OS Open Access Library

Welcome to our Open Access library!

All Operating System titles are printed using a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND License, in part a decision we made for times like these, so sharing and access would be fully legal and protect our authors, readers, and organization.

There’s a lot of work happening on the back end to make this possible, so please be patient! We are working on rolling out title availability by catalog year, reverse chronologically beginning with 2020.

We do not require payment for digital downloads, but we encourage you to support our community members directly whenever possible. At the current moment, we believe that it is more important to encourage direct support for mutual aid and solidarity efforts for antiracist, abolitionist, housing and climate justice, as well as many other struggles, than it isto encourage those in our community to divert their already limited resources to acquiring more physical books. We want you to have this wonderful *work,* and if both supporting change and making purchases isin your budget, please do support the OS and these authors by purchasing these titles on Bookshop!

You are always welcome to make a one-time or recurring donation to the OS here, but as so many of our collaborating artists and authors have experienced a loss of income in this time, we encourage you to donate directly to them, via links under each title. We believe resources at this time must be focused on remaining liquid for aid.

Stay connected to the OS for updates by following us on social media and on Medium.

2020 Projects

HíKURI (PEYOTE)

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts Project]

Project Description:

‘Híkuri (Peyote)’ is Mexican Infrarealist José Vicente Anaya’s cult-classic poem. Influenced by his participation in a series of peyote ceremonies in his native Chihuahua, Anaya charts a transformative journey inwards, towards a psychedelic convergence of inside/outside, male/female, past/present, self/other. Incorporating Rarámuri language and traversing territory associated with ecopoetics, ethnopoetics, modernism, and infrarealism, Híkuri (Peyote) presents a utopian alternative to EuroAmerican colonial modernity—a reclamation of autonomy and poetic nomadism. [This edition is a dual-language facing-page translation, with commentary from both Anaya and translator Joshua Pollock.]

Praise for Híkuri:

“José Vicente Anaya’s long, visionary poem Híkuri (Peyote) is a countercultural classic of Mexican literature. But it is not only that: it is a mapping of the borderlands of self, a meditation on the ethnopoetic and its limits, and a celebration of the chant as eco-indigenous form that challenges the colonial politics of the lettered city. While Anaya is often mentioned for his transnational involvement with alternative poetry movements (Beat poetry, Mexican Infrarealism), Híkuri (Peyote) is its own translingual poetics of luminous defiance: ‘I go into uncertainty certain / of ending up uncertain / INCANDESCENT.’ Whereas Artaud engaged Rarámuri language and culture through the unabashedly imperial eyes of the tourist poet, Anaya proposes an uneasily decolonial auto-ethnographic poetics that works both from and against the settler logic of the avant-gardes in the Americas. Joshua Pollock’s translation powerfully renders the visual and sonic layers of Anaya’s song with careful attention to the politics of oral/aural revolution, the gaps of meaning, the silences of a page where “the True Name is not written.”––Urayoán Noel

Further reading:

[un] llamado al inconsciente colectivo // a call to the collective unconscious – an OS conversation with José Vicente Anaya (in Spanish with English translation)

A Defiant Intertextuality – an OS Interview with translator Joshua Pollock

an excerpt from Híkuri in Asymptote Journal

José Vicente Anaya (Villa Coronado, Chihuahua, 1947) is a Mexican poet, essayist, translator, editor, and journalist. He was founder and co-director of the poetry journal Alforja from 1997 to 2008. In 1980 he won the Plural prize in poetry. In 1981 he was awarded the INBA-FONAPAS poetry grant. In 1989 he received the Tomás Valles Literature Prize. In 2000 he was named Writer Emeritus by the Chihuahuan Institute of Culture and CONACULTA. He has published more than 25 books. His poetry has been translated into English, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Joshua Pollock is a translator and poet. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vestiges, Jubilat, Chicago Review, and others. He lives in a constant struggle against the mechanisms of attrition and destruction.

INTERGALACTIC TRAVELS

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Support this Community Member Directly: Venmo (@MigrantScribble), CashApp ($MigrantScribble), or PayPal (alancpelaez@gmail.com)

[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien is an experimental poetry collection that renders an intimate portrait of growing up undocumented in the United States. Through the use of collages,  photographs, emails, and immigration forms, Alan Pelaez Lopez formulates theories of fugitivity that position the Trans*Atlantic slave trade and Indigenous dispossession as root causes of undocumented immigration. Although themes of isolation and unbelonging are at the forefront of the book, the poet doesn’t see belonging to U.S. society as a liberatory practice. Instead, Pelaez Lopez urges readers to question their inheritance and acceptance of “settler rage, settler fear, and settler citizenship,” so that they can actively address their participation in everyday violences that often go unnoticed. As the title invokes, Intergalactic Travels breaks open a new galaxy where artists of color are the warriors that manifest the change that is needed not only to survive, but thrive.

Fugitivity, Sequestration, and Escape: Tactics in the Realm of Language – an OS Interview with Alan Pelaez Lopez
when the doors open, I can’t see the path – an excerpt from Intergalactic Travels – poems from a fugitive alien on the OS’s [RE:CON]CRETIONS series

Alan Pelaez Lopez is an AfroIndigenous poet, installation, and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. They are the author of the art and poetry collection, ‘Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien’ (The Operating System, 2020), and the chapbook, ‘to love and mourn in the age of displacement’ (Nomadic Press, 2020). Their poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and “Best of the Net,” as well as published in Best New Poets, Best American Experimental Writing, POETRY, Puerto Del Sol, Everyday Feminism, & elsewhere. Pelaez Lopez has received fellowships and/or residencies from Submittable, the Museum of the African Diaspora, VONA/Voices, and UC Berkeley. They live in Oakland, CA & the internet (as @MigrantScribble).

GOODBYE WOLF

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Support this Community Member Directly: this author requests donations be given to the OS in lieu of accepting funds personally. {Thank you Nik!}

Project Description:  GOODBYE WOLF is a collection of poems alternating between the author’s subversion of the horoscope and its tropes and his epistles to chronic illness, dear wolf or lupus. The poems explore the everydayness of disease and the absurdity of asking for answers from the stars — and of course waiting for their replies. Someone once said the longer you wait for the bus, the sooner it’ll arrive.

Essay / Assay: Acceptance, Perhaps: An OS Interview with Nik De Dominic 


check out these excerpts from GOODBYE WOLF:

Your Daily Horoscope for the OS’s [RE:CON]CRETIONS series

5 Wolves at Dream Pop Press
Your Daily Horoscope at Verse Daily
Your Daily Horoscope at Fanzine

Nik De Dominic is an essayist and poet. Work has appeared in Guernica, Los Angeles Review, DIAGRAM, Fairy Tale Review, Verse Daily and elsewhere. De Dominic teaches writing at the University of Southern California where he also co-directs the university’s Prison Education Program. He is the poetry editor of New Orleans Review and lives in Los Angeles.

SPITE

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Support this Community Member Directly: this author requests donations be given to the OS in lieu of accepting funds personally. {Thank you Danielle!}

Project Description: Danielle Pafunda’s SPITE reimagines André Breton’s ‘Nadja’ in conversation with his ‘Communicating Vessels’ and ‘My Heart Through Which Her Heart Has Passed.’ SPITE speaks through the melancholy bohemian dream girl. No longer gateway to the masculine artist’s destiny, Nadja becomes agent of her own evolution. The poems consider what happens when we no longer equate the hospital with the tomb, but understand it as generative site. Nadja rolls her ex-lover on a gurney through a city on fire. She trawls construction sites, nurses’ brows, and apple trees. We pick up the tin-can extension, wreck ourselves on the delirious island, consider the dishonest belief that every day must include / pain, and descend a massive swath of silk. SPITE has no fear of ugly feelings, nor of wonder.

Excerpts appear at:

Diode Poetry

Typo Magazine

———–

Danielle Pafunda is the author of eight other books of prose and poetry: ‘The Book of Scab’ (Ricochet Editions), ‘Beshrew’ (Dusie Press), ‘The Dead Girls Speak in Unison’ (Bloof Books), ‘Natural History Rape Museum’ (Bloof Books), ‘Manhater’ (Dusie Press), ‘Iatrogenic’ (Noemi Press), ‘My Zorba’ (Bloof Books), and ‘Pretty Young Thing’ (Soft Skull Press). She’s published two chapbooks: ‘Cram’ (Essay Press) and ‘When You Left Me in the Rutted Terrain of Our Love at the Border, Which I Could Not Cross, Remaining a Citizen of This Corrupt Land’ (Birds of Lace). Her work has appeared in three editions of Best American Poetry, BAX: Best American Experimental Writing, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, and a number of anthologies and journals. She teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology.

IN STILL ROOMS

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Support this Community Member Directly: fund via venmo @Constantine-Jones (preferred); via PayPal; contact author directly by email to storiesandnoise@gmail.com.

[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description:  IN STILL ROOMS is more than a haunted house novel—a strange hybrid drawing its aesthetic equally from ancient Greek drama, ecopoetics, and the Gothic tradition. Set in an old house in rural East Tennessee, three generations of a Greek-American family mourn the loss of a matriarch who reveals herself to each of them uniquely. Regardless of the family’s comings and goings, the reader remains always in the house. In this house, religion, mythology, and superstition all rule equally. In this house, saints speak to mothers from their plaques on the wall; ancient deities manifest in the minds of children; a Chorus of those who have previously died there address the reader directly; and ultimately, the house itself begins to speak.

 

 

In Still Rooms: A Close-Quarters Epic – an OS Interview with Constantine Jones
stacking of years on top of years – an excerpt from In Still Rooms, for the OS’s [RE:CON]CRETIONS series

 

———-

Constantine Jones is a Greek-American thingmaker raised in Tennessee & currently housed in Brooklyn. They are a member of the Visual AIDS Aritst+ Registry & teach creative writing at CCNY. Their work has been performed or exhibited at various venues across the city & their debut hybrid haunted house novel, IN STILL ROOMS, was released from The Operating System on March 4th, 2020.

ARE THERE COPPER PIPES IN HEAVEN

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Dual-Language Faroese-English Translation]

Project Description: Faroese is a traditionally repressed language though it has made great strides since gaining semi-autonomy from Denmark after WWII. For several decades, Katrin Ottarsdóttir — a pioneer in Faroese filmmaking and poet — has been making work across disciplines, committed to breaking this silence in defiance of the secretive culture in the Faroe Islands that demands it.

Ottarsdóttir’s groundbreaking, award-winning 1999 film, Bye, Bye, Bluebird was the first feature film made in the Faroese language; to date she has made several documentaries, shorts etc., as well as two more award-winning feature films: Atlantic Rhapsody (1989), and Ludo (2014). Ottarsdóttir has since gone on to write two books of poetry. The first, now forthcoming from the Operating System in a rare dual-language translation including the Faroese, is Are there Copper Pipes in Heaven, an autobiographical account of her abusive mother’s drug use and eventual suicide. This book was the first Faroese collection of confessional poetry and was highly controversial in a society that does not make public such personal topics, yet despite this it was awarded the Faroese Litterature Award in 2013. (Her film, Ludo, explores the same material.) In 2015 Ottarsdóttir published the poetry collection Mass For A Film, and in 2016 a collection of short stories, After Before.

Breaking Open the Side of the House: A Conversation with Translator Matthew Landrum

KATRIN OTTARSDÓTTIR is a pioneer in Faroese filmmaking and has made several feature films, documentaries, shorts etc., e.g. the award winning feature films Atlantic Rhapsody (1989), Bye Bye Blue Bird (1999), and LUDO (2014). Born 1957 in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, she studied film directing at the National Danish Film School. She debuted as a writer in 2012 with the poetry collection Are There Copper Pipes In Heaven (awarded the Faroese Literature Award 2013). In 2015 she published the poetry collection Mass For A Film, and in 2016 a collection of short stories, AFTER BEFORE.

MATTHEW LANDRUM is the author of Berlin Poems (A Midsummer Night’s Press). His translations from Faroese have recently appeared in Asymptote Journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, Image, and Modern Poetry in Translation. He lives in Detroit.

2020 Digital Chapbook Series

KIND HAVEN

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Support this Community Member Directly: coming soon! Follow Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah on Twitter @byiypublisher.

Read “Between the Tragic and the Ridiculous: An OS [re:con}versation with Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah“.

Project Description:The project combines raw realism, with fantasy, surrealism, primitiveness, abstraction and grotesque narrative situations. It deals primarily with the absence of home, the passage of time, inward states of solitude, silence, secrecy, individual memory, and close observation of everyday places and things.

Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah, who is an algebraist and artist, works in mixed media. He is the author of more than 200 books of poetry, songs, prose, plays, art and hybrid, including his recent hybrid works, The Sun of a Torus, Conductor 5, Genus for L Loci and Handlebody. He lives in the southern part of Ghana, in Spain, and the Turtle Mountains, North Dakota.

