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Posts Tagged ‘Tan Lin

Attention Span 2011 | Paul Stephens

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Craig Dworkin and Kenneth Goldsmith, eds. | Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing | Northwestern | 2011

For me this was the year of the conceptual, as the following titles indicate.

Craig Dworkin | The Perverse Library | Information as Material | 2010

Use with caution: if you’re a small press bibliophile, this book may do serious damage to your book budget. This could be the most compelling survey to date of Anglo-American small press poetry publishing since 1970. Even if you don’t necessarily have a specialized interest in knowing precisely what the Constrained Balks Press of Toronto was publishing in 2002, you’ll enjoy The Perverse Library’s truly rad(ical) introduction.

Simon Morris | Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head | Information as Material | 2010

Much more is going on here than may at first appear. Encountering GIJKH sent me into an all-night typing frenzy, during which I wrote a twelve page critical account of the book in relation to the complex textual and legal histories of On the Road. And you thought On the Road was just a bestselling novel about homosocial desire…

Rachel Haidu | The Absence of Work: Marcel Broodthaers, 1964-1976 | MIT | 2010

Everyone I know is either overemployed or underemployed, which makes this overview particularly timely. Here you will find an institutional critique of the post-Fordist art economy to last a lifetime.

Tan Lin | Various Cumbersome but Ingenious Titles | Various Presses | 2007-2011

Tan Lin may be our greatest living bard of the infosphere. He is so prodigious and so multimediatic that it would inimical to his project to name a single title. Insomnia and the Aunt (in a handsome chapbook edition) might be the best point of entry for non-professionals, but the many offshoots of the Heath […] and Seven Controlled Vocabularies projects are all worth a skim. If you’re un(der)employed, you might want to download online versions available at lulu.com or at Aphasic Letters.

Rob Fitterman | Now We Are Friends | Truck Books | 2010

So are we going to migrate to Google+? After already having migrated from Friendster to MySpace to Facebook? The coda in particular is an important contribution to the ongoing legacy of creep lit.

W.J.T. Mitchell and Mark B.N. Hansen, eds. | Critical Terms for Media Studies | Chicago | 2010

Scholars and non-scholars alike will find this a compelling survey of new media. Don’t be deceived by the prosaic title: this is really a collection of deeply informative essays on all aspects of contemporary new media studies.

Marcus Boon | In Praise of Copying | Harvard | 2010

It’s difficult to keep up with the reams of new criticism devoted to copyright in relation to literature and the arts (Paul K. St. Amour’s exceptional Modernism and Copyright deserves special mention in this category). Boon tackles “the madness of modern, capitalist framings of property” head on. You can procure a free online copy at the Harvard University Press web site (which will look better than the versions you’ll find on library.nu or AAAAARG.org).

Philip E. Aarons and Andrew Roth, eds. | In Numbers: Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955 | JRP Ringier | 2010 

Literary journals could learn a lot from artists’ journals. This sumptuous collection will make your coffee table proud, as well as provide countless hours of delight and instruction.

M. NourbeSe Philip | Zong! | Wesleyan | 2008

This title briefly went out of print and jumped in price on Amazon, but fortunately it’s been reissued as an affordable paperback. No brief summary will do much to prepare you for this complex multi-generic work, which demonstrates how compelling the new conceptual/archival/procedural poetries can be in terms of content as well as form.

Ian Hamilton Finlay | Selections | California | 2011

Eagerly anticipated. Long overdue. In the meantime, I’m making due with the amazing (but out of print and expensive enough to merit inclusion in the Perverse Library) Ian Hamilton Finlay: A Visual Primer (MIT 1992).

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Paul Stephens‘s recent critical writing has appeared in Social TextRethinking MarxismOpen Letter and Postmodern Culture. He has just completed a book manuscript titled The Poetics of Information Overload: From Gertrude Stein to Conceptual Writing. He lives in New York.

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

Attention Span 2010 – Brent Cunningham

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Mel Nichols | Catalytic Exteriorization Phenomenon | Edge | 2009

The title of Nichols’s book, to my ear, indicates a kind of linguistic density that actually the poems inside don’t much have—instead you get poems of such emotional authority and seriousness of purpose that immediately I was ready to go anywhere with them. There’s lightness and levity as well, lots, but it’s in the refreshing context of feeling like the poet really, deeply knows what she’s doing, I mean really. Even the formal moves, the spacing, leaving phrases off in space, composition by field and the like, has a kind of rightness and intentionality to it that I don’t often accept so unquestionly. This is the kind of book I take around with me to remind me how to write as well as how to read. What else can I say? I know it came out last year and was mentioned often then, but I just love this book

Aaron Kunin | The Sore Throat & Other Poems | Fence | 2010

A lot of writers are influnced by philosophy, but Kunin is one of very few living poet I know where I feel like I’m reading someone with truly philosophical sensibilities and skills, i.e. who really lives in a Kantian or maybe in this case more a Spinozian reality. What his work shows, I think, is in part how much feeling there is in thinking, and also how much pleasure there is in the artistic distanciation of self-conciousness

Khaled Mattawa | Tocqueville | New Issues Poetry & Prose | 2010

I’m not entirely persuaded by all the elements of Mattawa’s work, but I like to mention him since I think he’s completely worthwhile yet almost completely off the radar of most self-identified experimental writers. This makes sense if you read his early, more conventional and overly-wringing writing, or if you look at those who blurb his books, etc., but this book is serious and thoughtful about its politics, courageous in its formal experimentation, and fervent in its contempt for false emotion. If you read one book blurbed by Yusef Komunyakaa this year, it should be this one, etc.

Brenda Iijima, ed. | eco language reader | Nightboat | 2010

To the properly sceptical this book probably won’t, and probably shouldn’t, prove there’s a new movement or even a new sensibility afoot, but whatever Iijima’s anthology is or isn’t claiming in those terms it is certainly very well edited, filled with a great group of contributors, and embarrasingly rich with new ideas and new passions.

Laura Moriarty | A Tonalist | Nightboat | 2010

I should perhaps recuse myself here since I’m one of Laura’s “A Tonalists,” but whether the pseudo-movement/anti-movement/non-movement of the title has any reality or not, Moriarty has used the idea of groups and groupings to make a fierce, delicate, layered text that stands as a work, and an art, of its own.

Douglas Rothschild | Theogony | Subpress | 2009

Rothschild has, basically, a classical sensibility (where “classical” is considered as running the gamut from the unadornedness of certain ancient greek writers to the unadornedness of Ted Berrigan), which is then shot through with a whole lot of eccentric, baroque intelligence. I may have been a little less taken with the long middle section about NYC than some: it’s what seem to be framed as the more “minor” poems that really have stayed with me. And in a way that makes perfect sense because the significance of the minor is what Rothschild himself is so productively interested in.

Tan Lin | Heath (Plagiarism/Outsource) | Zasterle | 2009

There’s something fascinating about limit cases, and Lin has been exploring those frontiers for a few books now, but this is the first time I really & completely got it. I like to carry around what I’ll call Heath (the title is a subject of debate by the way) just to show aspiring conceptualists how tepid and obvious their plans often are, by comparison. Really I can’t think of another book that seems to have gone farther off the grid of our presumptions about “the book” and “poetry” than this pleasantly transgressive text. It’s a further mystery that it remains, inexplicably, rather readable (with the right kind of approach). Everything in it—images, computer code, emails, texts—have the feeling of being placed, not overly systematically, but such that they beg for your own thinking to complete them.

