Female names dominate the dedications and acknowledgements of Emily Stewart’s book of poems, Knocks (Vagabond Press: 2016). The closing sentence of the acknowledgements section? “girl poets everywhere: this is for you.”To read Stewart is to be in the company of women. The launches of Knocks have so far embodied this sense of a poetry girl gang. In Sydney, it was launched by Pam Brown, with readings by Elena Gomez and Holly Isemonger (August 14, 2016).
Toby Fitch, following Eddie Hopely’s reading at Sappho’s monthly "Avant Gaga" poetry night (August 9, 2016) described Hopely as “the ultimate troll.” Hopely is this and more. His work is striking for its uncompromising (and potentially self-sabotaging) interrogation of the bodies and frameworks that support/facilitate/provide space for (his) poetry. To edit, publish, stand near (or, for that matter, write on) Hopely’s work, is to risk appearing earnest, naïve and kind of establishment in comparison to his anti-institutional poetics.
Toby Fitch, following Eddie Hopely’s reading at Sappho’s monthly "Avant Gaga" poetry night (August 9, 2016) described Hopely as “the ultimate troll.”
Ouyang Yu's poem "Philosophy" in the "Leaf or Fallen Bank" chapter/section of his recent collection, Fainting with Freedom, reads, in part:
Martin Heidegger had extramarital affairs with two of his girl students. See the source at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Heidegger.
Fainting with Freedom is not available as an ebook, nor is it even previewable from google books. So, for the reader of "Philosophy," this hyperlink is dead: it can't be clicked on, it doesn't offer the immediate gratification of near instantaneous direction to the citational "source." To track the citation involves putting the book down, and potentially moving from page to a screen.
Erasure as an artistic form carries with it an urgent complexity of politics and ethics. Perhaps it is always inherently a political act. Perhaps it is always inherently a violent act, the removal of language as either defacing or disremembering. If erasure is a historical tool of the oppressor, can it ever be artistically innocent? We struggle with the complexities. The nuances change depending on the nature of the text being erased (government documents, nursery rhymes, Mein Kampf, the Holy Bible, speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., etc.) and on the person or entity doing the erasing. What power relations are implicated in such an act? What historical significance? Who gets to enact erasure, if anyone, and how does its impact or meaning change depending on who is implementing it?
In my investigations into how a poetics and politics of refraction sheds light on certain works by artists from the margins, it seems natural that, as a poet, I would eventually consider works of erasure. In light of my discussion of refraction, rupture, and ruins: