Monday, December 31, 2007

Hanna Weiner

Joyelle has been on a real Hannah Weiner bender, so a lot of our conversations over the past few weeks have been about Weiner and performance, insanity etc.

Probably the best critical introduction to her work is likely this interview on Charles Bernstein's "Linebreak."

Particularly interesting is Charles's repeated invitation to Weiner to view her work as part of a literary and political lineage, which Weiner resists through various spiritualist claims (astral etc).

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bernstein on Parland

Charles Bernstein wrote a brief review of the Parland book.

Memoir: (car crash)

Today on my way back from Chicago I was in a car crash. My car was totaled. I was a bit banged up but not really injured. It was a very intense experience.

The Surrealist Group of Stockholm

I don't know if I'm mentioned this before, but there is a good wikipedia entry on the Stockholm Surrealist Group.

Aase Berg joined this group in her late teens and it was as part of the group she started writing.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Henry Parland

My translation of Henry Parland's "Idealrealisation" (in my translation "Ideals Clearance") can now be bought at SPD.

Parland (1908-1930) was born in Russia but his family moved to Finland early in his youth, and in his late teens joined in with the Finland Swedish modernists operating in Helsinki at the time. He formed a particularly close and tumultuous relationship with Gunnar Bjorling (who called him "the most modern poet in all of Europe"). Together with Bjorling, Parland brought Dada to the Swedish language (though it took several decades for the Swedish literary establishment to discover his work). In 1929 his controversial book "Ideals Clearance" was published in Helsinki. However, at the time his parents had sent him to live with his uncle in Kaunas, Lithuania, where he was introduced to and wrote extensively about Russian Formalism and cinema. Unfortunately, he caught Scarlet Fever and died at the age of 22.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ett lysande namn

Tram number six, I think I'm fixed -

Nu ligger favvot uppe på
Skvallra för varenda kotte, skriv på alla bloggar, klottra på varenda

Premiär för den nya redaktionen, kalla oss Sigrid Nurbo, Athena
Farrokhzad, Anna Sandwall, Viktor Johansson, eller bara lysande.

Sexan är full av favoriter -

Viktor Johansson startar framtiden med en stafettdikt av Kristofer
Flensmarck, Philip Holmberg, Edith Mörtlund, Ida Linde, Micael Olsson,
Sara Hallström och Johannes Heldén. Jonas Thente läser science fiction ur
en skev skrivmaskin. Blobbar. Navajo. Sigrid Nurbo skickar ut Lars Mikael
Raattamaa, Vendela Fredricson, Pär Thörn och Tom Malmquist i världen som
poesikorrar för en dag. Bongotrummor. Mekongfloden. Athena Farrokhzad
skriver inte under på idolidyllen. Öar. Situationism. Anna Sandwall postar
fanmail till diskmedelstillverkare. Hjärnsubstans. Bärnsten. Bodil
Malmsten dissar topplistor tills de ger upp. Brännboll. Landsflykt. Aylin
Bloch Boynukisa drömmer om decemberregn och bögsex. Hyenor. Syréndoft. Ann
Hallström saknar Marguerite Duras från Lake Road. Venus. Sommarregn. Klara
Persson har favoritat bilderna till detta nummer. Snigelskal. Svanar.

Monday, December 17, 2007

from Rosa Alcala

Hello friends,

Please pass this on to your lists or advise students who are looking for an MFA

Also, please note that students do not have to be bilingual to get into the
program--it simply means we draw students from Spanish-speaking and
English-speaking countries, and our courses focus on literatures originating in
these two languages. Because a class normally has students who speak either
language or both, discussion often moves spontaneously between languages, but
students often choose to write in just one. It's an exciting program, which
responds to the bilingual realities of this border region.

Hope everyone is well.