WITCH LIKE ME

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Read “Cocteau Mercury Glove State: An OS [re:con]versation with Sunnylyn Thibodeaux

Project Description:

Being a cataloger, as often poets are, capturing various current states, all the while being “current” as a state of one’s body, my poetry has always worked through the inner and outer in this sense — some time-warp juncture of indexing and reflecting simultaneously. The poems in Witch Like Me delve into the power that comes from within and mortality as some inevitable shift in relations with the world. There are challenges present. And existential stirrings. We can only deliver that which comes through us, how the poem does. And “through us” gives us over to a knowledge sometimes concrete, sometimes as metaphor. We, as earth beings, we, as spiritual, navigate these complexities for understandings. As a mother, these poems have come to be a mapping for my daughter. As a victim, these poems have come to be healing. After some health mishaps writing unfolded through a wrestling with the state of the world in its ability to nurture, as well as be nurtured. The poems lean toward reflections on the experience of an altered perception of the “whole” and that of time. We listen. We take heed. We corral. And offer the poems back to the universe from which they originated.

Sunnylyn Thibodeaux is a teacher, neighborhood activist and poet. She is the author of The World Exactly (forthcoming Cuneiform), Universal Fall Precautions (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017), As Water Sounds (Bootstrap Press, 2014) and Palm to Pine (2011), as well as over a dozen small books including 88 Haiku, Against What Light, Room Service Calls, and What’s Going On. Originally from New Orleans, she lives and writes in San Francisco and co-edits Auguste Press and Lew Gallery Editions.

LICHEN LAND

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ReadPoetry is Protest / la la Timbre : An OS [re:con]versation with J. Pascutazz

Project Description:

The poems of LICHEN LAND are a fierce incantation dispelling the illusion that humans exist apart from the forces of the natural world. “I’m an ancestral whirlwind. You’re a population…” begins the title poem, in which the author takes on the role of the hurricane-as-spurned-lover breaking up with America. “Mother of All Water” is a coming-out poem that dives through the limited concept of gender into the depths of the original elemental nature of the self. “Wildfire Poetry” tells the story of California’s deadly “Camp Fire” from the perspective of heroes, victims, and ultimately the fire itself — speaking in “the ravishing tongue of the flames” — melding all perspectives into one longing to consume the object of desire. And, in the long title poem, lost in the grip of Lichen Fever, the poet geeks-out heavily on the nomenclature, folklore, and mythology of Lichen — manifesting in wods the magic of a multi-species organism cooperating to create a functional whole as a metaphor for a possible human future.

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J Pascutazz is a non-binary writer with Asperger’s. Raised in rural Ohio. Graduate of Bennington College. Published by Miracle Monocle, Cleaver, FRIGG — and others. J teaches Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Gong in Brooklyn.

RECALL

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Explore more of Lee Gough’s work at her website: leegough.net.

ReadThe Precipice of Doing-Bodies: An OS [re:con]versation with Lee Gough

Project Description:

RECALL was a project I wrote off and on over a long time. It is my attempt to center in on ecological and economic collapse where they meet in crisis as opportunity and loss. I wonder what the entropic logic of the capitalism is doing to our ability to remember one another as a communal body, as if we could recall the failures of this world we’ve produced. I wonder in what possible time(s) we will realize and recall our destabilized experience with this ecology.

———-

Lee Gough is a visual artist. activist and poet. Her visual work is in collections around the United States and has been shown in India, Australia and Belgium and supported by the Puffin Foundation, and the Frans Masereel Centrum in Flanders (Antwerp). She is also the author of another chapbook, Future Occupations (Little Red Leaves Textile Editions, 2012). She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

THE WOMAN FACTORY

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Explore the digital / interactive extension of The Woman Factory 

Support this Community Member Directly: via PayPal felicity.h.cockayne(at)gmail.com! Follow Ava Hofmann on Instagram and Twitter @st_somatic. Website: www.nothnx.com

Read “CAPTCHA / consciousness :: an OS [re:con]versation with Ava Hofmann

Project Description: THE WOMAN FACTORY is an interactive digital chapbook about artificial intelligence, gender, and our current bioindustrial mode of production. Written from the perspective of a fembot in a far flung, THE WOMAN FACTORY explores how such a category presents complicated indwellings of pleasure and pain, examining the ways in which identities and modalities of being (such as queerness and transness) can be tied to globe-spanning processes of mass harm and destruction. In this space, it asks these essential questions: how can we rework our material conditions upon which we rely? And how must we respond when we are still yet engulfed by those conditions? The interactive elements of this chapbook implicate you directly in this process of complicity / self-distinguishing, weaponizing the line between author and reader.

Originally from Oxford, Ohio, Ava Hofmann is a trans writer currently living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has poems published in or forthcoming from Black Warrior Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fence, Anomaly, Best American Experimental Writing 2020, The Fanzine, Datableed, Peachmag, and Always Crashing. Her work deals with transness/queerness, Marxism, and the physicality of language.

ENTER THE NAVEL: FOR THE LOVE OF CREATIVE NONFICTION

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Support this Community Member Directly: Via Venmo @Anjoli-Roy. Follow Anjali Roy on Instagram @itslitwithphdj. Website: anjoliroy.com

Read “Agile Histories of Home,” an OS [re:con]versation with Anjoli Roy

Project Description:

This playful abecedarian offers a new perspective on the term “navel-gazer” by looking both figuratively and literally at the navel. Inside, readers will find antiquated and current dictionary definitions of “navel” woven in with scientific information on the curious state of lint and bacteria located there, including what humans have been known, disgustingly, to do with them (hello, navel cheese!). Also in appearance are Hawaiian and Hindu origin stories rooted in the navel that connect us, with urgency, to the divine; the role of the navel, our first wound, in and after human birth; a story of the author’s own regrettable 90s-era teenage navel piercing along with the plastic surgery that removed her mother’s navel, and more.

Styled as a self-referencing cabinet of curiosities, this chapbook is also a Rorschach for the genre of creative nonfiction, many of whose stalwart writers have been written off as “navel-gazers.” This text demands the reader be swayed to see what, in fact, is so good about looking at one’s own navel after all.

Anjoli Roy is a creative writer and high school English teacher in Honolulu. With a PhD in English from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, she is a VONA fellow and a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Her creative nonfiction stories have won the COG Page-to-Screen Award, been first runner-up for StoryQuarterly’s Fourth Annual Nonfiction Prize, and been third-place winner of the Ian MacMillan Writing Awards for Creative Nonfiction. She has published with The Asian American Literary Review, Entropy, Hippocampus, Kweli, Longreads, River Teeth, Spiral Orb, and others. Anjoli is also PhDJ for “It’s Lit,” a literature and music podcast that she cohosts with Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng and has featured more than 100 writers to date. Anjoli is from Pasadena, California. She is a mashi to eight, a godmother to one, and the last of her parents’ three girls. She loves cats, surfing with loved ones or alone, and the rain that she and her partner oftentimes wake up to in Pālolo Valley.

2019 Projects

I MADE FOR YOU A NEW MACHINE AND ALL IT DOES IS HOPE

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Project Description: I made for you a new machine and all it does is hope concerns itself with the language of prayer and the action of prayer. Many of the poems, the [psalms] in particular, are the product of holding some word or phrase or sound in mind and mouth until it somehow exhales and reveals what word or phrase or sound it leads to. It’s something more or less or not at all like dusting off some map that has always been exactly as it needed to be, that has never not existed.

Increasing the Mass of the World– an OS Interview with Richard Lucyshyn

Excerpts appear at Reality Beach and Gramma:

http://realitybeach.org/issue-5/lucyshyn/
https://gramma.press/weekly/richard-lucyshyn-one-poem/

Richard Lucyshyn lives in Richmond, VA, with his family. He currently splits his time teaching poetry and creative writing at The College of William and Mary and being a stay-at- home parent with his young children.

Y

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Project Description: Much like you, Y is a catalyst — an indeterminate variable active in cultural production. A collective organism in the waste stream, Y bemoans their leaching marrow, tries strengthening their aging spine with a hula hoop. In grocery stores, in art galleries, at dentist offices and fuel transfer stations, Y hoops to lament, invent and foment. Y’s looping traces analogy-n-ratio as if relation were the life-blood linking bodies to orbits. Y wants to impeach.

Jaw gyrates. Hips open. Round and round, Y circumscribes the body politic in a kind of agitprop theatre that protests POTUS, pipelines, and spies. Trying to energize and not terrorize, Y gathers beloveds to fight for food justice, for safe environs. As a printed matter, the book Y is the textual residue of labor and play. A curious body holds, twists, then bounces a prop. Y calls these “poems” or “stories” a “somatic trick.” In sum, Y’s sonic practice is an interspecies interaction created to cope with the year 2017 — its corpses and bar codes. Y is a little free speech corral.

Indeterminate Variables in the Face of Danger – an OS interview with Lori Anderson Moseman

Creator/collator Lori Anderson Moseman’s most recent poetry collections are Light Each Pause (Spuyten Duyvil), Flash Mob (Spuyten Duyvil), and All Steel (Flim Forum Press). An avid collaborator, Anderson Moseman worked with book artist Karen Pava Randall to create Full Quiver (Propolis Press), with poet Belle Gironda to make Double Vigil (Lute & Cleat) and printmaker Sheila Goloborotko to produce insistence, teeth (Dusie 17) and Creation (Goloborotko Studios). With a nine-member team of artists and writers (Stricker, Herrera, Mesmer, Switzer et. al.), Anderson Moseman is currently creating Mar, an artist book/box of mar(k) postcards (Lute & Cleat). A former educator, farm journalist and forester, Anderson Moseman founded the press Stockport Flats in the wake of Federal Disaster #1649, a flood along the Upper Delaware River. Anderson Moseman has a Doctor of Art in Writing, Teaching and Criticism from the University at Albany, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an Master of Fine Arts in Integrated Electronic Arts from iEAR Studios at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

THE SUITCASE TREE

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Project Description: Filip Marinovich, author of The Suitcase Tree, writes: “I started writing a book based on a failed trip to Belgrade where I was supposed to stay for a month but only could stay four days due to breakdown insomnia grief mind voices. Went back to New York and listened to the book stop start. Then my uncle died. In the book we had the conversation I couldn’t have with him in Belgrade.”

 

The Frenetic Architecture of Delivery – an OS interview with Filip Marinovich

 

Filip Marinovich is a poet and teacher living in New York City. Author of WOLFMAN LIBRARIAN, AND IF YOU DON’T GO CRAZY I’LL MEET YOU HERE TOMORROW, and ZERO READERSHIP, all from Ugly Duckling Presse. He teaches his longtime workshop READING POETS BY SUNSIGN at Page Poetry Parlor in Chelsea Manhattan, at the intersection of Queer Poetry, Astrology, and Outer Space Friendships.

A BONY FRAMEWORK FOR THE TANGIBLE UNIVERSE

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe is a hybrid collection of lyric essays, poems, dictionary erasures, and images that emerged out of the poet’s diagnosis, in their mid-twenties, with a connective tissue disorder. Slipping in and out of intimate interiors, open fields, city sidewalks, flowering gardens, construction sites, doctor’s offices, and fluctuating shorelines, the speaker gathers answers to the question: What holds us together when the body falls apart? Imperfect solutions arrive in the form of queer intimacy and kinship, long-term relationships with landscapes, collections of strange and familiar objects, and language itself. A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe is constantly breaking and and putting itself together in a messy cycle of adaptation and resistance.

Wholeness through Hybridity – An OS interview with D Allen

D. Allen is a queer poet and multidisciplinary artist whose work often examines gender, intimacy, disability/illness, and the natural world. Their work takes many forms: word architectures, painted surfaces, light drawings, textured sounds, soft spaces, slow dinners, sustained listening, tender assemblages, quiet gardening, deep breaths. They value each of these endeavors equally. D. earned an MFA from The University of Minnesota, and has received a VSA Minnesota Emerging Artist Grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant from The Loft Literary Center, and a Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship. They have been an artist in residence at Mallard Island, The Lighthouse Works, Write on Door County, the H.J. Andrews Experimental Research Forest, and The Atlantic Center for the Arts, and their work has been published in Rogue Agent, District Lit, Black Warrior Review, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, and elsewhere. A Bony Framework for the Tangible Universe is D.’s first book.

DREAMING (ŚNIENIE)

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Dual Language Polish/English Translation]

Project Description: Dreaming (Śnienie) is a collection of lyric fragments that revolve around dreams and the way they reflect, refract, and seep into the waking world. Read individually, the fragments are measured and contemplative, imagistic and surreal, and peppered with humor of the absurd. Taken together, we start to notice obsessions and threads that serve as lodestars guiding us through the chaotic unconscious. Figures and events return, but what’s most recognizable about them is their tendency toward transformation and flux. Aphorism-like truths are posited, then questioned. An idea comes to light, then blends into a fabric of images, literatures, religions, histories, and the quotidian everyday, and becomes something else altogether.

