Had Attention Span Asked Me For a List

Tan Lin | Heath (plagiarism/outsource) | Zaesterle | 2008

More than any other text I have encountered, plagiarism/outsource causes me to question the ways in which I read, along with the ways in which texts produce value and distribute meaning.

FEMINAISSANCE ed Christine Wertheim | Les Figues Press | 2009

Les Figues Press keeps kicking out the jams. This is a thought provoking collection of feminist/feminine texts that directly challenges the 60/40 ratio found even in avant circles – by straight blowing them out of the water.

Kevin Davies | The Golden Age of Paraphernalia | Edge Books | 2008

I keep coming back to Davies’ smart, smart-ass, meandering diatribes for a kick-start.

Bhanu Kapil | Humanimal: a project for future children | Kelsey Street | 2009

A haunting, beautiful work about the body, identity, travel, colonial power, memory, art, and femininity.

Lawrence Giffin | Get the Fuck Back into that Burning Plane | Ugly Duckling Press  | 2009

David Buuck | The Shunt | Palm Press | 2009

The cover is as squirm-inducing as the poetry.

Francis Picabia | I Am A Beautiful Monster: Poetry, Prose, and Provocation | The MIT Press | 2007

MIT Press should win a medal for making context as important as content with their Francis Picabia collected. This is how poetry should be taught. The essays and snippets of biography linking poem-to-poem here provide the reader with the historical and biographical information needed to understand the nature of each gesture. Known to many only as a visual artist, Picabia’s achievement in text is astounding. Perhaps more than any other Dada writer, Picabia stuck to his (anti-everything) guns. With so much of the current avant fields revisiting modernist techniques, Picabia proves to be a wonderful and strangely familiar monster.

Lisa Robertson | Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip | Coach House | 2009

Robert Fitterman and Vanessa Place | Notes on Conceptualisms | Ugly Duckling Presse | 2009

Even if one ultimately found their arguments redundant, or even reductive, you need only look back at the comment fields  when this book was making the rounds to realize that it was necessary. I for one, thought it was nice to hear someone saying the obvious things with conviction, and the not so obvious with the same. That’s how conversations get started.

Judith Goldman | The Dispossessions | Atticus Finch | 2009

Seeds wreaking violence
A negative dialogue between seeds
Words do not harm each other
Looking for words [that] don’t harm each other

Stan Apps | Grover Fuel | Scantily Clad Press | 2009

As overtly political as Grover and Elmo could ever be.

Hoa Nguyen | Hecate Lochia | Hot Whiskey Press |2009

These poems have such a beautiful balance. Goddesses, cultural critique, and the body. No one else could pull off the final couplet “We put the poopy blocks / outside and then it rained” and make it feel so alive.

Robert Fitterman | Rob the Plagiarist | Roof Books | 2009

Kim Rosenfield | re: evolution | Les Figues Press | 2009

Stephanie Young | Picture Palace | ingirumimusnocte | 2009

K. Silem Mohammad | Sonnagrams | Unpublished

For keeping me entertained this year. These are going to look great in book form.

Leslie Scalapino | It’s go in horizontal | University of California Press | 2008

A great collection, mostly excerpts from Scalapino’s longer sequences. The only downside is you’ll just go and buy the full books.

Maurice Burford and Jess Rowan | [prithee] | Abraham Lincoln | 2009

I know nothing about these poets, but I loved this chapbook. I pondered about their process and source-texts for so long I almost missed that these absurd, wild-frontier love poems are a pleasure to read.

The Conseuences of Innovation: 21st Century Poetics ed. Craig Dworkin | Roof Books | 2008

This book covers a lot of the core issues being raised in/by contemporary poetics. There’s not a bad essay here.

Slavoj Zizek | On Belief | Violence | First as Tragedy, Then as Farce| 2009


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