Patrick Durgin, author of PQRS (also the Singles and Daughter), will read with Lyn Hejinian and others as part of the celebration of Gertrude Stein’s famed visit to Chicago in 1934, “An Adventure Was Home.” The event is free and takes place at the Poetry Foundation in downtown Chicago, Wednesday, November 11, 7:00 PM. Click for more details.

And on November 15, Trisha Low, author of The Compleat Purge, reads with Monica McClure at 5:30 PM, Sunday, November 15th. Presented by the venerable Small Press Traffic, the event takes place at Artist Television Access, in the Mission District of San Francisco.

A 501c3 non-profit, independent literary publisher founded in 1998, Kenning Editions began as a “newsletter” in the small press “little magazine” tradition. Since 2005 Kenning has published paperback books explicitly involved in a negotiation between political commitment and aesthetic quality. Work of this kind variously proves that “experimental” is not a stylistic feature or set of effects, but that risk and deliberation are mutually ramifying forces.

In 2015-2016, Kenning Editions will publish Dolores Dorantes’ Style (translated by Jen Hofer) and Joshua Corey’s new translation of Francis Ponge’s classic Le Parti pris des choses. Ongoing is a series of ten chapbooks of nonfiction writing, entitled Ordinance, which is available exclusively through the press. Ordinance essays are commissioned, the books are handmade and perfectbound, and the series covers areas such as contemporary poetics, philosophy, politics, and technology. Authors include Daniel Borzutzky, Cassandra Troyan, Andrew Durbin, and Julietta Cheung.

Kenning Editions has published first books by Trisha Low, K. Silem Mohammad and Jesse Seldess; the first full-length translations into English of Dolores Dorantes and Jean-Marie Gleize; The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater, the first collection of its kind anywhere; Hannah Weiner’s Open House, which introduced this extraordinary poet and artist to many, while practically discovering the full scope of her work; and the “audio edition” of the Kenning newsletter which, in 2000, presaged resources like PennSound.

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. Just click “donate” and enter the amount you would like to give. Premium levels begin at $10.00 and all supporters receive acknowledgement by name in a forthcoming title. All levels at $35.00 and above receive a subscription to the Ordinance series, which runs through 2016. Click here to learn more about the options.

“What I have seen muddies my thinking. It clouds my sight, gives me migraines. The repressive system at work in Mexico has done me a lot of harm, without doubt. It’s like having a mental scar. Anyone who has been hunted by the state would understand. But it’s been precisely this journey through hell that has made me believe that maybe my common sense was right.”–Read more here.

Dorantes’ Style is forthcoming, late this year, from Kenning Editions.

Dolores Dorantes’s Style is a prose book in which a plural feminine voice narrates the vicissitudes of a war designed to suppress that voice. A voice that represents the war on the Mexico-U.S. border? Guerilla adolescents taking their revenge? Enslaved girls who appear in order to combat a macho presidential figure linked to our current-day Central America? Latin America advancing on a fascist-capitalist government? These are some of the questions that might arise from Style. The book was written in 2011, in some dark place in Texas, during the first three months Dorantes was awaiting political asylum.

Estilo, de Dolores Dorantes, es un libro de prosa donde una voz femenina plural narra los avatares de una guerra que intenta someterla. ¿Una voz que representa la guerra en la frontera México-Estados Unidos? ¿Adolescentes guerrilleras tomando venganza? ¿Niñas esclavas que se revelan para combatir una figura presidencial machista ligada a nuestra Centroamérica actual? ¿Latino América avanzando por encima de un gobierno fascista-capitalista? Esas son varias de las preguntas con las Estilo podría relacionarse. Fue escrito en 2011, en algún lugar oscuro de Texas, durante los primeros tres meses de espera de Dorantes por asilo político.

Kenning Editions is proud to announce the second in the Ordinance series: Minoritarian Enunciation and Global Product Culture, by Julietta Cheung.

