12 January 2013


Photo Credit: Alex Tremblay-McGaw

Some of the marvels from the past year:
Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. Saw it in the Castro Theater. I was mesmerized, chilled by the problem of beauty that, among other things, the film unwinds.

Myung Mi Kim’s Oppen Memorial Lecture: An unfolding, as if a multi-layered and complex tissue flower, overlapping leaves, dense, delicate, provocative.

Lisa Jarnot’s The Life of Robert Duncan: the Ambassador of Venus. Captivating reading. Duncan and Jess were inveterate documentors and Jarnot a patient researcher.

Pina by Wim Wenders: Bausch’s choreography and Wenders film expose abjection and beauty.

Emily Abendroth’s Exclosures from Brian Teare’s Albion Press.

Aaron Shurin's Citizen from City Lights Books: Inside, one encounters prose poems whose language is so pitched, so finely wrought, that it almost spills over the brim of each poem.
Yedda Morrison’s Darkness from Make Now Press—I’m still in the midst of it. Thrilling.

Wendy Kramer’s Morton Salt Girl from Small Press Traffic’s Poets Theater 2012

Discovering the work of Jai Arun Ravine and Paolo Javier.

Fred Moten’s talk in August to new undergrads at Bard College in the Language & Thinking Program. Moten encouraged students to interrupt him, to ask questions, and when they did, he made good on his invitation and went “off-script,” unfolding his talk in a format accessible to brand new undergrads but without sacrificing intellectual rigor and pitch. I left completely high.

Each moving in their own vastly different ways, Susan Howe, Charles Bernstein and Nate Mackey’s poetry readings at the National Poetry Foundation’s Conference in June in Orono. Also, Kevin Killian’s talk on "Activism, Gay Poetry, AIDS in the 1980s."

Rob Halpern’s lyrical/political evisceration: Music for Porn (Nightboat Books). “Nothing I can see from here equals/ His impossible form all riddled w// Their holes & pasted viscera travel” (86).

Jennifer Moxley’s There are Things We Live Among: Essays on the Object World. Deceptively “easy” reading but writing that parses, via personal experience, literary reference, theoretical surgery, the complexities of our relations with objects.

Compline’s beautiful production of Eleni Stecopoulos’s Daphnephoria: “A tree organizes survival around/ open space/ Hands Holding the Void/ Daphnephoria/ cleansed by laurel/ the rape flowering become fragrant/ the xylem rotten inside outside intact” (9).

Discovering, via Jonathan Skinner, Cornell University’s Macaulay Library, “the world's largest and oldest scientific archive of biodiversity audio and video recordings.”  Bird calls galore as music for writing.  http://macaulaylibrary.org/  

Kathleen Fraser's movable TYYPE from Nightboat Books: This lovely book collects the textual portions of Fraser's several artist books, including hi dde violeth i dde violet, WITNESS, SECOND LANGUAGE and ii ss, and other work, including new writing. The visual and sonic pleasures of language and typography are legion.

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