Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Gizzi

Attention Span 2011 | Melanie Neilson

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Rae Armantrout | Versed | Wesleyan | 2009

Anne Boyer | The Romance of Happy Workers | Coffee House | 2008

Rod Smith | Deed | Iowa | 2007

CA Conrad | The Book of Frank | Chax | 2009

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood | 2009

Steve Farmer | Glowball | Theenk | 2010

Eileen Myles | The Importance of Being Iceland | Semiotext(e) | 2009

Sianne Ngai | Ugly Feelings | Harvard | 2005

Jerry Lewis | The Total Film-Maker | Random | 1971

Kevin Killian | Impossible Princess | City Lights | 2009

Monica de la Torre | Public Domain | Roof | 2008

Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009

Gertrude Stein | Lucy Church Amiably | Something Else | 1930 reissued 1969

Jack Spicer, ed. Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian | My Vocabulary Did This to Me | Wesleyan | 2008

Philip Whalen, ed. Michael Rothenberg | The Collected Poems | Wesleyan | 2007

Lew Welch, ed. Donald Allen | Ring of Bone: Collected 1950-1970 | Grey Fox | 1979

Donald Bogle | Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters | Harper Collins | 2011

Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. | Race Music | California |2003

Bern Porter | Found Poems | Nightboat | 2011

Jessica B. Harris | High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America | Bloomsbury | 2011

James Lee Burke | Detective Dave Robicheaux series of 18 thrillers set in Louisiana: The Neon Rain to The Glass Rainbow | Pocket | 1989-2010

Lewis Klahr, Engram Sepals | Melodramas (sequence of seven 16mm films, 75 minutes) | 1994-2000

Elvis Presley | The Country Side of Elvis | RCA | 2001

Raymond Chandler, performed by Elliott Gould | Red Wind (1938) | New Millennium Audio | 2002

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More Melanie Neilson here.

Neilson’s Attention Span for 2009. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2011 | Marjorie Perloff

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Caroline Bergvall | Meddle English | Nightboat | 2011

The title poem is Bergvall’s brilliantly satiric version of Chaucer, anatomizing the current socio-cultural scene, but this rich collection also includes the experimental verse of “Goan Atom,” and (my favorite) “Cropper,” Bergvall’s multilingual exploration of sedimentation—of “borders, rules, boundaries, edges, limbos at historical breaches.”

Craig Dworkin | Motes | Roof | 2011

Minimalist procedural lyrics that uncover the secrets within given words and morphemes. Dworkin’s version of Duchamp’s With Hidden Noise, it’s a totally delightful and pleasurable but also intellectually rigorous book.

Peter Gizzi | Threshold Songs | Wesleyan | 2011

This may be Gizzi’s best book to date: the mood is elegiac (the poet’s brother Michael had just died) but also jaunty: whenever the darkness becomes too hard to bear, a colloquial—even funnynote brings us back to the everyday world: “Don’t back away. Turtle into it / with your little force.”

Christian Hawkey | Ventrakl | Ugly Duckling | 2010

Hawkey’s surreal lyric sequence, prompted by the life and work of Georg Trakl. Using a great variety of verse forms and prose interludes, Hawkey produces a terrifying and moving poem about legacy, memory, and the stories we tell ourselves so as to avoid self-recognition.

Heinrich Heine, trans. into Portuguese and with an introd. by André Vallias | Heine, hein? – Poeta dos contrários | Sao Paulo: Perspectiva | 2011

Heine, one of the great lyric poets of all time, is still very little known in the US and translations have been partial and problematic. But Vallias, himself a fine poet, has produced an amazing book, including all the major poems as well as essays, letters, and bibliographical material. My Portuguese is very rudimentary but I marvel at what can—and is being—done elsewhere to bring one nation’s poetry into the present of another’s.

Christian Marclay, dir. | The Clock | a film | 2010

To my mind, the finest conceptual work ever produced: this 24-hour montage of film clips played in real time (featuring an infinite variety of clocks, watches, and verbal signals indicating that exact time in each shot) is endlessly enchanting—a Waiting for Godot for the 21st Century where we are always waiting—for the event that never happens and which is immediately eclipsed and displaced by another event. Can life be this dramatic? The Clock is nerve-wracking, funny, moving: and when you come out of the gallery (I saw about 8 hours worth at LACMA) you think you’re still in the picture, about to witness the bank robbery or the wake-up call, even as the music bleeds unaccountably from one scene into the next.

