John Tranter

Under the horizon

The age of plastic

The death of typography

Apple iBooks announcement, October 2012
Apple iBooks announcement, October 2012

There was a time when the Apple Macintosh computer was known for its graphic design style. Excellent typography was part of the Macintosh mystique, perhaps deriving from Steve Jobs’s time spent in a calligraphy class at college. Well, Steve is gone, and so is the typography. Read this, and weep.

At the recent (23 October 2012) Macworld event in the California Theatre in downtown San Jose, California, we were treated to the release of iBooks, Apple’s software product that allows writers and publishers to create, sell and buy their own e-books. Apple CEO Tim Cook began his iBooks demo with a brief overview on the iBookstore, noting that customers have downloaded more than 400 million books. The iBooks app is ‘one of the most popular apps on the store,’ said Cook, before outlining the enhancements in the new version, iBooks 3.0.

Alas, the engineers who designed the program and the people who designed the presentation of the new version of it share a dirty little secret: they don’t actually read books, or magazines, or newspapers. What do they read? Nothing, it seems. And here’s why…

Short Takes on the Long Poem

Auckland, New Zealand, poetry conference

New Zealand map, text by John Tranter
New Zealand map, text by John Tranter

I left Sydney at dawn on Wednesday 28 March 2012 headed South-east over the Tasman Sea, aiming for New Zealand, on an Emirates A380 Airbus, a massive double-decker airplane that drives like an aircraft carrier full of warm mud.

I had been invited to attend the Short Takes on the Long Poem symposium at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, right at the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean. If you look South-west into the setting sun from San Diego and fly at thirty thousand feet for fourteen hours, there it is. From Sydney you do the opposite, more or less, except that is a much shorter trip.
You can read hundreds of pages of poems and commentary and see dozens of sparkling photos on my Main Site here.

The new Russian poetry

Over 70 items, Russian poems and articles, in Jacket 36

Russian poster
Russian poster

Editor: Peter Golub; Co-editor: Tatyana Golub
[»»] Peter Golub: A New Beginning: The Young Post-Soviet Poets

From Peter Golub’s Introduction:
These poets are both the catalysts and the products of a paradigm shift in Russian letters. They came of age when the traditional institutions of the Soviet Union no longer existed or when these institutions were undergoing heavy revision during perestroika.

Angel Hair magazine

The sixties and seventies

Photo: Angel Hair cover: Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman at Bolinas
Photo: Angel Hair cover: Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman at Bolinas

When and where the new wave of poetry began: A sampler of writing selected by Jacket editor John Tranter from the 630-page Granary Books anthology of material from the collection of Angel Hair magazine and books edited by Lewis Warsh and Anne Waldman between 1966 and 1978.

Introduction — Anne Waldman
Introduction — Lewis Warsh
Jack Anderson, American Flag
John Ashbery, The Hod Carrier


Jennifer Moxley in conversation with Noah Eli Gordon

Jennifer Moxley, 2009, photo by Steve Evans.
Jennifer Moxley, 2009, photo by Steve Evans.

In early 2008, Noah Eli Gordon interviewed Jennifer Moxley. The interview was originally published in The Denver Quarterly (Volume 43, Number 1:2008), and reprinted in Jacket magazine number 37. It is 17 pages long.  

Noah Eli Gordon: 2007 saw the release of two major works: The Middle Room, a memoir clocking in at over 600 pages, and The Line, a collection of prose poems. Although publication dates often create a false trajectory of a writer’s past and present concerns, when read in tandem, these two very different prose works seem to share not only various emotional and intellectual concerns, but also specific content. For example, early on in The Middle Room you recount the discovery in the garage of “an enormous stack of love letters” written by your father and addressed to your mother, which gave you a fuller sense of him as a person outside of your own experience. This particular passage took on a renewed significance for me while reading in The Line the poem “The Cover-Up,” where you include the following: “On occasion, material evidence contradicts memory. Like when you found the letters they’d written in which he’d said affectionate things and all of her years of negative campaigning went completely down the drain.” Whether or not this is a reference to that same discovery, the poem created a link for me between your various projects.

[The complete interview]