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Ugly feelings, the uglier the better. What is the mean between agony and protest? Continue reading to find out for yourself. Through the rest of November, these Kenning Editions titles devoted to agonistic resistance are just ten bucks each.

The Compleat Purge by Trisha Low: “It’s enough to die of spite. xoxo, Trisha.”

Tarnac, a preparatory act by Jean-Marie Gleize: “At the end there will be nothing but this point without caption.”

Style, by Dolores Dorantes: “We are extermination.”

Grenade in Mouth, by Miyó Vestrini: “No more jerks on the payroll.”

The Chilean Flag, by Elvira Hernández: “a black hood engrievens her visage.”

título / title, by Legna Rodríguez Iglesias: “blow a hard instrument a book a brick a crack or two on the head”

Juana I, by Ana Arzoumanian: “What everyone calls god the republic of money the Empire…Another world is possible.”

 

 

Published by Letra Muerta and Kenning Editions, this limited edition, hand bound chapbook contains the only extant works by the great Venezuelan poet written in French.

Miyó Vestrini was born in France, in 1938, and emigrated to Venezuela at the age of 9. At eighteen she joined Apocalipsis (Apocalypse), the only woman to do so in the then male-dominated scene of the Venezuelan avant-garde. She soon became a dedicated and prize-winning journalist, directing the arts section of the newspaper El Nacional. She published three books of poetry in her lifetime. In 2018 Kenning editions collected her poems (published and unpublished), translated into English by Anne Boyer and Cassandra Gillig, under the name Grenade in Mouth.

Patrick Durgin Patrick Durgin is the author of PQRS and, with Jen Hofer, The Route. A poet, scholar, and art critic involved with performance and poets theater, Durgin has also published three artist’s books: Daughter, Singles, and Zenith. His next book is called Imitation Poems, Exegeses, and Blurb.

What will be, in 2021-2022: French Unpublished Poems & Facsimile 1958-1960, by Miyó Vestrini, translated by Patrick Durgin (a limited edition, hand bound chapbook); Festivals of Patience: The Verse Poems of Arthur Rimbaud, translated by Brian Kim Stefans; and Hieroglyphs of the Inverted World, by Rob Halpern. Also in the works are new books by Holly Melgard and Connie Scozzaro. And on May Day 2021 we will publish an anthology of the Worker Writers School’s Covid Haiku, edited and introduced by Mark Nowak. A little further down the line is a selected poems of Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher—whose translation of The Chilean Flag was long listed for ALTA’s National Poetry Award for 2020.

What was, in 2019-2020: Audre Lorde: Dream of Europe, edited by Mayra Rodríguez Castro; Jesse Seldess’ third full length collection, Several Rotations; Legna Rodríguez Iglesias’s título / title, translated by Katherine M. Hedeen; There Three by Devin King; Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, translated by Anne Boyer and Cassandra Gillig; Kevin Killian’s Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater; The Grand Complication by Devin King; and The Chilean Flag by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher, and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña.

Become a supporter of Kenning Editions. Or subscribe. We will meet you there.

Cecily Chen at Small Press Distribution has assembled a clutch of New Narrative books to offer at a discount, all of which are entirely worthy, and one of which is Kevin Killian’s Stage Fright, his selected plays. Chen’s write up is a crash course, so go to it!

From the 1980s to the 2000s, Kevin Killian wrote prolifically for the San Francisco Poets Theater, putting together “plays” that turned loose every part of the stage. These plays didn’t need professional actors or seasoned directors—sometimes, they didn’t even need to be performed. They were written merely to be experienced, read out loud by artists who hold the script in their hands, awkwardly but enthusiastically to whoever might listen, or read in private, with like-minded friends as company. In Killian’s own words, these pieces are “not only time based but fun based”—it’s all about what you can do with them, and who you get to do it with.

Stage Fright is the first instance where Killian’s plays are assembled into one single volume, and the result is dizzying and delightfully, unapologetically queer. In the opening interview with Heidi Bean, Killian remarks that with the Poets Theater, he tried to “harness some New Narrative energy [a]nd gay it up a bit.” Together, the energy of each play is amplified to an intoxicating degree. Killian’s plays are lively, digressive, absurd. They don’t always make sense, but they are always fun, even downright silly. The characters that show up include Jack Kerouac (“failed beat novelist and alcoholic”), Anais Nin (“international gadabout and diarist”), Gus Van Sant, Jamie Lee Curtis, Isabella Rossellini, and Killian himself, an endearingly cockamamie bunch that gently elbows us: laugh a little, anything goes.

