Divya Victor: editor's departure note

Image: Ebtihal Shedid, from the 'Parallel Universe' series.

Dear readers and writers,

The time has come for me to bring my role as editor of Jacket2 to a conclusion. Like many writers, I am a deft procrastinator; like many writers, I know that writing something makes it real. And for this reason, I have dreaded and postponed writing this note about my departure. But, it is true: I am at the edge of this wide, beautiful field. I must step out of these muck-boots and start on a different path. This rather romantic, pastoral image is perhaps the most honest indication of how I’ve imagined Jacket2 as an expanded, organic space, where I was allowed to rove, run, rest, rediscover the roots of poetry’s purpose. 

A word for me (PoemTalk #148)

Erica Hunt, 'Should You Find Me'

From left: Tyrone Williams, William J. Harris, Aldon Nielsen, Erica Hunt

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Tyrone Williams, William J. (Billy Joe) Harris, Aldon Nielsen, and Erica Hunt joined Al Filreis — host, producer, and moderator — for a live presentation of a special episode of PoemTalk before an audience gathered in the Arts Café of the Kelly Writers House back in November 2019. They discussed many of Erica Hunt’s concerns, across her poetry and her work as public intellectual and activist, by way of a single poem called “Should You Find Me.” It is the final poem, and — the group comes to agree — the coda to the book Time Slips Right Before Your Eyes, published by Belladonna* in 2006.

G R G W R G R B R B R B W G W G R B B B B

Reflections on Bernadette Mayer’s ‘Studying Hunger Journals’

Bernadette Mayer visiting the Kelly Writers House on March 26, 2018.
Bernadette Mayer visiting the Kelly Writers House on March 26, 2018, for a Fellows reading. Photo by Kelly Writers House staff.

In the reflections that follow, I refer to media-archaeological reassessments of psychoanalytic theory as a way of opening American poet Bernadette Mayer’s Studying Hunger Journals (1972–1975) to new readings. If, as argued by the likes of Jacques Derrida and Friedrich Kittler, among others, psychoanalytic models of the human mind, from the “psychic apparatus” of Sigmund Freud to the schema of Jacques Lacan, are in fact underwritten by the media-technical conditions of their respective historical eras, then how might this insight shift perspectives on Mayer’s book, a project undertaken not only as an aid to psychoanalysis, but also at the dawn of the so-called Information Age? 

Jacques (Lacan) has wise words 4 me, it’s 2 good to B true, you’re 2 good to B’dette.  Bernadette Mayer, Studying Hunger Journals[1]

Saying it all is literally impossible. — Jacques Lacan, Television[2]

'Some quality of song': Al Young

PennSound podcast #70

Photo of Al Young by Al Filreis.

Al Young, Tyrone Williams, and William J. Harris joined Al Filreis in the Wexler Studio to discuss Young and his work. The conversation covered the relationship between Young’s poetry and the Black Arts Movement, the role of music and jazz in his writing, and other figures with whom he was acquainted, such as poets Ishmael Reed and Bob Kaufman. Young spoke of his time at Stanford, where he met Harris; of having resided in various parts of the country; and of the role of writing about lived experiences beyond writing about writing. Young also gave readings of some of his poems: “A Dance for Militant Dilettantes,” “Yes, the Secret Mind Whispers” (which was written in honor of Kaufman), and “January.”

Alternative poetries and alternative pedagogies

Joan Retallack, Kelly Writers House, 2001

The Kelly Writers House in 2007; photo by Bruce Anderson, via Wikimedia Commons.
The Kelly Writers House in 2007; photo by Bruce Anderson, via Wikimedia Commons.

Note: The following is an edited transcript of a discussion about the pedagogical future of experimental poetics that took place at the Kelly Writers House on February 28, 2001. The discussion opened with an introduction by Al Filreis and an extended reading from poet Joan Retallack, which included her “Memnoir,” excerpts from Errata 5uite, and “Here’s Looking at You, Francis Bacon,” and Gertrude Stein’s “What Is This?” In the portion of the discussion transcribed and presented below, Retallack and others (including Bob Perelman, Eli Goldblatt, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Jena Osman) tackle a number of concerns that had been raised at a four-day symposium convened by Retallack and sponsored by the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking. Central to the focus of the symposium, titled Poetry and Pedagogy: The Challenge of the Contemporary, were questions about the merits and means of teaching experimental writing. 

Note: The following is an edited transcript of a discussion about the pedagogical future of experimental poetics that took place at the Kelly Writers House on February 28, 2001.

One side or the other of that 'you'

Claudia Rankine and David Naimon in conversation

side-by-side images of Claudia Rankine and David Naimon
Images courtesy of the authors.

Note: This conversation between David Naimon and Claudia Rankine is part of Between the Covers, hosted by Naimon, and was recorded on November 13, 2014 at the KBOO-FM studios in Portland, Oregon. This interview was transcribed by Amy Stidham and is available for listening here. It has been lightly edited for publication. — Amy Stidham

Note: This conversation between David Naimon and Claudia Rankine is part of Between the Covers, hosted by Naimon, and was recorded on November 13, 2014 at the KBOO-FM studios in Portland, Oregon.

Cripping global queer, antiracist, and decolonial coalitions

A review of 'Crip Times' after 'Beauty is a Verb'

McRuer’s book, for instance, in many ways mirrors and departs from Beauty is a Verb: like the anthology, it opens with a historical excavation of policy change and arts-based responses, even overlapping with key figures, such as Petra Kuppers, who appear in Beauty is a Verb. However, it departs from an Americanist context of poetry, opening instead with a European-based history of neoliberal propaganda that he contrasts with emergent arts forms from crip activists.

Life-in-death: an agonizing in-between

A review of 'The Agony of I.B.' by Pierre Joris

review
Photo of Pierre Joris by Kelly Writers House staff.
Photo of Pierre Joris by Kelly Writers House staff.

We’re all going to die; very few of us will have a death as remarkable — or perhaps as unremarkable — as Ingeborg Bachmann’s. It is against this canvas, the final days of Bachmann’s life as she lay comatose in an Italian hospital, suffering from burns — the result of a fire caused by a wayward cigarette — and the pursuant withdrawal from sedatives, that Pierre Joris sets his play ​The Agony of I.B. (2016)​.

We’re all going to die; very few of us will have a death as remarkable — or perhaps as unremarkable — as Ingeborg Bachmann’s.