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Edited by Faride Mereb and translated by Anne Boyer and Cassandra Gillig, Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini introduces to Anglophone readers the work of one of the vanguard voices of Venezuelan poetry with texts that cover three decades: from the year 1960 to 1990. The book offers a broader spectrum of her poems than ever previously compiled, including previously unpublished texts alongside her best known and most important works.

Critics have called Miyó Vestrini the poet of “militant death.” Vestrini is known, too, as the Sylvia Plath of Venezuela, but if she is a Plath, we think she is one who would have set Ted Hughes on fire. Read three poems from the book via Granta. Learn more about Vestrini and about this important new book here.

Says M. Buna at Hyperallergic: ‘In her writings, death and poetry have their own dark choreography that doesn’t shy away from affirming the stark contradictions at its core — exercises in morbidity also result in the resurrection of a new will to live, in a counter-suicidal impulse, even if it’s only a temporary one. These are whimsical poems that reveal the most familiar domestic settings as designed for eternal sleep. She allows no room for cozy feelings or attachments and no space for empty metaphors or shallow formal experiments — when she refers to men as lizards “who open the covers/and enter./without fresh turmoil/without heat or melancholy/without casting a spell,” she conjures a vivid and unequivocal picture. Intimacies and comforts are peeled off to expose the universe to its bare bone, and replace it with hypercharged particles…’

Grenade in Mouth is one of several new titles in translation available via subscription to Kenning Editions.

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Kenning Editions is pleased to announce the publication of Stage Fright: Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater, by Kevin Killian. Collecting work dating from the late 1980’s to the early 2010’s, this is the first representative selection of Killian’s plays. Once describing his productions as a form of “blanket permission,” Killian added, “I think people might come away thinking, I could do that! Isn’t that the best kind of work, something generative? Action painting was sort of like that…” This is a book to read, where reading means catching some action.

Says Lynne Tillman:

Kevin Killian’s plays remind me of Preston Sturges’s movies, with their fast repartee, hilarious ripostes, and crazy situations. Killian lets readers listen in on imagined conversations with literary greats, film-makers, celebs, actors—the Bowleses, Sheena Easton, Lars Von Trier, Kim Basinger, Lauren Bacall, and many more. He invites readers to their smart parties, where wit and scandal run riot, where everyone snipes, conspires, pontificates, and gossips about pop and literary arcana—and each other. Killian’s humor is sophisticated, his sensibility wry, and he knows just about everything. Kevin Killian’s plays are pure, or impure, pleasure.

Details and ordering information here.

 

Kenning Editions is proud to announce the publication of The Pine-Woods Notebook, by Craig Dworkin. Following the traces of the trail blazed by Francis Ponge in Le Carnet du bois de pins (1947), The Pine-Woods Notebook offers a simultaneous study of two environments. It documents the ecologies of two particular stands of conifers (one in the Wasatch front of the Rockies’ western edge, the other in the coastal Cascades of the Pacific Northwest); at the same time, it investigates the linguistic environment at the intersection of the words pitch and pine in all of their denotations. An essay built from densely patterned sentences, The Pine-Woods Notebook records the surprising resonance of chance lexical encounters and argues for the inextricable interweaving of the phenomenology of the conifer (its shape, scent, and cool darkness — as well as the distinctive sound of the wind in its branches) together with the vitality of its fluid sap and disseminating reproductive processes. Here, the erotic longing of pining meets the affective reflex of breath as they articulate the branching of the signifier.

Craig Dworkin is the author of over a half-dozen books of poetry, including, most recently: Chapter XXIV (Red Butte Press, 2013); Alkali (Counterpath, 2105); 12 Erroneous Displacements and a Fact (Information As Material, 2016), and DEF (Information As Material, 2017).

San Francisco-based writers Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian will be in Vancouver for two days to lead a brief, but intensive workshop in Poets Theatre that will culminate in a live performance on Sunday, March 10 within the exhibition. Bellamy and Killian co-founded Poets Theatre, the poetry, stage and performance group in the Bay Area, and since the late 1980s have written nearly fifty plays in collaboration with poets Leslie Scalapino, Barbara Guest, Brian Kim Stefans, Norma Cole, and dozens of others. Details here.