The Barefoot Anthropos Starts Something New – Marta Zelwan in Conversation with Victoria Miluch

Marta Zelwan is a Polish writer based in Warsaw. She has published nine books, including collections of poetry, prose, and essays. Two of her books have been nominated for the Nike Award, Poland’s most prestigious literary award, and she has won the Iskry Press Prize, the Literature Foundation Prize, the Stanislaw Piętak Prize, and the Edward Stachura Prize, as well as the Culture Foundation Prize.

 

Agnieszka Brzezanska (born 1972, in Gdańsk) is a Polish artist based in Warsaw.

 

Victoria Miluch is a fiction writer and translator. Her stories have appeared in such publications as Passages North, The Southeast Review, and The Adroit Journal, and her translations can be found in Asymptote and the Denver Quarterly. A recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, she now lives abroad.

OF COLOR: POETS' WAYS OF MAKING

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Support these Community Members Directly — coming soon! — follow Luisa A. Igloria @poetslizard and Amanda Galvan Huynh @amghuynh on IG

Project Description: How do poets of color come to know what they do about their art and practice? How do they learn from and teach others? For poets of color, what does the relationship of “what one knows” have, with conditions extending but not limited to publishing, mentorship and pedagogy, comradeship and collegiality, friendship, love, and possibility? Is one a real poet if one does not have an MFA? For minority poets not considered part of the mainstream because of the combined effects of their ethnic, class, racial, cultural, linguistic, and other identities, what should change in order to accord them the space and respect they deserve? How best can they discuss with and pass on what they have learned to others?

These and other questions come up so consistently in our daily experience as poets of color. And we hear them from poets of color at various stages of their careers. Out of the desire not only to hear from each other but also to share what we’ve learned–each from our unique as well as bonded experiences of writing as poets of color in this milieu–this anthology project was born.

In this collection, we make no claims of presenting any definitive theoretical or other stance. Neither do we offer these essays as prescriptive of certain ways of thinking of craft or of doing things, although in them is expressed a collective wish–that writers of color find ways to gain strength and visibility without replicating the systems that play the game of divide and conquer and turn us against each other for narrow or self-serving profit. Instead, let there be a steady effort to compile lore and take inventory of strategies, intersections, bridges; to map our histories, to sight possibilities for the future.

We are honored and thankful to have the words of the following poets in this anthology: Mai Der Vang (Foreword), Ching-In Chen, Addie Tsai, Tony Robles, Wendy Gaudin, Ernesto L. Abeytia, Abigail Licad, Tim Seibles, Melissa Coss Aquino, Sasha Pimentel, Jose Angel Araguz, Khadijah Queen, Remica L. Bingham-Risher, Ocean Vuong, Craig Santos Perez, and Kenji Liu.

Luisa A. Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. Former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey selected her chapbook What is Left of Wings, I Ask as the 2018 recipient of the Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Poetry Chapbook award. Other works include The Buddha Wonders if She is Having a Mid-Life Crisis (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2018), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), and 12 other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015. Her website is: www.luisaigloria.com

 

Amanda Galvan Huynh is the author of a chapbook, Songs of Brujería (Big Lucks, 2019). She has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Sundress Academy for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, NY Summer Writers Institute, and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. She is a winner of a 2016 AWP Intro Journal Project Award, and a finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. www.amandagalvanhuynh.com

ARK HIVE

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This project is dedicated to the memory of Marthe Reed. Here is a beautiful tribute to Marthe on Jacket2.

Project Description: Exploring a tangled, unsettled love for place amid the landscape, cultures, and social and ecological crises of South Louisiana, ARK HIVE seeks amid the ruins for answers–what does it mean to be here, now? Following the ley-lines carved out in the streets and bayous of a rapidly eroding landscape, this collection refuses stability, confident of only the riddle and the manifold voices activating it. Reed’s formal hybridity juxtaposes hand-made maps, collaged language, and altered documents with lyrics and lyric essays: “fragments [from] journals, photographs, memory, archives–time capsule of a disintegrating world.” ARK HIVE bears its loves and dead along the current of the work’s own profligate vegetative urge–accretions of history and immersion, saturations of grief and delight. Tender and monumental, a teeming hive of voices, ARK HIVE returns an extraordinary, vanishing world to the center of our attention.

ARK HIVE is Marthe Reed’s sixth book. Previous titles include: ‘Nights Reading’ (Lavender Ink, 2014); ‘Pleth, ‘ with j hastain (Unlikely Books, 2013); ‘(em)bodied bliss’ (Moria Books, 2013); ‘Gaze’ (Black Radish Books, 2010); and ‘Tender Box, A Wunderkammer’ (Lavender Ink, 2007). She is also author of six chapbooks, including a collaborative chapbook, ‘thrown, ‘ featuring text by j hastain with Reed’s collages, which won the 2013 Smoking Glue Gun contest (2016). Her poetry was published inBAX2014, New American Writing, Golden Handcuffs Review, Entropy, New Orleans Review, Jacket2, Fairy Tale Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Volta, and The Offending Adam, among others. Her poetry reviews have appeared in Jacket2, Galatea Ressurrects, Openned, Cut Bank, New Pages, The Rumpus and Rain Taxi. Marthe was co-publisher and managing editor for Black Radish Books. This book is published in memoriam — Marthe passed away suddenly in the Spring of 2018.

IN THE DRYING SHED OF SOULS/ EN EL SECADERO DE ALMAS

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: A Spanish-English Dual Language anthology featuring selections from Cuba’s “Generation Zero,” including Luis Yuseff, Isaily Pérez González, Javier Marimón Miyares, Leymen Pérez García, Marcelo Morales Cintero, Oscar Cruz, Liuvan Herrera Carpio, Jamila Medina Ríos, Moisés Mayán Fernández, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, and Sergio García Zamora.

In the Drying Shed of Souls: Poetry from Cuba’s Generation Zero, with its focus on poets born after 1970, offers a poignant sampling of some of the most exciting writing being produced in Cuba RIGHT NOW! Coming of age during the economic struggle of Cuba’s Special Period, these writers show no patterns of allegiance to the ideological or aesthetic camps that have defined the Cuban literary world before and after the Revolution. Taken together, these poems advance the rich tradition of Cuban poetry. The selection is finely edited and remarkably translated by Katherine M. Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, poets, scholars, translators and avid chroniclers of contemporary Latin American letters. The poems in this anthology interrogate the nation and its history; exile; the richness and poverty of language; the visceral realities of the body; domestic violence; and epistemology and the nature of meaning, among other themes. To read them is to get an indelible sense of a Cuban poetry scene that is formally dazzling, civically critical, and deeply engaged with the question of what a poem can mean to a public. In their erudite and provocative introduction, Hedeen and Rodríguez Núñez assert that contemporary Cuban poetry gets largely ignored both in the Spanish-speaking world and in North America because of its failure to adhere to literary and sociological expectations. In the Drying Shed of Souls demands that we take these writers on their own terms, as poets who have built a stunning and urgent body of work that is personal, universal, political, philosophical, and unafraid.”

— Daniel Borzutzky, 2016 National Book Award Winner

Katherine M. Hedeen is a translator, literary critic, and essayist. A specialist in Latin American poetry, she has translated some of the most respected voices from the region. Her publications include book-length collections by Jorgenrique Adoum, Juan Bañuelos, Juan Calzadilla, Juan Gelman, Fayad Jamís, Hugo Mujica, José Emilio Pacheco, Victor Rodríguez Núñez, and Ida Vitale, among many others. She is a recipient of two NEA Translation grants in the US and a PEN Translates award in the UK. She is the Associate Editor for Action Books and the Poetry in Translation Editor at the Kenyon Review. She resides in Ohio, where she is Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College.

TRANSITIONAL OBJECT

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: In developmental psychology, transitional objects are objects to which young children develop intense and persistent attachments in unstable situations — a tendency which some psychologists link to the processes of individuation, ego development, the birth of memory, the capacity for empathy and object-relations, the capacity for symbolization, and other formative capacities. Transitional Object, a debut work by Adrian Silbernagel, can be described as a poetic inquiry into the conditions of personal identity or selfhood, in which the poems themselves become the objects to which the developing speaker clings as the various components of their identity — their gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, familial relations, and formative relationships — are called into question.

Identity by Way of Metaphor: An OS Interview with Adrian Silbernagel

Adrian Silbernagel is a queer + trans poet, writer, and advocate. He grew up in a small town near Fargo, North Dakota, and considers Fargo home. He spent a couple of years in Lubbock, Texas, where he earned a Master’s degree in philosophy before moving to Kentucky. Currently he lives in Louisville, where he manages a coffee shop, works on poems, and occasionally travels to other parts of Kentucky to give talks on various aspects of his experience as a trans man. Adrian also runs a web series through the Operating System called Field Notes, where creative practitioners from all disciplines and backgrounds are invited to shine a light behind the curtain on their creative process. Adrian’s work been published in The Columbia Review, The Atlas Review, TYPO, PANK, Painted Bride Quarterly, Cosmonauts Avenue, Fruita Pulp, and elsewhere. Find more of Adrian’s work online at adriansilbernagel.com.

OPERACIÓN AL CUERPO ENFERMO / OPERATION ON A MALIGNANT BODY

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: This dual-language Spanish-English collection of prose poems and diagrams leverages the late prolific queer Mexican poet Sergio Loo’s diagnosis with cancer (an Ewing’s Sarcoma in the left leg) to explore anatomical, linguistic, and social relationships between queerness and disability. With an introduction from Loo’s friend, Mexican writer Jonathan Minila.

De/Formations at the Margin: Body Beyond Metaphor: Thoughts on Sergio Loo’s Operación Al Cuerpo Enfermo / Operation on a Malignant Body, from translator Will Stockton

Sergio Loo (1982-2014) was a prolific Mexican writer at the forefront of contemporary queer Latinx poetics. Prior to his death from cancer at the age of thirty-one, he authored several collections of poetry, including Sus brazos labios en mi boca rodando (2007); and a novel, House: retratos desarmables (2011).
Will Stockton is a professor of English at Clemson University. As an early modernist, his books include Members of His Body: Shakespeare, Paul, and a Theology of Nonmonogamy (Fordham University Press). With D. Gilson, he is also the author of Crush (Punctum Books) and Jesus Freak (forthcoming from Bloomsbury).
OPERA ON TV

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: Opera on TV is a collection of experimental poetry/theory that examines the role of aesthetic practice in political subject formation, particularly for queer and trans subjects. The book addresses the role of state institutions and economic structures in making our lives intelligible — from our interpersonal relationships to our political identities and artistic endeavors. Many of the poems blend explorations of queer feminist aesthetics and politics with musicality and lyricism, in a variety of forms, such as prose blocks, lists, and transcripts. Drawing connections among themes of beauty, nostalgia, ideology, and liberation, Opera on TV suggests ways to complicate the notion of art as a mode of political education.

The Sensorium Shift of Immersion: An OS Interview with James Lowell Brunton

James Lowell Brunton’s poems and experimental writing appear in Denver Quarterly, Cincinnati Review, Hotel Amerika, and other journals. He is the author, with Russell Evatt, of The Future Is a Faint Song (Dream Horse Press, 2014). James teaches critical theory and poetry in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

STREET GLOSS

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: In this experimental translingual work, Brent Armendinger follows the work of five contemporary Argentinian poets into the streets of Buenos Aires, attempting to map the ways a word might be an echo of the city itself. Interested in the surface areas of language and the generative potential of failure in translation, the author follows a set of procedures oriented simultaneously in the lines as well as in the streets of the city, gathering impressions, associations, and language through unpredictable encounters with the place and its inhabitants. Notes from these encounters appear interlaced, here, between the original poems in Spanish and their translations. Featuring poems by Alejandro Méndez, Mercedes Roffé, Fabián Casas, Néstor Perlongher, and Diana Bellessi, and artwork by Alpe Romero.

Dream, Chew, Leak, Stumble, Spiral, Listen, Trace, Touch, Return: An OS Interview with Brent Armendinger

Brent Armendinger was born in Warsaw, NY, and studied at Bard College and the University of Michigan, where he received an Avery Hopwood Award in Poetry. In addition to ‘Street Gloss,’ Brent is the author of ‘The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying’ (Noemi Press, 2015), a finalist for the California Book Award in Poetry, and two chapbooks, ‘Undetectable’ (New Michigan Press, 2009) and ‘Archipelago’ (Noemi Press, 2009). His poems and translations have appeared in many journals, including Anomaly, Asymptote, Aufgabe, Bloom, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ghost Proposal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, LIT, Puerto del Sol, Volt, and Web Conjunctions. He is a recipient of residencies from Blue Mountain Center and Headlands Center for the Arts. Brent teaches creative writing at Pitzer College and lives in Los Angeles.

