But where is anywhere, damn it? I have been thinking and making notes toward posts for Harriet for a few days now, but it’s never easy to begin a project. It took nearly a year for me to get past the first two posts on my own blog, though once I got the hang of it the habit was/is hard to break. So while carrying on isn’t a problem, beginning appears to be. Organizing is another. The ideas stack up, refuse chronology, refuse to be corralled and contained. Where does this thought lead, and why not there? Controlled chaos is how thinking feels for me. Partly this may be due to information and work overload—the beginning of a new semester, administrative duties piled high, projects open all around— also a few personal pains that refuse to be tucked in neatly.
But isn't it also thinking? Or contemporary thinking? Like a search string, my powers of association are endlessly refreshed. This refreshing comes from many things—my brain yes, and reading yes, but also from a click of a key on a pad, and from friends who send me links to videos poems and essays. Yesterday Bruno Latour’s essay “Why has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to matters of Concern” arrived on my desktop and got me thinking about the contemporary problem of instant revisionism and how that plays on the individual psyche: if everything is always opening and expanding and there is so little distance between witnessing and revising, what is firm? Where is solid? What is finished?
That isn’t quite what Latour has in mind in his essay (which I’ll need to pick up on later when, alas, I get around to talking about criticism), but it is partly what I have in mind, and so it gets folded in to the current query which is how to start this stint over at Harriet? How to order all these thoughts and questions and concerns I would like to touch on in the coming weeks?
I would like one of those posts to be on the question of distance between ingesting and reacting, one on resolutions, or affirmations, another on poets and grief, which leads to poets and thinking and writing, which leads to questions of audience, which makes me think about readability and prose stylings, which leads to the question of body and space in poetry, which leads to gender, which leads to nature poetry, and all of the above brings me to the work of Anne Carson and Erin Moure, which in a way comes back to ongoing questions I have concerning the art of reviewing... The latter conversation, if you’re interested, is taking place now on Lemon Hound, the blog I have maintained for the past five or so years. That site will be undergoing some changes in the coming weeks as new poets take up residence, but like Craig Santos Perez, I too seem to be a blogaholic. No doubt I will keep a finger in that world after my stint here on Harriet is done.
But first things first: which is perhaps to simply say Hello, I’m happy to be here. And so begin.
Sina Queyras grew up on the road in western Canada and she has since lived in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, and Calgary where she was Markin Flanagan Writer in Residence. She is the author most recently of the poetry collection MxT (2014) and Unleashed (2010), a selection of posts from...