Commentaries - May 2011

"Postmodern Poetries" anthology ed. Jerome McGann

1990 "Language Poets" issue of "Verse"

Verse cover (detail)

Postmodern Poetries:
An Anthology of Language Poets from North America and the United Kingdon

edited by Jerome McGann


Volume 7, Number 1
Spring 1990

download PDF

courtesy PEPC Library. see also at PEPC:
•Charles Bernstein, ed.,  "Language Sampler" in Paris Review 1982:  single pdf scan of issue (also at Eclipse)
•Ron Silliman, ed., Realism: An Anthology of 'Language' Writing, Ironwood 20 (1982)
•Bernstein, ed. 43 Poets (1984), special issue of boundary : pdf of full issue
•Bruce Andrews & Charles Bernstein, eds, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Lines (1988) [pdf]

Jerome McGann Introduction 6
Lyn Hejinian Oblivion 9
Alan Davies The New Sentence 13

By Inference 14

Literature, so boyish 14

The leaf is death 14
Tom Mandel Poussin 15

Gray May Now Buy 17
Peter Seaton An Ethics of Anxiety 18
Christopher Dewdney The Beach 20

The Theatre Party 21
Karen MacCormack Hazard 22

Export Notwithstanding 22
D. S. Marriott Leben 23
Jessica Grim from Rodework (Part II nos. 2, 3, 5) 25
Stephen Rodefer Desire 27
Carla Harryman from The Words 29
Nick Piombino 9/20/88 – 9/2/89 30
Jon Mack Voice a Verse or What 32
Barrett Watten from Under Erasure 33
Peter Inman from "Dust Bowl" 35
Rae Armantrout Making It Up 37

Retraction 38
Jeff Derksen Mister (from Redress) 39
Bob Perelman Neonew. A Sequence 41
Larry Timewell from Ruck 44
Tina Darragh "bunch ups" (selections) 46
Tom Raworth [six untitled pieces] 48
David Bromige Romantic Traces 50
Kathryn MacLeod from "mouth-piece" 52
Kit Robinson A Mental Finding 54
Bruce Andrews Facts are Stupid Things 58
Steve McCaffery A bridge is the passage between two banks 61

Codicil 62
Ron Silliman from Toner 64
Susan Howe from "Nether John and John Harbinger" 66
Charles Bernstein Debris of Shock/Shock of Debris 69

Mark Wallace, 'New Solutions to New Problems Might Be New Problems'

From Jacket #23 (August 2003)

New Solutions to New Problems Might be New Problems
The Individual as Social Process: Writer and Self in the Work of Nick Piombino

Of all the poets associated with language writing, Nick Piombino focuses most directly on the problem of the individual, both as writer and as source of experience. While the theoretical focus of most language writers can be said to be socialist and materialist, Piombino’s use of psychoanalytic theory and his experience as a practicing psychoanalyst marks him as different in focus while at the same time his work is closely related to language writing.

In their early essays, many language writers critiqued the idea of the writer as a self-contained individual voice who exists as an autonomous, transcendent self outside social interaction: “Subjecthood is not an essence preceding social existence... It is a convergence of practices, a point of production,” P. Inman writes in “One to One,” making a case for the self as a creation of social ideologies (Inman 223). In criticism about language writers the commentary usually stops there, frequently associating all of language poetry with the promotion of Barthes’ ‘death of the author.’ And in some early language poetics the problem did stop there, instead concentrating on how language helps create the notion of individual selves — selves that now should be eliminated from writing. “Author dies, writing begins,” Bruce Andrews insists in “Code Words,” as if the problem is solved, “Subject is deconstructed, lost... deconstituted as writing ranges over the surface” (Andrews 54).

[continue reading this article here]

Creeley reading at CUE Art Foundation, January 18, 2005

screenshot of video of Robert Creeley reading at CUE in 2005

The recording of this reading was segmented into thirteen poems just yesterday. Go here to see the special PennSound page devoted to this event:

When I Think (2:22): MP3
War (0:59): MP3
Talking (1:08): MP3
Paul (1:49): MP3
Old Song (0:53): MP3
Oh, do you remember (2:22): MP3
Mediterranean I (1:17): MP3
Mediterranean II (1:39): MP3
Jumping with Jackson (1:23): MP3
Shimmer (4:01): MP3
Sad Walk (1:32): MP3
The Red Flower (2:54): MP3
Old Story from The Diary of Francis Kilver (1:13): MP3

S/N: NewWorldPoetics: Issue #3

(issue #1 now on-line free)


Ios 90
Juliana Spahr

Alfonso D'Aquino, poems
Translation, Forrest Gander

Ted Berrigan, poemas
Bilingual Introduction, Eduardo Espina
Traducción, David Berrigan

Interview with Charles Bernstein |
Entrevista con Charles Bernstein
Enrique Mallen

Michael Palmer, poemas
Traducción, José María Antolín

Silvia Guerra, poems
Translation, G.J. Racz
De Diarios Clarividentes de Hannah Weiner
Traducción, Rodrigo Flores

Vacillation, a poem by Hugo Gola
Translation, William Rowe
From Ojo del testimonio de
Jerome Rothenberg
Traducción, Heriberto Yépez

José Viñals, poems
Traducción, Andrés Fisher & Benito del Pliego

Buy or Subscribe:
subscribe here
$15 S/N I:3
$38 subscription (four issues)

S/N I:1 now available free on-line:
pdf of full issue
html files of each article

a letter from our publisher

S/N I:3 contributor David Berrigan probably first met co-editor of S/N, Charles Bernstein at a some reading or another, but Berrigan can never be too sure: “Sometimes I operate under the assumption that I know all poets because I met them when I was a kid.”
Historicity of when they first met aside, Bernstein learned that after having lived in Mexico, David (that is, Dr. Berrigan, biologist in the line of cancer-research) avocationally translated a considerable amount of his father, Ted Berrigan’s famous Sonnets into Spanish. Upon reading these translations —inherently quirky renderings—co-editor Eduardo Espina became so animated that he had written “Una sintaxis simultánea: Introducción a Ted Berrigan” thirty minutes later. We include this introduction in both English and Spanish, and are providing it as a preview of this, our third issue of S/N: NewWorldPoetics on the “Material” page.

As Bernstein says in his interview, included in this issue, “Poetry is for those of us who need it. And we’d probably be better off without it too, but can’t kick the habit. For me anyway, I will never kick that habit.” That habit crops up as an apparently unshakable Berrigan heredity, to which Spanish-language S/N readers are now beholden. It brings them to a poet whose “simultaneous syntax” will make them say, “wow, this has never been done before.”