The Chilean Flag by Elvira Hernández, translated from the Spanish by Alec Schumacher, has been longlisted for ALTA’s National Translation Award in poetry! This year’s judges describe it thus:

La bandera de Chile is a legendary work that we are all very lucky to finally be able to read in Alec Schumacher’s beautiful English translation. Written in 1981, this book pays homage to the victims of the Pinochet regime. But it’s the formal and tonal qualities of this homage that are, perhaps, most impressive: both playful and mournful, witty and political, tender and sharp, the work continues to defy expectations. It is both a collage of unrelated fragments and a very unified, almost choral project. It redefines the idea of nationhood to such an extent that by the end of the book, the flag becomes a gag in the mouth of that nation. This translation is extraordinary.

In case you missed it, you can now watch the online launch event/reading with Urayoán Noel and Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, introduced by Daniel Borzutzky. It was a blast.

Also, Kenning Editions’ Vimeo page features other readings, including the summer 2020 group reading with Ana Arzoumanian, Craig Dworkin, Alec Schumacher, Steven Zultanski, and Brian Kim Stefans, a set of readings to celebrate and launch Audre Lorde’s Dream of Europe, and selected works from the infamous festivals of poets theater in Chicago.

It’s all free, and it’s for you.

Kenning Editions presents a bilingual reading with Urayoán Noel and Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, to launch TÍTULO / TITLE, a book of poems by the Cuban poet, prose writer, and playwright Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, published for the first time in Spanish, and in English translation by Katherine M. Hedeen. Rodríguez Iglesias belongs to the so-called Generation Zero in Cuba, those born after 1970 and who publish after 2000. After the fall of European socialism, Generation Zero grew up with few opportunities and little future, and its poetry embodies the crisis. TÍTULO / TITLE  does so by affirming a poetics of ugliness—the quotidian ugliness of poverty. Material need signals spiritual need. In an experimental, asphyxiating rush of repetition and enjambment, TÍTULO / TITLE  chronicles separation, alienation, unease, madness, illness while it presents readers with a unique vision of queerness, humanity, poetry. None of it is exceptional. These poems do not fall back on exotifying stereotypes. Instead, they offer a critical perspective of all sides. There is a brilliant grayness to this poetry that rejects how Cubans are supposed to write their reality, on either side of the Gulf.

Legna Rodríguez Iglesias was born in 1984 in Camagüey, Cuba and now lives in Miami, where she writes a column for the online journal El Estornudo. Recent publications include My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog (a novel in fifteen stories, from McSweeney’s) and Miami Century Fox (poetry, from Akashic). Among her literary awards are the Centrifugados Prize for Younger Poets (Spain, 2019), the Paz Prize (the National Poetry Series, 2017), the Casa de las Américas Prize in Theater (Cuba, 2016), and the Julio Cortázar Ibero-American Short Story Prize (2011).

Urayoán Noel is a Puerto Rican poet, performer, translator, and critic. He has published seven books of poetry and the study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam, and he has been a finalist for the National Translation Award and the Best Translated Book Award for his translations of Latin American poetry. Noel lives in the Bronx and teaches at New York University.

Daniel Borzutzky introduces. Borzutzky’s books and chapbooks include, among others, Lake Michigan, In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy, Memories of my Overdevelopment, and The Book of Interfering Bodies. He has translated Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks and Song for his Disappeared Love, and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl. Borzutzky was Chief Editor of Kenning Editions from 2017-2020.

September 13, 2020, 4:00 PM EST.

Register to attend the reading here. It is free. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Be sure to download the Zoom app.

Brand new!

TÍTULO / TITLE is a book of poems by the Cuban poet, prose writer, and playwright Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, published here for the first time in Spanish, and in English translation by Katherine M. Hedeen. Rodríguez Iglesias belongs to the so-called Generation Zero in Cuba, those born after 1970 and who publish after 2000. After the fall of European socialism, Generation Zero grew up with few opportunities and little future, and its poetry embodies the crisis. TÍTULO / TITLE  does so by affirming a poetics of ugliness—the quotidian ugliness of poverty. Material need signals spiritual need. In an experimental, asphyxiating rush of repetition and enjambment, TÍTULO / TITLE  chronicles separation, alienation, unease, madness, illness while it presents readers with a unique vision of queerness, humanity, poetry. None of it is exceptional. These poems do not fall back on exotifying stereotypes. Instead, they offer a critical perspective of all sides. There is a brilliant grayness to this poetry that rejects how Cubans are supposed to write their reality, on either side of the Gulf.

