Jacket2 is delighted to welcome Divya Victor to our team as our new guest editor. Divya has long been a friend of the journal: she has curated and edited two extraordinary features, “Discourses on Vocality” and “Conceptual writing (plural and global) and other cultural productions” — the latter of which is one of our most massive and ambitious features to date — and written insightfully on her time in Singapore as part of our Commentaries section. She is a prolific poet whose titles include the award-winning Natural Subjects (reviewed here), UNSUB, Things to Do with Your Mouth, Swift Taxidermies1919–1922, Goodbye, John! On John Baldessari, PUNCH, and the Partial trilogy, as well as a number of chapbooks.
This weekend we were contacted by Richard Swigg’s daughter, Virginia, who shared the very sad news that her father had passed away a few days earlier after suffering a stroke. PennSound codirector Charles Bernstein has penned a tribute to Swigg for Jacket2, which begins to encapsulate what his herculean efforts meant to us. “Richard Swigg was a great friend of PennSound, editing our extensive sound recording collections of Williams, Bunting, Tomlinson, Oppen, and Replanksky. His work was thorough, with the aim of archiving all the audio recordings of these poets.”
This weekend we were contacted by Richard Swigg’s daughter, Virginia, who shared the very sad news that her father had passed away a few days earlier after suffering a stroke. PennSound codirector Charles Bernstein has penned a tribute to Swigg for Jacket2, which begins to encapsulate what his herculean efforts meant to us:
Benjamin Hollander passed away from brain cancer on November 21, 2016. Ben — Benjamin Barry Hollander, called Barry by his family — was born in Haifa, Israel, August 26, 1952. His mother and father were both refugees from Germany. He immigrated, with his parents and his brother Gad, the younger of two older brothers, to New York City (briefly to Brooklyn, then to Jamaica, Queens) in 1958. In 1978, with his wife, Rosemary Manzo, Ben moved to San Francisco, where he lived and raised his family — and where he passed away this month. Over the past three decades, after earning a master's degree at San Francisco State University, he taught English, writing, and critical thinking primarily at Chabot College, across the Bay from San Francisco, in Hayward, California. Among other courses one he revisited at several local schools focused on Holocaust literature, extending that term to include the war on Bosnian Muslims. With David Levi Strauss, he coedited the last several issues of Acts (including ABook of Correspondences for Jack Spicer), the literary magazine associated with New College of California and its Poetics Program of the 1980s. Although Ben had no formal affiliation with New College, a number of poets at and around the school would become his friends and collaborators.
Editorial note: Joshua Schuster and Steve Dickison have shared the following remembrance of Benjamin Hollander, and we are grateful for the opportunity to publish it in Jacket2.
As we begin the beginning of mourning the loss of Bill Berkson, we naturally look back on Bill’s appearances in Jacket and Jacket2 over the years. In the fifth issue of Jacket (back in 1998) Bill published two poems, one of them “Last Words” (above). In 2006 there was Robert Glück’s interview with Bill. The Berkson “Close Listening” episode was released in 2015. There was James Hart’s review of Portrait and Dream in which the poems are “masterfully composed from a depth, which ... seems to disappear.” In December 2012 we published Tom Devaney’s interview with Bill, “The Education of Poetry.” Said Bill to Tom: “One friend once pointed to what he called my Roman coin personality and messy mind. Where does the personality leave off and the mind begin? Is there surface and not surface? I think that, yes, both are operating at the same time, all the time.”