Kenning Editions will publish Killian’s selected plays momentarily.

and come away with some goodies, including every publication in the 2018-2019 season, a trend setting tote bag, and even acknowledgment in one of our books!

Kenning Editions is a small press with a regular staff of one individual, who relies on the input of many, and now also your tax-deductible monetary contributions to continue. Consider becoming a supporter of Kenning Editions. 

In 2019, Kenning Editions will publish four titles. In February come Kevin Killian’s selected plays, Stage Fright, and Craig Dworkin’s The Pine-Woods Notebook. In mid-March Kenning Editions will publish Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, edited by Faride Mereb, and translated by Anne Boyer and Cassandra Gillig. The Chilean Flag by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher, and Devin King’s The Grand Complication will follow in summer.

Short missives from Kenning Editions authors, with insights into their relationships to their own books. Have a look, and then consider donating or subscribing. Becoming a supporter of Kenning Editions is to literally constitute Kenning Editions. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit, and whatever you give is tax deductible. Click here to learn more about the 2018-2019 season.

 

Sector 2337 in Association with Green Lantern Press and Kenning Editions Present: The Fourth Annual Festival of Poets Theater: Transversals

Curated by Josh Hoglund
December 7th – December 8th, 2018

Sector 2337, Chicago, IL

Continuing its annual tradition, Kenning Editions and the Green Lantern Presswill presents its Festival of Poets Theater, curated by Josh Hoglund. Taking place over the course of two evening, participants include Blair Bogin, Joanna Furnans, David Hall and Julia Pello, Lin Hixson, and more.

Josh Hoglund, curator of the festival, writes in his curatorial statement:

These artists draw a transverse line through poetry and theater, not to strike them out, but to determine parallels. They do so without tethering their identities or roles to any one given history, genre or form.

Schedule:

DECEMBER 8TH – 6:00 PM DOORS

David Hall and Julia Pello

It Is My Pleasure to Contact You Through This Medium

 

It is my pleasure to contact you through this medium, a performance that takes the shape of an aphorism. A performance as per form, where a point is more or less tapered and more or less known, a contact whose vague point is concisely stated and nothing can be said very slowly.

(25 minutes)

 

David Hall writes in sentences and often works with materials already charged with significance.

 

Julia Pello is a Russia-born writer and media artist whose work engages sites where the articulation of time encounters complications, erosions and ambiguities to investigate possibilities of engaging with what is no longer materially present.

 

Lanny Jordan Jackson

The Accomodation For A Solitary B

 

A video serial intended to be periodically released as discrete episodes. It’s part collage and part performance, part essay and part poem. “Frankenstein or Casket In The Press” and “Essay Cycnus” comprise the first two episodes, and the third, “Wide Awake Licorice” will premiere at the festival. (3 12-minute episodes)

 

Lanny Jordan Jackson is a filmmaker and poet living in New York City. Select video work includes “The Companion” (2012), “Laughing Like The Head As It Imagined Itself Laughing” (2012), “Triple Shark Cerberus” (2013), “Vivian” (2013), “Scorpio vs. Glass Door Restaurant” (2014), “NERVES TEARS” (2016), and “The Accommodation For A Solitary B” (2017-ongoing).

