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the elders whose treaty land is being violently seized by the fossil fuel industry, with the assistance of a newly militarized police force, are calling for bodies–water protectors–and Kenning Editions is donating to the Giniw Collective to help send indigenous youth from the Twin Cities to help up north. Please, if you cannot go yourself, find a way to help, donate directly, or help by subscribing to Kenning Editions. Through July, all new subscriptions will be donated to the Giniw Collective. You get the books; they get the money.

The mighty Poetic Research Bureau in Los Angeles has filmed Brian Kim Stefans reading from Festivals of Patience and posted the results here. The funky mural behind him, his throbbing Aladdin Sane face mask, and then sound of passing traffic in the street are a poignant match for the trio of sonnets by Rimbaud (one, the “Sonnet to the Asshole,” a collaboration between Rimbaud and Verlaine).

Over at Harriett, Ryo Yamaguchi’s posted a short review of Coronavirus Haiku.

The poets in this anthology exercise numerous haiku traditions, drawing on seasonal indicators and onomatopoeic exclamations, and on haiku’s radical, politically charged strains.

Read it here.

Kenning Editions proudly announces the publication of two new books of poetry.

Festivals of Patience: The Verse Poems of Arthur Rimbaud, translated by Brian Kim Stefans, with a foreword by Jennifer Moxley.

Poet of “logical revolts,” of sexual freedom, inveterate modernist, Symbolist, and inspiration to beatniks, conceptual artists and punks, Arthur Rimbaud wrote some of the most enduring poems of world literature. His career lasted all of five years, between 1870-1875. Here is a collection of all of his poems in verse, in a new English translation by American poet Brian Kim Stefans. With Rimbaud’s sense of songcraft in mind, Stefans has retained the French meters in his English versions. He is the first to have done this. The book opens with a Latin poem that Rimbaud wrote more than a year before his first known French poem, and it ends with a short poem he wrote a few years after leaving Paris, one which became a touchstone for Surrealist Andre Breton. CAConrad declares, “Brian Kim Stefans sets us ablaze with his astonishing new Rimbaud, proving it takes a worldly, genius poet to translate another. This book is a masterpiece!”

Brian Kim Stefans is a poet, digital artist and theorist who teaches in the English Department at UCLA. Recent poetry publications include the chapbook “A Theatrical Oasis in the Spine of the Moon” (2020), “Viva Miscegenation”: New Writing (2013), Kluge: A Meditation and other works (2007) and What Is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers (2006). A volume of speculative literary criticism, Word Toys: Poetry and Technics, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2017.

Festivals of Patience is also available as an ebook; search for ISBN 978-1-7343176-2-6

Coronavirus Haiku, by Worker Writers School, edited and introduced by Mark Nowak.

The Worker Writers School supports writers from one of New York City’s most ubiquitous yet least-heard populations: low-wage workers. Mark Nowak, a writer and founding director of the school, presents a selection of haiku written by “frontline workers” during the Covid 19 crisis. The poets included here had already been studying examples of the form and its connection to political resistance from seventeenth-century Japan to the Black Arts Movement of the twentieth century, as well as its capacity to amplify voices of everyday life. These “coronavirus haiku” convey moments of protest, solace, wonder, certainty, love, and strife. The writers in this anthology hail from the school’s worker center partners in New York City including Domestic Workers United, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Street Vendor Project, and Retail Action Project: Thomas Barzey, Kerl Brooks, Estabon Chimilio, Nimfa Despabiladeras, Lorraine Garnett, Davidson Garrett, Seth Goldman, Christine Lewis, Doreen McGill, Alando McIntyre, Kelebohile Nkhereanye, Alfreda Small, and Paloma Zapata.

Mark Nowak is a poet, cultural critic, playwright and essayist, from Buffalo, New York. Nowak is the author of three poetry collections: Coal Mountain Elementary (Coffee House Press, 2009), Shut Up Shut Down (Coffee House Press, 2004), and Revenants (Coffee House Press, 2000). A portion of his critical book, Social Poetics (Coffee House Press, 2020), chronicles his work with the Worker Writers School.