“Legna Rodríguez Iglesias is one of the most celebrated Cuban poets of the post-millennium generation. By turns outspoken, funny, dark, and strange, the highly associative poems in this book bristle with a queer energy, and they gleefully desacralize both Cuba and the U.S. On the surface, Rodríguez Iglesias’s writing is defiantly anti-poetic, yet Hedeen’s translations carefully convey the nested quality of the Spanish originals: love poems and/as political satire (or is it the other way around?).”—Urayoán Noel

Legna Rodríguez Iglesias was born in 1984 in Camagüey, Cuba and now lives in Miami, where she writes a column for the online journal El Estornudo. Recent publications include My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog (a novel in fifteen stories, from McSweeney’s) and Miami Century Fox (poetry, from Akashic). Among her literary awards are the Centrifugados Prize for Younger Poets (Spain, 2019), the Paz Prize (the National Poetry Series, 2017), the Casa de las Américas Prize in Theater (Cuba, 2016), and the Julio Cortázar Ibero-American Short Story Prize (2011).

Katherine M. Hedeen has translated some of the most respected voices from Latin America. She is a recipient of two NEA Translation grants in the US and a PEN Translates award in the UK and is poetry in translation editor at the Kenyon Review. She resides in Ohio, where she is Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College.

Subscribe to Kenning Editions to receive this and every book in our 2019-2020 season, among others: Audre Lorde’s Dream of EuropeGrenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, Kevin Killian’s Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater, There Three by Devin King, and The Chilean Flag by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher, and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña.

Brand new from CUNY’s Center for the Humanities, Conor Tomás Reed gathers reflections on Audre Lorde’s vital legacy in the time of a health pandemic and social uprisings. “Audre Lorde Now” features essays from Reed alongside Tito Mitjans Alayón, Diarenis Calderón Tartabull, and AnouchK Ibacka Valiente–three Afro-Cuban queer and trans cultural workers based in Cuba, Mexico, and Germany–as well as English/Spanish translations of these works by Julián González Beltrez.
Lorde’s DREAM OF EUROPE: SELECTED SEMINARS AND INTERVIEWS: 1984-1992 was published this spring by Kenning Editions, edited by Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro.
 

Kenning Editions authors and translators are helping readers everywhere tune into local initiatives by recommending social justice organizations who could use our support. This summer, when you purchase their book(s) through Kenningeditions.com, the press will donate %25 of the sale price to their chosen organization.

Joshua Clover recommends Bay Area Anti- Repression Committee Bail Fund. Clover co-translated Jean-Marie Gleize’s Tarnac, a preparatory act.

Laura Elrick recommends Equality for Flatbush. Elrick is the author of Propagation.

Craig Dworkin recommends Comunidades Unidas. Dworkin is the author of The Pine-Woods Notebook.

Alec Schumacher recommends Mujeres in Action. Schumacher is the translator of Elvira Hernández’s The Chilean Flag.

Mayra Rodríguez Castro recommends Funcepaz. Castro is the editor of Audre Lorde’s Dream of Europe: Selected Seminars and Interviews 1984-1992.

Olivia Lott recommends ArchCity Defeners. Lott is the co-translator of Soleida Ríos’s The Dirty Text.

Devin King recommends Santa Fe Indian Center. King is the author of The Grand Complication and There Three.

Jesse Seldess recommends CAMBA. Seldess is the author of Several Rotations, Left Having, and Who Opens.

Legna Rodríguez Iglesias’ título, translated by Katherine Hedeen, is coming this summer. Get it, along with the entire 2019-2020 season of titles (Vestrini, Killian, King, Seldess, Lorde, and Hernández), by subscription. Through the month of June, we donate all subscription dollars to The Chicago Freedom School. They get the money, but you get the books.

On June 6, Kenning Editions broadcast a remote reading featuring Ana Arzoumanian with Gabriel Amor, Craig Dworkin, Alec Schumacher reading Elvira Hernández, Brian Kim Stefans reading Arthur Rimbaud, and Steven Zultanski. You can watch it here, archived for posterity.

Also on our Vimeo page are videos of readings from Audre Lorde: Dream of Europe and remnants of the Poets Theater Festival from a few years back.

Meanwhile, if you are able to contribute to the present uprising inspired by the murders of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police Department, Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Police Department, and Tony McDade by the Tallahassee Police Department, know that all proceeds from Kenning Editions subscriptions through the month of June will be donated to The Chicago Freedom School. You get the books, and they get the money.

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