 

Stephan Moore and Hope Rehak

Troubled Humors

 

Hope Rehak and Stephan Moore will perform Troubled Humors, a deconstructed anxiogenic lecture on comedy using sonic transformations and disruptions. (15-20 minutes)

 

Stephan Moore is a sound artist, sound designer, composer, improviser, maker, teacher, and curator based in Chicago. His creative work manifests as electronic studio compositions, improvisational outbursts, sound installations, scores for collaborative performances, algorithmic compositions, interactive art, and sound designs for unusual circumstances. His collaborations with sound artist Scott Smallwood (as electronic duo Evidence) and choreographer Yanira Castro (in her company A Canary Torsi) span more than a decade. He is the curator of sound art for the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, organizing annual exhibitions since 2014. He is also the president of Isobel Audio LLC, which builds and sells his Hemisphere loudspeakers. He was the touring music coordinator and sound engineer of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for several years, and has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Anthony McCall, and Animal Collective, among many others. He teaches in the Sound Arts and Industries program at Northwestern University. www.oddnoise.com

 

Hope Rehak was born in Chicago and shaped by its public schools. After graduating from Whitney Young Magnet High School, she attended Oberlin College on a scholarship from The Posse Foundation. She holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage from Northwestern University. In addition to Chicago, Hope has lived in Copenhagen, New York, DC, and Los Angeles.

Hope has received the Copenhagen Wisecrackers Comedy Newcomer of the Year Award, the Northwestern University Sitcom Award, and scholarships from the WICE Paris Writers Workshop and the Kenyon Playwrights Conference. Her play Ruins was produced for a limited Off-Broadway run through an award from The Araca Project in 2017. Find out more about her here.

 

Robin Deacon

Ergot’ and other short stories

 

Robin Deacon will present a group of readings and lectures from a new series of his fictional writings. Subjects focus primarily on education, with Robin describing a series of strange, imagined institutions, and esoteric classroom practices housed within extremely faulty architecture. (30 minutes)

 

Robin Deacon (born 1973 Eastbourne, England) is a British artist, writer and filmmaker currently based in the USA. His interdisciplinary practice has spanned a variety of disciplines and themes, including explorations of performer presence and absence, the role of the artist as biographer, the possibility for journalistic approaches to arts practice, and the mapping and ethics of performance re-enactment. He graduated from Cardiff School of Art in 1996, going on to present his performances and videos at conferences and festivals in the UK and internationally in Europe, USA and Asia. His work has been commissioned and programmed by venues such as The ICA, London (1996), The Young Vic, London (2000), CCCB, Barcelona (2006), Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna (2007) and the Centre d’art Scenique Contemporain Lausanne, Switzerland (2009), Tate Britain, London (2014) and the Barbican Centre, London (2015). He has also been artist in residence at Sophiensaele in Berlin (2005), Camden Arts Centre London (2006), Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, New York (2009) and the MacDowell Colony (2018). He has received a variety of awards and fellowships from organizations such as the Delfina Foundation, British Arts Council, Live Art Development Agency and Franklin Furnace Inc. Between 2003 and 2012, he was an Associate Artist of contemporary artists producing organization Artsadmin. From 2004, he was Course Director of the Drama and Performance Studies program at London South Bank University before relocating to the USA in 2011. He is currently Chair and Associate Professor of Performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

 

DECEMBER 9 – 6:00 PM DOORS

Joanna Furnans

Percentages: a prelude to Doing Fine

 

Percentages is an ordinary experiment. It recounts some non-objective stories delivered as a single narrative over the author’s body. Or maybe it’s something you have generally seen before but never heard. And the body has nothing to do with it. (20 minutes)

 

Joanna Furnans is a Chicago-based independent dance artist. Her current project, Doing Fine, is supported by a 2018 Chicago Dancemaker’s Forum lab artist award and a 2019 Schonberg Fellowship at the Yard. Previous works were supported by the Chicago Moving Company, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), Links Hall’s Co-MISSION Residency, and the Walker Art Center’s Choreographer’s Evening.

As a dancer in the works of independent artists Karen Sherman, Morgan Thorson, and Chris Schlichting, she has performed at the American Realness Festival (NYC), the Fusebox Festival (Austin), the TBA Festival (Portland), the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), the Chocolate Factory (NYC), PS122 (NYC), and the Center for Art and Performance (UCLA), among others. Furnans has also performed in the work of Minneapolis-based choreographers Laurie Van Wieren and the BodyCartography Project as well Chicago-based dance maker, Ginger Krebs.

