Saw the lie (PoemTalk #136)

Nasser Hussain, 'SKY WRI TEI NGS'

From left: Ujjwala Maharjan, Nasser Hussain, and Kevin Platt.

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For this episode of PoemTalk, Al Filreis convened Ujjwala Maharjan and Kevin Platt to meet with Nasser Hussain for a discussion of Hussain’s recent project, SKY WRI TEI NGS (Coach House Press, 2018), a book of poems in which words are chosen only from the list of all the world’s three-letter airport codes. The group focused on three poems from the book: “ISL AMO PHO BIA,” “EAT (FOR MIC LEE),” and “STO RIS.”

Sycorax, spirit, and 'Zong!'

An interview with M. NourbeSe Philip

Editorial note: This exchange between Jordan Scott and NourbeSe Philip, undertaken in 2016 and just now published in Jacket2, centers on the role of spirituality in Philip’s book Zong!, which Evie Shockley has said “enacts a critique, but also effects a catharsis or, more accurately, works through a problem that lies at the intersection of the emotions, the psyche, and the soul, if such a thing can be spoken of in the twenty-first century’s secular spaces.” 

Editorial note: This exchange between Jordan Scott and NourbeSe Philip, undertaken in 2016 and just now published in Jacket2, centers on the role of spirituality in Philip’s book Zong!, which Evie Shockley has said “enacts a critique, but also effects a catharsis or, more accurately, works through a problem that lies at the intersection of the emotions, the psyche, and the soul, if such a thing can be spoken of i

Being in a body

Samantha Giles and Lauren Levin

Picture of a house under construction.
Photo by Julia Bloch.

Note: Lauren Levin and Samantha Giles live and work in a loosely affiliated social, political, and aesthetic scene in the Bay Area. Nether Giles or Levin has any academic affiliation, but both have continued to participate in the professionalization of poetry as curators, as publishers, and as people who write books. 

Note: Lauren Levin and Samantha Giles live and work in a loosely affiliated social, political, and aesthetic scene in the Bay Area. Nether Giles or Levin has any academic affiliation, but both have continued to participate in the professionalization of poetry as curators, as publishers, and as people who write books.

Jared Stanley with Brian Teare

PennSound podcast #62

At left: Sierra National Forest. Photo by Jeffrey Pang.
At left: Sierra National Forest. Photo by Jeffrey Pang via Wikimedia Commons.

The Nevada-based poet Jared Stanley visited Philadelphia and the Kelly Writers House in April 2017 during a book tour for the release of Ears, which Sam Lohmann in The Volta, has called “a manifesto of interdependence and susceptibility, a theory of the senses, and a deliberate sequence of jokes about lyric address.”

Three pebbles

Or, the minimal materialisms of late modernism

Photo by Sandro Arcais, via Wikimedia Commons.

What is a pebble? Is it an object or a thing? A weapon or a tool? Is it naïve or is it sentimental? Is it a token of the real, or a fragment of ideology? Can you do more than skip it or hurl it or mark a grave with it? What is the pebble to poetry? Of what might the poem make it speak?

Inadequacy of skin and feather

Jaimie Gusman on 'Anyjar'

Note: Jaimie Gusman’s new collection Anyjar navigates the proliferating forms of body, memory, and self, through the lens of the Anyjar, which refers to a vessel that refuses any stable shape.

No, MY Ariel

An engagement with Sina Queyras's 'My Ariel'

In the first poem of Sina Queyras’s poetry collection My Ariel, an I-speaker testifies that “A love procedure set me going like a big fat lie.” This line directly overwrites one of Plath’s most famous lines — “Love set you going like a fat gold watch” — often quoted to portray Sylvia’s personal experience of new motherhood on the occasion of her daughter Frieda’s birth.

February 5 [2018]

Remembering Marthe Reed

Editorial note: We were saddened to learn of Marthe Reed’s passing last spring, and in the weeks following her death, Jacket2 editors reached out to Linda Russo, who with Marthe is coeditor of the recent volume Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene

Editorial note: We were saddened to learn of Marthe Reed’s passing last spring, and in the weeks following her death, Jacket2 editors reached out to Linda Russo, who with Marthe is coeditor of the recent volume Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene. Linda responded by sharing with us excerpts from a panel that convened at the October 2018 &Now conference in Notre Dame, Indiana, devoted to Marthe’s work. A note on Marthe’s work and those panel excerpts appear below.

Examples of

On Barrett Watten's questions

Photo of Barrett Watten (right) by Jonathan Stalling.

It is no accident that the title of Barrett Watten’s second twenty-first-century critical book analyzing Language writing as an ongoing “presence” within the avant-garde continuum and literary history echoes Roman Jakobson’s 1977 collection of essays, Questions de poetique. Just as Jakobson’s essays interrogate the precarious position of poetry in an age saturated with analog media (e.g., how poetry is and is not different from the newspaper, the radio, television, etc.), so too Watten’s essays address the position of poetry in relationship to other modes of innovative cultural production (avant-garde art and techno music in particular).

It is no accident that the title of Barrett Watten’s second twenty-first-century critical book analyzing Language writing as an ongoing “presence” within the avant-garde continuum and literary history echoes Roman Jakobson’s 1977 collection of essays, Questions de poetique.[1] Just as Jakobson’s essays interrogate the precarious position of poetry in an age saturated with analog media (e.g., how poetry is and is not different from the newspaper, the radio, television, etc.), so too Watten’s essays address the position of poetry in relationship to other modes of in

Stein's propagandistic potential

A note on Gertrude Stein's 'La langue française' and 'Patrie'

Portrait of Gertrude Stein with American flag by Carl Van Vechten, January 4, 1935, from the Van Vechten Collection at the Library of Congress, via Wikimedia Commons.

In compliance with the request Stein had received from Masson via de Rochemont, “La langue française” is “non political” insofar as it makes no direct mention of any overtly political issues, events, or specific persons. In approaching her requested subject — “the importance or prestige of the French language” — Stein in “La langue française”applies a vocabulary that has a long history in the autodiscourse of the French language (clarity, truth, profundity, etc.). 

Editorial note: This piece is intended to be a companion to Logan Esdale’s contribution to this dossier, which can be found here.