In Minoritarian Enunciation and Global Product Culture, artist Julietta Cheung uses Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s linguistic concepts to tease out the creative force of consumption in a globalized economy. Taking Chinese “shanzhai” as a partially subversive intervention–and comparing the pirated, open-source manufacture of Apple products (the “HiPhone”) to fan fiction–Cheung connects the rhizomatic complexities of desire, flows of capital, and the textual conditions of translation. Minoritarian Enunciation and Global Product Culture is an important resuscitation of Deleuzian theory and a level-headed elaboration of how global branding intersects with “ideology,” and technology with popular culture.

Julietta Cheung is a visual artist. She has exhibited at various venues in Europe and the United States. Her conceptually-driven work merges sculpture, graphics, photography and appropriative writing within installations that examine the interrelationship between language and the material world. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Florida State University.

The Ordinance series is available by subscription ($35.00 for all) and Individual titles may be purchased ($7.00). The series will be complete by the end of 2016, with ten titles in all. The first title appeared in June: Memories of My Overdevelopment, by Daniel Borzutzky. Subscribe now and both will be dispatched in haste! See the full Kenning Editions catalog here.

Kenning Editions proudly announces the first in the Ordinance series, Memories of my Overdevelopment, by Daniel Borzutzky.

Memories of my Overdevelopment reflects on the politics of translation, transnationalism, neoliberalism and the author’s life as a Chilean-American poet living in Chicago.  Through essays, poems and hybrid forms.  Borzutzky develops an argument about the continuums of economic and political violence that translate across borders, reversing the stereotypical belief that the US controls South America, and not the other way around.  Here, translation is a means of showing that the “neoliberal policy lab” of Chicago could not exist without the influence of pre-existing economic experiments in Chile and Latin America.

Daniel Borzutzky is the author of the poetry collections The Performance of Becoming Human (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016), In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, 2015), The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011), The Ecstasy of Capitulation (BlazeVox, 2007); the chapbooks Bedtime Stories for the End of the World (Bloof Books, 2014), Data Bodies (The Green Lantern, 2013), One Size Fits All (Scantily Clad Press, 2009), and Failure of the Imagination (Bronze Skull Press 2007); and a collection of short stories, Arbitrary Tales (Ravenna Press, 2005). He has translated Raúl Zurita’sThe Country of Planks (Action Books, 2015) and Song for His Disappeared Love (Action Books, 2010); and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (Action Books, 2008). His writing has been translated into Spanish, French, Bulgarian, and Turkish, and has been anthologized in, among other publications, Angels of the Americlypse: An Anthology of New Latin@ Writing; La Alteración del Silencio: Poesía Norteamericana RecienteMalditos Latinos Malditos Sudacas: Poesia Iberoamericana Made in USAA Best of Fence: The First Nine Years; and The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century. Borzutzky’s work has been recognized by grants from the PEN American Center and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ordinance, a critical series, issues nonfiction writing in the areas of contemporary poetics, philosophy, politics, and technology. Ordinance as in coordination, ordinal points, and incendiary potential with greater stamina than yesterday’s feed. Each chapbook in the series is handmade, perfect bound, and portable. The Ordinance series is available by subscription ($35.00 for all) and Individual titles may be purchased ($7.00). Free PDF downloads of each book will be available at The series will be complete by the end of 2016, with ten titles in all. Next are essays by Julietta Cheung, Daniel Spangler, Andrew Durbin, Cassandra Troyan, Margit Säde and others.


Kenning Editions’ new nonfiction series, 2015-2016

Ordinance, a critical series, issues nonfiction writing in the areas of contemporary poetics, philosophy, politics, and technology. Ordinance as in coordination, ordinal points, and incendiary potential. Ordinance offers in chapbook form essays and other texts with greater stamina than yesterday’s feed. They will also be available to read on screen.

Beginning in June, Kenning Editions will publish a new chapbook in the series every couple of months. These are slender, handmade, perfectbound books. The first set features work by Julietta Cheung (on global product culture as enunciation), Daniel Borzutsky (on translation and Chicago School economics), Andrew Durbin (on Donna Summer), and Daniel Spangler (on operating systems, God, and Deleuze). 2016 begins with Cassandra Troyan (on social reproduction, emotional labor, sex work, & gendered violence). The series will carry on from there and updates will be posted to and elsewhere.

