Clayton Eshleman

Clayton Eshleman

Four new poems from ‘Penetralia’

Note: All of these poems are from a new manuscript called Penetralia that will be published by Black Widow Press in the spring of 2017. In August of 2017, Wesleyan University Press will publish Eshleman’s cotranslation with A. James Arnold of The Complete Poetry of Aimé Césaire, a bilingual 950-page collection. Eshleman’s most recent book publications include Clayton Eshleman: The Essential Poetry 1960–2015 (Black Widow Press) and A Sulfur Anthology (based on the forty-six issues of Sulfur magazine that he edited between 1982 and 2000) from Wesleyan University Press. There are also several chapbooks from BlazeVOX that can be accessed by emailing the editors at blazevox.org.

A Half Hour with Basquiat

 

Skull trash staring through wall splash.

Face skillet with sunny-side-up red eyeballs.

Black heel sprouting splayed white fingers.

We have no Hades,    only fetus graffiti!

                  

Caterpillar

'A magazine of the leaf, a gathering of the tribes'

Caterpillar colophon
Caterpillar colophon

Begun in 1966 by Clayton Eshleman as a series of chapbooks by writers such as Jackson MacLow, David Antin, and Louis Zukofsky, Caterpillar Books became Caterpillar: A Gathering of the Tribes (though the subtitle was quickly dropped) in October 1967 when Eshleman realized he “could cover more ground with a literary journal than with undistributable chapbooks.” In a 2008 dialogue in Jacket, Eshleman says that he “wanted to do a magazine based on Cid Corman's Origin, but one that was bigger and more burly, taking on more ‘fronts’ than Cid had engaged.”

Cat 2 tocBegun in 1966 by Clayton Eshleman as a series of chapbooks by writers such as Jackson Mac Low, David Antin, and Louis Zukofsky, Caterpillar Books became Caterpillar: A Gathering of the Tribes (though the subtitle was quickly dropped) in October 1967 when Eshleman realized he “could cover more ground with a literary journal than with undistributable chapbo

Antonin Artaud's 'Hyper-Negation'

Image 1: Watchfiends and Rack Screams. Image 2: Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision.
Image 1: Antonin Artaud, Watchfiends and Rack Screams: Works from the Final Period, Tr. Clayton Eshleman and Bernard Bador, (Boston: Exact Change, 1995.) Cover art: Nancy Spero, detail from “Codex Artaud XXIII,” 1972. Image 2: Bettina Knapp, Antonin Artaud: Man of Vision, (Chicago: Swallow Press, 1969.) Cover art: Still from La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, 1928.

When I asked the poet David Abel what first drew him to Antonin Artaud’s work, he said, “At least one dimension of that work is a grand negation. A gigantic no, which at a certain time in my life was absolutely thrilling. […] I feel like ‘no’ is a landscape that now is very rich and three-dimensional. And what I got from Artaud is foundational, a part of the architecture or a part of the geology of the no, but which now has lots of other structures in it.”[1] David Abel’s response captures a fundamental celebration of Antonin Artaud’s writings.

Mapping Antonin Artaud

“Nancy Spero’s Maypole: Take No Prisoners II, 2008 (detail).” Serpentine Gallery, London (March 3–May 2, 2011) Photograph © 2011 Jerry Hardman-Jones

The Google map below shows places, dates, and events from Artaud’s life. The red symbols mark biographical elements, the yellow symbols mark performance- or art-based elements, and the blue symbols mark Artaud’s continuing legacy. Where possible there are photographs, video, or links to further materials.

The Google map below shows places, dates, and events from Artaud’s life. The red symbols mark biographical elements, the yellow symbols mark performance- or art-based elements, and the blue symbols mark Artaud’s continuing legacy. Where possible there are photographs, video, or links to further materials.

 

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