Sunday, January 24, 2010

Notes for a Night Not Well

Now that I've gotten that victorianism-as-header out of the way, I'm feeling unwell.  Or, rather, more less well than usual.  This has its downsides, not being able to get much work done chief among them.  And between finishing rec letters for former students and teaching, there's a lot of work that needs to get done.  Plus, I need to get down to work on the design aspects of Occultations, with now the April 1 publishing deadline looming.  

And yet, feeling unwell allows me to go thru my overflowing inbox, bit by bit--I'm on this week's correspondence still.  Interesting things abound.  

--My BlazeVox Prefab Eulogies book page is now up, and in the coming days, some sound files from the larger project that is Prefab Eulogies (performative pieces that appear in the book and that don't) will be installed here.  Look out for those if you want your ears to bleed slightly.

--Ditch, the journal of "experimental Canadian Poetry and Featured International Poets" and the publisher  (Tranwreck Press) of one of my first chapbooks, Fractions of M (from a large unfinished book, Scripto-Erratum), has just published Ditch, Anthology 1: Innovative Canadian Poets.  I'm happy for editor John Goodman.  He's been pretty tireless in his efforts to seek out new work, including that of Nathalie/Nathaniel Stephens, who beyond being a truly innovative writer, is also a lovely human being (I think, now that I think of it... I spelled Nathalie's name wrong in my forth. book??!!?).  The full list of contributors:

rob mclennan
Alessandro Porco
Todd Swift
David UU
Nathalie Stephens
Erín Moure
Jay MillAr
Asher Ghaffar
Mark Truscott
Geoffrey Hlibchuk

Natalie Simpson
Jordan Scott
derek beaulieu
Daniel f. Bradley
Margaret Christakos
Jon Paul Fiorentino
Alice Burdick
Gary Barwin
Lynn Crosbie
gustave morin
Elizabeth Bachinsky

Louise Bak
Stephen Cain
Sean Moreland
Frances Kruk
Judith Copithorne
Natalie Zina Walschots
Marcus McCann
Meredith Quartermain
Camille Martin
Nathaniel G. Moore
f.ward (cover art)

--Also, got word that the first title from the Black Radish Books (Collective), Marthe Reed's Gaze, is due out in less than a month.  And the press's website, being revamped by Susana Gardner at moment, will be up soon as well.  Excited to read Marthe's book.  I am deeply interested in her poetry; my introduction to it was her wonderful Dusie Press chapbook.

--I've read one Black Radish book so far, helping edit Carrie Hunter's The Incompossible.  Which is extraordinary--reminded me, without being at all derivative of anything, of Rosemarie Waldrop, were Waldrop to suddenly develop a fableistic archeology of thought's action a la Helene Cixous.  Hmmm.  A Cixous-Waldrop mix.  Hence the non-derivative proviso, this contrast on a par with Cixous' "all two of them."  So, perhaps just read this book when it's out--which is soon!

--I'm also pleased to find out that David Abel, Maryrose Larkin, and all the organizers, have booked me for a Spare Room reading on May 15, where I'll be performing some (with any luck) chunk of the new collaboration with Arun Chandra, a sound-text polyvocal live/not live composition, "Modular Arterial Cacophony," from Occultations.  More exciting, perhaps, I think David will be participating in this year's PRESS Series, hopefully sometime in March-April.  Yet more exciting!, I get to read with Jen Coleman again!  I love her work, and this time, since we've now done it before, maybe we can cross-wire, perhaps do something--say, one thing during the evening--collaborative.

There's also this, from Thom Donovan:

"This weekend I will be presenting with Rob Halpern and Robert Kocik at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Counsel about the histories and futures of commoning. The title of our presentation is “How Things Hold Together And How The Way In Which We’re Currently Going About Things As A Society Is Not How Things Hold Together” and is subtitled “a practical discussion about common interest, the economy, and the social production of artwork.” Rob’s talk, “The Promise of Use-Value: Art at the Limits of Social Practice,” or “Recovering Use from Exchange: New Enclosures / New Commons,” will make special reference to artist Amy Balkin’s works Public Domain and Public Smog, which grapple with the expropriation of land and atmosphere. 

Rob Halpern briefly mentioned last we spoke that he was going to be doing this event, but given that I'm here and they are in NYC, it'd slipped my mind till Thom wrote on it.  I look forward to hearing what came out of this discussion.  For those of you who have not read Robert Kocik's work, I recommend it--highly.

--And finally, I'm hearing that Thom will be reviewing Rachel Zolf's forthcoming Neighbour Procedure (Coach House) in the next Poetry Project Newsletter.  I'm really looking forward to the review, of course, but especially to this highly anticipated book.  I'm hoping to set up a reading in NYC either with Rachel, or if not with, then during the time that Neighbour will be coming out, hence hoping to catch her reading from it regardless.

So, the political world is a disgusting mess, and I'm about as dystopian as I've ever been.  But things are popping in poetry, and as such, this is a kind of pushing back, of the small, sideways kind that poetry is capable of, whether overtly seeking to or not.   So, here's to that.

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