queer poetics

On Eilzabeth Willis's 'Address': (queer) space and the chrononormative

Writing puts texts in space. The procedural language of critical synthesis is inherently spatial. Thinking about connections between texts, or the bringing of texts together in an essay, simulates the positioning of objects in space. Often, writing makes texts architectural — it uses them to build, and uses the metaphorics of building. I want to use this essay to write between Elizabeth Freeman’s Time Binds and Doreen Massey’s Space, Place and Gender, texts seminal to queer temporality and to feminist geography, respectively.

On Erica Hunt’s 'Arcade': control / temporality / the past in the present

Erica Hunt reading the Frank O'Hara poem "Music" at The Poetry Project's Fiftieth Anniversary celebration of 'Lunch Poems.'

In Arcade, poet Erica Hunt’s 1996 collection and collaboration with the artist Alison Saar, the speaker describes herself as moving, through her stuckness and frustration, “against bureaucratic seizures of the possible.”[1] The collection articulates a poetics of refusal, sometimes from a woman-identified subject position, sometimes as a woman of color, or as a mother of color. In other moments, as in the book’s title poem, the speaker’s identity is undisclosed.

On Rachel Levitsky's 'Neighbor': scale / urban systems / representation

Rachel Levitsky’s 2009 poetry collection, Neighbor, takes up the relationship between neighbors as it occurs between people in an apartment building who share walls and floors, but also as it affords other intimacies. Levitsky’s figure of the neighbor contains the idea of the neighbor (a person who lives near you, and whose proximity can produce a mutual, if fragmentary, knowledge of one another’s quotidian lives) alongside neighborliness at a range of competing and simultaneous scales. 

Rachel Levitsky’s 2009 poetry collection, Neighbor, takes up the relationship between neighbors as it occurs between people in an apartment building who share walls and floors, but also as it affords other intimacies. Levitsky’s figure of the neighbor contains the idea of the neighbor (a person who lives near you, and whose proximity can produce a mutual, if fragmentary, knowledge of one another’s quotidian lives) alongside neighborliness at a range of competing and simultaneous scales. In one poem called “Neighbor,” Levitsky writes,

Bodies-cities part 1: Queering geographic information

What are the normative units of urban space? For residents, among them are the neighborhood and the block, the street and the school catchment. For planners, they include the census tract and the district, the zip code and the precinct. In a recent article in Area, “Crossing Over into Neighbourhoods of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City,” geographer Jen Jack Gieseking borrows Gloria Anzaldúa’s usage of “borders” and “crossing over” to push against the existing containers for sorting urban space and the bodies that use it. Gieseking writes: “‘Crossing over’ then queers the geographic imagination of cities; when queered, urban territories ebb and flow and are not fixed to boundaries defined by the elite and/or propertied” (Gieseking 263).

Tania De Rozario: On the monstrous feminine

Henry Fuseli The Three Witches 1783
Henry Fuseli The Three Witches 1783

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

'The succession of syndromes'

A review of erica kaufman's 'INSTANT CLASSIC'

In the beginning, I could not face INSTANT CLASSIC directly. Too bright, I could only handle it in bits, my gaze slightly averted. From this peripheral place, kaufman’s book followed me. I carried it with me on the subway, slept with it beside the bed. I gathered what felt like relevant books and films around me. Talismanic. I kept INSTANT CLASSIC, and kaufman, in mind. And then, I could not look away.

Ng Yi-Sheng

On performance, queer activism, and speaking through the gag

Ng Yi-Sheng
Ng Yi-Sheng

Ng Yi-Sheng is a poet, fictionist, playwright, journalist and activist. He is the youngest winner of the Singapore Literature Prize (for his debut poetry collection, last boy). His second collection, Anthems (2014), consists of slam poetry works. His other publications include the bestselling non-fiction book, SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century, and a novelisation of the Singapore gangster movie, Eating Air. He also co-edited  and Eastern Heathens: An Anthology of Subverted Asian Folklore. He has recently completed his MA in the University of East Anglia’s creative writing programme.

Stein's wedding cake

Rachel Blau DuPlessis with the Italian edition of Stein's 'Tender Buttons,' published by Liberilibri in Macerata in 1989 and 2006, translated by Marina Morbiducci and Edward G. Lynch, with an introduction by Nadia Fusini.

How can Stein’s Tender Buttons be one hundred years old? We are still eating the buttercream frosting and rosebuds from that three-tiered cake: “Objects,” “Food,” “Rooms.”

Playing Stein

'Roastbeef,' by Kate Huh.
'Roastbeef,' by Kate Huh.

Tender Buttons is the future. Neither cipher nor code, the grammar of Tender Buttons forces the reader to play Stein. Stein’s obsession with perspective, her collection of objects, food, rooms, produces a scene of constraints (the rules of the game): a discrete spatial field where coordinates shift as the text’s gravity swerves. A game board. No, a bored game.

A proliferation of differences

A review of 'Troubling the Line'

In Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, the first anthology of its kind, editors TC Tolbert and Trace Peterson have included a wide diversity of aesthetic and social perspectives.

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