In 2010, Stanford University Press published The Collected Poems of Larry Eigner and the book’s faithful editors, Curtis Faville and Robert Grenier, had every right to expect both showers of attention and hosannas of praise. Though Eigner did not win any awards in his lifetime, he enjoyed a remarkable succes d’estime, first amongst the Black Mountain poets and then with the Language school.
In her 2012 book of prose essays, Nilling, Lisa Robertson cites Hannah Arendt’s The Life of the Mind at length. Robertson says, “for Arendt, thinking resembles tracking, a kind of place ‘beaten by the activity of thought,’ which turns to ploddingly follow a course towards a pause.” Robertson’s book also addresses the possibility of recess: “I want pause in vocation,” begins a passage from “On Physical Real Being and What Happens Next,” where the pause represents a space that deep thinking can take (43).
One must swim in language and sink, as though lost, in its noise, if a proof or a poem that is dense is to be born. — Michel Serres
I want pause in vocation. Venus chatoyant in the formal dream please tranquilize efficient Mars and his efficient interests. Do it like this: — Lisa Robertson
US cultural diplomacy with Latin America seems a low priority under the current administration, and this makes me more grateful than ever for the Señal poetry chapbook series. These poems and their English translations engage questions about the intersections of Latin American and US history, culture, and language — implying that what is received in literature and culture bears examination.
What is it to be a Hong Kong poet writing now? Specifically, a Hong Kong poet who grew up over the border in Guangdong, who has lived also in Beijing; whose poems register the pull of other cities from Lhasa to Paris, and the pull of China not only as a literary inheritance all the way back to Zhuangzi, but also as a geopolitical giant changing daily even as Hong Kong itself changes? For Liu Waitong, it means to be accompanied always by ghosts. But it means also to seek them out and keep them company in turn — to haunt with them.