02 June 2010

Selecteds: Leslie Scalapino and Norma Cole

Some recent reviews of two very important mentors:

A double review of Leslie's Day Ocean and Its go in horizontal:

And Norma's Where Shadows Will:

And while you're there, check out Leslie's "Disbelief" (which will appear in the new, expanded edition of How Phenomena Appear to Unfold (Litmus Press 2010)): http://jacketmagazine.com/40/scalapino-essay.shtml.

She writes of the text:

I delivered parts of this talk-performance-essay (passages on 1980s poetics) on the panel “The Body and Language Writing” condensing my performance to fit into the time frame. Also participating were panelists Steve Benson, Bruce Andrews, and Maria Damon. Thus delivered in a Language context (Segue, New York, 2007), “Disbelief” was not intended as definitive of any poets, in that I anticipated qualification and dispute of it from the audience. It was to be apprehension in the instant of social behavior and points of view. While I spoke I heard merry laughter from the audience (I believe it was primarily or entirely feminine voices). I noticed this merry laughter when I was critiquing myself by including comments and questions from Susanne Stein. Merry laughter occurred particularly when I commented on my being critiqued by men. A number of young women whom I did not know remarked afterward how much they liked the talk. One lovely young woman came up to me to say “That was wonderful, wonderful!—I feel so relieved!” Though I could not anticipate response (except that I might be disapproved), her response was my ‘purpose’ in the mode of my constructing my talk-performance-essay. Perhaps her feeling a sense of relief was in response to an act of free speech articulating what she herself experiences (in some other context than the older Language movement of course, since she is young)?

In conversation after “The Body and Language Writing” panel, I recalled to Steve Benson that I was, at his invitation, one of the three co-directors at the end of the Grand Piano Reading series. I described how when he’d first asked me I hadn’t been interested but reconsidered because I recognized that I was so sensitive to sexism, a problem causing me the greatest suffering of anything then, that (I decided) I should de-sensitize myself by entering the hurley-burley and familiarizing myself with this phenomenon. I thanked him for inviting me, remarking I’d learned a great deal, generally in the social world, and about sexism, the latter especially from my fellow-co-directors, men who were not Language poets but were followers. He was surprised and apologized for neither remembering that I had been a co-director nor that he had invited me. It occurred to me then that currently The Grand Piano/An Experiment in Collective Autobiography, San Francisco, 1975-1980 is being published serially. “Disbelief,” though as an afterthought on my part, is a contribution as a part of memoir.

Also, David Wolach's piece on Laura Elrick is pretty great (I'm very fond of her Fantasies in Permeable Structures and of David for that matter): http://jacketmagazine.com/40/wolach-elrick.shtml

Goodbye Jacket; hello Jacket2.

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