My new film poem is in great company in the new alumni issue of Barzakh Magazine! With Walden employs improvised video, field recordings, drawings, and poetry to grapple with the claustrophobic vigor of love in the first months of fatherhood.
For the American Literature Association’s 2019 conference, Mark Scroggins organized a panel of wonderful papers that explored Johnson’s monumentalizing urge, gastrophilosophy, and sound art. It was a privilege presenting with…
Sally Connolly: “Formal Innovation and Ergodic Invitation in Ronald Johnson’s ‘Blocks to Be Arranged in a Pyramid: In Memoriam AIDS’.”
Devin King: “The Invisible Spire: Ronald Johnson’s ARK 38 and Bay Area Radio Drama.”
The excellent panel presentations helped me decide to start the book I’ve been toying with, a study of Ronald Johnson’s gastrophilosophy. My panel paper explored taste at the bookends of his publishing career, from his first book of poetry, A Line of Poetry a Row of Trees (1967) to his most comprehensive cookbook, The American Table: More Than 400 Recipes That Make Accessible for the First Time the Full Richness of American Regional Cooking. There is so much more, however, mixed throughout his oeuvre. His monument at the beginning of ARK to the Native staple “Bison Bison Bison,” his comparison of the brain to an orange, a critique of Columbus’s misunderstanding of the variegation of Native Corn, a taste of Thoreau’s “Wild Apples,” and a taste of William Bartram’s bitter orange salad dressings. I’ll explore all of these and more. I’ll let you know when the book is out!
I’ll be in Ithaca performing a new piece for electronics and text titled Techniques for the Oddity. Hope to see you there!
On 2/22/2018 I spoke with students from John Reed's seminar at The New School about Hybrid Poetry. We discussed the difficulties unique to creating hybrid work and the innovations that can result from collaborating with and through different mediums. At the end of our conversation all 10 of us participated in a real time collaboration through Google Docs. The goal was to write a short collection of hybrid work in 15 minutes. No other constraints were established, so if you were inclined to, you could simply delete for the entire time. No one did, but the discussion afterward revealed that the event pushed each one of us to write, collage, and negotiate different mediums in fresh ways. In the poem you'll notice multiple languages, humor, memes, confessional lines, questions, word acrobatics, texts, tonal juxtapositions, and advertising images, all mingled in a communal sense of play.
The experience was stupendous and the results were so irreverent and fun! I've published the pages from the collaboration below. Enjoy!
At Buffalo, the magazine for alumni and friends of SUNY Buffalo gives a shout out to Canyons. Matthew Klane is '03 Buffalo alumni.
James Belflower and Matthew Klane (MA ’03)
In this challenging collection of poetry and visual art exploring the legacy of Manifest Destiny, Klane and Belflower blur the boundaries between the two art forms. Each poem is spread over multiple pages—interspersed with topographic map visuals, full-color collages and a series of imagined letters from the wife of William Gilpin (the first governor of the Colorado territory and a businessman of questionable repute)—providing an idiosyncratically layered trip through the history of the American West. (Flimb Press, 2016)
We appreciate the mention, however, the description incorrectly states that the letters in the text were written by Mrs. William Gilpin. In fact, the letters were transcribed by Mrs. William Gilpin, but written by an unknown person.
Recently I launched Fence Digital, the electronic imprint of Fence Books. Working with Rebecca Wolff, we are planning to release as many books as possible as often as possible. We are in the process of looking for new books suited to a digital environment, so find us over at Fence Digital.
If you missed my editorial note that went out a few days ago, here it is.
The idea that we coevolve through intimate interactions with our virtual media is both joyous and terrifying. Here at Fence Books, we choose to bedevil this evolution further by launching Fence Digital, a new electronic publishing imprint that reinserts materiality into the digital.
To that end, our projects reevaluate the boundary between the virtual nature of digital information and the viscerality of text. When designing books, we think of the project in print, but we also consider how digital extra-textual qualities (video, image, animation, hyperlinks, etc.) might contribute to its textualization. In short, we design with attention to how a reader’s swipe interacts with a digital book as something that happens rather than something that exists.
So, with the first three books from Fence Digital, we encourage you to coevolve with us: swipe across the rubber typed pages of Michael Leong’s Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, the handwritten postcards sent on Brian Young’s road trip in Moonie, and the floating feather through Matthew Klane’s My.
Download all these books and more at Fence Digital or on iBooks.
Pierre Joris writes...
Ten years ago I published a volume of essays under the title A Nomad Poetics, core to which was the piece of writing called “Notes Toward a Nomad Poetics,” which — though the central concern had been with me even longer, much longer — I had started giving expression to even before 1993 & which had been published in an earlier form as a chapbook called Towards a Nomad Poetics by Allen Fisher’s Spanner Books. Note the tentative titles: “towards a…” & for the final version even just “Notes towards a Nomadic Poetics.” I said “piece of writing” purposefully just now, because one of the small misunderstandings regarding A Nomad Poetics I have encountered from time to time is that this piece of writing has been called a “manifesto” — with all the stern-brow seriousness & raised fist ardor the term suggests. I would like, 10 years after, to nuance this take a bit.
The manifesto, I’ve written elsewhere, is indeed one, if not the only new literary genre of the 20C, & I do draw on it to some extent — but I am very conscious of the fact that what I am trying to do is to write propositions for the 21C & to find a form that is both open & collaborative, that is culturally & politically critical, but not ideologically over-determined, as manifestos tend to be. It is neither an anonymous revolutionary pamphlet (as many of the Situationist manifestos were at a certain time), nor a synthetic piece with a number of signatures attached to it (from Marx & Engels, via the Surrealists, say, to the Manifeste des 120, for example, no matter how much I may like these). The proposition is different: it is a piece of writing I take full responsibility for, but to which I invite people to contribute — few have bothered to do so, though the 1993 text has at least the exemplary contribution of Brian Massumi, the excellent Deleuzian scholar & thinker