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Posts Tagged ‘Renee Gladman

Attention Span 2011 | Nathaniel Otting

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Amanda Nadelberg | Bright Brave Phenomena | Coffee House | 2012

It’s been another Year of the Song Cave & it’s hard to believe that Nadelberg’s Building Castles in Spain, Getting Married, the second book in this peerless series, emerged in November 2009. The Age of the Song Cave is too long (it’s ongoing) to properly document here but it seems wrong not to sing some books: Amaranth Borsuk’s Tonal Saw (“tremble | fire | A | kind | of | fire” & “o | o | o | stumble” & “mmandm | Append”), Jane Gregory’s Some Books (“Instead of this book I set out to prove the birdnoise to the bird as my mind was in my office and my office was in my mind.”) Jared Stanley’s How The Desert Did Me In (“Uh! Principia, uh, I’ll think about it.”), Macgregor Card’s The Archers (“There there, manual severity / of being, bonus being, being general / general poet—”), and Graham Foust’s To Graham Foust on the Morning of His Fortieth Birthday (“Tiny hawks of poetry all over you, you sit at screens to punch a book into the world.”), Lisa Jarnot’s Amedillin Cooperative Nosegay (“odyssia’s very original boobs and the warm apt facts of john thaw”) to list just half the 2010 titles. Songcavewise, 2011 has been nonstop, too. To name only the first few (well, half): Andy Fitch’s solo Island, Rod Smith’s whatwow What’s the Deal, Peter Gizzi’s purplegreen Pinnochio’s Gnosis, Jennifer Moxley’s worldly Coastal, and Dana Ward’s doubleheader, The Squeakquel. When I visited the Cincinnati of The Squeakquel, I told Dana that my dad had left Erga kai hemerai in the car back in Kentucky, so he lent me Bill Luoma’s Works and Days (with a graceful note from Michael Gizzi: “Dear Mr. Ward”) which probably would have just been this list if I hadn’t left it in a car bound for Kentucky. One of the greater Song Caves, Geoffrey G. O’Brien’s Hesiod (“All song at once, isn’t this / like balancing the needs of friends?), a working over of Hesiod’s ‘Days,’ is as beautiful as the original chruson genos, the Golden Age. Like Luoma’s, O’Brien’s Works is as ageless as H’s. (And an H is not even an H.) All of this just to say that Amanda Nadelberg is our age’s poet in an Age of Poets. Awaiting Bright Brave Phenomena is like waiting for the things themselves to appear, brighter and braver and phenomenally more than ever before.

Brandon Brown | The Persians by Aeschylus | Displaced
Farrah Field & Jared White | Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Book Shop | Est. 2011

Bookstores need to get brighter and braver in the Post-Border’s Age and Brooklyn is the beacon. Jon Beacham’s Hermitage presses on, as The Brother in Elysium, on Bedford Ave. Around the bend, Book Thug Nation maintains a sill full of Book Thug (no relation). Above all, may Adam Tobin’s unbeatable Unnameable Books, in Prospect Heights, outlast all of us. Into the fray, enter poets Field and White, whose Berl’s, growing so well it may have a roof before Fall. When I made a pilgrimage to their table at the Brooklyn Flea, I found the only thing one can ask, exactly the one book I was looking for in the whole world. No small feat considering they display around 20 books on any given day. Tyrone Williams’ beautiful, everything-breaking elegy, Pink Tie (Hooke Press, 2011). Chapbooks to seek at Berl’s: Wondrous Things I Have Seen (Mitzvah Chaps, 2010) by Herodotus, jk by Brandon Brown (aka Aeschylus aka Catullus) & Preserving The Old Way Of Life (Factory Hollow Press, 2007) by Shannon Burns.

James Copeland | Fax II | self | 2011
CAConrad | MUGGED Into Poetry | Cannot Exist | 2011.

Copeland knows, and how, his Hölderlin. Does Coolidge (circa THIS 6) know his Copeland, writ large? Fax II exists, tho it doesn’t say so. Andy Gricevich’s Cannot Exist (Issue 7 has Conrad + Coletti, Copp, Hauser, Higdon, Larsen, Ward, &c) exists chapbooks! Besides Conrad’s: Roberto Harrison’s Bridge of the World, Sara Larsen’s The Hallucinated, Jess Mynes’ How’s the Cows. Conrad continues being amazing. His devastating reading of “MUGGED Into Poetry” (written after he was mugged en route to a reading by new CE co-editor Lewis Freedman) at the Supermachine 3 launch awed my mom. Cannot wait to get her A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon (Wave Books, 2012). Until then, I got her Heather Christle’s The Trees, The Trees (Octopus Books, 2011).

