Devin King’s The Grand Complication is imminent. And here, at Aurochs, it is immanent. Or, at least, the first three poems, a preview of things to come summer.
Devin King’s The Grand Complication is imminent. And here, at Aurochs, it is immanent. Or, at least, the first three poems, a preview of things to come summer.
A fresh batch of micro-reviews from Kenyon Review is up, ranging among the most urgent books in translation published over the last several months, including Grenade in Mouth, by Miyó Vestrini. Highlights include:
“It’s hard for me to read Grenade in Mouth, the inaugural English translation of avant-garde Venezuelan poet Miyó Vestrini, without hearing the echo of co-translator Anne Boyer’s essay ‘No.’ Boyer writes, ‘Death as refusal requires as its material only life, which if rendered cheaply enough by the conditions that inspire the refusal, can become precious again when selectively and heroically deployed as a no.'”
“Some readers may see Vestrini’s work as a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk that culminates in its author’s death. For me, Grenade in Mouth is more interesting for its unresolvable tensions, exalting in decadence and austerity, joy and horror, and refusal and revolution.”
Chicago! Ana Arzoumanian is visiting the U.S. for a performative, collaborative reading from her full-length debut publication in North America, Juana I. She reads accompanied by Gabriel Amor, translator of the book, and musician Marta Hernández. The event comes courtesy of and takes place at The Poetry Foundation in Chicago. Free, 7:00 PM, Thursday, March 21st, 61 West Superior Street in Chicago.
And Portland, we invite you to a special reading to coincide with the AWP conference. Green Lantern Press / Kenning Editions Showcase, 800 SE 10th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Friday, March 29th. Access to the event is through stairs. That said, though the space is not technically ADA, night of, there can be access arranged to an elevator. 6:30pm-8:00pm. Gratis wine provided by Montinore Estate. Readers include John Beer, Adam Novy, Laura Elrick, Joel Craig, Rachel Galvin, Devin King, Lara Schoorl, John Pluecker and Jessica Anne.
Set for publication this June, Devin King’s book inspired John Tipton to say this: “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.”
Secure your copy via subscription. Subscribers receive the entire 2018-2019 season’s titles for a mere $75.00. That includes Ana Arzoumanian’s Juana I, Soleida Ríos’ The Dirty Text, Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, and Kevin Killian’s Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater among others. Later this year, expect to see The Chilean Flag, by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña. Subscriptions are available also by donating to Kenning Editions, a 501c3 non-profit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
‘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
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 Times, Art Intercepts, and See Chicago Dance.
Lanny Jordan Jackson
The Accomodation For A Solitary B (continued)
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
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.
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.