Michael Cross, Thom Donovan, Kyle Schlesinger, eds. | ON: Contemporary Practice, Issue #2 | Cuneiform | 2010

Some will say the structure of this magazine, where poets talk about the work of poets, will only add to the feeling that experimental poetry is a small coterie with a secret knock to get in. Others, including me, find ON to be just what was lacking, and will find it far less about in-group backslapping than one might presume (very much like the Attention Span project, which has a lot in common with ON). Coterie is a sword of the two-edged variety, and ON is a much needed venue for poets to not only talk about works by their contemporaries but to fashion a renewed sense of basic, shared critical values.

Yedda Morrison | Girl Scout Nation | Displaced Press | 2008

This is the oldest book on my list but I only just got to read it. I had the pleasure of hearing a lot of the poems in this book for a few years at various readings, but the effect of reading them all together is fierce and splendid and at an entirely other level. Anger and love seem to be Morrison’s twin obsessions here and in other works—the love that both lies and lies in every anger, maybe. These concerns dovetail into her starkly eco/feminist/activist/understandably-pissed-off approach in ways that I find enviously original. She’s doing some great work and to me this book is both sweeping and, despite or because of the intensity, suprisingly personal.

Tyrone Williams | The Hero Project of the Century | The Backwaters Press | 2010

Unlike a decade ago Williams is not a secret anymore, but he’s still one of those poets I always read no matter what. I’d say I liked this book just a sliver less than On Spec, but it’s still terrific. Compared to On Spec it’s driven a bit more by content than form, but regardless TW is always, to me, most compelling in the way he works with linguistic density, counterpunctuating it with sudden moments of simple anger and direct content. I never thought enjambed aesthetic complexity could come across as so persuasive and natural, but it is here.

More Brent Cunningham here. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – James Wagner

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Tan Lin | Heath (Plagiarism/Outsource) | Zasterle | 2009
Tan Lin | Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking [AIRPORT NOVEL MUSICAL POEM PAINTING FILM PHOTO HALLUCINATION LANDSCAPE] | Wesleyan | 2010

My review of Seven here.

Vanessa Place | The Guilt Project | Other | 2010
Vanessa Place | Tragodía 1: Statement of Facts | Blanc | 2010
Vanessa Place | Pussy Codes | Ubu Editions | forthcoming 2010

My interversation with Vanessa here.

Robert Walser | The Microscripts | New Directions | 2010

Anne Boyer | The Two-Thousands, a history of the future in advance of itself | Scribd | 2010

My review here.

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

My review here.

K. Silem Mohammad | Sonnagrams 1-20 | Slack Buddha | 2009

My review here.

Steve Timm | Un storia | BlazeVOX | forthcoming 2010

My blurb here.

More James Wagner here. His Attention Span for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004. Back to directory.

Written by Steve Evans

October 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Attention Span 2010 – Eric Baus

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Fred Moten | B Jenkins | Duke | 2010

“come from some of everywhere, somewhere so deep that some of everywhere come with you. to become for our occult belongings, // worldly in that other way”

Dorothea Lasky | Black Life | Wave | 2010

“You are reading the work of a great poet, possibly one of the greatest ones of your time. If I am standing in from of you right now, you are listening to the voice of one of the greatest poets of your time.”

Bhanu Kapil | Humanimal: A Project For Future Children | Kelsey St. | 2009

“I am not interested in animals. Return to the work as memory. Say it is a wolf becoming a girl, the action in reverse.”

Tan Lin | Seven Controlled Vocabularies | Wesleyan | 2010

“People are basically animals that know how to read.”

Steven Zultanski | Pad | Book Thug | 2010

“My dick cannot lift the walls. My dick cannot lift the ceiling. My dick cannot lift the floor.”

Will Alexander | The Sri Lankan Loxodrome | New Directions | 2010

“such swans / staggered by microbial reasoning / their aggressive nests / anatomical with anomaly”

Paul Killebrew | Flowers | Canarium | 2010

“It’s better than Atlanta, where they treat people like cars / in a city that combines the rustic elegance of Newark / with the quiet dignity of a beer bong.”