Tim Dlugos | A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos | Nightboat | 2011
Patrick James Dunagan | A Gustonbook | Post-Apollo Press | 2011

“It’s hard enough to find a parachute / in New York City, I remember thinking, / but finding one the right shade / of canary is the accomplishment / of the sort of citizen with whom / I wish to populate my life.” Dlugos’ “Parachute” (and Conrad’s devastating reading of it) is one of the saddest, and most beautiful, wakes, and makes me cry every time. And “G-9”, with its double wake, is the great elegy of our time. If Steve Carey was the news of 2010, and to me, too, he was, Dlugos is, to me (with Carey, still, too) the news of 2011. Except to me (tho nothing new is in print) the news was, and will be for some time, Peter Seaton, who would not have existed so suddenly and indispensably in my life without Craig Dworkin’s Eclipse. A Book + Craig Dworkin = Eclipse. (Dworkin’s own The Perverse Library, like all of his books, is to be owned.) I’ve only started settling into Dunagan’s There Are People Who Think That Painters Shouldn’t Talk: A Gustonbook, but already it’s taken its place next to Coolidge’s Guston’s Collected Writings (UC, 2010). Banes’ (copy of) Rodefer’s Four Lectures aside, “Writers paint, they don’t speak.”

Emily Pettit | Goat in the Snow | Birds, LLC | 2012
Ben Estes | Alan Felsenthal | The Song Cave | Sea Ranch

I’ve been in love with Pettit and her poems since I first read three of them, in the second issue of Seth Landman’s Invisible Ear, in October 2008. Her poetry workshop at Flying Object is a laboratory for making poets, and no wonder why: reading her poems taught me how to write. There are so many great Bens (at least ten), and Ben Estes, whose Cymbals (“Like a container for a flower inside of a flower.”) opened The Song Cave, is beyond exception. If Estes’ Lamp Like L’Map (Factory Hollow Press, 2009) is every indication, and it is, his The Strings of Walnetto Arrangements (Flowers and Cream, 2011) will be every sensation.  There are a few Alans, too, but only one this one. The ultimate symmetry would be an ultimate Song Cave; until then, the inaugural Sea Ranch, a split with his co-editor, is the best start imaginable. Long live, Song Cave, up with the Sea Ranch. P.S. Dos-a-dos are the new split 7”s. Flying Object paired James Copeland w/ Alex Phillips. I would like to hear Will Edmiston’s effing great Effie (3 Sad Tigers Press, 2011) b/w Lewis Freedman’s Freedman’s font-glossed Non-Symbolic Non Symbolic Non-Symbolic (for Catherine Malabou)

Renee Gladman | Event Factory | Dorothy, A Publishing Project | 2010
Rachel B. Glaser | Pee on Water | Publishing Genius | 2010

Prose by poets, does saying that make this not bending my own one-from-2011 rules? Whatever, Glaser is killing it in 2011: poems plenty, “Turid,” the soon famous “Ellen” story. Gladman, of course, is one of the Greats, and who wouldn’t have started a press, as Danielle Dutton (whose Sprawl, Siglio, 2010 fits right in here) did, to publish Gladman’s Ravicka trilogy? That the sequel, The Ravickians (Dorothy, 2011), is to be published on the same day as Gary Lutz’s Divorcer (Calamari Press, 2011) will make deciding what two books to read on that day very easy.

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Attention Span 2011 | Amina Cain

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Bhanu Kapil | (a poem-essay, or precursor: NOTES: for a novel: Ban en Banlieues) | Belladonna* | 2011

Because lying in the street for a long time is beautiful and necessary and also violent.

Matthew Goulish | 39 Microlectures | Routledge | 2000

“Do whatever you need to with this book, and, if possible, do not let it damage your thoughts.”

Pamela Lu | Pamela: A Novel | Atelos | 1998

It took me a long time to get to this, and now I need to get to the next one, but I loved its intimacy and searching.

Octavia Butler | Kindred | Doubleday | 1979

This novel is amazing in its movement through time and in its narrative voice, which is crystalline.

Amanda Ackerman | The Seasons Cemented | Hex Presse | 2010

Like paying attention to a single line in a highly ornamental design, and then the next one, and then the next. Empty space is there too.

Violette Leduc, trans. Derek Coltman | The Lady and the Little Fox Fur | Peter Owen | 1967

There is pleasure in this short novel, for a character and for a reader, even when it seems as if a word like ‘pleasure’ should have gone missing.

