional teacher, Mr. Chips.

This fast set of poems by Stein scholar Astrid Lorange is a tangy gremolada in the bubbling, simmering pot of current innovative poetry.

Dubravka Ugresic | Baba Yaga Laid An Egg | Canongate | 2007

A witty, post modern novel. An adventurous take on the fantastic Slavic legend of Baba Yaga.


Pam Brown’s most recent title is ‘Authentic Local’ (soi3 modern poets, Papertiger Media, 2010). She has published many books, chapbooks, and an e-book, locally and internationally over four decades and is an associate editor of Jacket2, Polari and Rubric online journals. She lives in Alexandria in Sydney and blogs intermittently at The Deletions.

Brown’s Attention Span for 20102009200820072006200520042003. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span – Pam Brown

with one comment

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.


More Pam Brown here.