Thanks, Rosa
MFA in Creative Writing
The only one of its kind in the U.S., the MFA at utep offers a fully
bilingual (Spanish and/or English) course of study in fiction, poetry,
playwriting, screenwriting, and non-fiction. The MFA normally requires
three years to complete. Our close ties with Theater, English,
Languages and Music give our students access to literature courses in
these areas and the opportunity to produce collaborative work. Our
bilingual literary magazine, the Rio Grande Review, is entirely MFA-edited.
The MFA experience is one of close mentoring, with an emphasis on
placement in careers in teaching, editing, and writing. MFA
students come from all over Latin America and the United States. Recent
graduates have won major prizes: the highly prestigious 2006 Premio
Clarin de Novela (Argentina), the 2005 Premio Nacional de Cuento de
Colombia, the 2005 Chicano-Latino Literary Award given by UC Irvine,
the 2004 Concurso Nacional de Novela Joven de Mexico (National Mexican
Prize for Young Novelists), the 2004 Premio Nacional de Poesia Joven
"Elias Nandino" (National Prize for Young Poets), the Premio Bienal
Cope de Poesia (Peroe 2002) and the 2004 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize.
In addition to our award winning faculty, our department regularly
invites writers as means to enrich our students' experience. In the
past, guest writers have included: Susan Briante, John Rechy, Paco
Ignacio Taibo II, Tim Z. Hernandez, Victor Villasenor, Edwin Torres,
Michael Martone, Rocio Ceron, Robert Boswell, Sara Anderson Vaux,
Reda Mansour, Alberto Ruiz Sanchez and Elena Poniatowska.
We offer assistantships to many of our students.
Application deadline: February 1, 2008

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tao Lin continues to tear things up

on the all-important SPD bestseller list:

1 Autobiography / Oughtabiography Anthony Hawley (Counterpath Press)

2 You Are A Little Bit Happier Than I Am Tao Lin (Action Books)

3 Another Kind of Nation: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Poetry Zhang Er & Chen Dongdong, Eds. (Talisman House Publishers)

4 Awe Dorothea Lasky (Wave Books)

5 This Is What Happened In Our Other Life Achy Obejas (A Midsummer Night's Press)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lamination Colony

Here's a great online journal:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Joyelle is reading in New York tomorrow

302 Broome St
Between Forsyth and Eldridge



The bar has a pink awning and says, health club on it. HE is stenciled on the front door.

J,M,Z,F to Delancey
B,D to Grand St



Joyelle McSweeney
Daphne Beal
Porochista Khakpour

Music from Marcellus Hall



Keri Smith
Michael Perry
Chip Kidd

Music from Artbreak

Amanda Stern

Brenda Coultas

has a new book.

Did I already write this post?

I've had such a busy semester I feel like maybe I saw this before but was not quite able to process it.

Her first (?) book "The Handmade Museum" was one of my favorite books of the past few years, staring Pee-Wee Herman and Emily Dickinson.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Constant Critic and Surrealism

Joyelle has a new review up at constant critic.

It's of Taiwanese poet Hsia Yu's amazing transparent (yes, physically transparent), multilingual masterpiece "Pink Noise." I would say everyone should get a copy but I don't think anybody can.

Jordan Davis tries his hand at the old "hard" vs "soft" Surrealism and does perhaps a bit better than Ron Silliman's comment-folks. And though I have been known to complain about certain examples of what may be called surrealist techniques (though any number of other labels could be applied for most of these instances), I have to wonder why it is so important to find a "true" (or hard) Surrealism. Is it to rediscover the radical potential in Surrealism? Is it to historicize these techniques out of existence? (Do people ever speak about "soft New York School"?)

The people making these distinction seem to generally make the distinction between the Breton Crew (which of course was not the first use of "Surrealist" - that was Apollinaire, followed by Ywan Goll's journal - and which also tended to leak members - mostly the most interesting poets, such as Artaud - or work parallel to more interesting writers - Bataille, Cesaire, Vallejo etc)and Bill Knott, James Tate, Charlie Simic and Robert Bly.

It is interesting that the Rosemonts ("Chicago Surrealism")and their crowd (quite large it seems from the people I've been in contact with) are very seldom brought up as the anti-thesis of Soft Surrealism, since they not only worked directly with Breton in the 1960s but have also maintained Trotskyite politics.