Ronaldo Wilson | Poems of the Black Object | Futurepoem | 2009

Dreaming until it takes shape. And then achingly clear.

Marguerite Duras, trans. Eileen Ellenbogen | The Vice-Consul | Pantheon | 1968

A “sequel” of sorts to The Ravishing of Lol Stein, there’s a humor in this novel I haven’t found in other works by Duras.

Renee Gladman | TOAF | Atelos | 2008

The kind of book that makes one want to write; I would follow this narrative voice wherever it took me.

Danielle Dutton | Sprawl | Siglio | 2010

The accumulations become more and more addicting and so do the shining singularities.

§

Amina Cain is the author of I Go To Some Hollow (Les Figues, 2009). She lives in Los Angeles.

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Attention Span 2011 | Eric Baus

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Amina Cain | I Go To Some Hollow | Les Figues | 2009

Andrea Rexilius | To Be Human Is To Be A Conversation | Rescue | 2011

Catherine Wagner | My New Job | Fence | 2009

Cedar Sigo | Stranger In Town | City Lights | 2010

Farid Matuk | This Isa Nice Neighborhood | Letter Machine | 2010

HR Hegnauer | Sir | Portable Press At Yo-Yo Labs | 2011

Marina Temkina | What Do You Want? | Ugly Duckling | 2009

Mathias Svalina | I Am A Very Productive Entrepeneur | Mud Luscious | 2011

Renee Gladman | Event Factory | Dorothy | 2010

Tim Dlugos | A Fast Life: Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos | Nightboat | 2011

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More Eric Baus here.

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

Attention Span 2009 – Anselm Berrigan

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Will Alexander | “Exobiology as Goddess” from Exobiology as Goddess  | Manifest Press | 2005

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge | “The New Boys” | Brooklyn Rail | October 2008

Stacy Szymaszek | Hyperglossia | Litmus Press | 2009

Allen Ginsberg | “Television Was That Baby Crawling Toward The Death Chamber” from Planet News: poems 1961-1967 | City Lights

Douglas Oliver | “The Infant and The Pearl” from Selected Poems of Douglas Oliver | Talisman | 1996

Dana Ward | “Typing ‘Wild Speech’” | na | unpublished

Renee Gladman | To After That (TOAF) | Atelos | 2008

Lawrence Giffin | Get the Fuck Back Into That Burning Plane | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2009

Marcella Durand | “Anatomy of Oil”  from Area  | Belladonna | 2008

CA Conrad | (Soma)tic Midge | Faux Press | 2008
CA Conrad | The Book of Frank   Chax 2009

Fred Moten | Hughson’s Tavern | Leon Works | 2008

John Coletti | Same Enemy Rainbow  | Fewer & Further 2009
John Coletti | Mum Halo | Rust Buckle | forthcoming

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood Editions | 2009

Frank Sherlock and Brett Evans | Ready to Eat Individual | Lavender Ink | 2008

Douglas Rothschild | Theogony | Subpress | 2009

Also: Flaubert’s A Sentimental Education, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris, W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn, Laird Hunt’s The Exquisite, If You Give A Moose A Muffin, Blackest Night #2, and Le Carre’s Smiley novels.

More Anselm Berrigan here.

Attention Span 2009 – Juliana Spahr

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I keep thinking to myself that it has been a really amazing year of reading for me. I have loved so much of what I have read. I have no complaints. I’m not sure I have read a book I thought was a waste of my time all year. I think I feel this way because I have had trouble reading because I have a two year old who is at that stage where if I am reading in his presence, he comes up and grabs the book and says no, no, no. Reading feels a little illicit right now when I get to do it. Thus all the more sweet. So I should also confess that I think I might write this very differently if I was reading more inclusively. There are many books that came out this year that I have not yet gotten to read. I have an exciting large stack to read.

Mark McGurl | The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing | Harvard | 2009

I confess that I have at moments gotten bogged down in the long readings of Thomas Wolfe and Flannery O’Conner. Mainly because I’m not a super huge fan of that work and so not very well read in it. But the money shot, if one can say that, is the analysis of what he calls “program fiction.” So much here that feels right. Mainly that the university system has shaped US writing dramatically in the last half of the 20th century. Also really interested in his talk about how this fiction has a sort of generic localism (my term not his). But at same time I find McGurl’s respect for “program fiction” super frustrating. He keeps talking about how he likes it! And I’m so suspicious of the writing that this system has produced (not the teaching of writing, that is another complicated story). Primarily because it is a sort of generic local writing that has isolated writing from more activist and urgent concerns.