Edouard Glissant, trans. Nathalie Stephens | Poetic Intention | Nightboat | 2010

“When the poet travels to the ends where there is no country, he opens with the more deserved relation, in that space of an absolute elsewhere in which each can attempt to reach him.”

Lisa Robertson | R’s Boat | California | 2010

“Say I’m a beautiful animal who has mastered laziness / In reddened clearing in the occidental forest / In the album / Purse of goddess clicking / I long to see how it will continue to behave”

Norma Cole | Where Shadows Will | City Lights | 2009

“Here the subject thinks ‘there could be flowers’ or ‘the water was a bit disturbed when the ring fell in.’ All that, painted from said things, pleases it.”

More Eric Baus here. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Michael Scharf

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Adil Jussawalla | New Poems | Almost Island | 2009

“Your future’s got nothing to do with what’s happening to me.”

Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R. Weingast | Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History | Cambridge | 2009

Reading with this and this, and getting a sinking feeling c. 2000. Waiting for this on inter-library loan. Still haven’t read this.

Jeffrey Jullich | Portrait of Colon Dash Parenthesis | Litmus | 2010
Stacy Szymaszek | Autoportraits | omg! | 2008

Brandon Downing | Lake Antiquity | Fence | 2009

All consuming likenesses.

Randy Allen Harris | The Linguistics Wars | Oxford | 1995
Geoffrey K. Pullum | “The Evolution of Model-Theoretic Frameworks in Linguistics” | Posted version (pdf) | 2007
Geoffrey K. Pullum | “Computational Linguistics and Generative Linguistics: The Triumph of Hope over Experience” | Posted version (pdf) | 2009

A version of the book could be the basis for the perfect 20th century American linguistics course, but as is it’s a little too deliciously disinterested. The papers are the ripostal P.S.

Laura Moriarty | A Tonalist | Nightboat | 2010

Summative, and summoning. Ne plus ultra.

Martin Amis | Money: A Suicide Note | Jonathan Cape | 1984
Dennis Johnson | The Stars at Noon | Knopf | 1986

Plus ça change (et je vous remerci Jonny & Joshua).

Rachel Zolf | “L’amiral cherche une maison à louer” | Zinc Bar | 2010

Reveals a ground of contestation, a way in, that was not there before.

Tan Lin | Heath | Zasterle | 2008

A true and beautiful account (sauf le dig à cet endroit là) of recent forms of attention.

More Michael Scharf here. His Attention Span for 2009 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Patrick F. Durgin

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Tan Lin | Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking [AIRPORT NOVEL MUSICAL POEM PAINTING FILM PHOTO HALLUCINATION LANDSCAPE] | Wesleyan | 2010

I wrote the following blurb for Tan’s metadata event: Tan Lin is the first poetic conceptualist with personality; it is no wonder he has paid scholarly attention to Eliot. But what was tradition has dissipated, as if it so needed, into detritus, and that cultural clog of ingredients are what you find “controlled” in SCV. In my estimation, this is the best book of poetry written yet this century, and precisely because the politics it demands are yet to come, but their context already so familiar.

Christine Wertheim, ed. | Feminaissance | Les Figues | 2010

One of several anthologies that have been useful to me in unexpected ways, the others include The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, and…

Brenda Iijima, ed. | eco language reader | Nightboat | 2010

Several things seem to be coming together lately: ecological thinking, somatics, conceptualism (updated, or exploited, depending), feminism, and it’s all here. What’s great about how this collection is comprised and presented is that it posits a center and clarifies the radius of sources past and present for making a foray—you don’t just sit there and absorb, as we say, “the material.” It invites practical pluralities of response. Praise seems beside the point.

Andrew Levy | Cracking Up | Truck | 2010

An old favorite (of a poet) from a new press. The cover shots of Ann-Margaret doing “Bye Bye Birdie” perfectly illustrate the methodically coagulated spurts of late-capitalist wisdom in these pages.

