Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stockholm and Iowa

I got a couple of grants and I'm going to be in Stockholm August 1-15 to do research on Swedish concretist publications from the 60s and do some translating with some Swedish poets. So if you're going to be in town, let me know and we'll meet up.

Also, I recently went back through Iowa City for an evening. Looks pretty much the same as the last time I was there (7 years ago). Only this time around I was much happier (in general). Matt "the poetry snark" Miller is doing well - he's writing a fantastically interesting thesis about Whitman's compositional method. But I have to disagree with Amish - Athens, Georgia is a better town.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Soft Targets

Announcement from one of my favorite journals:

Dear Friends + Enemies,

This notification is to announce the release event for SOFT TARGETS
v.2.1., a handheld journal of poetry, artwork, theory, and fiction, as
well as v.2.2, a 5" LP. Please join the Front Office for readings and
performances by Kalup Linzy, Gary Lutz, Ariana Reines, and Mick Barr
as Octis.

The Kitchen, NYC
512 West 19th Street
Wednesday, May 30th
7pm, FREE

SOFT TARGETS v.2.1 features contributions from Alain Badiou, John
Waters, Zoe Leonard, Yto Barrada, Jean-Jacques Schuhl, James Tate,
Alexander Kluge, Christian Marclay, Tatiana Trouvé, Paris-based
political collective TIQQUN, Chris Marker, Ben Lerner, Arno Schmidt,
Roberto Bolaño, Lisa Jarnot, and RAQS Media Collective, among others.
256pp, w/ color illustrations throughout; dusty pink cover.

SOFT TARGETS v.2.2 is a 5" LP recording of the NYC avant-metal band
Orthrelm. Side A: "03-7" [0:48]; Side B: "03-8" [0:57]; 33 revolutions
per minute.

Visit for an exclusive interview: "Divine
Violence and Liberated Territories: SOFT TARGETS talks with Slavoj

v.2.1 available for pre-order to bookstores, museums, and other venues
through Distributed Arts Publishers (; v.2.1 + v.2.2
available at beginning May 30th.

the Front Office

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I got the most recent issue of Conduit today in the mail. It looks very good: it includes an interview with one of my favorite directors, Guy Maddin; impressive color stills from Viola's "Five Angels for the Millennium" (which I saw in a huge cavernous room somewhere a few years ago, maybe PS 1 or the Walker Art Center or the Whitney); poems by Tomaz Salamun and a host of other writers (Adam "Typo" Clay has a good poem in there).

I have two poems from my collection "Party" which I worked on while in Alabama and which unsteadily devolved into a series of handwritten scribbles. I sent the poems to Conduit a long time ago and I'm a bit surprised to see them again, as I had chucked that project. And I'm surprised at how much I like them. I may go back to that project.

Conduit has been consistently interesting over the years. I was in an issue back in the year 2000 that was one of the best issues I've ever had poems in. There was an interview with the always interesting artist Mike Kelley as well as a poem about Ronald Reagan by Gabe Gooding, and some poems by Mike Savitz, maybe my favorite poet among my classmates at Iowa, and some other things.

But what I really wanted to say was: go to the web site. It's amazing.

Action, Yes Forums

There's a new thing on the Action,Yes web site - something called "Action, Yes Forums" - a discussion board.

Anyway, Brent Cunningham asked me an insightful question that I somewhat answered. I will try to finish my answer today.

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.