Knar Gavin, our current Fellow in Poetic Practice, reviews Woodrat Flat by Albert Saijo, A Tale of Magicians Who Puffed Up Money That Lost Its Puff by Kaia Sand, and A Complex Sentence by Marjorie Welish. From the Sand review: 'The money-puffing magician-financiers who, in “waving wands around” bits of mortgage, engineered the 2008 financial collapse, provide the backdrop for Sand’s deft depiction of this “difficult ecology of now,” which bleats for help — from the “public citizen,” the “citizen intervenor.”'
Knar Gavin, Anna Vitale, and Sophia DuRose joined Al Filreis in the Arts Café of the Kelly Writers House to discuss a three-page section of Leslie Scalapino’s “‘Can’t’ is ‘Night’” — the passage having been chosen by the poet for It’s Go in Horizontal: Selected Poems, 1974–2006. Our recording of the poem comes from a May 17, 2007, episode of Charles Bernstein’s series Close Listening. It requires close listening indeed, and a somewhat distinct encounter of seeing the poem as text. Scalapino does have a remarkable talent for sounding out words she has put in quotation marks (can you hear them here?). Crucially, she sounds out linebreaks too: listen for the break between “character” and “night” in “separation of character and / night.” After all, “night exists at day — but is not the same night so / night is not-existing.”
Allison Cobb and Brian Teare joined Julia Bloch, Knar Gavin, and Aylin Malcolm in the Wexler Studio on April 2, 2019, following their lunchtime discussion with scholars and poets from Penn’s Poetry and Poetics and Anthropocene and Animal Studies reading groups. Our discussion ranged from human embeddedness in the nonhuman world to the role of affect in poetry that seeks to reckon with ever intensifying ecodisasters.