Orchid Tierney reviews three 2021 titles that explore survival in periods of crisis: Poem That Never Ends by Silvina López Medin (Essay Press, 2021); A Feeling Called Heaven by Joey Yearous-Algozin (Nightboat Books, 2021); and Curb by Divya Victor (Nightboat Books, 2021).
It is hard to express how much Divya Victor has enriched and expanded Jacket2 since we first welcomed her as a (then-guest) editor in 2017. From the two commentary series she’s contributed, to the thoughtful and wide-reaching features she’s curated, not to mention the tireless work she’s done behind the scenes to make Jacket2’s editorial process more equitable, affirming, and innovative, Divya’s presence as a member of the J2 team will be sorely missed. It is with sadness — but excitement for Divya as a thinker and writer — that we say goodbye to Divya as a J2 editor.
We at J2 are pleased to share a call for papers for the upcoming conference At the Dusk of Literature? — Twenty-First-Century North American Writing in Extremis. Editor Divya Victor will appear as the conference’s keynote speaker and draws from her recent J2 feature, “Extreme Texts.” The conference will take place September 28–30, 2020, at the University of Łódź, Poland, and is organized by Dr. Małgorzata Myk and Mark Tardi. For Divya Victor, writing the call for papers in 2017 only several months into Trump’s presidency meant taking into account the reality in which “a majority of Americans had acquiesced to live, normally, under extreme conditions, with denuded civil rights, attenuated freedoms of press, increasing inequality of wages, and diminishing access to medical care, and under misogynist, transphobic, and supremacist policies.” “Extreme Texts” offers an impressive range of modes of thinking about the notion of extremity in contemporary experimental poetry and poetics, reclaiming the term’s complexity visible in the ways the contributors investigated the condition of texts in terms of their own limit(s) and excess(es). For more information, visit the full call for papers.
Angela Carr, Anna Strong Safford, and Mytili Jaganathan joined Al Filreis to discuss a poem published in Divya Victor’s book Kith (2017; BookThug/Book*hug). The last section of Kith includes a long alphabetical poem called “Foreign Terms.” The “W” poem in this sequence is “W Is for Walt Whitman’s Soul,” and that is the work we ponder in this episode of PoemTalk. At the autumn 2017 Book*hug launch, Divya chose the read this poem; a video is available.
Jacket2is seeking short scholarly articles, essays, belletristic documents, creative responses, and ephemera concerned with “Extreme Texts.” This call welcomes writing on, about, and as “Extremity” in its multifarious meanings and implications, from the material to the ideological, from the word’s connotations as “catastrophe” or “limit event” to its denotation as “the farthest point” something can go.
Guest editor Divya Victor is curating a J2 feature on extremity; below, an excerpt from the call, viewable here:
During my years in Singapore, I found myself in cafes and libraries reading anthologies and monographs marked with a stark, elegant icon. A swatch of black fabric fanned open? A pie with a dark slice carved out? A stylized ginko leaf floating in white space? A clock paused at five to eight? The books that I kept encountering at poetry readings, in my students’ hands, and on my friends’ coffee tables had this emblem as well. It was the icon of Ethos Books. As I leave the island-nation for Michigan, I wrap Discourses onLocality with this closing interview with Ethos Books, a singular publisher of Poetry in Singapore.
During my years in Singapore, I found myself in cafés and libraries reading anthologies and monographs marked with a stark, elegant icon. A swatch of black fabric fanned open? A pie with a dark slice carved out? A stylized ginko leaf floating in white space? A clock paused at five to eight? The books that I kept encountering at poetry readings, in my students’ hands, and on my friends’ coffee tables had this emblem as well. It was the icon of Ethos Books.
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.
Tania De Rozario is an artist, writer and curator interested in issues of gender and sexuality, representations of women in Horror, and art as activism. Her practice hovers on the intersections between text and image, and her work has been showcased in London, Spain, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York and San Francisco. Tania is the author of Tender Delirium(Math Paper Press | 2013), which was shortlisted for the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize, the winner of the 2011 NAC-SPH Golden Point Award for English Poetry, and recipient of the NAC Arts Creation Fund for her literary memoir, And The Walls Come Crumbling Down.
"Does one named woman communicating with another named woman still count as a positive on the Bechdel test if one woman is not actually human?" - Tania De Rozario
You conceived this forum in the midst of attacks on Conceptualism for being a pain machine wielded by and for white people. I wondered whether your goal was salvific: could Conceptualism’s reputation and potential be rescued, could its soil be aerated and fertilized, could histories, lineages, practices, and ideas not normally associated with the current branding of Conceptualism become part of our sense of it.