HALL OF WATERS

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: HALL OF WATERS is an attempt to demythologize the rural American Midwest through the specific example of the author’s hometown, Excelsior Springs, MO. Through lyric essay & memoir, the book seeks to examine & undercut the inherent settler white supremacy of the Midwestern small-town, to deromanticize the nostalgia for land & place that is the hallmark of Midwestern art, & to think about what it was like growing up queer & trans in such a toxic environment.

Demythologized Ground: An OS Interview with Berry Grass.

Berry Grass has lived in rural Missouri, Tuscaloosa, & now Philadelphia. Their essays & poems appear in DIAGRAM, The Normal School, Barrelhouse, Sonora Review, BOAAT, and The Wanderer, among other publications. They are a 2019 nominee for the Krause Essay Prize. Their chapbook, Collector’s Item, was published in 2014 by Corgi Snorkel Press. They recieved their MFA from the University of Alabama, where they served as Nonfiction Editor of Black Warrior Review. They curate “Tragic: the Gathering,” an occasional transgender reading series in South Philly. When they aren’t presently reading submissions as Nonfiction Editor of Sundog Lit, they are embodying what happens when a Virgo watches too much professional wrestling. Follow at @thebgrass on Twitter, @berry.grass on Instagram.

A YEAR OF MISREADING THE WILDCATS

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This community member requests that you direct any donations to the OS / Liminal Lab to support current and future projects and programs {thank you, Orchid!}

Project Description: wildcat: a boring, an aperture, an exploratory well.
‘a year of misreading the wildcats’ unravels a sprawling, year-long encounter with petroleum that began with a strip of plastic, caught between the branches of a maidenhair tree. This hybrid collection of poetry, prose and Polaroid photography drills the archive for film scores, fiction, and scholarship to recover the intertextual saturations of plastic and plankton, oil and oceans. Toggling between phantom islands and garbage gyres, the Pacific and Pennsylvania, a year of misreading the wildcats documents the impossible project of both environmental literature and photography to critique and catalogue disaster. This collection is a refusal for a narrative, where climate change denies the islands’ one.

An OS Interview with Orchid Tierney

Orchid Tierney is a poet and scholar from Aotearoa-New Zealand. She is the author of five chapbooks: Brachiation (GumTree Press, 2012), The World in Small Parts (Dancing Girl Press, 2012), Gallipoli Diaries (GaussPDF, 2017), blue doors (Belladonna* Press, 2018), and ocean plastic (BlazeVOX, 2019). In 2016, TrollThread published her full-length dictation of the Book of Margery Kempe, Earsay. She is an assistant professor of English at Kenyon College.

ILLUSORY BORDERS

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Project Description: llusory Borders is grounded in a process that incorporates fragments, lists, and reflections on ‘woman’s work.’ It is inspired, in part, by lists discovered in a woman’s day-planner from the 1940’s (a DailyAide Silent Secretary), as well as an erasure created a few years ago from Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons — in particular, the section titled “Objects.” This erasure became a list poem which was explored/enacted in different ways over time, eventually creating a series of prose poems/a long poem stitched together by fragments that cut and collaged from that original list. This series/long poem seeks to expand liminal spaces, marginality, the unsaid, the footnotes of dailyness and everyday objects, as well as the artist’s necessity of working in a series: continually ending and beginning.

Objects and the Spaces They Occupy: An OS Interview with Heidi Reszies

Excerpts appear at:

La Vague:
http: //lavaguejournal.com/lavague08/reszies.php

Leveler Poetry:
http: //www.levelerpoetry.com/from-a-paper-likeness-levelheaded/

HEIDI RESZIES is a poet and transdisciplinary artist. She earned an MFA in Writing with a concentration in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and was a 2015 James Merrill Poetry Fellow at the Vermont Studio Center. Her poetry collection titled ‘Of Water & Other Soft Constructions’ was selected by Samiya Bashir as the winner of the Anhinga Press 2018 Robert Dana Prize for Poetry. She is the founding creator/curator of Artifact Press, and currently resides in Richmond, Virginia where she teaches letterpress printing at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. Find her at heidireszies.com.

HIGH TIDE OF THE EYES

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Find and explore a “Commons” of open source information on Elahi created by the translators here: http: //bijanelahi.hcommons.org

[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Persian-English Dual-Language Translation]

Note: for all our translation projects from R-to-L written languages, our books are designed to prioritize and center the language (and therefore direction) of origin; the PDF is therefore designed to be oriented R–toL
This book has two covers and two “beginnings” — find the Persian translation running R-to-L, and the the English translation running L to R, meeting in the middle.

Project Description: The hermit-poet of modern Persian literature, Bijan Elahi (1945-2010) was a modernist poet, a prolific translator of Eliot, Rimbaud, Michaux, Hölderlin, and the founder of Other Poetry, the leading avant-garde movement within Persian modernism. Elahi passed the last three decades of his life in seclusion in his house in Tehran. He stopped publishing poems and never appeared in public following his official retreat. However, a new generation of Iranian poets revived Elahi’s legacy as a poet and a translator as part of their search for new modes of expression and experimentation with language. High Tide of the Eyes translates Elahi’s most important poems, as gathered together in two posthumously published volumes, Vision (2014) and Youths (2015), into English. High Tide of the Eyes will be the first to introduce a key voice in Persian literary modernism to an Anglophone audience.

Elahi’s poetics is distinguished by its diversity of styles and registers. Traversing the borders of ambiguity and clarity, speech and writing, familiarity and foreignness, in Elahi’s work the nuances of the Persian language are registered in ways that are without precedent in Persian poetry. To the translators, the process of creating these translations was like a musha’ira, a Persian tradition of poetic recitation in which one poet completes the other’s poem. The translation process exiled us from our native language and taught us to give voice to Elahi’s poetics in a language it was never intended to inhabit.

Bijan Elahi (1945-2010) is the hermit-poet of Persian modernism. For much of his life, he was the leading figure in a circle of young poets who developed the movement known as Other Poetry (she’r-e digar), which was to transform Iranian literary modernism. Elegant, meditative, and experimental, Elahi’s poetry offers an unprecedented synthesis of the Persian classical poetic styles with the modernism he inherited from Nima Yushij (d. 1960).
Kayvan Tahmasebian (https: //poets.org/poet/kayvan-tahmasebian) is a poet, translator, literary critic, and the author of Isfahan’s Mold (Sadeqia dar Bayat Esfahan, 2016). His poetry has appeared in Notre Dame Review, the Hawai’i Review, Salt Hill, and Lunch Ticket, where it was a finalist for The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts in 2017.
Rebecca Ruth Gould is the author of the award-winning monograph Writers & Rebels (Yale University Press, 2016) and the poetry collection Cityscapes (Alien Buddha Press, 2019). She has translated many books from Persian and Georgian, including After Tomorrow the Days Disappear: Ghazals and Other Poems of Hasan Sijzi of Delhi(Northwestern University Press, 2016) and The Death of Bagrat Zakharych and other Stories by Vazha-Pshavela (Paper & Ink, 2019). She is currently director of the ERC-funded project, “Global Literary Theory” and Professor, Islamic World & Comparative Literature, at the University of Birmingham.
ARE THERE COPPER PIPES IN HEAVEN / ERU KOPARRØR Í HIMMIRÍKI

2018 Projects

ONE MORE REVOLUTION

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Support this Community Member Directly! – coming soon — listen to Andrea’s performances, compositions, and explore more of his work here

Project Description: ONE MORE REVOLUTION writes through the intimate, personal practice of listening to music, of living with music. Beginning with self-interrogation into the author’s growing obsession with collecting vinyl records, the narrative spins out into a meditation on how we come to know the music we love, how voices from the past animate and complicate that knowing, and how the ways we consume music tell a deeper story about the ways that music means. Somewhere between memoir and theory, this book demonstrates that personal revelations can animate the work of analysis, that a poetic voice can make a formal claim, and ultimately, that language can articulate the ways that music moves us.

“In our current culture, I have noticed there are many writers who can wax extensively about what music means to them and to others within a social context, but who lack a deep understanding of how music really works as a craft and a means of making structures. On the other hand, there are many others with extensive technical training who struggle to make their writing seem relevant to the way most ordinary people experience music.

Maker of Things, Teacher of Making: an OS interview with Andrea Mazzariello

Andrea Mazzariello (b. 1978) is a composer, performer, writer, and teacher. He works at the intersections of text and sound, popular and art music, traditional playing technique and one-man-band-inspired performance physiology. His concert music has been performed by leading contemporary music ensembles, including Sō Percussion, Mobius Percussion, NOW Ensemble, and Newspeak, and presented at Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, and San Francisco’s Center for New Music, among many others. SEAMUS and New Amsterdam Records have released recordings of his electronic and chamber music. Active as a performer, he plays a unique and continually evolving instrumental setup, including keyboard, drum set, voice, and electronics. He has contributed essays to Albany Records, the Baryshnikov Arts Center Stories series, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music blog, and Princeton University Press’ forthcoming The Pocket Instructor: Writing. The Operating System published his first book, ONE MORE REVOLUTION, in 2017. He completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition at Princeton University, writing on the vinyl resurgence and its connection to our ideas of physicality and abstraction in music analysis, and then joined the faculty of the Princeton Writing Program, where he taught several first-year music- centered writing seminars. Currently he teaches composition, music technology, and music fundamentals as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton College, directs the composition program at the Sō Percussion Summer Institute, and runs One More Revolution Records.

ATTENDANCE

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Project Description:

Attendance is a meditation, an ushering-in of the kind of mindfulness that life deserves. One that leaves readers like me nodding and saying yes to lines like these: ‘Just try to want different things’ and ‘You can do anything you want with me as long as you do it slowly first.’ Carlos and Kaminer are power, and this book is plain gorgeous.”
–Natashia Deón, author of Grace

“I expected to be moved by this collaborative work from Rachel McLeod Kaminer and Rocío Carlos–they are two distinct and beautiful poets after all. But what I didn’t expect from Attendance is the way it brought the life around me to life. How the birds and the trees and the landscape began to move in ways I hadn’t noticed before, how my skin began to feel enveloped by the details of the day. Great art has always made me know that I belonged in the world, that I wasn’t wandering through it alone. And Attendance, as much as any recent book, has reminded me of this truth.”
–Chiwan Choi, author of The Yellow House

“what can we actually unlearn? capitalism is cellular where birdsound is molecular? shall we abandon the impulse to overtake? shall we slough of layers of administration to expose the medular hollow? where might we rest our heads?”
–jen hofer, from ‘an after attendance’

———————

Reading Attendance trains your attention on plants and animals until you can’t stop noticing them. It’s a way of moving through the natural world–which turns out to include the whole world. An almanac, a logbook, a devotional, a witness statement, poetry. A documentary not in the sense of capturing but in the sense of being a creature paying attention to the world we already live in. It’s a hybrid text: One year of two people reaching their arms across styles and genres. At times notes, at times lists, or run-on sentences, or poems, or things that want to be poems, but always plants, and always animals. The words are offered up with no correction or with the revision exposed. This is writing that includes where it comes from or writing that painfully doesn’t become.

We hold so many questions about love and attention and violence.

Rocío Carlos attends from the land of the chaparral. Born and raised in Los Ángeles, she is widely acknowledged to have zero short term memory but know the names of trees. Her poems have appeared in Chaparral, Angel City Review, The Spiral Orb and Cultural Weekly. She was selected as a 2003 Pen Center “Emerging Voices” fellow. She collaborates as a partner at Wirecutter Collective and is a teacher of the language arts. Her favorite trees are the olmo (elm)and aliso (sycamore).

Rachel McLeod Kaminer grew up in the Blue Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains near the French Broad River. She lives in the Los Ángeles River basin and works up the Arroyo Seco in the Hahamongna alluvial basin. Her book of poetry As in the dark, descend was published in 2016 with Writ Large Press; she’s also a partner-in-crime at Wirecutter Collective. Rachel’s bread job is in education, but she’s just as likely to be editing, reading, or messaging on tumblr.

THE BOOK OF EVERYDAY INSTRUCTION

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Project Description:“Instead of setting the stage for familiarity and comfort as politeness most often does, Bass’ announces the space in which she lets us know what she will and will not do for us. It is a smile that says, “No.”; It is the space in which she articulates her refusal to take control, to tell you what to think, to look for you, to, in a certain dramatically put sense, be “The Artist”; Which is not at all to say there is nothing to say, nothing to read or see – what there is is vast and infinitely specific and imbued with a rare intelligence and sentiment. But the only way you can see it is to take responsibility for your own seeing. To take responsibility for yourself as another singularity, a specific singularity bringing with it all the historical baggage that is positionality. Bass invites us to play a different game, one in which neither the rules nor we are familiar.” – Bill Dietz, “Politesse against the social”

In 2015, conceptual artist Chloë Bass began a two-year chronicle of one-on-one social interactions, beginning with the question “How do we know when we’re really together?” Through private performances, interactive experiences, text installations, interviews and photography, Bass explored the pair relationship, expanding ideas of place, history, activity, and distance.

