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My Poetry Picks for 2013 December 5, 2013: This was a great, volatile year for poetry—my list could have been much longer. I don't think I've ever had a year when I've read so much poetry and been inspired, entranced by so much poetry. Dolores Dorantes's Estilo is an ekphrastic poem that makes out of Henry Darger's famous drawings of the Vivian Girls a zone of ambient violence, a [...] by

‘Corean Music’ part 6: The ‘Swedish Gurlesque,’ Sara Tuss Efrik and Stina Kajaso August 29, 2013: As most people who read this blog might know, “Gurlesque” is a word coined by Arielle Greenberg in 2001 as a way of describing Chelsey Minnis’s first book Zirconia, as well as a larger contemporary trend of poetry: “... the particular brand of sensuality/sentimentality at work here is one which I believe is in the zeitgeist: a 'gurlesque' [...] by

‘Corean Music’ Part 5: The Ambient Violence of Rebecca Loudon, Marosa di Giorgio and Kim Hyesoon August 20, 2013: In my first four posts I’ve talked quite a bit about ambience and “ambient violence,” a term I took from Joyelle McSweeney. While “ambient music” is usually associated with “background music,” i.e. the less important backing for the main action, usually the plot, I tend to think of ambience as something more disturbing: it opens [...] by

‘Corean Music’ Part 4: In Defense of Parapornography, ‘Plague Grounds,’ Solaris Poetry, and the Intoxicating Aesthetics of Too Much August 15, 2013: “Her eye saw not just beauty but incredible, delirious, drug-like hallucinatory beauty” – Jack Smith on Maria Montez 1. In my last post, I referred to Steve Burt’s essay on “The New Thing,” an essay about the common rhetorical strain in contemporary American poetry that dismisses the excessive, the “candy,” the [...] by

‘Corean Music’ Part 3: The Autobiographical Account of The Diabolical Music of Translation and Kitsch August 12, 2013: 1. Every immigrant knows that it’s impossible to translate. Every immigrant knows that it’s impossible not to. I started translating long before I became an immigrant. I grew up in the English/American cultural empire (which of course coincides with the military-economic empire of US, as recent studies of CIA involvement with the [...] by

‘Corean Music,’ Part 2: Ambient Violence August 5, 2013: [I should mention that this continues from my first post on Harriet, and also that Rauan Klassnik wrote a wonderful response to the post on HTMLGIANT, a post in the “humiliated” language of the “deformtion zne.”] I realize there might be objections to my interest in the connection between violence and art, in my favoring of [...] by

‘Corean Music’: Art and Violence August 1, 2013: In his 1895 study Corea, the English Victorian adventurer (and anthropologist, painter, etc.) Henry Savage-Landor writes about Korean music: This music is to the average European ear more than diabolical, this being to a large extent due to the differences in the tones, semi-tones, and intervals of the scale, but personally, having got [...] by