Furnans is a sometimes-writer for the Chicago dance community. She co-founded the Performance Response Journal and has been a contributing dance writer for the Windy City TimesArt Intercepts, and See Chicago Dance.

 

Lanny Jordan Jackson

The Accomodation For A Solitary B (continued)

 

Blair Bogin

This Could Be You

 

Working with approaches in improvised clowning, I will carry on an abstracted chart reading for a random member in the audience. (20 minutes)

 

Blair Bogin is an interdisciplinary artist combining documentary storytelling with surrealist humor, measuring the facts about human experience against its lesser quantifiable absurdities. Blair tends to merge her art practice with her work as a counseling astrologer; creating installation, video or live theatre inspired by planetary alignments. Additionally, she devises Dead Diary, a series that reports monthly star vibes through abstracted video art. Blair received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, Hypnotherapist and Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator. blairbogin.com /sisterbrideastrology.com

 

Lin Hixson

Noise swims by: Writing for a theater to come

 

The alphabet constructs impossible events for an impractical stage. A reading delivered as a performance with accompaniment. (30 minutes)

 

Lin Hixson directs Every house has a door, a group she co-founded in 2008. Previously she directed the performance group Goat Island from its founding in 1987 until it ended in 2009. She is Full Professor of Performance at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hixson has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Illinois Arts Council, and the Chicago Dancemakers’ Forum and been given residencies at MANCC, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Bellagio. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Dartington College of Arts, (UK) in 2007, given the United States Artists Ziporyn Fellowship in 2009 and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts fellowship in 2014. Her writing has been published in the journals Poetry, The Drama Review, and Performance Research. Her collaborative essays with Matthew Goulish appear in the 21st Century Performance Reader, Artists in the Archive, and The Creative Critic.

 

En Guanabo

Kenning Editions is proud to announce the publication of The Dirty Text by acclaimed Afro-Cuban poet Soleida Ríos, in a fully bilingual edition translated by Barbara Jamison and Olivia Lott, and featuring an afterword by Kristin Dykstra. This book is edited by Daniel Borzutzky.

The Dirty Text (El Texto Sucio) is Ríos’s first book to appear in English. Written in the 1990s in Cuba, it is a book of poems, a book of stories and, most vividly, a book of dreams. As poet Rosa Alcalá writes, Ríos’ writings are “indescribable manifestations of a poetics unfastened to mode, genre, or category.” In this book, human eyes appear beneath other human eyes, snakes materialize with three heads, and the bodies of loved ones duplicate, disintegrate or speak to ghosts and Gods. It is a book about the possibilities of language and literature to articulate our relationship to the communities we occupy and the communities we imagine, a book that disentangles the lines between our conscious lives and our unconscious lives, what we imagine and what we experience.

Read more about The Dirty Text here. It is available also as part of the Kenning Editions subscription scheme or as a premium when you donate. Small Press Distribution carries the book, as ever.

 

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Kevin Killian’s “Spreadeagle” was once just a novel but is now also an exhibit. It opens Friday, November 3rd, at Iceberg Projects here in Chicago. Kevin’s Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater is forthcoming this February from Kenning Editions.

Here is an interview with Ana Arzoumanian and Gabriel Amor about their collaboration resulting in Juana I. It is a wonderful and funny rumination on merged identities and staggered rhythms.

GA: Había párrafos en los que yo me preguntaba “quién está tocando a quién” y tenía que preguntar, rompiendo un poco el misterio. También diciendo “Ana, esta imagen es erótica o sexual”. En un principio no nos conocíamos tan bien y ella me decía: “si te parece que lo es, es que lo es”. Después ya no tenía que preguntar.

AA: Gabriel fue un traductor soñado. Fue el novio de Juana (ríe).

The King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University presents a reading by Ana Arzoumanian and translator Gabriel Amor on Wednesday, September 26, 7:00 PM. Admission is free and open to the public.

