Monday, November 08, 2004

A spiffy new journal is on sale here at The Bookery: 1913: A Journal of Forms. There's a helpful list of the accomplishments of that year on the inside cover both great and dubious (in the first category we have Edison developing the first talking motion picture; Stein's writing of her portrait "Braque"; and the "Imagiste" issue of Poetry; in the latter category we have the 300-year anniversary celebration of the Romanovs in Russia and the first mass-production line at Ford) that centers its aesthetic proudly within the tradition of Modernism. Fitting therefore that one of the contributors should be Cal Bedient, who has written elsewhere about his desire to recapture the energies of Modernism; he continues that critique in a poem titled "The Red Letter (~ Contemporary Poetry ~)." Other notable contributions come from the usual if highly estimable suspects of pomo lit: Barbara Guest, Cole Swensen, Nathaniel Mackey, Brenda Hillman (a harrowing elegy for the men of the Kursk), Joshua Clover, Steve McCaffery, Jed Rasula. There are also some younger poets, including beautiful baroqueness from my old friend Sarah Gridley (what a pleasant surprise to see her work popping up here! and do keep an eye out for her first book, Weather Eye Open, forthcoming from California), a relatively expansive piece by Graham Foust, a bit of "Closet Zoologies" by Eric Elshtain, and stuff by poets as yet unfamiliar to me: Louis Armand, Steve Willard, Billy Gomberg, Sarah Riggs. Also a very interesting textual art piece by Chris Chen, "no name on the bullet," inspired by the remarkable Alternumerics project by artist Paul Chan over at a site new to me, National Philistine (I see a project on Henry Darger and Charles Fourier there that I'll have to spend some time looking at). So you can tell, I hope, that 1913 is an exciting magazine, if somewhat hard to read (it's wider than it is long and many of the poems require you to turn the book on its side), and I'm glad to make its acquaintance.

I really can't say enough about Sarah's work: if you haven't already, please go read the amazing "Grist" right now.

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