Music Instead of Emotion: A Rail reading by David Larsen and Tenaya Nasser-Frederick

Register here. And pick up Zeroes Were Hollow and Syrup Hits (a few remain!).

David Larsen is a US poet and translator, and the author of Zeroes Were Hollow (Kenning Editions, 2022). His open notebook of unpublished translations is viewable online. Currently, he is a research fellow at the Library of Arabic Literature in Abu Dhabi, where he is editing the poems of Jamil Buthaynah.

Tenaya Nasser-Frederick is the author of two chapbooks, Penumbra Highway (Gas Meter, 2018) and Lavender Cats (1080 press, 2020). Poems have appeared in the _Brooklyn Rail, Castle Greyskull, the Brooklyn Review, and EBB.


Every in print paperback book ever published by Kenning Editions is half off here at this week, August 14 through 19. Stock up. These are built to be read and cherished. And heaven knows you do not have them all, yet. Domestic shipping is free. International shipping is reasonable.

I’ve wanted to have a stoop sale, but it’s never seemed feasible. So I’m just running another mailorder discount blitz, this time featuring a batch of books by Latin-American women, in translation (all but one including the original Spanish en face). These books are half off now through the 9th:

The Chilean Flag

The Dirty Text

Grenade in Mouth


Juana I

For no good reason, other than they are great, we’re offering all three books by Jesse Seldess and Devin King on sale for half price this week. Here’s a good reason, actually. Two of my favorite aspects of their poems are repetition and narrative. And, well, those are two incongruent aspects of poetry that each masterfully reconciles. Look here:

Who Opens

Left Having

Several Rotations

The Grand Complication

There Three


Buy them all! Read them all! It’s summer, why not?

It’s May Day. Celebrate with a big long narrative poem called Gathering. It’s Devin King’s continuing saga, and this installment begins at a dinner party in Chicago and ends in a utopia populated by storytelling ants. In between is a choral künstlerroman, a series of intertwined, poetic monologues that explore how the single narrator of existential and auto-fiction might be broadened to two, three, or even four narrators. Follow along here.

P&T Knitwear is pleased to welcome Charlie Markbreiter to celebrate his first book, Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella, with a talk, audience Q&A, and book signing. Interlaced with essays on transsexuality, clones, dissociating, American Apparel, and affect theorist Lauren Berlant, Gossip Girl Fanfic Novella is a parasocial eulogy for the aughts. “It’s some kind of auto(fan)fiction” that “uses the conventions of fanfiction as a dissociated way of writing about trans-ness,” as well as “social media, its effects on language, on style, on love, on attachment, on intellectual and emotional labor, on whatever the ruling class has become in this century. XOXO.” (McKenzie Wark, author of Raving)

Charlie will be joined in conversation by James Factora, staff writer at them. After the talk, Charlie will sign copies of his book. XOXO.

RSVP here.

The Times Literary Supplement has published Alexandra Reza’s gleaming discussion of Nathalie Quintane’s work, with a focus on Tomatoes and Marty Hiatt’s heroic work translating and contextualizing that book. Read the piece here.

We are pleased as punch to announce the publication of David Larsen’s second book of poetry, Zeroes Were Hollow, along with a limited, facsimile edition of his 2005 chapbook Syrup Hits.

There is a tradition of cerebral scholar-poets in which David Larsen is hard to place. As a translator, he performs sensitive work that preserves the alterity of medieval Arabic poetry without stooping to exoticism or hermetic dodges. His original poetry is an unconventional counterpart to this practice. It is profane, musical, and, as announced on the cover of Larsen’s 2005 debut The Thorn, “easy to read.” That book was archly described by Kevin Killian as “a book of anger, the fury that sweeps through the plain, the Abolitionist anger that made John Brown steal that ferry.” Seventeen years later comes Zeroes Were Hollow, a second book of poetry suffused with the wit of the gallows. “I was pleased as punch to let it lie,” says the first poem, “but then the bug bit me,” and indeed the book crawls with pests and vermin. By definition these are animals out of place, and ever-present familiars to the poet of Zeroes Were Hollow. Amid the laughter, it is a solemn revolt against nihilism, and a monument to civic animus and loss of life whose marble is still warm to the touch.


In 2005, Kenning published Syrup Hits, a pseudonymous chapbook-length collage billed as the “remix” of David Larsen’s first book of poetry. In Syrup Hits, the satirical undercurrent of The Thorn was channeled into a 32-page torrent on the U.S. invasion of Iraq, as filtered through slowed-down soundscapes of southern-US hip hop and the San Francisco Bay Area tradition of psychedelic protest art. Now, to accompany Zeroes Were Hollow, we are pleased to rerelease Syrup Hits in a limited, facsimile edition. “Amazing. Some of the best use of collage I’ve ever seen, and my favorite handwriting since Whalen.” — Gary Sullivan

Syrup Hits originally appeared in 2005 with endpapers block-printed and hand-tinted by the artist. This edition: reproduction, riso, hand painting, binding and image processing by Kelli Anderson, Oriana Nuzzi, and Faride Mereb.




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