Articles

A constellation of transnational poetics

Left to right: Gerald Vizenor, Don Mee Choi, and Craig Santos Perez. All photos via Wikimedia Commons.

From Deleuze and Guattari’s essay on “Minor Literature” to Alfred Arteaga’s work on Chicanx poetics, theorists have studied the relationship between power and language, describing how creative writers find inventive ways to interrogate monolingual and nationalist logics.[1] Often, personal as well as historical conditions shape an author’s linguistic choices. My interest here lies in how poets use citation and translation as craft techniques in forging poetic languages that challenge powerful configurations and histories.

'to be a boundless reflection'

On critical composition in Hejinian and Scalapino's 'Sight' and 'Hearing'

As a writing teacher, I am relentlessly bugged by the question of how to move students toward an organic practice of critical inquiry, to help them feel pulled by it at the most basic, creaturely level. In my search for a pedagogy that feels right and real, I look toward the texts that have become my own exemplars of compelling argumentation and analytic integrity, only to realize that my favorite works of critical writing are, in fact, poetry.

On loss, loss writing, and our forms for living

Illustration by Alfred Concanen from ‘Broadstone Hall, and other poems’ (1875) by William Edward Windus, via the British Library.

I tasked myself with saying one or two things I know about grief and loss and why so many people feel the compulsion to write through them. As an essential motivation for writing, especially poetry, loss events appear to make us both speechless and verbose. I’ve been there, I keep being there. I’ve written a “grief book” a few times now and frankly, I can’t say I find that its product is catharsis or repair. Irritatingly circular, I’d describe it instead — a marathon in a six-inch arena.

Translitigation

A Polish-ish poet on translating a Polish poet

Painting by Grzegorz Wróblewski. Image courtesy of the artist.

Autthor note: Jacket2 has our permission to publish these poems. The original publisher has gone out of business so the rights have reverted back to the author. In turn he has granted me full permission to translate and publish the prose poems of his book Android i anegdota, which translates to An Android and an Anecdote. The working English title is Mr. Z— Peter Burzyński

‘We’ the people

Collective lyric self in twenty-first-century poetry

“Either as poets or as readers, we now realize we are entangled, even when we don’t know what do to with this realization, nor what to call it.” Photo of red bryony tendrils intertwined by hedera.baltica via Wikimedia Commons.

1. First-person otherness

Running the risk of asking the most naïve-sounding question in lyric poetry, what do we make of a contemporary poem in English written in the first person? Whether the first person is singular or plural, how does that choice impact our relationship with the speaker in the poem? And has that relationship changed in the twenty-first century, or is it dictated by our inheritance of modernist ideas and the way they have framed our understanding of the lyric self?