Vanessa Place | Tragodía: 1: Statement of Facts | Blanc | 2010

This compendium of court testimonies and police reports—all of them taken from Place’s own files (she is an appellate criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles) has raised enormous controversy: Place has been accused of being soft on rapists. But the fact of this Statement of Facts is that she has simply arranged her material so as to tell it like it is—no sides taken, no points made, and yet an unforgettable image of how events in the contemporary city play themselves out. The book reads like a Henry James novel: what, we ask at every turn, really happened?

Srikanth Reddy | Voyager | California | 2011

Reddy’s writing-through of Kurt Waldheim’s memoir (3 times in 3 different ways) is a devastating exposé of political mendacity and maudlin self-justification. It’s a brilliantly rendered work that literally “speaks for itself.”

Jonathan Stalling | Yingelishi | Counterpath | 2011

Yingelishi (pronounced yeen guh lee shr) sounds like an accented pronunciation of the word “English,” even as, for the Chinese reader, its characters spell out “chanted songs, beautiful poetry.” Spalding combines homophonic translatation, with the dictionary meaning of the different phrases as well as their Chinese characters so as to demonstrate what the new language of some 350 million people looks and feels like. Comes with a website so that we can hear these sounds spoken and chanted. It’s a brilliant tour de force.

Uljana Wolf, trans. Susan Bernofsky | False Friends | Ugly Duckling | 2011

These DICHTionary poems are based on so-called “false friends” in German and English—words that look and/or sound familiar in both languages but differ in meaning.  The comedy that results is full of surprises—a lovely sequence for our multilingual moment. And Ugly Duckling’s production is, as always, a pleasure.

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Susan Howe | THAT THIS | New Directions | 2010

I list this last and separately because Howe’s very important book won the Bollingen Prize and I was one of three judges so my comment on it is a part of the award citation.

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Marjorie Perloff‘s most recent book is Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century. Her Wittgenstein’s Ladder has just been translated into Spanish and is soon coming out in French. She is Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University.

Perloff’s Attention Span for 2006, 2004. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2011 | John Palattella

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Annie Dillard | Pilgrim at Tinker Creek | Harper | 1974

The electron is like a muskrat; it cannot be perfectly stalked.

T.S. Eliot, eds. Valerie Eliot and Hugh Haughton | The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Volume 2: 1923–1925 | Faber | 2009

…the Editor has to combine and reconcile principle, sensibility, and business sense. That is why an editor’s life is such a bloody sweat.

Merrill Gilfillan | The Bark of the Dog | Flood | 2010

Sprigs for sunrise,
sprigs for Taos, and soldiers
on the steep blue sea.

Peter Gizzi | Threshold Songs | Wesleyan | 2011

And my body also
a commotion of sound
and form. Of tides.

Tony Judt | Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 | Penguin | 2005

The much-anticipated transition from capitalism to socialism had been theorized ad nauseum in academies, universities and coffee bars from Belgrade to Berkeley; but no-one had thought to offer a blueprint for the transition from socialism to capitalism.

James Longenbach | The Iron Key | Norton | 2010

Hephaestus, carve me a hollow cup!
The dark earth drinks, and the trees drink the earth.
The sea drinks the wind,
The sun drinks the sea.

Jennifer Moxley | Coastal | The Song Cave | 2011

A muggy sunny day, better for plants than people.

Lorine Niedecker, ed. Jenny Penberthy | Collected Works | California | 2002

Ruby of corundum
lapis lazuli
from changing limestone
glow-apricot red-brown
carnelian sard
Greek named
Exodus-antique
kicked up in America’s
Northwest
you have been in my mind
between my toes
agate

David Rieff | Swimming in a Sea of Death | Simon & Schuster | 2008

My mother’s “default mode” had always been the transcendental, or, perhaps more accurately, that of the exemplary student who also aspires to be the exemplary soul. Don’t laugh or smile condescendingly, dear reader: there are more ignoble ambitions.

Marilynne Robinson | The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought | Houghton Mifflin | 1998

Economics, the great model now among us, indulges and deprives, builds and abandons, threatens and promises. Its imperium is manifest, irrefragable—as in fact it has been since antiquity. Yet suddenly we act as if the reality of economics were really reality itself, the one Truth to which everything must refer. I can only suggest that terror at complexity has driven us back on this very crude monism. We have reached a point where cosmology permits us to say that everything might in fact be made of nothing, so we cling desperately to the idea that something is real and necessary, and we have chosen, oddly enough, competition and market forces, taking refuge from the wild epic of cosmic ontogeny by hiding our head in the ledger.

W.B. Yeats | The Poems | Macmillan | 1983

We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The hearts grown brutal from the fare;
More substance in our enmities
Than in our love; O honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.