In developing the project, Bass conceptualized the book as an exhibit; now, in collaboration with The Operating System, she presents an exhibit as a book.

 

Increasing the Scale of the Intimate – an OS conversation with Chloë Bass

Chloë Bass is a multiform conceptual artist working in performance, situation, conversation, publication, and installation. Her work uses daily life as a site of deep research to address scales of intimacy: where patterns hold and break as group sizes expand. She began her work with a focus on the individual (The Bureau of Self-Recognition, 2011 – 2013), has recently concluded a study of pairs (The Book of Everyday Instruction, 2015 – 2017), and will continue to scale up gradually until she’s working at the scale of the metropolis. She is currently working on Obligation To Others Holds Me in My Place (2018 – 2022), an investigation of intimacy at the scale of immediate families.

Chloë has held numerous fellowships and residencies: she is a 2020 – 2022 Faculty Fellow for the Seminar in Public Engagement at the Center for Humanities (CUNY Graduate Center), a 2020 – 2022 Lucas Art Fellow at Montalvo Art Center, and was a 2019 Art Matters Grantee. Previous recent honors include a residency include a residency at Denniston Hill, the Recess Analog Artist-in-Residence, and a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship. Her projects have appeared nationally and internationally, including recent exhibits at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, the Knockdown Center, the Kitchen, the Brooklyn Museum, CUE Art Foundation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the James Gallery, and elsewhere. Reviews, mentions of, and interviews about her work have appeared in Artforum, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Temporary Art Review, and Artnews among others. Her monograph was published by The Operating System in December 2018; she also has a chapbook, #sky #nofilter, forthcoming from DoubleCross Press. Her short-form writing has been published on Hyperallergic, Arts.Black, and the Walker Reader. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Queens College, CUNY, where she co-runs Social Practice Queens with Gregory Sholette.

CHLOROSIS

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Project Description:“So often our urgencies upend themselves into absurdities. Lyric turns to joke and then to pugnacious elegy. So in Flatt’s and Mund’s Chlorosis, a dying world becomes a dynamic collaboration. Given options that find us ‘imping toward stasis, ‘ this poetry reanimates and throws color and light on a dimming horizon. Can poetry save us? Maybe not. But perhaps what we need now is sustenance, not salvation. Both slapstick and delicate, Chlorosis sustains the witness necessary to this moment. Now, in this ‘fugitive dimension, ‘ we are borne on ‘an absent violence, ‘ ‘still and waking for that which we lack / from which to emerge.'”–Elizabeth Robinson

“In these poems, Michael Flatt and Derrick Mund flicker between digital screens and imperceptibly crumbling landscapes to create a series of nameless glances cast at a contemporary psychic abyss. Here, Chlorosis reads like a thread of linked pastorals–eulogizing the living room of a broken American heart–choked by sunlit swarms of dust motes and a soft, semi-urban dread.”–Janaka Stucky

Chlorosis is a moving experiment in the uses of the poetic ‘we’ in a time of crisis. It hangs tight–it usually means just two people. The component members of that ‘we’ write to each other, as each other, and for each other. And as they survey together a world in which there is no respite from the oncoming disaster, that ‘we’ becomes a tiny, nimble pivot for unexpected clarities and also for the testing out of tentative rhythms–both of which we’ll all be needing, from here on out.”–Christopher Nealon

With Chlorosis–a leaf disease in plant life caused by lack of light, literally translated as “green sickness”–Flatt and Mund explore the difficulties of finding and sustaining love in the midst of the various toxicities of the anthropocene: slow violence, environmental catastrophe, economic malaise, polluted cultural memory, digital abjection, etc. Alternating between lyrical address and objectivist observation, this collection of untitled poems also engages with voices from the fields of ecopoetics and new materialism. In this collaboration, the first-person pronouns break down actively, alertly, and unevenly, alongside generalized collapse. Love, however–humanist love, romantic love, brotherly love–is never far from view.

Language’s Concealed Architectures: an OS conversation with Michael Flatt and Derrick Mund

The Fractured Landscapes of Suchitra Mattai :: ‘Chlorosis’ x ‘Ambiguity in the Face of the Cause’ — an OS feature on Chlorosis cover artist, Suchitra Mattai

Michael Flatt is a PhD candidate in the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo. He was named by J. Michael Martinez to the Poetry Society of America’s 2013 list of New American Poets for his book, ‘Absent Receiver’ (SpringGun Press), and he is the founder of Low Frequency Press.

derrick mund lives, writes and tends bar in Denver, CO. He received his MFA from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and runs Leon Presents: A Reading Series. His work can be found at Greying Ghost, Vinyl, Real Poetik, and elsewhere.

FIELD GUIDE TO AUTOBIOGRAPHY

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Project Description: How does a person begin to enumerate the many fragments & fractals that comprise a life? field guide is an attempt at memoir through the lens of various animals & minerals including katydids, wrens, abalone shells, and apple trees.

“What is a species autobiography? An autobiography not written through the convention of the senses? What is the bone mouth, what is it to break the surface? If autobiography is a particular history of body and bodies, then what kind of book is this? What does it permit itself: not to know? Does the book accomplish its non-human (human) aims? I like that there is a wren in it. I like that there is a whale.” — Bhanu Kapil

“This book earns its title. It’s a field guide to the ecosystem that is being human. And that means it is also an autobiography. It is unclear in most of the poems where the human begins and ends, and this is how it should be. The world that comes out of these poems is luminous and difficult. This isn’t conventional poetry; it’s a poetry that helps us understand the future and the world that embeds us.”– Juliana Spahr

“Forage the wilds of language with Melissa Eleftherion’s field guide and find yourself bodily reconstituted in sensate particles of taste and sound. Saturated in the langauge of insects, these poems expose identity’s viscera down to its protoplasmic and mineral compositions, its Latinate roots, its collectivizing and individuating compulsions. Passing through syllabic way-stations of consciousness in formation, attention is brought to bear upon that which is irreducbly alien in us, yet common as fur and delectably female in its reproductive capacity–not to mention, badass! Here are whorls and bursts of light, where to fly is to sing is to fly, where ‘soft noises’ compose a listening to instruct your ontological imagination. Following Eleftherion’s exertion towards classification, we are led to its (im)possibility. Read this book! You never know what form you may be compelled to assume. –Elise Ficarra

Poetics & Process  – an OS conversation with Melissa Eleftherion

melissa eleftherion grew up in Brooklyn. A high school dropout, she went on to earn an MFA in Poetry from Mills College and an MLIS from San Jose State University. She is the author of huminsect, prism maps, Pigtail Duty, the leaves the leaves, green glass asterisms, little ditch, and several other chapbooks. Founder of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, Melissa lives in Northern California where she works as a Reference & Teen Services Librarian, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series at the Ukiah Library. field guide to autobiography is her first full-length collection.

ABANDONERS


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Project Description:“L. Ann Wheeler’s powerful debut examines why we leave and what happens to those who stay. This richly layered multi-genre book digs deep into personal and collective histories through archival investigation and imaginative rendering, reanimating their ghostly traces in the light of the present. The collection captures our ruined world with compassion and a collective crying out against loss and exploitation. Its lovingly sutured heart will leave you with the tender fortitude to endure.” – Megan Kaminski

“In this haunting book, Lesley Ann Wheeler searches through a century of Coney Island’s abandoned, collecting a multimedia archive from the annals of history and her imagination. At the heart of the work is a sort of memorial for the city’s tiny ghosts–and an investigation of their pull on her heart. It’s hard to look away.” – Sarah Manguso

“Poetry, prose, documentary, collage — this mesmerizing book puzzles together a tormenting mistake, the peril of its discovery, and public accounts of women out of options. It begins, in a way, in the marsh grass at Coney Island, 1922, and ends at the head of a line of 21st century Kansas City schoolchildren whose teacher leads them, walking backwards. What is being passed to the reader feels obliging, covert, transactional, an ‘identity in an envelope with / the flap tucked in.’ Abandoners is a work of consequence.” – Brian Blanchfield

Abandoners is part non-fiction, part poetry, and part graphic novel and exists at the intersection of women’s lives in transition, and the relentless fantasy of Coney Island. It’s framed by the story of a woman who abandoned her baby in Coney Island Creek in 1922, and the re-telling and re-casting of her story in a way that lifts it out of the archives and makes her human.

L. Ann Wheeler is a writer, artist, and teacher in Los Angeles. She holds degrees in creative writing from the Pratt Institute and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry and prose has appeared in Omniverse, Bone Bouquet, Entropy, ILK, among others. She’s taught elementary school on Coney Island, college writing in Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas, and high school in California. ‘Abandoners’ is her first book.

THE BOOK OF SOUNDS

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Dual Language Persian-English translation]

Project Description:‘The Book of Sounds, ‘ released as a dual language edition as part of The Operating System’s “Glossarium:: Unsilenced Texts” series, is Mehdi Navid’s first novelette, translated from the Farsi by Tina Rahimi. The book was not publishable in Iran.

The Book of Sounds is an honest exploration of the socio-political context of contemporary Iran, the challenges, hopes and dreams of actual people living in this context, much like the book’s characters, among the pages of an episode– a space whose “door” is to be eventually “turned over as a page.”

Through Navid’s inventive poetic prose, sounds evolve into the main filter through which the narration takes place. Throughout the book, the reader will notice an unconventional use of syntax, and a fresh approach to auditory imagery, which is uniquely married to the common logic of everyday words.

“So that terror disappears from my face”: an OS conversation with Mehdi Navid

Mehdi Navid (b. 1981) is an Iranian author, translator and editor. His works include a collection of poetry in Persian titled تو نیامدی بهنگام / جای تو سر شب آمد [You Didn’t Arrive in Time / Dusk Fell Instead] published by Bon-Gah publications, an unpublished novella, بطری]ها و بدن]ها [Bottles and Bodies] and کتاب اصوات [The Book of Sounds]. He is currently working on two novellas, one concerning an infamous historical incident which occurred in Iran the 90s involving a number of Iranian authors and another on the assassination of secular intellectuals and writers in the mid-nineties, which is known as chain-murders. He has also translated numerous works from Samuel Beckett, Richard Brautigan and William S. Burroughs to Farsi. He worked as literary general editor for Ney Publication Company, and Rokhdad-e-No Publication House. He also worked as a journalist for Karnameh Magazine. Currently, he is editor-in-chief of Pagard Publications.

Tina Rahimi (translator) is an Iranian teacher, writer, and translator. She received her MA in English Language and Literature from Allameh Tabataba’i University in 2005, and her PhD in Media and Communication from the European Graduate School in 2013. She has worked as a writer and content-creator for language companies such as Living Language and Rosetta Stone. She has taught Farsi to students from around the world and has also participated in translation projects such as “Seeing Studies” by Documenta 13. She has translated articles by contemporary philosophers such as Slavoj Zizek and Judith Butler, poems by John Keats, and a short story by Jorge Luis Borges. She currently lives in Madrid, Spain.

Cover design by Elæ (Lynne DeSilva-Johnson), with original art by Iman Raad

SHARING PLASTIC

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description:

“‘By the fear in her face I don’t think she knows realness, ‘ writes Blake Nemec in his disarmingly original book Sharing Plastic. And what’s real here is the “banter” of sex and hotel workers that in spectacular glimpses reveals their behind-the-scene intimacies and the endless negotiations needed to get paid, stay alive, and avoid arrest. The specter of violence always at the margins of their swagger and wit, we listen to them as they arrange their ‘bodies of work’ in latex, or assemble pillows on beds (because ‘pillows are my paycheck’), as they discuss how to ‘organize dating’ while on a wine-tasting tour, or urge a co-worker troubled by a John who looks like Brad Pitt to ‘pretend he was Judith Butler.’ Smart and funny, Nemec’s debut book of poetry shows us that ‘talk is rope, ‘ that individual voices find their strength braided together in common purpose. I urge you to listen.”–Rosa Alcalá

“Reading a blake nemec book you realize what people must have felt after a month or two in Warhol’s Silver Factory–simultaneously the multimedia blitz, the making of a dozen different movies around you, the pillows of silver mylar floating through air, the silkscreened flowers, and the soul-shattering buzz of being in the most exciting place on earth. Puzzling, but definitely thrilling. nemec’s work is filled with stories and dialogue, but also analytic passages that combine raw bioenergy with Noel Coward wit. And so sexy! “Their torsos/ / swooshed past each other’s/ images, but bent towards one another’s mouths lipping off….” This broken mess of exquisite diamond dust, this altar of soul and desire, will give God a new face.” – Kevin Killian

“In Sharing Plastic, blake nemec opens our hearts to those who do the hard and marginal work of the world, putting their “hired hands” and other body parts into service for us, whether as domestic workers, sex workers, or others who live on the razor’s edge of risk. “Our lips/won’t get sealed with service/fees and arrest/threats will not clip our echo,” nemec declares on behalf of his people. These poems are as generous and expansive in their plasticity as the resilient voices that animate them. And the visuals in these pages–vibrant images of bodies, forms, and altered documents–sinuously intersect with nemec’s text to counterpoint and complicate the book’s empathic vision. Sharing Plastic is a resonant and expressive book of grit and grace.” –David Groff, author of Clay

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Sharing Plastic is a gushing homage to each worker who has feared arrest. It is a confrontation to an undiscerning view of migration and whiteness. At times playful while others severe, this hybrid poetry/fiction collection works to lengthen sonic intimacies between unprotected workers by snaking such dialogues or scenarios next to one another as one resonating force.