M Nourbese Philip | Zong! | Wesleyan | 2008

Super obsessed with this book. It has everything. Anti-imperial righteousness, avant garde extremity, ghosts or channeled beings, lists, etc. I love how she “recovers” the names of those lost on the Zong.

Ian Baucom | Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History | Duke | 2005

Also about the Zong and the development of credit around the slave trade. He talks a little about Philip’s book. I was reading it just as the financial markets were collapsing.

Renee Gladman | To After That | Atelos | 2008

Gladman at her best.

Aaron Cometbus | Cometbus | na | na

Joshua Clover gave Chris Nealon the issue of Cometbus on the Berkeley bookstores. And I had to go out and get my own copy. And then I started buying more and more copies to give to people because it such a lovely history of the complications around Telegraph Avenue.

Felix Feneon | Novels in Three Lines | NYR Classics | 2007

Reznikoff-style. Or I should say Reznikoff is Feneon-style. Classic playful social realist writing.

Mark Nowak | Coal Mountain Elementary | Coffee House | 2009

It surprised me! I don’t need to say anymore. I am so in love with this book right now.

Roberto Bolano | 2666 | Farrar, Straus, Giroux | 2008

I know, everyone else has already said all that needs to be said. I will add this though: there is no other male writer of women that is better than Bolano. Plus I keep rereading the sermon in the third book.

David Buuck | The Shunt | Palm Press | 2009

Juggling, with disgust.

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood | 2009

I want to say something about beauty and lyric but I feel that would piss her off. But really, the book made my heart happy.

C. D. Wright | Rising, Falling, Hovering | Coffee House | 2008

How the world defines the personal. Also a really beautiful book. With hope for poetry despite its claim “What is said has been said before / This is no time for poetry.”

More Juliana Spahr here.

Attention Span 2009 – Chris Hosea

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Lisa Robertson | Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip | Coach House | 2009

Robertson’s books punk baroque mythologies, riff on errant possibilities, tickle traditions. Debbie: An Epic, or The Weather, or The Men, is each a world, a project. This volume gathers shorter poems that are just as ravishing. The back cover shouts in big silver capitals: “MY FIDELITY IS MY OWN DISASTER.” If you read this book in public, you may get curious looks, as I did on the F train. The lyrics are long on capital-R Romance. Each time you ride in the Soul Whip, turn up the stereo, roll down the windows and see stars shining even in hellish places. “Utopia is so emotional. / Then we get used to it.” Blues music Coleridge would download if he could.

Roberto Bolaño | 2666 | Farrar Straus | 2008

Bolaño’s epic, in a symphonic translation by Natasha Wimmer, resists any attempt at summary in the same way that it humanely mocks totalizing interpretations. 2666 inhabits the narrative space Homer’s swineherd summoned when he told Odysseus, “The nights are endless now.”

Hadley Haden Guest, ed. | The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest | Wesleyan | 2008
Barbara Guest | Forces of Imagination: Writing on Writing | Kelsey Street | 2003

Guest’s essays, which lay out her conception of imagination as elusive and visionary (“obscure light…the mysterious side of thought”), helped me begin to unlock the Wesleyan collected and see how Guest’s poems collage images. Her poems rarely argue or lead. They provide beautifully designed spaces for thought, to be returned to in all seasons.

Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009

Nichols leaps the gap between one non sequitur and the next with all the grace of Buster Keaton. I guess I was thinking of the news when something musical came from the hard drive, and we were working days again.

Stuart Bailey, ed. | DOT DOT DOT 17 | 2008

Will Holder’s lecture on “the poetics of CONCRETE POETRY and documenting the work of FALKE PISANO” is transcribed and lineated, and though it doesn’t purport to be a poem, strikes me as the most genuinely new work in the genre I’ve read this year. Holder, with this patchwork of citations about concrete poetry (including examples of the form and quotations from his own critical writings), genially takes poetry about poetry to a deadpan reductio ad absurdum. Not for the faint of heart.

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocte | 2008

Reading Young’s book feels like being admitted to someone else’s daydream. Or getting lost in a Jonas Mekas movie, only digital. A gorgeous sprawl.

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood | 2009

Moxley’s narratives take craft to the limit without losing the easygoing lilt that makes this book such a pleasure. This is poetry as remarkable for its intellectual scope as its generous attempts to imagine and recreate the first person plural in a boldly imaginative variety of guises.

Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck, eds. | The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1929-1940 | Cambridge | 2009

The bulk of this selection of letters, including drafts of poems, is addressed to Beckett’s friend Thomas McGreevy, fellow acolyte of Joyce, poet and critic. How amazing to see Beckett’s perspective and humor change and sharpen with the years! He sets himself questions he will attempt forever, such as, “Am I to set my teeth & be disinterested? […] Is one to insist on a crucifixion for which there is no demand?”

Renee Gladman | To After That (Toaf) | Atelos | 2008

In this critical memoir of the process of thinking about writing a novel, Gladman invents a new architectural period of nostalgia and ambition.

Paolo Virno | Multitude: Between Innovation and Negation | Semiotext(e) | 2008

Jokes make a revolution in the workplace. “The joke is a public action that can be accomplished solely by means of words.” File under philosophy.

Chris Hosea is co-editor, with Cecily Iddings, of The Blue Letter.

Attention Span 2009 – Stan Apps

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Harold Abramowitz | Dear Dearly Departed | Palm Press | 2008

A book about the difficulty and sadness of speaking to someone who is no longer present. Somewhere between an elegy and a guide to epistolary conventions, it contains every emotion that could possibly go in a letter:  “And that was looking around. It was a very serious business and tomorrow was another day, but not a day of torment. Not a day of torment.”

Steve Aylett | Lint | Thunder’s Mouth Press | 2005

An absurdist biography of a fictional science-fiction writer (based loosely on Philip Dick). This book is very funny and written in a complexly mannered and overloaded prose that resembles poetry:  “His very awareness of words’ limitations made him run around like some nutter with a blowpipe, creating a career described variously as a triumph, a benchmark for defeat, a systemized kitsch torus, hell on a stick, a ferocious bluff, the revenge of the Alexandrian library, a strange honking sound, not too shabby, glyph contraband, nutty slack, exhausting, a catalog of fevers, and ‘gear.’”

Micah Ballard | Parish Krewes | Bootstrap Press | 2009

Lyric poems about the beauty of those who are dead. A displaced erotic energy takes the shape of mysterious ritual:  “the theme of death is our thiefhood.”

David Buuck | The Shunt | Palm Press | 2009

Ten years of poems charting the ups and downs of our collective crisis mentality. A poetry of puns and outrage, prying at the scab of our public discourse:  “thus – this – these – / Stanzas in Medication // (spits) // whose side / effects are you / — on?”

Lawrence Giffin | Get the Fuck Back into that Burning Plane | Ugly Duckling Press  | 2009

A prison-house of linguistic complexity. Giffin studies how consumerist discourse encloses and subordinates other discursive modes:  “your comprehensiveness is undercut / by the purchasing power of others.”

Renee Gladman | To After That (Toaf) | Atelos | 2008

The story of an unfinished book, carefully chronicling the book’s drafts and why it was repeatedly dropped and abandoned. Ultimately, the book-about-the-book takes the place of the book per se. A wonderful articulation of the rhythms of a writer’s life and the sensation of nursing along an inchoate book:  “it was devastating. . . to have written a book and to have lost it and to be holding it there all at once.”

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood Editions | 2009

This poetry has the political intensity and representational clarity of mid-career Auden. Moxley uses allegorical tableau to frame her progressive critique of liberal political orthodoxy. I admire her embrace of direct statement:  “I remember feeling / a hollow failure at the particularity / of these pleasures.”  Or “The / private-sector mercenaries / ride roughshod over espousers / of eroded nobility as well as the / merely weak.”

Julien Poirier | Back On Rooster | Gneiss Press | 2007

A chapbook length poem, published in an edition of 52. A study of mental process, the inexorable bob-and-weave of consciousness carrying on:  “it’s an accident / when it / happens I like it / it changes me / I appear”

Michael Nicoloff and Alli Warren | Bruised Dick | no press | no date (probably 2007)

A polymorphously perverse collaborative collection. I think it’s sold out but hopefully will be re-released someday with the same silly picture of the two author’s faces blended on the cover. This is probably the most fun book on my list—I read it probably 20 times:  “stake a claim in there / where the damp and emotional / rust builds up all disco / on your balls and ass”

Erika Staiti | Verse/Switch & Stop-Motion | no press | 2008

Just a Xeroxed booklet of very good poems. I expect these will be published in a less ephemeral form eventually. A loving study of aggression as a social dynamic. “when you’ve got nothing to give, you give someone a shiner // dot blogspot dot com”

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni | 2008

A fascinating dislocation of the biographical impulse. Work that charts subjectivity’s accumulation and erosion:  “Many things must be made new for a tonal shift to stick.”

More Stan Apps here.