Hannah Weiner | Page | Roof | 2002

I typeset this book almost a full decade ago. Now I am rereading it for a talk I am preparing to give. I have always thought it deserved as much attention as Clairvoyant Journal. It is a family drama—practically no name-dropping, which might explain why it is overlooked and why, as a new father, I have that much more interest in cracking it.

Ayane Kawata, trans. Sawako Nakayasu | Time of Sky & Castles in the Air | Litmus | 2010

I have nothing but admiration for Nakayasu’s work as writer, translator, and editor. But this one, I wish it’d gotten to me before I ordered the books for my “20th Century Writing by Women: A World View” course. I did manage to fit in Werewere Liking, Mahasweta Devi (though not Breast Stories—why let it go out of print, fools?!), Nicole Brossard, and other old favorites. Kawata is a new favorite, though I have so little context for saying so, or understanding why, exactly, I feel this way. I chalk much of it up to Nakayasu’s skill as a translator, though. After all, I need a translator, thus I have some basis for evaluating it. Maybe Kawata is proto-A Tonalist

Laura Moriarty | A Tonalist | Nightboat | 2010

Unlike Cole Swensen, who blurbs the book, I wouldn’t set Moriarty’s work under the oft-speculated upon third way rubric. She knows her history too well—Laura, I mean. What’s important to me about this book is how the concept unfurls, and what it seems capable of including, e.g. one of the sharpest critical assessments of how aesthetic communities are born, function, and die. So the book is, a lot like Tan Lin’s book in this list, both a joy to read and a compelling challenge to believe. And so it’s sort of what’s missing from conceptual writing in its current phase, as opposed, say, to the half-step between language and “uncreative” writing: Jackson Mac Low or Hannah Weiner. It also manages to be attractive, i.e. that moment you realize you won’t look up from a page you’re reading to see whose face emits that voice you just heard, and, the writing now victorious, the lyric “voice” is decisively overthrown. As for myself being included in an A Tonalist clan, I defer to Brent Cunningham’s remarks on the matter.

Fiona Kumari Campbell | Contours of Ableism | Palgrave Macmillian | 2009

I’m working on a project concerning “post-ableism,” and this is the first book to take on the converse with a satisfying scope. I don’t agree with the entirety of her argument. And it could have used a sustained sitting with a copyeditor before going to print. But it’s a good continuation of what people like Simi Linton, Lennard Davis, Tobin Siebers and Michael Davidson have begun.

Eduardo Kac | Signs of Life: Bio Art and Beyond | MIT | 2007

This takes me from the “post-ableism” project to the next big essay I’m writing, this time on “New Life Writing.” New Life Writing is not bio art, but sometimes it gets awfully close.

Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra, eds. | The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future | MIT | 2006

Just when he was getting somewhere with disability by devising a new critical category, “dismodernism,” Lennard Davis organized a highly publicized sidestep to “biocultures,” from which he has never returned. I came to this book initially as part of a disability studies reading group in Chicago, and we read Vivian Sobchack’s essay “A Leg to Stand On: Prosthetics, Metaphor, and Materiality.” In it, she uses the metaphor/metonymy distinction to say something brilliant (though abrupt) about somatics. Someone ought to link that discussion back to dismodernism, right? I tried, but have since moved on to the other essays, all of which are pretty great.

Marc Bosquet | How the University Works | NYU | 2007

“1. We are not ‘overproducing Ph.D.s’; we are underproducing jobs. 2. Cheap teaching is not a victimless crime. 3. Casualization is an issue of racial, gendered, and class justice. 4. Late capitalism doesn’t just happen to the university; the university makes late capitalism happen.” It is also ruining my life.

More Patrick Durgin here. Durgin’s Attention Span for 2007, 2005. Back to 2010 directory.