Coronavirus Haiku is also available as an ebook; search for ISBN 978-1-7343176-5-7

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Join Kenning Editions, Pilsen Community Books, and PEN America as we launch Coronavirus Haiku with readings from Mark Nowak and members of the Worker Writers School today, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CDT. Register for this free, virtual event here.

The Flowchart Foundation is going to project a selection of the haiku atop a huge canopy in downtown Hudson, NY. This is the second in their series called “Tentacle.” Coronavirus Haiku will stream on the canopy each night for the first two weeks of May.

Also this spring/summer, look for selections from the book to appear on Manhattan bus stop kiosks. These short video renditions are being created by Burn the Film (Zhengfan Yang and Shengze Zhu), in collaboration with Worker Writers School poet Alando McIntyre. Meanwhile, read some of the haiku on the Worker Writers School Twitter and Instagram pages.

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We are organizing a launch event for Festivals of Patience, in collaboration with Small Press Traffic, and featuring readings and discussion with Brian Kim Stefans, Mathilda Cullen, Stephen Ira, Arastilde Kirby, and Anna Vitale. Details to follow soon.

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Subscribe to Kenning Editions and receive all of our paperback books in the 2020-2021 season, including Festivals of Patience and Coronavirus Haiku. Also in the works are The Science of Departures by Adalber Salas Hernández, translated by Robin Myers; Hieroglyphs of the Inverted World by Rob Halpern; and books by Holly Melgard and Connie Scozzaro. 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. We are also working on forthcoming books by Jay Wright, Charlie Markbreiter and Nathalie Quintane (translated by Marty Hiatt). As a subscriber, you will be the first to learn as additional projects come into view, as well as being the first to receive them in the mail!

Your subscription is the most direct way to support the press’ ongoing efforts to make important new writing available. In the U.S., a subscription of $75.00 is postage paid. International subscribers incur a shipping charge of $25.00.

Spring is here and so are new titles: Coronavirus Haiku by Worker Writers School, edited and introduced by Mark Nowak; and Festivals of Patience: The Verse Poems of Arthur Rimbaud, translated and introduced by Brian Kim Stefans, with a foreword by Jennifer Moxley. Pre-order both titles right now and they will ship in time to begin your summer reading in May!

Join Kenning Editions, Pen America, and Pilsen Community Books as we launch Coronavirus Haiku with the Worker Writers School and Mark Nowak, May Day, 2021, 7:00-8:00 PM (Central). Click through to register and attend!

Join Kenning Editions, Pen America, and Pilsen Community Books as we launch Coronavirus Haiku with the Worker Writers School and Mark Nowak, May Day, 2021, 7:00-8:00 PM (Central). Click through to register and attend!

The Worker Writers School supports writers from one of New York City’s most ubiquitous yet least-heard populations: low-wage workers. Mark Nowak, a writer and founding director of the school, presents a selection of haiku written by “frontline workers” during the Covid 19 crisis. The poets included here had already been studying examples of the form and its connection to political resistance from seventeenth-century Japan to the Black Arts Movement of the twentieth century, as well as its capacity to amplify voices of everyday life. These “coronavirus haiku” convey moments of protest, solace, wonder, certainty, love, and strife. The writers in this anthology hail from the school’s worker center partners in New York City including Domestic Workers United, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Street Vendor Project, and Retail Action Project: Thomas Barzey, Kerl Brooks, Estabon Chimilio, Nimfa Despabiladeras, Lorraine Garnett, Davidson Garrett, Seth Goldman, Christine Lewis, Doreen McGill, Alando McIntyre, Kelebohile Nkhereanye, Alfreda Small, and Paloma Zapata.

 

In the 2021-2022 season, Kenning Editions will publish Festivals of Patience: The Verse Poems of Arthur Rimbaud, translated by Brian Kim Stefans; Hieroglyphs of the Inverted World, by Rob Halpern; and Coronavirus Haiku, by Worker Writers School, edited and introduced by Mark Nowak. Also in the works are new books by Holly Melgard and Connie Scozzaro, as well as 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.

Consider becoming a supporter of Kenning Editions. Your options are many and come with premiums, such as a subscription to receive everything we publish, and more. We are a 501c3 non profit organization and your donations are tax deductible.

Onward!

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.

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