Sunday, November 10, 2013
reading from new books and spurring dialogue across generational and other distances What separates inward from outward, virtual from actual, public from private, poetry from prose, truth from fiction, younger from older? And what joins them?
KATE GREENSTREET is currently on the road with her third book, Young Tambling. Her previous books are The Last 4 Things and case sensitive, all with Ahsahta Press. Her videos can be viewed in The Volta, Typo, and other places online. New writing is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly and Everyday Genius. For more information, visit her site at www.kickingwind.com.
from Kate’s Ahsahta biographical sketch:
I pictured completing this book in Ireland, wearing a dark gray cardigan and maybe seeing the Atlantic from a small window facing west instead of east. But I’m glad today that I finished it here in my studio instead, where I could tape up all the pages on the long white wall. I look around the room, and I know I’m going to miss coming out here every morning. It’s by far the best studio I’ve ever had, and I don’t know when I’ll have another. […]
I still believe I might someday arrive at a place I recognize as home. I’m still looking. Max gave me the sweater I’d imagined and, although I could’ve worn it here in New Jersey, I haven’t. It’s attached to the dream of another life. I’ll take it with me.
from an interview with Christopher Nelson:
Memory works something like the narrative tactics of a traditional ballad, described in Francis Gummere’s The Popular Ballad (published in 1907) as “alternate leaping and lingering.” My poetry works that way too.
My grandmother used to say about people, “They have to be talking about something.” You know how a magician will keep the audience’s attention on one thing while doing another? In Young Tambling, memories or passages that feel like memories are mostly there to distract you. I never thought of this before! but I think it’s true. I’m trying to divert the attention of the reader (or listener) while creating a space in which something else can happen.
What is entertainment for? What is art for? What is it supposed to do? I imagine a person goes to see a magician in order to be mystified, expanded, lifted out of the mundane for an hour. I think that’s why we have art, of all kinds—that, and to connect us.
I asked a friend once, a painter, why he paints and he said, “We paint for the same reason we dream: to keep in touch with a self no one believes in.” Art is magical. If it turns out there is no self and art is just a bunch of tricks—well, they’re the tricks that got us through.
RACHEL LEVITSKY is recently the author of a novel, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013) as well as two full-length books of poetry, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003), NEIGHBOR (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), and a number of chapbooks. She was the founder of the feminist avant-garde network, Belladonna*, now Belladonna* Collaborative, of which she is a part. In 2010 with Christian Hawkey, she started The Office of Recuperative Strategies (OoRS.net), a mobile research unit variously located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Boulder, Brooklyn, Cambridge, NYC, and Leipzig. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Pratt Institute.
from Rachel’s “The Next Big Thing” interview:
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The Story of My Accident is Ours is a study of the activist – though she has, according to the accident of her birth, been many, simultaneous–across the times that she has entered spaces of appearance, but also in a particular and shifting world, the appearance of which is itself under erasure.
from an interview with Lucy Ives:
RL: I emphatically don’t buy into the notion that avant-garde writing is inaccessible. That notion makes me nuts. There is parochialism in both mainstream writing and avant-garde writing, by which a set of requirements becomes more important than the power of intervention. I think the role of the avant-garde is not to represent the present in past tense terms, but rather to make the present in present tense forms. My skepticism about Perloff-Goldsmith-Place’s assertions that the only way to do that is with anti-subjective writing is that it reads to me as a sales pitch being played on repeat. I don’t reject the minimally mediated collections of found and organized material they advocate. I do not reject this manner of making. But we live in a time in which affective environments are the grounds for a still-inarticulate set of linguistic gestures. I favor the mongrel, the neologism, the error. I talk about grunting a bit in the novel, about the importance of listening to the sense of a thing being there, of giving time to the as-yet-to-be, the sensed but not yet visible/audible. Listening to the not-yet, which is also the noise of ancestors, is distinct from the insistence that we are making anything new. That multiplicity of noises and traditions, that is avant-garde to me and political. It seems important not to be making so much useless noise (in the rush to make something “new”) that it becomes impossible to hear, or to be with or in relation to.
STEPHANIE STRICKLAND’s seventh book of print poetry, Dragon Logic, was just published by Ahsahta Press. She has also collaborated on eight electronic poems, most recently Sea and Spar Between and another poetry generator written with Nick Montfort. Her prize-winning volume, V: WaveSon.nets / Losing L’una, will appear in a new edition with an accompanying app for mobile devices in 2014. Recent writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Vlak, New Binary Press, and Best American Poetry 2013. For more information, visit http://stephaniestrickland.com.
from a Dragon Logic Q&A:
Living without leaving digital traces is now impossible, a reality untrue for most of my own lifetime as well as all lifetimes on earth preceding mine. The boundaries between digital and physical are porous, dissolved, and press toward becoming non-existent.
A digital system must erase what is specific in order to generalize a mathematical pattern that functions as a reliable network. Do people become more silent (and less specific) as technology finds its own voice? My poems engage science, computation, and mathematics as human creations; mythic language and diagram are, in turn, used to elicit the bias of knowledge and to allude to a history of science that has excluded women, as well as many others, and thus skewed our present state of knowledge.
from Stephanie’s Ahsahta biographical sketch:
In my poems, I speak in the vicinity of science, one might say, which I believe to be one of the juggernauts of the 21st century. I speak in forms—not only inherited literary forms, but forms the world is rich in. As well, I focus on what women know and their historical experience, in how they might come to say. I have been interested in the body, the sensing intuiting body of the engineer, the body of the nursing caretaking mother, the body of the woman who knows—and knows that she knows, even though the world does not affirm her knowledge. I have not ever wanted to claim one knowledge at the expense of another.