Attention Span 2009 – Joseph Mosconi

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Dodie Bellamy | Barf Manifesto | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2008

Elisa Gabbert & Kathleen Rooney | That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness | Otoliths | 2008

Tan Lin | Heath: Plagiarism/Outsource | Zasterle Press | 2009

Roland Magazine: Featuring a Guide to POOR. OLD. TIRED. DEAD. HORSE. | Eds. Charlotte Bonham-Carter & Mark Sladen | Institute of Contemporary Arts | 2009

Yedda Morrison | girl scout nation | Displaced Press | 2008

Brad Flis | Peasants | Patrick Lovelace Editions | 2009

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

Steve Zultanski | This and That Lenin | Bookthug | 2008

K. Lorraine Graham | Terminal Humming | Edge Books | 2009

Ara Shirinyan | Your Country Is Great | Future Poem | 2008

Joseph Mosconi co-edits Area Sneaks.

Attention Span 2009 – Josef Kaplan

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Kevin Killian | Action Kylie | ingirumimusnocteetcomsumimurigni | 2008

They said they would never put any photos of cats in Artforum.

Michael Scharf | For Kid Rock/Total Freedom | Spectacular Books | 2007

Re-read this after the post-’08 election euphoria (and my money) had been plowed into corporate handouts. Scharf refracts the claustrophobic political atmosphere of 2002/2003 through an equally stringent pyramid of de rigueur poetics to show that “total freedom” is, of course, totally not. The book’s appulsion of liberal aesthetics and furtive atrocity reads both cogent and anxiously sympathetic, a “bourgeois panic” that is mordant, lucid, the relentlessness of its critique entirely correct.

Gordon Faylor | 5 6 | Self-Published | 2009

The Mechanical Turk meets Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk.

Stephen McLaughlin and Jim Carpenter, eds. | Issue 1 | For Godot | 2008

The fall of the house of usher.

Roberto Bolaño | 2666 | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | 2008

It’s nice how this post-modern novel is almost totally unconcerned with the meta, how it instead just ruthlessly tails the fractal, internal details that spin off from stuff like… ordering a coffee, or a city’s (sub)conscious conspiracy to murder every woman living in it. The Baudelaire epigraph: “an oasis of horror in a desert of boredom”; Sonora stretching out its infinite ends.

Anne Boyer | odali$qued | Blogspot | ongoing

Poetry’s Battlestar Galactica: humans create little machines which create other little machines and they all blow each other to pieces, over and over again. Also a response, doing Kafka one better by cutting out the Max Brod-style middleman. An anti-bureaucratic literature that inverts and immolates against pretty much every authoritarian context in sight.

Tan Lin | HEATH (PLAGIARISM/OUTSOURCE) | Zasterle | 2009

Poetry’s The Blob. Less a “book” than an open source platform for critical reimagining. Strikingly handsome for being that, too—like the titular man himself? Or the shrub?

Rachel Loden | Dick of the Dead | Ahsahta Press | 2009

“This machine” / you know / “kills hypocrites”

Marie Buck | Life & Style | Patrick Lovelace Editions | 2009

“People! Cool personalities!” These burrowings into consumerism, vanity, gender cultures, celebritydom (both literary and pop-culture-y), social networking, social damage, flagellism and futurity are often as gentle as they are disturbing. Not a small feat. The absence of irony doesn’t come off as pedantic, but instead gives everything a tragic, keen(ing) sheen.

Brad Flis | Peasants | Patrick Lovelace Editions | 2009

The Lottery-esque scratch-and-win cover reveals a severed head, which is kind of how the whole book works. Also worth noting that the severed head looks like a combination CNN image capture/Chuck Close portrait, which, again, is kind of how the whole book works.

David Lau | Virgil and the Mountain Cat | University of California Press | 2009

Stately state mash-ups. Lau redistributes allusion across a field of junked discourses, declares a new decadence based in the reification of history. The tone of this book is just so oddly, wonderfully grandiloquent, like wigs worn to the King’s beheading: “a domed frieze phrased in freedom, / extra moiety signum // as time’s / dipterous nonextension / deemphasized dispatches to come– // incurable, its miserable son.”