Another interesting thing for me is that the Rosemonts' Crew (and other non-academic, "hardline" Surrealists) have been very international in their outlook. For example, I have received many emails from this crowd about my Aase Berg book (which has a blurb from Penelope Rosemont)and her interview in Bitter Oleander (in which she, to their dismay, called out Breton for his sexism etc). These Surrealists are part of a pretty extensive international network, which used to include the Surrealist Group of Stockholm, and that's why a lot of them were familiar with Aase long before the book came out. In fact, if you go to the Swedish Royal Library and search through the archives, you can even find a book they co-wrote with the Surrealist Group of Alabama (I'm not kidding). (I have a copy if anyone is interested.)

To me the Surrealist Group of Stockholm makes a very interesting case study (only non-Surrealist Americans don't know about them), as it was very Trostkyite and so hardline Surrealist that some members went insane (psychotic, from Surrealist games) and others (long after Aase had already left) were put in jail for involvement in anti-EU activities. In difference to many American debators (such as Andrew Joron in his pamphlet on Surrealism), the group also acknowledged the Romantic influence on Surrealism moving in their discussions freely between Breton Surrealists, de Sade, Romantics, Bataille etc - thus they seem both more hardline and less hardline than American poets.

However, most importantly (to my Humanist Brain) the group was the starting point for a number of may favorite Swedish authors, who have since then gone on to great acclaim, in both Sweden and the rest of Europe (including Aase, Eva-Kristina Olsson and others).

Finally, I would also like to say that one strange part about the true-vs-false Surrealism debates is that it is going on amidst American poets who don't seem to realize that European Surrealism continued, changed and moved in various stylistic and geographic directions. Thus for example, you get people like Henri Michaux, who I think has quite a bit of influence on Edson (probably a key figure in understanding US Surrealism since the 1960s), and Paul Celan, Vasko Popa and Tadic, Oyvind Fahlstrom, Aase Berg etc. It has not stood still. And in many of these countries, there have been debates similar to the one American poets are currently engaged in.

Part of my contention is that I have trouble with this urge to find a true origin. As the paper I will present on Finland Swedish Dada at the Big European Avant-Garde Convention this spring in Brussels will argue, things tend to be a bit more complicated than that. For example, certain aspects of "Dada" exists in many locations around Europe (Romania for example, if you read Tom Sandkvist's "Dada East" from MIT )before the movement is officially founded, or before the movement officially reaches these areas (Finland, Slovenia etc). The way Bjorling and Parland found out about Dada was when a negative critic called Bjorling a "dadaist" in a newspaper review of his second book.

If you want to hear the rest of it you've got to come to Brussels.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ann Jäderlund in Hindi

Apparently somebody in India is using my Jäderlund translations to translate her work into Hindi.

This is one of those "the world is strange" posts.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Jed's new book of poetry

Rasula, Jed
$12.00 / PA / 25pp.
BookThug 2007
ISBN: 978-1-897388-15-0
Poetry. HOT WAX, OR, PSYCHE'S DRIP is a long poem germinated in if
not completely hatched in the toreador momentum of the Dark Reagan
Era when the author was living in Los Angeles, immersed in the study
of cybernetics and information theory, and noticing in peripheral
vision the citywide micro-explosion of the porn industry which has
now overtaken the planet, "churning away in Tinker Bell s Hard


Thursday, December 06, 2007


I'm freezing and I'm about to go get some final papers from my comp class but I just wanted to say that this morning I've been reading the new issue of New Ohio Review and it's really interesting. Definitely one of the best journals around.

There is an excerpts from Sandy Florian's current project (which I think is one of the most exciting things around), a really interesting poem by Leslie Bumstead (whose work I have not yet read, but will look for), translations of Tomaz Salamun, a poem by Graham Foust, a poem by GC Waldrep, Laura Moriarty and Brent Cunningham's collaboration and a bunch of other stuff (including a couple of my texts). Get it for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A New Quarantine Will Take My Place

My first book of poems has been produced by Apostrophe Books. I don't think they are up for sale just yet but I have copies. Let me know if you want a review copy.

I also have copies of my Dos Press chapbook *Majakovski en tragedi*.