Rodrigo Lira was born in Santiago, in 1949. He studied philosophy, psychology, arts, communication arts, linguistics, and philology, among other things, but he never graduated. An eccentric fellow, he never published a book while he was alive. His poems, though, were spread by hand, around different university campuses, where he used to hang out with other poets and friends. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Rodrigo committed suicide in 1981, on the day of his thirty-second birthday. Conisdered a cult figure, his fame most of the time prevents a serious assessment of the real importance of his work.
[In the aftermath of Bernard Heidsieck’s recent death, I can only look back on the years when I knew him well, at first in a series of international sound poetry events in the 1960s & 70s, in which I always felt myself as an outside but very happy participant. In Paris Diane Rothenberg and I often visited with him &Françoise Janicot in their apartment on the Ile Saint Louis, but I also remember rendez-vous in New York & San Francisco, Glasgow & Verona, wherever those adventuresome & peripatetic times allowed us all to be together.
Clairvoyant Journal 1974 is the first edition of the Clairvoyant Journal that follows the page design and format of Weiner's manuscript. For the first time, Weiner's spatial organization is kept intact. (In this work of "concrete prose," line breaks are retained).
Clairvoyant Journal 1974 is based on the typescripts Early and Clairvoyant Journalsand includes the entries dated February 23 to June 10.
Patrick Durgin provides an overview of the edition here.
If you are interested in contemporary Chilean Poetry, and you haven’t heard the name Juan Luis Martínez yet, then something is terribly wrong: you’ve been missing a lot. The good news is we are going to fix that right away.
Juan Luis Martínez was born in Valparaíso, in 1942. Son of the general manager of a reputable local steamship company, and a woman of Nordic origin coming from a very traditional family, he spent most of his life between the cities of Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, and Villa Alemana (Germantown!). As soon as he started high school, he abandoned his studies to embrace the bohemian lifestyle of the late ’50s in Valparaíso.
Ever since I saw the photographs associated with Erica Baum's book of photographed juxtapositional found poems, Card Catalogue (1997), I've been rather obsessed with the project. I've taught it to my students many times. I can't think of a better way of extending forward the lessons they and I learn when encountering imagism and other radically condensed juxtapositional language at the beginning of poetic modernism. Baum of course has often photographed the language she finds out there and is especially attracted to categorizing systems, such as the codex (Dog Ear) or the catalogue. This conceptualist consciousness — and devotion to words in the ambience (as in: who needs to create them? they're there) — I find extraordinarily teachable and infectious. One of my students is a young autistic man, Dan Bergmann. Readers of this ongoing commentary will surely have heard of Dan’s feats of talking (writing, really — or, still better: spelling). What is even more remarkable is the way in which Dan becomes aware of categories and meaning-systems.