More about Josef Kaplan here.

Attention Span 2009 – David Buuck

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Rodrigo Toscano | Collapsible Poetics Theater | Fence | 2008

Simply put, one of the most important steps-forward (& outward) in embodied politicized poetics & performance in years.

Bhanu Kapil | Humanimal: a project for future children | Kelsey Street | 2009
Bhanu Kapil | Rabbit Butoh, Bunny Butoh | Trafficker | 2009

Liberatory bio-perversity mediated through colonial memory, metabiology, & interspecies tongue-play.

Yedda Morrison | Girl Scout Nation | Displaced | 2008
Yedda Morrison | Darkness (chapter 1) | little red leaves | 2009

Ecopoetics, appropriation, class politics, & conceptual photography, via uncanny excursions through deforested gurl’hoods & art-choked hearts of darkness; field-guides & escape-routes for the yank-yank crises.

Tan Lin | Heath (plagiarism/outsource) | Zaesterle | 2008
Tan Lin | ambience is a novel with a logo | katalanche | 2008

Fan-chatter, reading-as-scanning, disco as method, celebrity-death as product placement; might just out-Warhol Kenny G. I is a cursor—you’ve been list-served.

al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khálawayh, trans. David Larsen | Names of the Lion | Atticus Finch | 2009

One of the most compelling translation/research projects I’ve seen in years. Philology as performative scholarship, transduced into a heroic list poem ripe for the growling.

Christina Peri Rossi, trans. Marilyn Buck | State of Exile | City Lights | 2008

Condensed lyrics written in 1972 while on the run into exile from Uruguay, torqued by translator Buck’s own forced-exile as a political prisoner in the federal prison in Dublin, CA.

Dennis Lee | yesno | Anansi | 2007
Dennis Lee | un | Anansi | 2003

Neologisms for neologics, composting pre-necro toxiholic bombbalm into ecopoetic anthropox. My thanks to Christian Bök for the turn-on.

The pamphlet is personal is political:

CA Conrad | (Soma)tic Midge | Faux | 2008
Anne Boyer | Art is War | Mitzvah | 2008
Dodie Bellamy | Barf Manifesto | Ugly Duckling | 2008
Dana Teen Lomax | Disclosure | Dusie | 2009

Fervent & fevered missives for those who think that conceptual writing practices somehow must preclude the embodied heat of class politics.

New Zines!

Model Homes (eds. Flis & Buck), President’s Choice (Zultanski), With+Stand (Thomas-Glass), Abraham Lincoln (Mohammad & Boyer), Bad Press Serials (Lindsay, Morris, & Stevenson), Fold (Timmons & Apps), Area Sneaks (Mosconi & Gonzalez), Cannot Exist (Gricevich), Try (Brazil & Larsen), ON (Cross, Donovan & Schlesinger), Plantarchy (Katko)…

A wealth of compelling new mags demonstrating once again that the counter-institutional is where the new(s) really happens.

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick | Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity | Duke | 2003

“Paranoia is anticipatory.” RIP, Eve.

—Aug 15 09 : Oakland

More David Buuck here.

Attention Span 2009 – Jennifer Scappettone

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Some works that rocked my taxonomies this twelvemonth:

Hélène Cixous | Ex-Cities | Slought Books | 2006

On cities & revenance, the struggle of the year. “I have known for a long time that one does not go anywhere. It is the cities or the countries that come or do not come to you. Cities are fateful letters. They only arrive lost.”

Manfredo Tafuri | The Sphere and the Labyrinth, read for the second time | MIT | 1987

His books keep blowing me away. Once one has clarified the assumptions, nearly every sentence delivers a mordant perception. “The change wrought by Canaletto upon the urban context of Venice attests to the profound reality of this city for the eighteenth century; to the fact…that the most devastating manipulations are legitimate on an urban organism that has become merely an object at the disposal of the fantasy of a tourist elite.”

