Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Siliman recommends The Wide Road

RON SILIMAN recommends The Wide Road.
March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Wide Road reviewed on The Constant Critic

Here subjectivity (echoing Kristeva) is the effect of linguistic process, rather than something that comes into being before or apart from language. The collaborative nature of the book thus provides a completely different conception of the self in the world than that modeled both by the conventional journey narrative wherein man sets out alone—and by the new critical concept of the lyric, wherein the self of the poem speaks fully-formed from offstage. As such, Harryman and Hejinian’s text does not just propose, but, rather, performs relational subjectivity. Here, not only are the authors directly speaking to each other and to us, but what and who they are is created and informed by this process of relationality, thus creating a work that “has multiple centers of gravity.” These centers include investigations into the relationship between sexuality and violence; power and desire; humans and nature; politics of the self and other; friendship; and “compassion and animal exhaustion (death).” Here, life as a journey down a “wide road” does not circumscribe, but radiates out. Read more...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

NEW: Looking Up Harryette Mullen

Looking Up Harryette Mullen is now available to order!

Six years after Harryette Mullen and Barbara Henning first met at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café, Henning proposed she do a postcard-format interview of Mullen that would allow for a “very small postcard space in which to respond …The idea of cards flying through the mail & overlapping.” Thus began what is now the first segment of Looking Up Harryette Mullen, unique collaborative conversations that offer a candid look at the influences, politics, and poetics that inform Mullen’s poetry, specifically her books Trimmings and Muse & Drudge.

In these small postcard spaces, which soon expanded into lengthy letters, race and gender, Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Houses, Salt-N-Pepa, black English and Spanglish, to name just a few of topics, are discussed as the two poets travel around the country, letters and postcards overlapping, as layered and thrilling as the poems that they unpack.

The conversation expands even further in the second set of spoken interviews that include concerns as far-ranging as the Heaven’s Gate cult, Oulipian constraints such as S+7 and lipograms, syllabic rhymes, and Aimé Césaire. In stunning detail, Mullen and Henning discuss the origins of each poem in Mullen’s award-winning collection Sleeping with the Dictionary. For poets and readers of poetry interested in witnessing how a brilliant, singular writer embarks on the journey of generating work to scholars researching the inception of Mullen’s poems, this book informs by way of techniques and vitality as Mullen guides the reader through her poetry from A-Z. Twenty-five photos interspersed throughout the conversations act as visual annotations. Included are images of the Babydoll House of the Heidelberg Project; the original handmade “Ask Aden” poem that Mullen drew for her nephew; and her “Dim Lady” poem side-by-side with Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady” Sonnet 130. Besides being a significant pedagogical tool to teach Mullen’s poetry, Looking Up Harryette Mullen generously offers a rare glimpse into process and practice and the poetry community.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Wide Road review...

Every now and then, a book does more than just let me read it. It gets my attention from afar, beckons, then makes me wait. When it finally is with me, sometimes I just hold it, turning it over and over, thumbing through and just looking at it in wonder. Why measure desire?When I read, I savor, letting the words be not a grocery store check-out-rack candy bar, but a handmade truffle, sweet and bitter and luscious. A sensual and erotic experience. That’s The Wide Road by Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinia. Read more...