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John Palattella is the Literary Editor for The Nation. Palattella’s Attention Span for 201020092008200720062005. Back to 2011 Directory.


Attention Span 2010 – Joel Bettridge

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Kaia Sand | Remember to Wave | Tinfish | 2010

Roberto Tejada | Exposition Park | Wesleyan | 2010

Nancy Kuhl | Suspend | Shearsman | 2010

Graham Foust | A Mouth in California | Flood | 2009

Kate Greenstreet | The Last 4 Things | Ahsahta |  2009

John Williams | Stoner | New York Review Books | 1965

Gino Segrè | Faust in Copenhagen | Viking | 2007

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, trans. Sidney Monas | Crime and Punishment | Signet | 1968

Jane Sprague | The Port of Los Angeles | Chax | 2009

Richard J. Pioli, editor | Stung by Salt and Water: Creative Texts of the Italian Avant-gardist F. T. Marinetti | Lang | 1987

Jack Spicer, ed. Peter Gizzi & Kevin Killian | My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer | Wesleyan | 2008

More Joel Bettridge here. His Attention Span for 2009, 2008. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Sarah Riggs

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I realize that this is a bit chatty, laced with biography and autobiography—I’m trying to find my way back into a critical reviewer mode I learned long ago, but that may be gone for good . . . well, no apologies, here are some philosophy, novels, along with of course poetry—that’s always been the trio, in intersection film and visual arts—and I see here, a near-decade of living also in and around French. As an aside, It would be nice also to review the wilderness, I should like to give a report on Jenny Lake in Wyoming.

Julia Strachey |  Cheerful Weather for the Wedding |  Hogarth |  1932

Lytton Strachey’s niece wrote this novel, and it’s brilliant in the way that Douglas Sirk films are, bitingly ironic in the brightest most vivid of British aristocratic settings. I never would have read it with such a title, but that I found it on my bedside table, simply because Keith Waldrop mentioned it to Jacques Roubaud who mentioned it to Marie Anne Guérin who mentioned it to Omar Berrada, who left it on that table. Apparently that’s more or less all she wrote. Dommage.

Gemma Corradi Fiumara | The Other Side of Language: A Philosophy of Listening | Routledge | 1990

Basically the notion, repeated in infinite ways, in an Italian-turned-English philosophic density and delicatesse is this:  the west does not listen, we speak. And since the west is becoming everywhere, it’s getting very noisy. I loved listening to this repeated, the philosopher’s form of the Zen embrace of silence. And further the possibility of the profundity of listening as the other side of how to live, would that we receive it.

Virginia Woolf, trans. Anne Wicke |  Au Phare |  Stock | 2009

Reputedly an excellent new translation of To the Lighthouse (1927), and since I’ve read English versions of it for the last many summers running, and accidentally forgot it during the lighthouse holiday this time, had the idea to try it in French. The movement of the mind across, and in, and through landscapes & people is what’s been nudging me toward making a film poem based on two novels—this one and The Waves, the latter of which was the basis for Vita Sackville-West comment that VW was a poet writing in prose. Woolf’s essays on “Cinema,” “On Being Ill,” and the portraits of her in Joan Russell Noble, Recollections of Virginia Woolf, William Morrow & Company, 1972, and the recent collection from the Smith College 2010 exposition are among the jewels sparkling the brightest in the Woolf/Bloomsbury constellation.

Peter Gizzi |  Artificial Heart |  Burning Deck | 1998

Sometimes you’re drowning in a surfeit of poetry books, where nothing speaks to you, it’s just words turning, twisting, far away from you, obligations to their authors whom are awaiting keen responses. This is where listening to actual poets, Penn Sound, or UBU web come in. I fell in love with a poem, and turned to its book. It’s not your conversion experience, it’s mine: all these years of atheism, I’m now . . . agnostic!  It’s sounds like nothing, but it’s a lot for a poetry book. The heart beats, without artifice sometimes, à force de l’entendre.

Liliane Giraudon |  La Poétesse | P.O.L. |  2009

Spunky, multi-styled book of French poetry, one of the best I’ve read lately. As usual with poetry, hard to tell you exactly what it’s about, here perhaps sequences of attitudes. This late-career Marseille-based poet is phenomenal, trying everything since surviving a cancer diagnosis a few years ago, including collaborations with film, photo, music, trying her hand at drawing, collage. She lives with two poets, Jean-Jacques Viton and Henri Deluy, a sort of Marseille-Paris threesome on the move, she’s putting the “esse”nce  back in poétry, now working with theater on a theme of Amazons.