Roberto Saviano | Gomorrah | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | 2007

Anyone who wears clothes or deposits trash should read it. Matteo Garrone’s adaptation onto film is equally recommended for the dialect and the architecture. Creepier than neorealism (appropriately, as we’re headed the other way politically).

AES+F (Tatyana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky, Vladimir Fridkes) | The Feast of Trimalchio | Biennale di Venezia | Video | 2009

Tableaux surrounding the Roman plutocrat from the standpoint of Moscow could have been easy high jinks, like Fellini’s. But assumption of the day’s affect of sacral conversation (of videogames that is) makes them mesmerizing. Best viewed against backdrop of live cruise ships hastening the demise of a sinking cosmopolis: this was perhaps unconsciously the festival’s most site-specific work.

Jia Zhangke | The World | Office Kitano | 2004

Makes fateful cinematic diptych with the above, from Beijing.

George Oppen, ed. Stephen Cope | Selected Prose, Daybooks, and Papers | University of California | 2007

If only Pound could get the message in heaven: “You should have talked / To women”—& much more. Can’t wait to teach Oppen again.

Rob Halpern | Disaster Suites | Palm Press | 2009

Keeps making lyric gutsy. Timely, down to the afterword which wishes the work’s own ephemerality.

David Larsen, ed. and trans. | Names of the Lion by al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khalawayh | Atticus/Finch | 2009
David Larsen | neo-benshi performance of the 2004 Wolfgang Petersen film Troy at Flarf Video Festival | May 2009

500 odd epithets for the creature, including “‘Who Destroys Capital’ (?)”64 Want all my history like this, as serial translation.

Rob Fitterman & Vanessa Place | Notes on Conceptualisms | Ugly Duckling | 2009

When two wits like these team up for “thinkership” a primer’s bound to be implosive. A pocketbook that begs for more such pocketbooks.

Tan Lin | Reading from | Segue Series |  http://writing.upenn.edu/pennsound/x/Segue-BPC.html | April 2009

Tons more feed for thought, after filing a piece for boundary 2.

Walter Benjamin & Theodor Adorno | The Complete Correspondence, 1928-1940 | Harvard | 2001

Resisted for a long time, out of loathing for fetishization of biographical being—then torn through in a day, destroyed. The intimate content of research drives its criticality tumultuously home.

Plus several conversation circuits:

Al Filreis, ed. | PoemTalk | Poetry Foundation, PennSound & Kelly Writers House podcast | http://poemtalkatkwh.blogspot.com/ (subscribable through iTunes) | 2008-, monthly

You get the writer uttering and writers that read disagreeing live. Amazing for modeling close reading, & makes even the dreariest commutes curious.

Herman Melville | “A Utilitarian View of the Monitor’s Fight” & other poems | annotations brought on by Wild Orchids, a new review, Ed. Sean Reynolds

Incredible that only specialists (i.e. “Americanists”) seem to read Melville’s body of verse. The journal, out of Buffalo, will be reintroducing glorious pages to consciousness.

Belladonna | Elders Series | Belladonna | 2008-09

#1: E. Tracy Grinnell/Leslie Scalapino; #2: Rachel Levitsky/Erica Kaufman/Sarah Schulman/Bob Gluck; #3: Tisa Bryant/Chris Kraus; #4: Emma Bee Bernstein/Susan Bee/Marjorie Perloff; #6: Kate Eichorn/M. NourbeSe Philip/Gail Scott; #7: Cara Benson/Jayne Cortez/Anne Waldman; #8: Jane Sprague/Diane Ward/Tina Darragh. I edited the number left out here.

Despite my discomfort with the name (about which see Eichorn’s analysis in the preface to #6); my year’s most delirious cycle of discoveries, revisitations, reflections on the nature of dialogue, calls for more.

More Jennifer Scappettone here.