Different from literature that finds poetic tension between informal trade workers and their bosses, or poems that distantly paint a marginalized worker scenario as dramatic, these episodes hone in on the loving or volatile worker to worker exchanges.

The characters and voices in these vignettes cinematically traverse between El Paso, San Francisco, Oakland and Chicago. In a political time when people are bracing themselves each time they turn on the news, Sharing Plastic, alongside other voices which only know flux, suggests honoring those who have long known how to navigate the temporary.

[re:con]versations: Excavating Sharing Plastic with Blake Nemec — an OS poetics & process interview

blake nemec is a writer, teacher and sound/media artist who lives in Chicago. His work has been featured in journals, anthologies, festivals or conferences such as ENTITLE: Undisciplined Environments, JUPITER 88, the Red Rover Reading Series, the Rio Grande Review, Captive Genders; Transembodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, or the San Francisco Queer Arts Performance Festival. He received an MFA in bilingual (Spanish and English) poetry/fiction from the University of Texas at El Paso and is a Lambda Literary Fellow. He has long worked as a sound mixer in queer independent movies, the latest being the documentary FREE CeCE! Collaboration is a potent force his work gushes from, most recently audible in the sound performance project, Moly B Denim and the Social Movements Oral History Project. His writing and sound performances work to reveal the extraordinary musicality of everyday conversations by unprotected workers, pansexuals, and gender variant people.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS VOL. II

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[This project is a collaboration with the Organism for Poetic Research — explore their past projects and publications here.]
An interview about this project can be found here, on the Melville House blog.

We encourage you to do a reading of these counter-orders and/or to add some of your own and perform a ritual of sorts.
We did this at the original launch of this volume and it was extraordinarily healing, a catharsis, a spell.

Project Description: After the election of Donald J. Trump in November 2016 and following his subsequent inauguration in January 2017, a group of poets and activists conceived of a project wherein we could respond to the sudden and seemingly relentless barrage of Trump’s dystopian executive orders with a series of our own orders–at times serious, lampooning, absurdist, sincere, satirical, utopian, and so on. The project, titled “Executive Orders,” was envisioned as a collaborative, freeform, prose poem that would unfold real-time responses to current events and the U.S. socio-political scape. We began the project on Google Docs (where active writing on the project continues), imagining that we would publish the project at various points in time, in an effort to further disseminate the work, draw in new collaborators, and document the project in various states as it continued to expand and evolve. The first volume of Executive Orders was composed online between Jan. 24, 2017 and Feb. 9, 2017, and was then published by The Organism for Poetic Research as a staple-bound zine in an edition of 50 copies. It had 15 contributors and was 43 pages long. While VOLUME 1 captured the document in the state it had reached as of Feb. 9, 2017, the Google Doc remained (and still remains) a continuous working space. The second volume was composed between Jan. 24, 2017 and Dec. 28, 2017 and contains all that was in this first volume, with additions and revisions. It results from the contributions of more than 50 authors and collaboration between the Organism for Poetic Research and the Operating System. Our small press collaboration goes beyond a traditional co-publishing model and involved organizing and hosting an open writing session at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on November 4, 2017 wherein we solicited orders from library patrons and passersby outside the library. “In EXECUTIVE ORDERS, we find ourselves on a wild ride through a landscape deformed by the destructive prerogatives of an obscene government, but lush with wildlife from some not-fully-seen political beyond–some of it beautiful, some of it hilarious. It offers a composite picture of one community’s struggle to keep sane in the growing shadow of mere anarchy.”–Ian Dreiblatt

Edited, Compiled and Designed by Elæ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson] in collaboration with OPR.

JAZZERCISE IS A LANGUAGE

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description:

“JAZZERCISE IS A LANGUAGE is a long poem that wants to be a smiling, skinny white woman. Here are the leg warmers, head bands, sweat, chants, and two-steps of the 1980’s dance aerobics craze, but decked with the baggage of race, pixelation, rituals, violence, and body horror. The women in a hardwood studio inside your TV are so neon it’s blinding. But the voice of Judi Sheppard Missett, the muse of JAZZERCISE IS A LANGUAGE, will carry them along. “JAZZERCISE IS A LANGUAGE is rich with original music and a mysteriously evocative internal movement. It brings us closer to a future magic formed by the tropical energies some of us might keep in our interiors, even if that magic were initially only relatable through the presence of a rooster. Gabriel Ojeda-Sague’s poems are ‘song[s that] lie sweetly on the wound.’ He shape-shifts his interior and exterior selves like the oceans do, and shows us not only that the universe is always speaking to us, but also that it is always speaking to itself in us. I am relieved and renewed as if from a good night of powerful and gentle dreams when I read his poems.”–Roberto Harrison
“Through the syntax and vocabulary of a dance style proselytized by one, sweaty-sexy, hyper-affirmative Jazzercise camp leader Judi Sheppard Missett, JAZZERCISE IS A LANGUAGE reveals multiple and violent registers of racial and cultural interpellation: ‘I determine the circumstance of my own abduction.’ Behind the seemingly benign landscape of ‘six white women stepping to the left, ‘ I encountered, strangely and briefly, the little Japanese girl in me with the overwhelming aspiration to be a perfectly shaped, beautiful white lady shimmying in a leotard. Gabriel Ojeda-Sague leads us into the complicated discussion of how we got here by pivoting back to the ever contracting-and-releasing dance around the semantic body, all the way back to the secret that ‘is in the derrière, the burning secret, the bushel of flowers, ‘ where we burn–and burn–and burn–Do you feel it? I do.”–Sawako Nakayasu
“The slinky style of Jazzercise founder Judi Sheppard Missett haunts this book of poems by Philadelphia-based wunderkind Gabriel Ojeda-Sague. I had not thought I remembered Judi, but a few pages into the volume she returns to grip me again, her patented blend of syncopation, disco beat, showbiz honey with a drop of vinegar, sex appeal tease. She was commanding the whole world to work it. The demands of the social world on the body are Ojeda-Sague’s persistent theme: the shame and fear on which every exercise empire is built, the potential for subverting these tropes by paying attention to the once abjured vehicle of VCR Jazzercise tapes–its grain and pastel and stray pixels–the power and strength and endurance of being gay and of color in the middle of such a disco. I had trouble imagining this book when he was describing it to me, but now that it’s in my hands, it reads as one of the absolute essentials of our moment in poetry.”–Kevin Killian

Hello, We’re Talking About Jazzercise: An OS Q&A with Gabriel Ojeda-Sague

Gabriel Ojeda-Sague is a Miami Philly gay, Latino Leo living in Philadelphia, PA. He is the author of the poetry books JAZZERCISE IS A LANGUAGE (The Operating System, 2018) and OIL AND CANDLE (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2016). He is also the author of chapbooks on gay sex, Cher, the Legend of Zelda, and anxious bilingualism. His third book Losing Miami, on the potential sinking of Miami due to climate change and sea level rise, is forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms.
SUSURROS A MI PADRE

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Project Description: SUSURROS A MI PADRE represents Erick Sáenz’s efforts to connect language and culture, family and loss. The book charts the author’s fractured relationship with his father: a man whose Mexican blood he inherited. Sáenz collages memories, first-hand accounts, and interviews related to his Latinx identity in an effort to resurrect the culture that alludes him. From Los Angeles to San Jose, this is his journey to redefine himself.

“Susurros como vientos del Mar: Sáenz’s SUSURROS A MI PADRE, is a glowing debut. These poems shine with a quartzite clarity that guides the reader through vital fronteras of Latinx experience. Weaving together a polyvocal lyric of familial inquiry, Sáenz’s poetry is a refreshing, reinvigorating looking at a Latinx narrative that so many live, and yet so few ever read about. May this Poet’s ocean of language change that tide.”–Angel Dominguez

“Let this book show you an interrogation and migration of story, where story is made of secrets: from Monterrey to Los Angeles to San José and back; through wanting to know one’s father, and ultimately, oneself. In this candid, real-time narrative, Erick Sáenz sits with the discomfort and mystery of words in Spanish and English that [pass time], where time is a summation of moments, questions, memories; and where passing is actively standing watch at a life that’s yours. Call it disenfranchised grief–or listen when he asks, ‘What is it like growing up landlocked?’–or when he affects, ‘Este es mi elogia, papi’ with the crushing beauty of a confession. Sáenz writes fatherlessness, restlessness, and distance and othering as double consciousness. This story is a slow, heartfelt corrido unveiling the poetics of loss.”–Janice Sapigao

“At birth, the left hemisphere of our brains registers the difference between speech and noise. Even before an infant begins to babble, the brain has built a map for language. We know this because of brain-imaging, which, in some cases, illuminates the firing of synapses by placing them on a topographic plane. When reading Sáenz’s text, my experience is akin to being on this plane, where the electrical eruptions are both beautiful and violent, but invited and significant. I experience linguistic ruptures. And while I am asked to return to past memories, to photographs, voices recollected, all the while negotiating a narrative that won’t be easily pieced back together, I see the importance of a text such as this as an utterance I both need and recognize. Needless to say, this text is incredible.”–Lisa Donovan

Catharsis and Cultural Memory: an OS conversation with Erick Sáenz, author of ‘Susurros a Mi Padre’

Erick Sáenz is a 1st generation Latinx writer and English teacher from Los Angeles. He is founding editor of Lilac Press, a small DIY imprint. He was previously a contributing editor for the online place-based magazine Cheers from the Wasteland. In addition to several self-published chapbooks and zines, his work can be found at Entropy, Alien Mouth, Elderly Magazine, Pinball, Hobart Pulp, Five:2:One magazine, and others. SUSURROS A MI PADRE is his first book.

AN ABSENCE SO GREAT AND SPONTANEOUS IT IS EVIDENCE OF LIGHT

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Project Description:“In a story of William Carlos Williams as a child, told by his mother, the poet puts the wrong shoes on the wrong feet by accident and upon realizing it, leaves them on for a while thinking about how weird it feels. Anne Gorrick does something like that, but with the internet and gender fluidity, in this brilliantly bizarre new book of poems. Searching for anything other than correct answers, pursuing online flaneurie by translation of source texts, the explosive humor here of interruptions, half-remembered allusions, and shifts in diction invents a gonzo musical logic, a texture which stops off at Jackson Mac Low, at Leslie Scalapino’s splintered phenomenology, and at a NY school idiom of being surprised by your own writing, before continuing on with its own glorious road movie. “Kiss the snot otter in a hard hat / and then tell a story about your stuff” “Is Percocet on the periodic table?” “Herpes travels to a science center as Brineshrimpdirect” “Plenty of fish, please touch, pleaser shoes” “She is pro-life curious”” – Trace Peterson

‘An Absence’ is the news told in “Starfish Slang” and delivered to the house of poetry. You think this book of poems should land on the front lawn, but instead it crashes through the living room window and shatters predictability. It startles you, but no one gets hurt, you are only more aware of the world around you. And healed by the inventory. Anne Gorrick confounds and clarifies through a determined weaving, that is both familiar and strange. The poetry seems to be an accident, but you know it is full of care, and you can’t help but rubberneck as the scenes that are revealed line by line become increasingly absurd and revelatory. It is a time capsule and core sample, compiled from fragments of beauty and danger. There is no turning back.” -Michael Rothenberg

from the author:

“These poems began in 2011 with an investigation into John Cage’s adventures with chance. I was working at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and we had a small museum, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, with a regular exhibition called Reading Objects. The idea of the show is to explore and expand on what is traditionally said on those little cards next to paintings. So we were presented with an array of visual work, and could pick pieces to write about. I decided to write something to accompany a musical score by Cage that was to be part of exhibition. I wrote something, and I came to hate it. This poem was displayed next to Cage’s score. I felt I didn’t nearly go far enough with the poem to really engage with Cage. So I started again by researching Cage, and I also spent time with Jackson Mac Low’s ‘Representative Works.’

