29 December 2011

Favorite Things 2011: Jamie Townsend


Laurel Halo - Hour Logic
Autre Ne Veut - "Drama Cum Drama"
Dev (featuring Kanye West) - "Dancing in the Dark"
Zola Jesus - Conatus
Ford & Lopatin - Channel Pressure
Rhianna - "We Found Love"
Grouper - A I A
Jay-Z & Kanye West - "Who Gon Stop Me"
Cuddle Magic - Info Nympho
Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
Big Sean (featuring Nicki Minaj) - "Dance (A$$)"
Forma - s/t
Destroyer - Kaputt
Thurston Moore @ the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia


Rob Halpern's "Becoming a Patient of History: George Oppen's Domesticity and the Relocation of Poetics" (Really a capstone to 2010, but the beginning of my rethinking poetics in 2011; many thanks to Rob for sending me the manuscript of the lecture as it was the event in recent memory I most wish I could've attended).

Erica Kaufman - "Instant Classic" (Least Weasel); Erica never fails; you can read her work over and over and over and find new, incredible tripwires of language every time. This chap knocked me flat, it's precise, balanced, and conceptually wild all at once: extreme humor, music, and scholarship, pulling together equally.

CJ Martin - "Two Books" (Compline); I think, the most unique new(er) voice in poetry and critical writing today. CJ is mapping terrain that feels domestic (in the sense of being solidly enclosed) and completely alien at the same time. I kinda think he's Duncan reincarnated.

Brenda Iijima - "Untimely Death is Driven Beyond the Horizon" (unreleased); Brenda's work is always infinitely restless and exciting, but this particular collection, with its subtle lyricisms and bone straight left hand margin, really solidifies the fact that she can write in any form (visually wild or mannered) and still be unmistakably Brenda. I love these poems.

Tyrone Williams - "Pink Tie" (Hooke Press) & Dana Ward - "Typing Wild Speech" (Summer BF Press); two chaps that helped me to rediscover the central place of writing in the middle of the most emotionally trying summer of my life, at a point when I had almost given up; Dana's chap is a 2010 joint, but they have such a repoire with each other, and they came to me around the same time (I had to wait for the 2nd printing of Dana's), I feel as though they form two parts of a essential treatise on the integration of an art practice and day-to-day life (especially around issues of grief), eliminating any doubt in my own mind as to why there should be any barrier between the two.

David Brazil - "Orphica" (Lew Gallery); what a beautiful and singular object, which arrived in the mail precisely at a moment of extreme personal loss in my life. David seems to have a prescience for sending correspondence/poetry when it's needed most.

Sueyeun Juliette Lee - "What the Heart Longs for When it Only Knows Heat" (unreleased); Juliette performed from this manuscript at c/c, indulging me by reading my favorite section (and really, one of my favorite pieces of writing lately), a gorgeous, devastating prose poem about intimacy and arctic horses (not in the Equus sense)

Geoffrey Olsen - "Not of Distends *Address Panicked" (minutesBOOKS); Geoff's a good friend and fantastic poet, and his chap through minutesBOOKS this year delivers on all fronts; a sparsely dense mixture of cinema verite and Brakhage-esque visuals in verse, informed, in part, by an intense engagement with Scalapino's writing. Stunning, challenging, and something I found myself returning to often throughout the year.

Stacy Szymaszek - "Hart Island" (ongoing) - Without a doubt my favorite thing being written right now. I've been trying to write an essay about it for over a year and a half now and (like the poem feels in my head) I am hard-pressed to contain it or to wrap it up. I hope it keeps unfolding forever.

Nicholas DeBoer - "Red Night Antimatter" (Potlach Discordian Network); Nick's a beast - he's written enough material this year for at least 2 full-length books - but this chap on the new Potlach Discordian hydra symphonically images a correspondence between an aging Pound and Burroughs in a landscape of Russian Futurist structures. Email him and he'll send you a copy and a friendly hello, he's that kind of guy.

Julian Brolaski - "Gowanus Atropolis" (UDP) - This book is so good, and so inimitable, I don't feel like I have anything semi-witty or erudite to say about it that would do it justice, so here's a quick, bizarre, off-the cuff impression; at times it feels like Dickinson bathed in mead and sprinkled with Jolly Ranchers.

Julia Bloch, CJ Martin, Rob Halpern @ Fergie's Pub April 2, 2001 & Joseph Bradshaw, Thom Donovan, Dana Ward @ Fergie's Pub, July 9, 2011 (really, all the c/c readings this year, but much thanks to CJ, Rob, and Dana who traveled so far and gave tremendous performances)

some things that came out this year that I haven't gotten to yet but can't wait to:

- Thom Donovan - "The Hole"
- Dana Ward "This Can't Be Life"
- Renee Gladman - "The Ravickians"
- Brandon Brown - "The Poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus"
- Ariana Reines - "Mercury"
- Tyrone Williams - "Adventures of Pi" / "Howell"
- Mark Scroggins - "Torture Garden: Naked City Pastorelles"

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