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Kenning Editions is proud to announce the publication of Propagation by Laura Elrick.


Propagation’s minimalist scoring belies an obsession with the gestural repleteness of discourse, with what poet and linguist Henri Meschonnic called the embodied aptitude of language (“a poem is an activity, not a product”). One central activity of this poem is listening, to language public and private, living and mediated, and to texts we read silently or aloud to one another. A series, the poems in Propagation also test audible vectors by sifting and colliding, graphing and distilling. What emerges is both residue and metamorphosis: a materialist sensing of the complex ecosystems of language and experience.

Laura Elrick is the author of Fantasies in Permeable Structures (Factory School, 2005) and sKincerity (Krupskaya, 2003). Her psychogeographically-inspired research and performance works include the oppositional cartography Blocks Away (2010), the video-poem Stalk (2008), and a sound work, 5 Audio Pieces for Doubled Voice (2005). Her work also appears in Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing, VIZ Inter-Arts: A Trans-Genre Anthology, and The Eco Language Reader. She currently teaches poetry and poetics at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Laura Elrick’s Propagation is incantatory, magical, mischievous, devilish. Its syntax is resistant, fluid, impeded; its lineation outwits givens, decommodifies ideas, modulates stances, transforms terms. The poems are moody—sullen, fanciful, sardonic, meditative, funny, mad. Propagation, in other words, invites multiple readings, but not only because one can voice its polyphonic perspective so variously; it does so, above all, because it is enchanting, wondrous. In the myth, Pandora’s box turned out to contain mostly sinister forces and the origins of human woe. Elrick’s Propagation acknowledges the presence of this sad panoply, but what emerges most forcefully from this book is the revolutionary power of hope, not as mere promise but as an articulate practice.—-Lyn Hejinian

Propagation imagines a poetics in corporeal and synaptic listenings, where we find ourselves wondering to what are we obedient? The syllable? The ear? At times in this book, I am still and bodily (an almost watching) but simultaneously I am struck by the movement between what is aural and what is a lurking narrative. And where the brilliance lies is that we begin to recognize our own patterns in Elrick’s. Within a poetics that interrogates (as sleep patterns) the tension of what we are meant to say and what our bodies permit. There is no feigned fluency here. But there is pleasure – in listening to Propagation – the language as cochlear strata opening towards a something, that while lacking in certitude, relishes in what is disfluent. You are here. Amassing something in the folds.—-Jordan Scott

In unkettleable, molecularized refrains, Laura Elrick builds immersive environments that pick up and reinflect the distributed attention of networked subjectivity in our contemporary phonotope. Read-listen as ambient strains turn focal through expert recursive manipulation of unauthored fragments. Here iteration of apparently simple functions produces complex behaviors: Propagation lets commonsing convene dissonance || “talking matters and silence silence matters” || catches disavowal in its very turns of veiling || “I would never never” || and yet sees “a fraction of love” as “a whole fraction.” The “earworms” of the resulting radio-Orphée present a disembodied corporeality of sound loaded with psychoacoustic resonance: “do you do you want seriously want” || yes-say-yes.—-Judith Goldman

ISBN: 978-0-9846475-8-3   $14.95.

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