“Around this time, I began to really notice and found myself entertained by the way search engines attempt to anticipate our needs. I began to slowly type lines of poetry (eventually working my way toward entire short poems) into the Google and Bing search boxes, and laugh my way through the list of wrongly anticipated results that appeared underneath my search. I began to make poems out of these (wrong) search results. At first, I thought I was adding chance into the poem, but I came to realize it was just the opposite: these search results came from the zeitgeist’s algorithmic desire, not my own, which ended up expanding the possibilities for the poem. The poetic “I” dissolves in this desire.” – Anne Gorrick

Fluent in PlayAn OS Conversation with Anne Gorrick

Excerpts from An Absence can be found at EOAGH; big bridge; The Bangalore Review; La Vague; and Wag’s Review; additional recent online publications include five2oneand always crashing.

Anne Gorrick is a poet and visual artist.

She is the author of The Olfactions: Poems on Perfume (BlazeVOX Books, 2017), A’s Visuality (BlazeVOX, 2015), I-Formation (Book 2) (Shearsman Books, Bristol, UK, 2012), I-Formation (Book 1) (Shearsman, 2010), and Kyotologic (Shearsman, 2008). She collaborated with artist Cynthia Winika to produce a limited edition artists’ book, “Swans, the ice,” she said, funded by the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has also co-edited (with poet Sam Truitt) In|Filtration: An Anthology of Innovative Writing from the Hudson River Valley (Station Hill Press, 2016).

With poet Melanie Klein, she currently curates the reading series Process to Text, which focuses on innovative writing from in and around New York’s Hudson Valley.

She is President of the Board of Trustees at Century House Historical Society, home of the Widow Jane Mine, an all-volunteer organization (www.centuryhouse.org) that hosts a variety of arts events (Including the annual Subterranean Poetry Festival), and preserves the history of the now-defunct local cement industry.

Anne Gorrick lives in West Park, New York.

SINGING FOR NOTHING: SELECTED NONFICTION AS LITERARY MEMOIR

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Project Description: “It turns out Wally Swist is a skilled essayist and reviewer as well as a celebrated poet and a decidedly eclectic reader. Singing for Nothing (the title alone says something about the condition of poetry) is a refined review of the work of both known and overlooked contemporary poets, as well as essays and reviews of the work of a range of artists, writers, and even scientists. The accounts are so intriguing, even for those unfamiliar with the subterranean world of poetry or obscure literature, after reading this book one would want to head off to the nearest library or bookstore and see what you’ve missed.” – John Hanson Mitchell

“Wally Swist’s life has been steeped in poetry and guided by a steadfast belief in the power of literature. As book seller, a book creator, a poet, an essayist, a reviewer, and a generous supporter of other writers, he inhabits a world in which reading is indivisible from writing, and can’t be untangled from life itself. So, it seems utterly fitting that Singing for Nothing maps that life by way of his essays and reviews. Through the assiduous shaping of his critical commentary on literature from around world and close to home, Swist has created a distinctive, thought-provoking memoir that is also a celebration of literature itself. ” – Jane Brox

Singing for Nothing was written over a period of 40 years. The essays, reviews, and other selected prose collected here constitute the author’s poetic ruminations, his political and social thought, and his perennial philosophy over that time–to now. Much of the book was composed only recently in an attempt to push the traditional boundaries of nonfiction and memoir. Each of the eight chapters are introduced with anecdotal material from Swist’s literary life, which albeit was impoverished financially, at times, but nearly always rich with his meetings with authors and his luminous reading through the years.

Topics include reviews of the work of significant poets and writers; a chapter regarding haiku, an often misunderstood Japanese poetic form, and its intersection with Zen; a few academic essays regarding pop culture, the science of measurement, and the history of retirement in America; several blogs regarding psycho-spirituality; and a guided morning meditation using the chakras closes this book, which also includes some of this award-winning poet’s poetry. The volume’s subtitle, ‘Selected Nonfiction as Literary Memoir’, is apropos for what this book both embraces and what it explores by pressing the limits of traditional literary boundaries.

THE POETICS OF WALKING (AN EXCERPT FROM “SINGING FOR NOTHING”) :: WALLY SWIST :: FIELD NOTES :: HAIKU AND THE ACTIVITY OF NONACTION

Vigilant Listening: an OS Conversation with Wally Swist

Wally Swist is the author of some three dozen books and chapbooks of poetry and prose. Among his books are The Daodejing: A New Interpretation, with co-authors, David Breeden and Steven Schroeder (Beaumont, TX: Lamar University Press, 2015). His book Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love was selected co-winner of the 2011 Crab Orchard Series Open Poetry Contest, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa served as judge, and the book was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2012. The book was nominated by Southern Illinois University Press for a National Book Award. Swist has also published three previous books of poetry with Shanti Arts, of Brusnwick, Maine: Candling the Eggs (2016); The Map of Eternity (2018); and The Bees of the Invisible (2019). His books of nonfiction include Singing for Nothing: Selected Nonfiction as Literary Memoir (Brooklyn, NY: The Operating System, 2018) and On Beauty: Essays, Reviews, Fiction, and Plays (New York & Lisbon: Adelaide Books, 2018). Swist is a recipient of Artist’s Fellowships in poetry from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts (1977 and 2003). He was also awarded a one-year writing residency (1998) and two back-to-back one-year writing residencies (2003-2005) at his former mentor’s home, Fort Juniper, the Robert Francis Homestead, in the Cushman Village section of Amherst, Massachusetts. Swist’s work has appeared in such national periodicals such as Commonweal, The North American Review, Rattle, Rolling Stone, Yankee Magazine, and Your Impossible Voice. He currently makes his home in western Massachusetts, where he is semi-retired and works as a freelance editor and writer.

BORN AGAIN

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Project Description:“BORN AGAIN is an ecstatic disquisition on the psychic, sensual and cerebral power of religious experience. In a crucible of direct encounter with the Holy Spirit, towering and oppressive mental structures are deranged and reshaped into a dynamic feminist recourse of audacious openings: borderless, raw and alive. Instead of shaming the male god figurehead these lyrics twist in vertiginous funnels disarming power empathically, a rebellious performance that proliferates like quicksilver in a revelatory field of creative fire. Libidinal improvisatory anti-edict, anti-threshold terrestrial tangibility. Expressing volatile, febrile and point blank composure Ivy Johnson redefines (fathoms) what it means to be enthralled as she unburdens the epic weight of judgment and spiritual peril in a veil of viscose corporeality. The erotics of immanence are emancipatory and miraculous here, now.”–Brenda Iijima

“BORN AGAIN is a book about the redemptive power of the singular voice, arising from the mixture of a multitude of voices, coming together as a single flame to light the way through a landscape of sorrow, evil, extreme beauty, and extreme feeling. The book teeters between definitions of poetry and the essay form to come upon the right way to say the unsayable, telling us things like: ‘I am nothing like a tree / You think I’m in a drought / You think I’m shriveling up / You are wrong.’ Ivy Johnson is a poet who believes that the I and the spirit are intertwined forever in the act of the poem. She gives the poets of today and tomorrow the permission to gain strength from the force of the persona, with its ability to surround trauma and alchemize it into the sort of language that sustains. Johnson tells us: ‘I am free I am free /Believe me I am.’ And we do believe she is free. And we believe, in her poems, we are, too.”–Dorothea Lasky

“Are you ‘more Medea than Oedipus’? Are you Jesus? Have you arrived to Ivy Johnson’s poetry to experience the revisitation of rape or an abstract ‘ecological armageddon’ of language or the orifice of a poetic body? Here, we become her wakeful marigolds. We sit across from her like pages of membranes, trying to eat as fast as we can off the hypnotic fluency of her literary fingers, twisting and turning with her as we unlock the ‘locomotion of a tautology, ‘ the constant lips and thighs and gurgles or shareholders of her text. And we don’t die happily.”–Vi Khi Nao

“Slipperiness and Simultaneous Revolt”: an OS conversation with Ivy Johnson, author of ‘Born Again’

Ivy Johnson was born on the open prairie where she picked crocuses as a child. Boog City published her first chapbook in 2011 entitled Walt Disney’s Light Show Extravaganza. Her first book, AS THEY FALL is a collection of note cards for aleatoric ritual and was published by Timeless, Infinite Light in May of 2013. She is a poet and educator in Oakland, CA.

KAWSAY: LA LLAMA DE LA SELVA / KAWSAY: THE FLAME OF THE JUNGLE

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Books & Projects Title]

Project Description: Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Randall. With Illustrations by Chizuko Osato. A new, dual-language printing of Mexican poet María Vázquez Valdez’s poetic account of her experience in Peru working with the Shipibo indigenous community. “Magnificent poetry, at once strong and lyrical; a poetry of mystery, of that which is intuited and can be glimpsed through smoke and the blood canticle. Ancient Shipibo wisdom issuing from an initiation that transmits the universe of a woman of our time, now ‘like a disassembled apple / that suddenly shines / and sings.’ The ineffable transition from darkness to light in an experience that goes beyond the sensorial; a circle that beats, jungle and mountains; lines that taste like timeless knowledge and word made flesh. This is a hallucinatory book: Here is María Vázquez’s Kawsay, The Flame of the Jungle, calling to us from Sachamama, convening us, bewitching us…”–Chely Lima

 

María Vázquez Valdez was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. She is a poet, editor, translator and photographer. Her books include the poetry collections Caldero (1999), Estancias(2004), and KAWSAY: LA LLAMA DE LA SELVA (2017); the book of essays Estaciones del albatros (2008); the bilingual book of interviews Voces desdobladas / Unfolding Voices (2004); and five books for children and young readers. She has translated several books of poetry. María received a degree in journalism, a Masters in editing, and is currently finishing a Doctorate in critical theory. She was part of the editorial board of Alforja from its foundation, and is now a member of the Mexican Academy of the Language’s editorial team, as well as of other academic and cultural projects. She has been the director of publications at the Union of Latin American Universities (UDUAL), editor in chief of the literary magazine Arcilla Roja, editor of Greenpeace’s GPMX magazine, and editor at Editorial Santillana. She has received grants and support from Mexican government institutions. The poems in KAWSAY: LA LLAMA DE LA SELVA have their roots in an experience with the Shipibo Indians of Peru’s Amazon jungle.

Margaret Randall is a feminist poet with a long history of social activism (in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua, as well as the United States). More than 150 published books reflect her personal experience and generational struggles. She has also translated much
poetry by others. In Mexico, she co-founded El Corno Emplumado, a bilingual journal that published more than 700 writers from 35 countries. Returning to the US in 1984, the government ordered her deported, claiming her writing subversive. She won her case in
1989. Among her recent awards are the Poet of Two Hemisphere Prize (Quito, Ecuador 2019) and the 2020 George Garrett Award given by AWP. http: //www.margaretrandall.org/
https: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Randall

THE WAYS OF THE MONSTER

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

Project Description: Continuing and expanding the themes of CHELATE, THE WAYS OF THE MONSTER takes us through the everyday performance of inhabiting bodies that complicate the social landscape. Unpacking the tightly condensed formal page of his previous books, Jay Besemer now moves with readers through and between the physical and imaginary aspects of the “everyday”: an actual, experienced urban Chicago; a totally fantastical Los Angeles; absurd encounters too complex to be legible, or legibly verbalized. With the poet’s customary sensory and linguistic saturation, THE WAYS OF THE MONSTER confronts violence with refusal and counters abjection with contagious self-mutation. This book is part of The Operating System’s Kin(d) Books and Projects Imprint, which is devoted to transgender and nonbinary creative practitioners.

