Third Factory/Notes to Poetry

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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Howe

Attention Span 2011 | Pattie McCarthy

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Elizabeth Willis | Address | Wesleyan | 2011

“I’m building the haystack / I’ll disappear into”

Cole Swensen | Greensward | Ugly Duckling | 2010

“It’s the future that vanishes, not thinking, and the dog sets off at a run, as it is, as it always has been, her gift and wish to bring it back to him.”

Carlos Soto Roman | Philadelphia’s Notebooks | Otoliths | 2011

“one pack one pagan one pain one panic one paper one / parachute one paradox one paragon one parade one”

Jena Osman | The Network | Fence | 2010

“Plaster, spikes, and rivets all overboard as ballast. To gain altitude, to fly high over the city like a small planet.”

Linda Norton | Public Gardens | Pressed Wafer | 2011

“She cries every night for three or four hours, and sometimes I think I’m going crazy, I’m so tired. But her shit really does smell sweet.”

Susan Howe | That This | New Directions | 2010

“That this book is a history of / a shadow that is a shadow of”

Ryan Eckes | Old News | Furniture | 2011

“you know by looking at the dunkin donuts / walt whitman is buried in camden / ben franklin is buried in philadelphia / and the delaware river is a zombie”

Julie Carr | Sarah—Of Fragments and Lines | Coffee House | 2010

“The / idea, which she knows to be illogic, but cannot let go of, is that / if she is pregnant the baby will keep her mother alive.”

Sarah Campbell | Everything We Could Ask For | Little Red Leaves | 2010

“Some bird brought you here / On foot”

Anselm Berrigan | Notes from Irrelevance | Wave | 2011

“Digging the ecstasy / of swinging? Yes. Laughing / at the tree? Is the tree / funny? Yes.”

Caroline Bergvall | Meddle English | Nightboat Books | 2011

“The body is ay so redy and penyble’, / the heed of advertising for Telewizja Polska, / the state-run TV network, / told the Associated Press news agency. / BBC NEWS 25 May 2006. / Here is endeth the Summer Tale.”

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Pattie McCarthy is the author of Table Alphabetical of Hard Words, Verso, and bk of (h)rs, all from Apogee Press—as well as L&O, forthcoming this year from Little Red Leaves Press. She teaches literature and creative writing at Temple University and is a 2011 Pew Fellow in the Arts.

McCarthy’s Attention Span for 2010. 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 | Richard Deming

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Susan Briante | Utopia Minus | Ahsahta | 2011

Stanley Cavell | Little Did I Know: Excerpts from Memory | Stanford | 2010

Matthew Cooperman | Still: Of The earth as the Ark Which Does Not Move | Counterpath | 2011

Robert Duncan | H. D. Book | California  | 2011

Forrest Gander | Core Samples of the World | New Directions | 2011

Susan Howe | That This | New Directions| 2010

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

Peter O’Leary | Luminous Epinoia | Cultural Society | 2010

Ron Padgett | How Long | Coffee House | 2011

Poets and Painters | Tibor de Nagy | 2011

Elizabeth Willis | Address | Wesleyan | 2011

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Richard Deming is the author of Let’s not Call It Consequence (Shearsman, 2008) and Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading (Stanford UP, 2008).  He teaches at Yale University.

Deming’s Attention Span for 2008. 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 2011 | Dan Beachy-Quick

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Robert Duncan | The H.D. Book | California | 2011

H.D. | Sea Garden (in Collected Poems) | New Directions | 1986

Susan Howe | That This | New Directions | 2011

Forrest Gander | Core Samples from the World | New Directions | 2011

Ange Mlinko | Shoulder Season | Coffee House | 2010

Craig Santos Perez | [saina] from unincorporated territory | Omnidawn | 2010

Stanley Plumly | Posthumous Keats | Norton | 2009

Martin Corless-Smith | English Fragments: A Brief History of the Soul | Fence | 2010

Srikanth Reddy | Voyager | California | 2011

Brian Teare | Pleasure | Ahsahta | 2011

Giorgio Agamben | Stanzas: Word and Phantasm in Western Culture | Minnesota | 1992

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Dan Beachy-Quick is author, most recently, of Circle’s Apprentice. He teaches in the MFA Program at Colorado State University.

