He who sees and listens

A review of Mark Weiss, 'A Suite of Dances'

Detail from ‘Mezzetin’ by Antoine Watteau, ca. 1718–20, pictured also on the cover of ‘A Suite of Dances.’

Suite of Dances is composed of a series of apparently disconnected statements in verse. A slight detour can help highlight the central formal questions at work in this book. In Wittgenstein’s Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary, Marjorie Perloff describes what Herman Rapaport called “negative serialization”:

Architecture's a verb

Photo of Renee Gladman (right) by Philippe Mangeot. Images courtesy of Wave Books.

Renee Gladman’s Plans for Sentences explodes the poetics of ekphrasis.

Lyric shard as grief's material

A review of Diana Khoi Nguyen's 'Ghost Of'

Part archive, part elegy, Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection of poetry, Ghost Of, presents the haunting portrait of a grieving family set against a backdrop of intergenerational trauma. Written four years after the poet’s brother took his own life, Nguyen’s poems register this loss as it is refracted through the story of her parents’ immigration to the US as refugees in the wake of the Vietnam War.

Pieces of Bruce

'Bruce Boone Dismembered'

Dancing maenad on ancient greek pottery, Python the painter, c. 330–320 BCE. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

I wouldn’t want anyone’s heart to stop beating except that for the first time this might unite us — Bruce Boone[1]

'Meeting this strangeness'

Katherine Agyemaa Agard's 'of colour'

Image adapted from cover art of ‘of colour.’

of colour commences in an apology. Rather, Katherine Agyemaa Agard suggests her text was born out of a failure to make a film about the African diaspora “or simply our diaspora. My mother and father and brother and sister and me.”[1It’s come to this is the sentiment at the beginning of the text. It’s come to a textual object because another form failed.