Blog

Over at Full Stop, an insightful review of The Dirty Text, by Soleida Ríos.

With reality itself at stake, Ríos’ materialization of dreams in literature is not mere narcissistic auto-analysis. Opposed to petrified, insomniac ideologies that prove increasingly inadequate to the task of averting societal implosion, dreams liquify the strictures of consciousness to yield the raw material of fresh understanding. That material must be recognized and refined, cooked into language, for understanding to develop far enough to reflect back into dreams and charge them with new material to reshape.

La editorial de Chicago Kenning Editions publicó una antología de la poeta y periodista venezolana que ha tenido un éxito inesperado. Faride Mereb, a cargo de la selección junto con Elisa Maggi, cuenta la historia de este libro…

…dice Miyó Vestrini: “Cada generación traduce de nuevo, y de nuevo, incansablemente, aportando sombrías o risueñas desmitificaciones. El texto llevado a contrapelo, se alborota, se aquieta, se enfurece y regresa siempre, lleno de otro con-texto”.

Read it here.

Patrick Durgin, author of PQRS, is reading with Alex Karsavin and Kristiana Rae Colón as part of their Open Door Series Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 7:00 PM. The event is free and ADA accessible. Details can be found here.

At Lithub:

I reread and taught Dolores Dorantes’s Style a compact epic-elegy about violence against women—possibly but not exclusively, in the US-Mexico borderlands. She wrote it in 2011, while waiting for her asylum case to be resolved, in Texas. It is, without a doubt, one of the best books of poetry written in this century. It has something of Henry Darger, something of Anne Carson, something of Eliot’s Wasteland. But in its utter uniqueness it’s not easy to place. It’s simply masterful.

ACTION BOOKS, GREEN LANTERN PRESS, KENNING EDITIONS, and SMALL PRESS DISTRIBUTION invite you to an OFF-SITE READING by Fulla Abdul-Jabbar / Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro (reading Audre Lorde) / Joel Craig / Rachel Galvin / Katherine Hedeen (reading Legna Rodríguez Iglesias) / Cathy Park Hong (reading Seungja Choi) / Valerie Hsiung / Devin King / Olivia Lott (reading Soleida Ríos) / John Pluecker / Lara Schoorl / Jesse Seldess / Candice Wuehle at the Cherrity Bar, 302 Montana St, San Antonio, a two minute walk from the convention center / Cherrity Bar’s proceeds go entirely to worthy community non-profits / best Ramen and craft cocktails in San Antonio / admission is free / starts at 7:00 PM, Friday March 6

Hannah Weiner podcasts…and it’s great.
 
What is clairvoyant about this text — or more generally about Hannah Weiner’s seeing words? …Kate Colby, Davy Knittle, and Charles Bernstein convened with Al Filreis, PoemTalk’s producer and host, to talk about Hannah Weiner’s Clairvoyant Journal and to focus in particular on two pages (or prose poems, or journal entries). The two entries are those composed on April 1 (“April Fool BRAVE GIRL”) and April 4 (“DONT COMPLAIN / April 4”).
 
Listen hereHannah Weiner’s Open House remains available here.

Care of the Chicago Review of Books:

Vestrini’s poetry is something I never knew I needed so dearly. It is so raw and powerful (and translated so rawly and powerfully by Anne Boyer and Cassandra Gillig) that each poem, sometimes each line, feels like something that could shatter the world. Probably they do, as in the poem from which the collection takes its title: “Allow me, lord, / to see me as I am: / rifle in hand / grenade in mouth / gutting the people I love.” We should be so thankful to be able to read her in English, finally, and hopeful for more translations to come.

Grenade in Mouth is right here for you.

Jesse Seldess’s third full length collection of poetry, SEVERAL ROTATIONS plots an experience through a constellation of questions: How do we locate and orient ourselves amidst a continuous present of inconspicuously networked devices and “services”? With tracked interests reinforced to impulses through millisecond auctions for ad impressions and “sponsored” content, what are our desires and dreams? With products valued as a function of the strength of the habits they create, where are our values and actions? Written over several years but at the scale of minutes, SEVERAL ROTATIONS is “full of the missing words” for the affects of intersecting and overloading dimensions in a technology-paced, data-saturated context. These poems attempt to slow down, interrupt, reweave, and transform that density into an open and livable “interface.”