This reading introduces the bilingual edition of Ana Arzoumanian’s Juana I to American audiences. Arzoumanian’s genre-defying tour de force is delivered via a trance-like, first person narration that collapses time and space. It is both a love poem to and poetic justice for Juana of Castile, aka “Juana la Loca,” the mad queen of Spain.

Arzoumanian and Amor return to the United States to read at The Poetry Foundation in Chicago on March 21st, 2019. Check their events schedule or kenningeditions.com for details, as they come available.

ABOUT ANA ARZOUMANIAN

Ana Arzoumanian is a prolific and celebrated poet. She has also been a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars; a professor at the International Postgraduate Program in Creative Writing, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences; a Lacanian psychoanalyst; and a professor of Philosophy of Law at the Universidad del Salvador, Faculty of Legal Sciences of Buenos Aires. Arzoumanian remains an active literary and theater critic, and has traveled extensively to read her poetry. She collaborated on the documentary A Dialogue Without Borders about the Armenian genocide and the disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship. This is the first full-length English-language translation of her work in the U.S.

ABOUT GABRIEL AMOR

Born in Galicia, Spain, Gabriel Amor has lived in New York since the age of five. He has published translations of poetry and prose by numerous Latin American writers, and received a 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant for his work on Juana I. Amor has collaborated with other artists on multimedia performances and was a producer on the Emmy-nominated documentary The Woman Who Wasn’t There. He is Program Director of Postbaccalaureate Studies at Columbia University.

MEANWHILE

We here at Kenning Editions have just instituted the most generous subscription plan ever, $75.00 for six + books, direct-mail, postage paid (domestic orders only). This includes Soleida Ríos’ The Dirty Text, translated by Barbara Jamison and Olivia Lott, with an essay by Kristin Dykstra. The book is officially released in late October, but it is ready to ship to subscribers now!

Soleida Ríos (b. 1950) is an acclaimed Cuban poet whose work draws from Afro-Cuban traditions as well as writers as diverse as Juan Rulfo and Aimé Cesaire. She has published fourteen books from 1977 to the present, and The Dirty Text (El Texto Sucio) is her first book to appear in English. Written in the 1990s in Cuba, it is a book of poems, a book of stories and, most vividly, a book of dreams. As poet Rosa Alcalá writes, Ríos’ writings are “indescribable manifestations of a poetics unfastened to mode, genre, or category.” In this book, human eyes appear beneath other human eyes, snakes materialize with three heads, and the bodies of loved ones duplicate, disintegrate or speak to ghosts and Gods. It is a book about the possibilities of language and literature to articulate our relationship to the communities we occupy and the communities we imagine. The Dirty Text received a major literary award from the Alejo Carpentier Foundation, and her 2013 collection Estrías won the Nicolás Guillén award. Ríos was also recognized with the National Literary Critics Award in 2014.

Subscribe to Kenning Editions and receive all books in our 2018-2019 season, including Ana Arzoumanian’s Juana I, Soleida Ríos’ The Dirty TextGrenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, and Kevin Killian’s Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater. By the summer months of 2019, you will also have in hand Devin King’s The Grand Complication and The Pine-Woods Notebook, by Craig Dworkin. And shortly thereafter, expect to receive The Chilean Flag, by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña. Subscribers also receive a random chapbook from the Ordinance series (2015-2017), while supplies last. Ordinance books include titles by Daniel Borzutzky, Janelle Rebel, Daniel Spangler, Andrew Durbin, Cassandra Troyan, Carla Harryman, and Steven Zultanski, among others.

Your subscription is the most direct way to support the press’ ongoing efforts to make important new writing available. In the U.S., a subscription of $75.00 is postage paid. International subscribers incur a shipping charge of $15.00.

Kevin Killian, co-editor of The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater: 1945-1985, and author of the forthcoming Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater, writes for McSweeney’s a think piece called

IMAGINE IF YOU CAN THE DEATH OF THE PRISON HOUSE

And it’s awfully good.

Maybe it was always in the cards that the United States should forget it was planned, by some lights, to be a good place. Can I even publish my hopes for armed revolution here?

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