The dots move out (PoemTalk #186)

Tina Darragh, "Wire Boxes"

From left: Joan Retallack, Simone White, erica kaufman


Al Filreis convened Joan Retallack, erica kaufman, and Simone White to talk about Tina Darragh’s “Wire Boxes.” Tina performed a version of this piece at a reading hosted by the Line Reading Series in New York in February 2001. Our colleague Kendall Owens transcribed the audio of that performance, and Joan then helped revise and format the transcription in part by consulting the second half of the poem as it has appeared in Tina Darragh’s book My Hands to Mutant Solidarities (published by Dry Imager Press in 2020). Given the dates of the wire service stories Tina cites and the reference to the Seattle WTO protests of 1999, we choose to date the composition of the first part of the poem to that year. The second half of our poem had already appeared in the 1989 book Against the Odds under the title “Letter Boxes,” and we acknowledge erica kaufman’s efforts to locate and share that version.  

My Hands  to  Mutant Solidarities: selected work 1975-2019 was published in 2020, just as the pandemic hit. We at PoemTalk urge our listeners to acquire a copy. The book can be ordered from:

Dry Imager Press
Tina Darragh & P. Inman
56 J Crescent Road
Greenbelt, MD 20770-0809

The cost is $12.50.

Click HERE for a link to “Letter Boxes” in the early version, and HERE for the transcription/reproduction of “Wire Boxes” in its two parts.