Donna Stonecipher calls Several Rotations a “majestically sad techno-pastoral, a penetrating inquisition into how selfhood is being transformed by all the modes perpetrated by personal technology. Face falling off the edge of the face is so poignant, why?”

Click through for details and ordering. And consider subscribing to Kenning Editions for a steeply discounted batch of books, including SEVERAL ROTATIONS.

Devin King will launch his new book The Grand Complication with readings at Wolfman Books in Oakland, CA on Friday, October 25th and The Poetic Research Bureau in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, October 26th. Devin King is the poetry editor of the Green Lantern Press and the author of CLOPSThe Resonant Space, and These Necrotic Ethos Come the Plains. Reading alongside him will be Patrick Durgin, author of PQRS: A Poets Theater Script. Carrie Hunter reads also, at Wolfman. Her third full length book, Vibratory Milieu, is forthcoming from Nightboat books in 2020. She lives in San Francisco and teaches ESL. Evan Kleekamp lives in Los Angeles. They are a 2019 Andy Warhol Arts Writers Grant finalist. Click thru the respective locations for details about these free events.

Says John Tipton, “Devin King’s Grand Complication is a dizzy fugue of forms–regular stanzas in radical variety. And the sources of its argument are just as varied–The Thebaid of Statius, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Melrose Place. It’s reminiscent of Zukofky’s omnivorous, inventive formalism. King orchestrates actors and narratives into a weltering long poem: William leads stoners to his apartment, thinking Julia will follow, but instead, she leads Abbie into Luke’s room and Mike follows, though Mike had flirted with Julia before she jumped in the pool while Amphiaraus was swallowed by the earth. I know. It’s complicated.”

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And stay tuned for a one-off rendition of the Festival of Poets Theater this coming February at LAXART in Hollywood, CA. The Festival of Poets Theater ran four years in Chicago and featured works by Alain Jugnon, Kathy Acker, Kevin Killian, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Michael Pisaro, Suzanne Stein and Steve Benson, Douglas Kearney, and many others. Lineups for this coming weekend in February will follow shortly.

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Subscribe to Kenning Editions and receive all books in our 2019-2020 season: including Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, Kevin Killian’s Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater, The Grand Complication by Devin King, Several Rotations by Jesse Seldess, and The Chilean Flag by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher, and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña. In April 2020, Kenning Editions will publish a collection of Audre Lorde’s lectures, readings, and interviews given in Germany during the 1980s. Audre Lorde: Dream of Europe is edited by Mayra Rodríguez Castro and offers a certain, sometimes surprising curriculum for engaged poetics based on readings of American counter-culture. You’ll receive it even before it lands in your local bookstore. Later, look for new books by Devin King, Legna Rodriguez and Holly Melgard.

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Recent books in translation from Kenning Editions include The Chilean Flag, by Elvira Hernández; Juana I, by Ana Arzoumanian; The Dirty Text, by Soleida Rios; and Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini. Anna Vitale’s excellent, thoughtful review of Grenade in Mouth is up at Full-Stop now.

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Kenning Editions is teaming up with Action Books, Green Lantern Press, and Small Press Distribution to present an off-site reading at the 2020 AWP conference in San Antonio, where we will launch the forthcoming Audre Lorde: Dream of Europe—Selected Seminars and Interviews 1984-1992 edited by Mayra A. Rodríguez Castro. We will launch this and Jesse Seldess’ glorious new collection, due in December, Several Rotations, this May in New York City. Full details will follow shortly. Let’s get through the rest of 2019 first, though…

Translated into English by Alec Schumacher and with an introduction by Cecilia VicuñaThe Chilean Flag is, at long last, available in a fully bilingual edition.

La bandera de Chile narrates the vicissitudes of the Chilean flag during the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990) evoking the fate of victims of political violence. The Chilean flag is a protagonist divested of agency, a national emblem subjected to the whims of political exigency, a body tortured by those who profess their allegiance to her. She is at the same time a flag, the nation, and woman, especially the mother-spouse figure who the military regime believed should be seen, but not heard. In the end the flag is used as a gag; her only act of resistance is to declare her silence.

