Extreme texts

Design based on images by Nurul Wahidah.

When Jacket2 invited me to compose a CFP for a special feature spanning multiple modes of thinking, it was the summer of 2017 and we were several months into Trump’s presidency. I had just returned to the United States, where I am a naturalized “citizen,” after years in Singapore, where I was employed as a faculty member on a work visa, a status determined almost solely on the state’s articulated understanding of my temporary utility to society — a condition that defines and delimits the lives of immigrants everywhere, but especially in oligarchic states (like Singapore and the US) that bank on the sweat and blood of certain bodies, the profitability of distended indenture (including debt), disenfranchisement, carceral surveillance, and other forms of coercion.

Laying poems away (PoemTalk #137)

Anne Sexton, 'The Ambition Bird'

Left to right: Ellen Berman, Anthony Rostain, Ahmad Almallah

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Al Filreis was joined by Ellen Berman, Anthony Rostain, and Ahmad Almallah to talk about Anne Sexton’s poem “The Ambition Bird” (1972). Berman and Rostain are practicing psychiatrists, and Almallah is a poet whose first book, Bitter English, is being published by University of Chicago Press. A film of Sexton reading the poem — available on YouTube — is the basis of the audio we extracted.

Kevin Killian, 1952–2019

Killian Kevin in 2012. Photo by Daniel Nicoletta.
Killian Kevin in 2012. Photo by Daniel Nicoletta.

Here at Jacket2 we are mourning the loss of Kevin Killian at age sixty-six this past weekend. Killian was born on December 24, 1952, on Long Island, New York.

Here at Jacket2 we are mourning the loss of Kevin Killian at age sixty-six this past weekend. Killian was born on December 24, 1952, on Long Island, New York.

New writing through the Anthropocene

PennSound podcast #63: Allison Cobb and Brian Teare with Julia Bloch, Knar Gavin, and Aylin Malcolm

Book covers for Brian Teare's Doomstead Days and Allison Cobb's Green-Wood.

Allison Cobb and Brian Teare joined Julia Bloch, Knar Gavin, and Aylin Malcolm in the Wexler Studio on April 2, 2019, following their lunchtime discussion with scholars and poets from Penn’s Poetry and Poetics and Anthropocene and Animal Studies reading groups. Our discussion ranged from human embeddedness in the nonhuman world to the role of affect in poetry that seeks to reckon with ever intensifying ecodisasters.

FOIA request #SC 15–102-S

The detainee library

I was never left alone at Gitmo, though I was permitted to collect a variety of field recordings and write poems and notes on my iPhone. For security reasons, I was not permitted to record what one public affairs (PA) representative referred to as “nonpermissible human voice.” I attempted to record everything else, and I transcribed as much overheard speech as I could. 

Unfurling futurity

A review of 'Further Problems with Pleasure'

Photo of Sandra Simonds (right) by Kira Derryberry.

Perhaps the highest praise I can say about Sandra Simonds’s Further Problems With Pleasure is that it gains deeper resonance on rereading in ways that can seduce me off of Facebook, get me off an ideological high horse (an occupational hazard), and make me want to respond in kind rather than trying to write a review that will inevitably water down the book’s intensities.

Sycorax, spirit, and 'Zong!'

An interview with M. NourbeSe Philip

Editorial note: This exchange between Jordan Scott and NourbeSe Philip, undertaken in 2016 and just now published in Jacket2, centers on the role of spirituality in Philip’s book Zong!, which Evie Shockley has said “enacts a critique, but also effects a catharsis or, more accurately, works through a problem that lies at the intersection of the emotions, the psyche, and the soul, if such a thing can be spoken of in the twenty-first century’s secular spaces.” 

Editorial note: This exchange between Jordan Scott and NourbeSe Philip, undertaken in 2016 and just now published in Jacket2, centers on the role of spirituality in Philip’s book Zong!, which Evie Shockley has said “enacts a critique, but also effects a catharsis or, more accurately, works through a problem that lies at the intersection of the emotions, the psyche, and the soul, if such a thing can be spoken of i

Being in a body

Samantha Giles and Lauren Levin

Picture of a house under construction.
Photo by Julia Bloch.

Note: Lauren Levin and Samantha Giles live and work in a loosely affiliated social, political, and aesthetic scene in the Bay Area. Nether Giles or Levin has any academic affiliation, but both have continued to participate in the professionalization of poetry as curators, as publishers, and as people who write books. 

Note: Lauren Levin and Samantha Giles live and work in a loosely affiliated social, political, and aesthetic scene in the Bay Area. Nether Giles or Levin has any academic affiliation, but both have continued to participate in the professionalization of poetry as curators, as publishers, and as people who write books.

Poetry in crisis

Rob Halpern and Keston Sutherland

review

How to write a poetry that faces the continual crisis and extremity of violence within contemporary capitalism? This is a question that orients the work of two writers, the US poet Rob Halpern and the British poet Keston Sutherland. 

Stuart Hall, Brian Roberts, John Clarke, et al. write in Policing the Crisis (1978) that during the slow unfolding of crisis there is “a stripping away of the masks of neutrality.”[1] With the masks slipping off in our respective post-Trump and Brexit horizons, liberal commentators on both sides of the Atlantic stammer about how to put all this excess hatred back in the box, as if we could just return to business as usual.

A life lived in pause

Lynley Edmeades's 'As the Verb Tenses'

Photo of Lynley Edmeades (right) by Rory Mearns.

As the Verb Tenses is interested in varieties of distance — physical, temporal, emotional. As a collection, it seems not always certain whether to embrace or to overcome these distances.

As the Verb Tenses is interested in varieties of distance — physical, temporal, emotional. As a collection, it seems not always certain whether to embrace or to overcome these distances. There is insight to be gained in the cultivation of detachment, it suggests; but might there be something lost in moments of hesitation?