Beachy-Quick’s Attention Span for 2010. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2011 | Michael Scharf

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Bernadette Mayer | Studying Hunger Journals | Station Hill | 2011

Brian Kim Stefans | Bank of America Online Banking: A Critical Evaluation | Citoyen | 2010

Douglas Piccinnini | Crystal Hard-On | Minute | 2010

Douglas Piccinnini | Soft | The Cultural Society | 2010

 Josef Kaplan | Peace | Poem Trees + Squash | 2010

 Julian T. Brolaski | Gowanus atropolis | Ugly Duckling | 2011

 Lawrence Giffin | Sorties | Tea Party Republicans | 2011

 Susan Howe | That This | New Directions | 2011

 Tsering Wangmo Dhompa | My rice tastes like the lake | Apogee | 2011

 Uyen Hua | a\s\l | ingirumimusnocteetconsumimurigni | 2011

 Vahni Capildeo | Undraining Sea | Eggbox | 2009

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Michael Scharf is the author of For Kid Rock/Total Freedom. His collection of critical work, The Res Poetica, is forthcoming. He lives in New York, where he works in natural language processing, and in Shillong.

Scharf’s Attention Span for 2010, 2009200820072006200520042003. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2011 | Joshua Edwards

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Srikanth Reddy | Voyager | California | 2011

At the time of this writing I’m in Berlin, and Reddy’s triple-erasure of Kurt Waldheim’s memoir would be an especially poignant reread here . . . had I the foresight to bring it along. Sadly, I didn’t bring any books except for the collected Yeats, so I’ve gotta depend on my shoddy memory. That said, before I left I’d read Voyager a couple of times already, and it’s one of my very favorite books of the past few years—a haunting portrayal of individual consciousness and collective ghosts.

Anne Carson | Glass, Irony and God | Vintage | 1995

Glass, Irony and God helps me read better and travel with a more astonished eye, and Carson’s wry, hyper-aware meditations are good for the (dare I say) soul.

Paul Valéry, trans. various | Selected Writings of Paul Valéry | New Directions | 1964

“All powerful, inescapable astral strangers, / Deigning to let shine far off in time / Something supernaturally sublime”

John Milton | The Complete Poems | Penguin Classics | 1999

Samson Agonistes and Paradise Lost are fundamental influences to the verse novella I’m at work on, so I’ve been living in a cool Miltonic shadow for the better part of two years.

Coral Bracho, trans. Forrest Gander | Firefly Under the Tongue | New Directions | 2008

Coral Bracho read in San Francisco earlier this year with another great Mexican poet, María Baranda (whose book, Ficticia, I translated), and it was wonderful to become reacquainted with the luscious, inimitable poems in this collection through her voice. The work in Firefly Under the Tongue is full of surprises of sound, phrases that redouble and move between meanings, and astonishing mindfulness. Forrest Gander’s translation is excellent.

Brandon Shimoda | The Girl Without Arms | Black Ocean | 2010

These poems come from out of the sacrebleu. The Girl Without Arms is intensely lyrical, disturbing, funny, and weirdly warm. Its syntax is slippery and unique. Its voice is that of a brilliant mind that perhaps belongs to another era wrestling with a maximalist world (perhaps akin to Ceravolo in this way). Shimoda’s got another book coming out soon—I can’t wait.

William Shakespeare | Macbeth | Royal Shakespeare Company | 2011

My partner Lynn and I went to an amazing production of Macbeth in Stratford this summer. It was especially good to see since I reread the play a month or so before, and I could therefore follow what was going on instead of getting lost in the play’s language, which is what usually happens to me with Shakespeare. As expected, it was creepy and exceedingly bloody.

Sappho, trans. various | Various | Various | Various

For quite some time this spring I always had an edition of Sappho in my backpack and a few others on my desk.

Cedar Sigo | Stranger in Town | City Lights | 2010

A lot of people told me about Cedar Sigo and I read a great chapbook of his published by House Press, then I got hold of Stranger in Town. His poems are supercharged with energy and life—they’re romantic, funny, and personal, and they hearken back to the sixties while also seeming to come from a parallel universe. Also, they’ve got great titles.

Alan Gilbert | Late in the Antennae Fields | Futurepoem | 2011

I’m always on the lookout for Alan Gilbert’s poems, and I think I’d read most of Late in the Antennae Fields before the collection came out. It’s great to now have all the work in one place—the poems accumulate force as the collection goes along, and I recommend reading it all in one sitting, then going back over each poem slowly to enjoy the book’s astonishing images and turns of phrase.

Susan Howe | That This | New Directions | 2011

I haven’t read as much of Susan Howe’s work as I feel I should have. Luckily, a friend of mine in Berlin has That This, and she lent it to me. It’s a beautiful book, extremely nuanced and challenging.

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Joshua Edwards is the author of Campeche and the publisher of Canarium Books. Edwards’s Attention Span for 2010, 2009, 2007. Back to 2011 directory.