Wednesday, May 02, 2007


There is a new issue of Action,Yes up: here.

I'm very excited about it. Among other things, it includes a big selection of Anna Moschovakis' "translations" from Czech-English poet Ivan Blatney's bilingual experimentation. In the near future, Ugly Duckling is publishing an entire book of Blatny's work, The Drug of Art. This is one of my favorite books I've read in years - fascinating movements in and out of Czech and English. He's definitely in my personal pantheon of interlingual contortionists together with Aase Berg, Paul Celan and some others. (Actually I'm supposed to write a blurb for it so I should get on with that right now.)

The new issue also features "Beatbox," my favorite English poet John Wilkinson's homage to Aase, my favorite Swedish poet, and of course a bunch of other poems, comics, translations and prose.

We're also thrilled to include some drawing by Sara Eriksson, my favorite Swedish artist - brilliantly obscene, part diary, part depleted comic strips.

And we're also starting to include critical writings in Action,Yes. We're starting this feature this issue by including the papers from Lara's AWP panel on "Excess" and a poetics statement by Danielle Pafunda.

The reason for this change is that I feel that much of the critical discussion about poetry is thin. A lot of reviews tend to fall back on cliches (this poem is about language) and/or normative statements (this book has too many images, it's too funny etc). And scholarly essays tend to not be read by poets and tend to fall into its own set of cliches. There are all these books now published (some good, some bad etc), but limited discussions of them.

So we hope to do our very small part in generating more interesting views about poetry. The basic idea is that the essays won't be reviews, but rather short essays that discuss poems in a wider context of other work of poetry and work from other media (film, art etc). For example, for the next issue James Pate is writing something about the politics of the grotesque in the poetry of Lara Glenum, Ariana Reines and Daniel Borzutzky, and Jasper Bernes is discussing public writing (starting out with Jenny Holzer). The issue will also include Josh Corey's essay for the Excess Panel. Francois and Ariana are also writing some stuff. E-mail me if you're interested in writing something along these lines.


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