Ted Rees with Ariel Resnikoff

PennSound podcast #60

Ariel Resnikoff (left) and Ted Rees (right).
Ariel Resnikoff (left) and Ted Rees (right).


Ted Rees, who recently relocated from Northern California back to his hometown of Philadelphia, and Ariel Resnikoff, who recently relocated from Philadelphia back to his previous home in Northern California, met up at the Wexler Studio at the Kelly Writers House in October to read from and talk about Ted’s new book, In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame. Rees and Resnikoff explore the book’s relationship to forgotten urban and rural landscapes in California, the felt effects of concentrations of capital and new wealth, and the question of how to “dwell in an otherwise space that is more interstitial,” as Rees puts it, in these modern times. In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame includes critical and lyrical exegeses of the aethetics of blasted places, and it reflects Rees’s longstanding engagement with a number of sources in poetry, cultural studies, and art, including the work of David Wojnarowicz, whom Rees first encountered while studying “the irresponsible essay” with Dodie Bellamy and whom Rees here in this interview describes as a figure whose “tenderness within that rage” and whose “tenderness in forming a world” has inflected this book’s queer poetics.

Ted Rees is the author of In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame (Timeless, Infinite Light), as well as the chapbooks the soft abyss (The Elephants), The New Anchorage (Mondo Bummer), Outlaws Drift in Every Vehicle of Thought (Trafficker Press), and Like Air (Bent Boy Books). He was recently asked to join the Elephants as editor-at-large, and cocurates the Housework conversation series in Philadelphia with Levi Bentley. He teaches courses in literature and creative writing at Temple University and other Philadelphia-area institutions.

Ariel Resnikoff  is a poet, translator, editor, and teacher. His most recent works include Ten-Four: Poems, Translations, Variations (Operating System, 2015), with Jerome Rothenberg, and Between Shades (Materialist Press, 2014). With Stephen Ross, he is at work on the first critical bilingual edition of Mikhl Likht’s Yiddish modernist long poem, Processions; and with Lilach Lachman and Gabriel Levin, he is translating into English the collected writings of the translingual-Hebrew poet Avot Yeshurun. Ariel is the Jewish Diaspora Section editor of Global Modernists on Modernism (Bloomsbury Press, forthcoming 2019). His writing has been translated into French and Spanish and is forthcoming in German in Schreibheft: Zeitschrift Für Literatur. — Julia Bloch