Although you may purchase individual titles at $7.00 each, you may subscribe to the series for a mere $35.00 and receive them all as they are printed. International orders add a $15.00 shipping fee.

Meanwhile, Hannah Weiner has had her first museum show, and Trisha Low has been busy this spring castigating the culture (for its own benefit–see what I mean here). And if you plan to be in Chicago next winter, you can look forward to attending a poets theater festival we are coordinating with the good citizens at Sector 2337. To help everyone prepare, the Weiner, Low, and Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater books are on sale for the next week or so.

We have more planned, but nothing we’re ready to confide just now. Stay tuned and help spread the word.

Trisha Low left a trail of dead this spring, and to help you follow along:

Here is the first of a few “National Poetry Month” posts for the Poetry Foundation:

I mean the truth is that poetry is not anything really that morally superior or good or exciting, it’s like not even as good as the green frosting on a CVS cupcake that could maybe redeem itself because it tastes 0.5% like a jolly rancher…

Here is Low’s series On Being Hated from the SFMoma’s Open Space blog:

From heavy leather jackets to tattoos, subcultural markers tend to also become visual calcifications of form, stiff materialization without which there is only reason to flee, or worse still, no reason not to die. Another word for existence is survival. Maybe without performing being-hated, whatever bullshit pain you feel is only a fucking compromise. Maybe performing being-hated is a simple case of desiring better, wanting different.

Here at Lemonhound is a book review she wrote, sizing up Brandon Brown and Steven Zultanski’s new books:

Like it or not, the feminine confessional has transmutated itself from male fascination to a mode of transgression, revenge, cold-blooded violence, out of necessity – because the fetishism surrounding this genre has always at least ensured that the work is even read. The feminine confessional can do. But this has always come at a higher cost to the author. We are weak, or vulnerable and sexy because of it, we are nuts, or narcissistic, or should drown ourselves à la Virginia Woolf. We are cute but talentless.

And another good book is Ben Fama’s Fantasy. Low and Fama discuss at The Believer:

You’re very unflappable. I’m trying to embarrass you here.

At The Operating System is a review of Low’s own Compleat Purge:

I’ve wanted to write about The Compleat Purge for a while, however, I’ve felt prevented from doing so by the fact that the book is, in a sense, a step ahead of me: it’s already dialoging with the thinkers and theoretical frameworks that I, as a critic, would like to put it into conversation with. Trisha is a poet who does theory: her work contains the critical apparatus through which to apprehend it. The Compleat Purge writes its own review. The Compleat Purge swallows the place of the critic.

I’ve been meaning to tell you that Patrick Durgin and Jesse Seldess will be reading at 7:00 PM next Wednesday, March 25th, at Unnameable Books (600 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY). The event is free, and it is only a short subway ride to St. Mark’s Church, where, later that night, Tan Lin reads with Mei-Mei Burssenbrugge, and both discuss their work with Dorothy Wang, author of Thinking Its Presence. The last chapter of Wang’s book is on Pamela Lu.

Durgin will give a talk on a poets theater panel this April at AWP. The conference is in Minneapolis this year.

Trisha Low has posted a bewilderingly great essay to the SFMOMA “Open Space” blog, here.

Tonight, curator Franziska Glozer’s exhibition devoted to the work of Hannah Weiner opens at the Kunsthalle Zürich. Testing the hypothesis that Weiner’s clair-style writing foreshadowed contemporary virtual semiotic circuits, Glozer is possibly the first since the Dwan Gallery’s “Language” exhibits in the early 1960s to exhibit her work as written objects. See the press release for more information on the show and related events hosted by the museum.

The Clairvoyant Journal, Weiner’s best known book, has been reset and reissued in print by BAT Editions. See Patrick Durgin’s long form introduction to book, and order a copy for yourself, right here.

Jesse Seldess will be reading at the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco the evening of December 13. (Details.) Seldess is the author of Who Opens and Left Having. Let’s celebrate this rare opportunity to hear his inimitable pronouncements in the Bay Area–the last time he was there to read may have been 2007?–by discounting the books for the period leading up to the event. Buy early and often.

Jesse Seldess on Penn Sound.



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