Stéphane Bouquet |  Nos Amériques | Champ Vallon |  2010

Follows the brilliant Un Peuple which Cole Swensen and I are currently translating by an unusual dictation swapping technique that seems to be working at first go, and gives us the sense of being at times the amazing writer himself!!  Bouquet is mid-career, has worked in and around film, dance (with Mathilde Monnier), also for many years as a film critic, currently a translator of Creeley and Blackburn. Whereas A People acts like a poetic meditative encyclopedia of artists who reappear in astonishing mimetic bouquets—Keats, Whitman, Woolf, Pasolini, others—this latest follows his earlier five-part sequences, philosophic manqué sexy pondscapes and I’m still trying to figure out what.

Pier Paolo Pasolini | Tal cour di un frut | Actes Sud |  1953

The facing page French translations plus my glancing knowledge of Italian, and the Latinate roots of Friulian dialect, mean I get to invent my own English versions, which suits me better than reading English translations of these tiny, fiercely adolescent poems. For all that Pasolini did in lifetime—living as if there were no walls—what came first was writing poems in his maternal dialect, already a political act. I love how this was the movement that led into all the others.

Stéphane Mallarmé, trans. Henry Weinfield  | Collected Poems | California | 1996

I chose this edition of Mallarmé for my NYU-in-France students because it was treated with such reverence back when I was getting my doctorate at U. of Michigan. It is a beautiful large-format book to finger and caress, with much beige margin space, the mellifluous, scant rhymes often impressive, sometimes disappointing, but the missing gutter, which is to say the choice to do facing page French-English instead of keeping the arrangement of words across the fold as Mallarmé had chosen, does not survive the translator’s apology in the postface. I am now on the lookout for other translations of Mallarmé.

Steve Evans | Attention Span | Third Factory  | 2003- 2010++

Curators who invent forms are creators, and the results are strangely shaped, semi-intangible at times. Examples include the Parisian salons of Stein, Mallarmé, the Hogarth Press of the Woolf’s, Burning Deck of the Waldrop’s, Naropa of mostly Anne Waldman of long late, Pierre Joris & other bloggers of zest and wide knowledge. America has always been a creative place for bringing people together, also because the distances are so great. Evans here finds a way to make the virtual distances great ones in the great sense.

Doris Lessing | Prisons We Choose to Live Inside | Anasi | 1991

Watch out, this book is dangerous. It suggests there’s no independent thinking. And that the information we need to live well we already have, but we ignore most of it. In the form of university lectures, but it makes you feel as if you’re in the room with her. Which is perhaps what made me want to go to London to meet her, though this hasn’t happened. It’s a book I feel at present I cannot live without.

More Sarah Riggs here. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – John Sakkis

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Alastair Johnston | Zephyrus Image A Bibliography | Poltroon | 2003

George Oppen | The Collected Poems Of George Oppen | New Directions | 1976

David Brazil and Sara Larsen, eds. | Try Magazine | 2010

Micah Ballard and Patrick James Dunagan | Easy Eden | Push | 2009

Daniel Clowes | Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron | Fantagraphics | 1998

Gad Hollander | Walserian Waltzes | Avec | 1999

Jack Spicer, ed. Peter Gizzi and Kevin Killian | My Vocabulary Did This To Me The Collected Poetry Of Jack Spicer | Wesleyan | 2008

Sean Cliver | Disposable A History Of Skateboard Art | Warwick | 2005

Jason Morris | Spirits And Anchors | Auguste | 2010

Steve Lavoie and Pat Nolan | Life Of Crime Documents In The Guerrilla War Against Language Poetry | Poltroon | 2010

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

More John Sakkis here. His Attention Span for 2007, 2006, 2005. Back to directory.

Attention Span – Rod Smith

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John Ashbery | Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems | Ecco

Robert Creeley | Selected Letters | manuscript

Mark Cunningham | 80 Beetles | Otilith

Kevin Davies | The Golden Age of Paraphernalia | Edge

Peter Gizzi | The Outernationale | Wesleyan

Aerial 10: Lyn Hejinian Special Issue | manuscript

Joanne Kyger | About Now: Collected Poems | National Poetry Foundation

Sharon Mesmer | Annoying Diabetic Bitch | Combo

Mel Nichols | Bicycle Day | Slack Buddha

Tom Raworth | Let Baby Fall | Critical Documents

plus one:

McKenzie Wark | 50 Years of Recuperation of the Situationist International | Buell Center/Forum

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More Rod Smith here.