Poetry News

Complimentary scenes from The Cake Part

By Harriet Staff

Publication Studio, the new print-on-demand press, has another adventure before it—this time featuring poet Stacy Doris, whose book, The Cake Part, it has just published. The book was actually written in 1994, with "leaks here and there." According to the Publication Studio release:

The Cake Part is a fantastic redeployment of banned pamphlets from the time of the French Revolution in the form of a book-length poem. Long kept hidden because of their transgressive content, these pamphlets were stored in a secret archive at the Bibilothèque nationale called the enfer (hell). Highly pornographic and formally promiscuous, The Cake Part is an eruption of all the repressed joy and terror of that 18th century revolution, back into our time, into the 21st century. Set in the typography of Web 2.0, the design of this book searches for the modern day equivalents of these banned pamphlets in the virtual networks which aid and abet current revolutionary movements.

In a consideration of how best to launch the book, Doris and Matthew Stadler decided to use the revolutionary potential of the internet and ask varied and friendly poets to participate in an online book launch for The Cake Part (which will take place at the Morgan Library in NYC). Doris told us that she was interested in how "online presence is central to the structure of revolutions today, and how in a sense it was in the French Revolution as well, where zines and other networks were key for circulating information and propaganda."

At her Vimeo account, you'll find all sorts of folks who have videotaped themselves reading excerpts from the text. Included there are Carol Mirakove, Dodie Bellamy, Charles and Felix Bernstein with Susan Bee, Anne Waldman, David Buuck, Thom Donovan and his labchow Lucy, Norma Cole, a couple of unnamed women in masks, and many others.

Have some cake and watch this one, entitled "From Complimentary Scenes From the Life of Marie Antoinette: A Galante Musical Interlude (Two Traditional Songs)," performed by David Brazil and Laura Woltag. Read more about The Cake Part here.

From Complimentary Scenes From the Life of Marie Antoinette: A Galante Musical Interlude (Two Traditional Songs) from Stacy Doris on Vimeo.

Originally Published: July 21st, 2011