Written in 1981, the book became a potent symbol in opposition to the dictatorship and was passed around in mimeographed copies until it was formally published in 1991. Poets at the time had to read and write in secret, self-publishing works in order to avoid the censors and secret police. María Teresa Adriasola wrote under the pen name Elvira Hernández upon the insistence of a friend to avoid being detained for the nature of her poetry. Her work has recently received renewed attention, being awarded the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Prize and the Jorge Tellier National Poetry Prize both in 2018.

Despite the uniquely Chilean context of the work, this poem contains an urgent message for readers today as rising nationalist movements mobilize patriotic discourse in order to silence dissenting voices. The Chilean Flag continues to speak of silence, and through silence, speaks.

A 501c3 non-profit, Kenning Editions relies on the input of many, and now also your tax-deductible monetary contributions to continue. Subscriptions and other goodies are for the taking.

In December 2019 comes Jesse Seldess’ third full length collection, Several Rotations. In April 2020, Kenning Editions will publish a collection of Audre Lorde’s lectures, readings, and interviews given in Germany during the 1980s. Audre Lorde: Dream of Europe is edited by Mayra Rodríguez Castro and offers a certain, sometimes surprising curriculum for engaged poetics based on readings of American counter-culture. Later, look for new books by Devin King, Legna Rodriguez and Holly Melgard. Care of editor Daniel Borzutzky, Juan Luis Martinez’s The New Novel will appear before too long, also, the first translation into English of this influential and strange rupture in the generic edifice of poetry.

The previous season saw much lauded releases, including: Kevin Killian’s selected plays, Stage Fright; Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, edited by Faride Mereb, and translated by Anne Boyer and Cassandra Gillig; and Craig Dworkin’s The Pine-Woods Notebook. September 2019 brings The Chilean Flag by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher, and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña. The Dirty Text by Afro-Cuban poet Soleida Rios (translated by Barbara Jamison and Olivia Lott) was named by Entropy one of the best works of fiction published in 2018. Juana I by Ana Arzoumanian (translated by Gabriel Amor) was released and we were able to bring Ana to the United States for her first ever readings in New York and Chicago.

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Kenning Editions presents a book launch with Olivia Lott and Daniel Borzutzky reading from Soleida Ríos’s The Dirty Text and Devin King reading from his The Grand Complication, Saturday, September 7th, 5:00 PM at The Dial Bookshop, 410 S Michigan Ave #210, Chicago, IL 60605. Free and ADA accessible. Details can be found here.



Join us for a reading to launch two books from Kenning Editions, Devin King’s The Grand Complication and The Dirty Text by Soleida Ríos, translated by Barbara Jamison and Olivia Lott. 
Soleida Ríos 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. 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.

Olivia Lott’s translations of Spanish American poetry have most recently appeared in Brooklyn Rail in TranslationThe Kenyon ReviewMAKE Magazine, Spoon River Poetry ReviewWaxwing, and World Literature Today. She is the co-translator (with Barbara Jamison) of Cuban poet Soleida Ríos’s The Dirty Text (Kenning Editions, 2018). She is a Ph.D. Student and Olin Fellow in Hispanic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is writing a dissertation on translation, revolution, and Latin American neo-avant-garde poetry.

Daniel Borzutzky’s latest poetry collection is Lake Michigan (Pitt Poetry Series, 2018).  He is the author of The Performance of Becoming Human (Brooklyn Arts Press), recipient of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry. His other books include Memories of my Overdevelopment (Kenning Editions, 2015); In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, 2015), and The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011). His translation of Galo Ghigliotto’s Valdivia  (Co-im-press) won the American Literary Translator’s Association 2017 National Translation Award. He has translated poetry collections by Chilean poets Raúl Zurita and Jaime Luis Huenún. He teaches in the English Department and Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Devin King is the poetry editor for The Green Lantern Press. A narrative poem, The Grand Complication, is out from Kenning Editions. Previous books and chaps: CLOPS, These Necrotic Ethos Come the Plains, and The Resonant Space. Criticism on poetry and sound studies can be found at The Chicago Review, Make Magazine, Plume Poetry, Dusted, and Critical Inquiry.

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