A round up of some of the books, albums and performances recently published and now available from B O D Y contributors. For your extended reading pleasure.
W.N. Herbert & Yang Lian (eds.)
The Third Shore: Chinese and English-Language Poetry in Mutual Translation
Following the success of last year’s publication of Jade Ladder: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (Bloodaxe, 2012), W.N. Herbert and Yang Lian have teamed up again to produce The Third Shore (Shearsman, 2013), an anthology in which Chinese and English-language poets translate each other’s work. Featured poets include Jiang Tao, Leng Shuang, Tang Xiaodu, Wang Xaoni, Xiao Kaiyu, Xi Chuan, Yan Li, Yang Lian, Yang Xiaobin, Yu Jian, Zang Di, Zhai Yongming, Zhang Wei, Zhou Zan, Nicholas Admussen, Tony Barnstone, Polly Clark, Jennifer Crawford, Antony Dunn, W.N. Herbert, Sean O’Brien, Pascale Petit, Fiona Sampson, Arthur Sze, George Szirtes and Joshua Weiner. Edited and introduced by Yang Lian and W.N. Herbert.
Dreamers And Their Shadows
Mountain Treasury Press
Douglas J. Penick’s new book, Dreamers And Their Shadows, follows the curious history of two ancient scrolls discovered in the 1950’s in a Tokyo bombsite. They purport to be the history of an unknown 15th-Century Japanese spiritual teacher but are soon unmasked as forgeries. Yet the mystery remains: Who created this hoax? And why?
Frost in the Low Areas
Zone 3 Press
Dara Wier calls Karen Skolfield’s Frost in the Low Areas a “well made and welcoming” debut collection of poetry from a “multifaceted … poet of grace, wit and purpose” whose poems “examine what Skolfield encounters, inviting us in, letting us go renewed and eager and prepared to know more.”
Read Karen Skolfield’s work in B O D Y
Set in the Illinois floodplain known as the Bottom, the poems in Overpass follow a central figure called Overpass Girl, whose cancer “becomes a kind of metaphor for this ‘dirt cursed with industry and blood.” Martha Collins writes that the poems in Overpass create “a startling and delightful tension between its richly gritty content, and a craft that crashes through its own formal restraints with deft use of wordplay, syntax, allusion, and joyful sound.”
Vidyan Ravinthiran writes in Poetry London that “the delicate particularity” of Brackenbury’s style “chimes with that of the world” while Gillian Clarke calls Brackenbury a poet who “loves, lives, hymns and rhymes the natural world and its people like no other poet.” Set in rural England, the poems focus on the “beauty and harshness of the natural world while reaching “urgently to both past and future.”
Visual Arts Collective
The poems in Solecism have significant concerns: Cultural, political, personal, and religious, but it is the writing of powerful poems, not protest signs, that is Ben-Oni’s task. Her poetry is aware of the world’s urgencies, and, troubled, engages them in a barbed dream-language of vengeful longing.
Copper Canyon Press
Ed Skoog’s second collection of poems, Rough Day, “finds its essential unity in a fixation on American events and landscapes—from Yellowstone and New Orleans to Kansas and the Pacific Northwest.”
Gradually The World: New & Selection Poems 1982-2013
Burt Kimmelman’s collection of selected poems shows the care that goes into his language. Many of these poems rely on syllabics and are influenced both by Asian poetry and art. There is a deep craftsmanship here evinced by well-wrought lines that gird Kimmelman’s glimpses of evanescent eternity.
M. Henderson Ellis
Keeping Bedlam at Bay in the Prague Café
New Europe Books
A former barista from Chicago dives into the mayhem of Prague in the early 1990s to find his best-laid plans exploded in the fireworks of a rapidly changing world he comically and sometimes tragically misunderstands.
Vesna Goldsworthy calls Jelena Lengold’s prize winning Fairground Magician “a wonderful collection of short stories. Sensuous, charming, witty and urbane, Jelena Lengold’s stories of complex relationships and passions are both highly literary and highly readable.”
Joaquín Pérez Azaústre
Frisch & Co.
A detective story without a detective, an investigation into a mystery that defies explanation, and a moving meditation on modern city life, Gary Severance calls The Swimmers “an excellent novel, reminiscent of the work of Verlaine, Proust, and Kafka.”
Young Jean Lee
We’re Gonna Die (album)
Future Wife’s first album We’re Gonna Die, is based on acclaimed live show by Young Jean Lee, whom The New York Times recently called “hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation.” Unlike the live show — which features Young Jean Lee performing all of the monologues — the album invites other musicians to tell the stories, including David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Kathleen Hanna, Adam Horovitz (aka Ad-Rock), Drew Daniel And Martin Schmidt (Matmos), Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire) and Colin Stetson, some of whom also contribute to the music.
OPEN HOUSE was written by Aaron Landsman, commissioned and produced by The Foundry Theatre in 2008, in 24 New York City apartments. Supported by Kulturanova, Landsman has now taken his project to Novi Sad, Serbia. Called “Open House Remix” as a performance, Landsman invites the public to take his play, Open House, and “remix” it. The website for the performance calls it “open source theater” and refers to Landsman’s text as the “source code.” The rules are simple: “Download the script and read it in someone’s home. Take it as a departure point, do what you will to the play, present it how you want. Do a city-specific rewrite, or have us do one with you. Show us what you did.”
the poetry killer and other stories
oilcan press 2013
Edgar Oliver’s latest book, the poetry killer and other stories is a small handmade book of stories, linoleum block printed coverstock of varying colors. According to the press, “it’s the most words in an oilcan press production yet. each book is a unique work of art.”
Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble
Everything One In The Disc Of The Sun (performance and album)
Produced by Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble in association with Immediate Medium
2013, now playing
In Everything One in the Disc of the Sun, three Osirian priests gather at a pseudo-Egyptian karaoke bar at the end of time to perform their favorite tracks from the self-help repertoire. Under the cosmic glow of an LED pyramid, Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble sings, chants, and recites forgotten hits from the VHS vaults of gurus, cult leaders, corporate speakers, and extraterrestrial mediums, which they channel through an embedded in-ear karaoke machine. Combined with original songs, gestural fragments of the Death Trance Dance, compulsive drinking rituals, video projection, and other cultural flotsam, Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble entombs the lost relics of a future civilization in lyrical self-preservation.
A remarkable collection of books by the late, great Erje Ayden are available on Etsy. Well worth checking out.
Head’s up for next year:
Academy Award nominee Lucy Alibar sold her book “The Prophet of Grady County” to Scribner, and it should be out next year. We ran an excerpt from it, but she later changed the title. Personally, we really liked the original title. Read an excerpt from this book in B O D Y
B O D Y contributor Kristen Kosmas‘s THERE THERE will be published in a bilingual edition in English and Russian, with illustrations, this December (2013) by 53rd State Press. Read an excerpt from this book in B O D Y.
Stephen Cushman has a new book, The Red List: A Poem, coming out next Spring from LSU Press. A talented lyrical poet who has never shied from formal adventure, Stephen Cushman has written a book-length poem that takes its title from the slang term for the Endangered Species list. It begins, “Endangerment’s foreplay en route to extinction / often but not always,” and concerns endangerment of several types. Read the author’s work in B O D Y
— the editors