Articles - December 2019

Funeral rites

On Nanni Balestrini's 'Blackout'

Nanni Balestrini’s Blackout is a requiem for the generation of 1968, whose hopes and ideals were exhausted by the time of the poem’s composition in 1979. The original impetus for the poem was the blackout in New York on July 13, 1977, that lasted for twenty-five hours and drew widespread media attention due to countless episodes of violence and looting. 

To understand Italy one must understand the United States. — Sylvère Lotringer / Christian Marazzi 

The technological poetics of Thomas Weatherly

Thomas Weatherly’s literary productivity during the last stage of his life is an important chapter of work. His last years of truly phenomenal creative output also reveal the limitations that still prevail in the ways literary value is often measured and respected, especially in scholarship on African American writers.

Emails to Lauri Scheyer (Ramey), 2005–2014

Note: Below are excerpts from four emails written to Lauri Scheyer (Ramey) between 2005 and 2014, including reflections on Weatherly’s writing process, friends and enemies, family, aging, poetic form, teaching, and first arrival in New York (during which “I rewrote [Allen Ginsberg’s] Howl; Kaddish a great poem didn’t need revision”). Sometimes it feels as if we heard in these emails a speaking voice, fragments of an ongoing conversation constructed of anecdote, reminiscence, description, opinion.