“This is a text about the problem of being and the problem of matter: what matters, but also how being is matter, and what that feels like, what it can mean. The body is here but in pieces, promises, refusals, apparitions. Sometimes you know it only because it’s the thing that shifts. The I and the you can’t be trusted to be who they say they are, who you expect them to be. There are bodies, animals, objects, ideas, cities, and spirits, and there’s a wetness to everything. It keeps slipping away from you, and delivering you somewhere new, like a river in a dream.”–Johanna Hedva

“Jay Besemer’s THE WAYS OF THE MONSTER provides us with poetic phenomenology of the interior and exterior, of minds surveying and essaying the world, embodied consciousnesses moving through and refiguring the surrounding landscapes. The monster here abides in the everyday, contingent, ephemeral, omnipresent: ‘Alive, what motion is begun?'”–John Keene

Call It An Unweaponing : An OS Conversation with Jay Besemer

Jay Besemer is a poet/artist whose books and chapbooks include THEORIES OF PERFORMANCE (The Lettered Streets Press, 2020), THE WAYS OF THE MONSTER (*KIN(D)/The Operating System, 2018), Crybaby City (Spuyten Duyvil), Telephone, CHELATE (both Brooklyn Arts Press), and Aster to Daylily (Damask Press). He was a finalist for the 2017 Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature.
WALKING AWAY FROM EXPLOSIONS IN SLOW MOTION

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Project Description:“Gregory Crosby’s poetry matches an extensive knowledge of literary form with a curator’s eye for the idiosyncrasies of our popular culture. He zooms in on familiar scenes of contemporary life – ‘Lonely Starbucks Lovers, ‘ ‘Netflix & Chill.’ He writes elegant elegies for David Bowie and Adam West. Here is a poet who is able to compose in the midst of chaos, refusing to resort to the easy narratives that make sense of it all. This allows his work to embrace a democratic range of experiences from the political to the banal. Crosby can’t help being engaged, often satiric, but always sincere; he wonders, ‘How to say something to see something. / How to give voice to despair without/ giving in to despair.’ Walking Away From Explosions in Slow Motion is a poetic survival manual – a guide for navigating a maze of contradictions. It’s a must read!” – Elaine Equi

Walking Away From Explosions in Slow Motion is just that–the thoughts that arise as you turn your back on whatever catastrophe of air and light is blossoming in your wake and press forward as best you can, the roar in your ears turning somehow into poetry. Among the shrapnel: time, mortality, culture, dead twins, funeral strippers, lonely Starbucks lovers, apocalyptic elections, ennui, extended plays, injustice, aubades, Pluto, sex, loneliness, Bowie, Batman, strange dreams, reading comics by flashlight, democracy in ruins, racism, hope, melancholy, masks, pierced tongues, lost souls, scarecrows, violence, love, American twilights & resistance, resistance, (nevertheless) resistance. Also a dog, barking in the distance.

Gregory Crosby is the author of the chapbooks ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ (2014, The Operating System) and ‘The Book of Thirteen’ (2016, Yes Poetry); his poetry has appeared in numerous journals, including Court Green, Epiphany, Copper Nickel, Leveler, Sink Review, Ping Pong, & Hyperallergic. In 2002, as a poetry consultant to the City of Las Vegas, he was instrumental in the creation of the Lewis Avenue Poets Bridge, a public art project in downtown Las Vegas. His dedicatory poem for the project, “The Long Shot,” was subsequently reproduced in bronze and installed in the park, and was included in the 2008 anthology Literary Nevada: Writings from the Silver State (University of Nevada Press). He teaches creative writing at Lehman College, City University of New York.

2017 Projects

THE SCIENCE OF THINGS FAMILIAR

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Project Description:

“Johnny Damm’s Science of Things Familiar diagrams the ways we move toward and away from one another, exploring relationship through the failures and disjuncts that reveal it. In annotated illustrations taken out of their original context, in comics stripped of their narrative content, and in cinematic essays whose parts are sutured where they’ve been spliced, these pieces take apart the familiar to see what makes it tick. Troubling our assumptions about the workings of nonfiction, they reveal themselves as highly constructed, interweaving the personal and historical just as the book’s “rat-a-tat” refrain rings out both drumbeat and gunfire. If we catch ourselves dancing, we’ve missed the point. Witty and serious, critical and compassionate, Damm invents a new visual poetics in which what we see and hear do not sync up. This is his way of waking us up with a “BLAM!” and “WHOOSH!” to the history of appropriation and conquest underlying America’s popular forms. Nothing here is familiar, even as we recognize parts of the whole.” – Amaranth Borsuk

“Johnny Damm’s ‘Science of Things Familiar’ mashes up Classics Illustrated, vintage diagrams, and film director bios to create an unlikely fusion that is a oblique yet often poignant autobiography as well as an essay on the way that we transform culture as much as it transforms us.”– Matt Madden, author of 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style

“‘Science of Things Familiar’ captures “freeze-frames” from the history of comic books, crime films, and blues music, all from the middle of the darkest century. Johnny Damm accents the pulpish poetics in both the visual poetry and the phonic milieu, experienced by the masses in each cheap genre made on the fly for everyone. ” –Christian Bök

Herman Melville performing jumping jacks. An experimental Brazilian filmmaker making British propaganda films. A legendary delta bluesman who prefers to play the pop hits of the day. In Science of Things Familiar, Johnny Damm sifts through cultural detritus to disturb the sleeping past. In an uncategorizable mix of image and text, Science of Things Familiar scavenges from 50’s pulp comics, 19th century scientific diagrams, film noir shooting scripts, and more. Damm introduces the reader to an American landscape of bastard blendings, where the familiar swiftly gives way to the uncanny.

A Farm of Mismatched Parts | Getting Familiar with Johnny Damm :: An OS [re:con]versation

Johnny Damm is the author of The Science of Things Familiar (The Operating System), named by the Publishers Weekly Critics Poll as one of the best graphic novels of 2017. His comics, essays, and visual poetry have appeared in Guernica, Poetry, The Offing, and elsewhere. He lives in Santa Cruz, CA and teaches at San José State University. See more of his work at johnnydamm.com.

LOVE, ROBOT

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

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“Poetry is rightly destroyed and rebuilt in the abrasive caress of we whose claims upon the human, having constantly been denied by man, put the human to the test. It’s still held by many to be a scientific fact that the humanities are not for us. At the same time, surrounding that dimensionless enclosure, whose inside and outside we refuse, we are the humanities, that fleshly mechanics, and LOVE, ROBOT is a missive from that ongoing refusal. ‘I know it hurts. But/code fails’ so beautifully in Margaret Rhee’s hand and ear. ‘The world was not made for love, ‘ she says. So let’s follow her on out of it. -Fred Moten

“The poems of LOVE, ROBOT are delicate and smooth, witty and touching, and yes, occasionally odd and strange, as human beings themselves are. In a paradoxical and wonderful way, Margaret Rhee’s robot love affairs make us rethink what it might mean to be human.” -Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

“Margaret Rhee’s LOVE, ROBOT is a gorgeous, brainy collection of poems about erotic connections between humans and machines and the impossibility of disentangling the one from the other. Love machines thrum through these poems, all lit up with desire and electric light, showing ‘how to make a circuit.’ LOVE, ROBOT resonates with works of great science fiction such as Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ted Chiang’s The Lifecycle of Software Objects, and Marge Piercy’s He, She, and It, but offers something different, rare, and beautiful in its piercing lyricism and keen, surprising pleasures.” -Shelley Streeby author of Radical Sensations and the Director of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop

“….As Rhee writes: ‘I loved you but/you could not make us beautiful./ I loved you because you could make beautiful things/that I never got to keep.’ This way of calling out to a beloved, with whom a reciprocal feeling or encounter is never certain, reminded me – not in its form, but in its feeling – of the Mira Bai’s bhajans. Has Margaret Rhee written the world’s first cyberbhajan? ‘ S]ay, robot, ‘ the book ends: ‘murmur to me, it is the middle of the night./….we all deserve a song that is untranslatable’. How beautiful, how ultra-real: I found this sentiment, this voltage, this unspeakable song: to be.” -Bhanu Kapil

A collection of love poetry that undercuts and reassembles narratives, LOVE, ROBOT is an experimental text that humanizes our relationship with technology. Through liaisons between humans and machines in a science fictional world, the collection offers a tense, playful, yet complex portrait of love, reflective of our contemporary moment. Rhee draws from a wide array of forms from poetics and robotics such as algorithms, narrative poetry, chat scripts, and failed sonnets to create a world of transgressive love. This vision of an artificially intelligent future reveals and questions the contours of the human, and how robots and humans fall in and out of love.

Margaret Rhee is a poet, new media artist, and scholar. She is the author of Love, Robot (The Operating System, 2017) named a 2017 Best Book of Poetry by Entropy Magazine, awarded an Elgin Award by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and the 2019 Book Prize in Poetry by the Asian American Studies Association. She is also the author of poetry chapbooks Yellow(Tinfish Press, 2011), and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015), awarded a 2017 Elgin Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association and named a 2015 Split This Rock Poetry Book We Love.

Her new media art project The Kimchi Poetry Machine was selected for the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 3. Literary fellowships include Kundiman, Hedgebrook, the Kathy Acker Fellowship, and the Sierra Nevada College MFA 2019 Writer-in-Residence. Currently, she is completing her first monograph, How We Became Human: Race, Robots, and the Asian American Body, and a collection of lyrical essays on electronic literature.

She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies and her BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Currently, she is a College Fellow in Digital Practice in the English Department at Harvard University and an Assistant Professor at SUNY Buffalo in the Department of Media Study.

MARYS OF THE SEA (SECOND EXPANDED EDITION)

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

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“She is not dead, but sleeping, Jesus says in the Gospel of Luke; like the sick girl of that verse, the speakers of Joanna Valente’s sharp and urgent ​Marys of the Sea​​ toss and turn through a series of feverish nightmares that refract lived experiences into prophetic and wild new imaginings. Preoccupied with the consequences of mothering and not-mothering, these fifty-three poems trenchantly interrogate sexual violence and its aftermath, lingering at the site of trauma as though hanging onto the lip of an abyss. Writing becomes power, structure an act of bravery. Like an ancient civilization’s first creation myths, these poems utter light out of darkness as they order a world into being.” -Monica Ferrell, author of The Answer Is Always Yes and Beasts for the Chase

“Visceral in its fearlessness and candor, Valente’s ​Marys of the Sea​​ is a bravely, nuanced exploration of the subversive and sensual tensions that pulse in language and flesh. Marys of the Sea speaks of wounds, wombs, regeneration, and how experiences, particularly for women, undulate against a mythos of loneliness that can, without mastery and witnessing, devour. Valente writes, “In other languages my heart/beats us both alive, wedges/between words I speak…/” Here, it is only poetry that can begin to examine the blue underside of Valente’s world and the oceanic perspectives of love that end and begin endlessly in the body, both feeding and killing at once. Valente’s lyric is sinewy and spiritual. A whole world strands itself beautifully in the stunning eyes of Valente’s intuition and intelligence. Always aware of what poetry demands even while it is breaking us apart, Valente’s poems survive wholly in their heart-break: “Early bloomer, still waiting for the one poem/ that will bring me home.'” -Rachel Eliza Griffiths, author of Lighting the Shadow, Mule & Pear, The Requited Distance, and Miracle Arrhythmia

“The title poem of this collection, Marys of the Sea, alludes to “two people at the bottom of a fish tank.” So much of what we see in the world is blurred by our experiences and imperfections. These poems too, are blurred by tragedy, loss, and despair. It is hard to see clearly but Valente’s perspective is keen. It is the world that is blurred and dirtied. This is a collection of poems best read one by one and not all at once. For as Valente says, “Let [it] simmer, don’t eat it all at once.” There is so much hunger and appetite in these poems. Like the speaker, we all want what is out of reach, but sometimes in the world of the poem, we achieve our wantings. The book is quest-like in its search for love and its search for acceptance. What lies in its depths are: shadow wives, girlhoods, bones, jarred-starlight, alongside Mary and Lucifer–showing the reader the layers of life and death in this “so-called new world” we live in.” -Leah Umansky, author of Domestic Uncertainties, Straight Away the Emptied World, and Don Dreams and I Dream

[re:con]versations: Mining the Depths :: An OS Conversation with Joanna C. Valente

Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Sexting the Dead (Unknown Press, 2017) & Xenos (Agape Editions, 2016), and is the editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault (CCM, 2017). They received their MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Joanna is the founder of Yes, Poetry and the managing editor for Civil Coping Mechanisms and Luna Luna Magazine. Some of their writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Brooklyn Magazine, Prelude, BUST, Spork Press, and elsewhere. Joanna also leads workshops at Brooklyn Poets. joannavalente.com / Twitter: @joannasaid / IG: joannacvalente

NOTHING IS WASTED

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Poetry, like any creative act, can serve as a rupture to the violences enacted by the many closures we impose, demand, submit to, and reinforce. In particular the violence of knowledge-as-containment, of knowledge-as-possession; and the violence of absolute and singular answers, of an absolute and singular understanding, which ultimately sever one’s responsibility toward the other. ‘Nothing is Wasted’ is Piryaei in conversation with herself, regarding inheritance and the credence that, as Audre Lorde writes, “there is no separate survival.”

“In Shabnam Piryaei’s NOTHING IS WASTED, the negative space of a photograph becomes the focal reality of her verse. Steeped in an aesthetic of nuance, each of these poems considers the expanses and shadows that surround the subject, never taking for granted the things that can be illuminated, even in the darkest corners. At once ethereal and rooted, these poems take on an exploration of our contemporary lives across landscapes both internal and external. These are poems that make us (re) consider our interior selves.” –Matthew Shenoda

“Shabnam Piryaei cracks open experience to reveal elliptical and exquisite music. Her language is acrobatic, ‘earskin taut’ and bristles with a ‘disassembling / gaze, ‘ which allows her to reassemble memory into poems that astonish and delight. Adventurous, sonic-rich, and lush, NOTHING IS WASTED is a book that quickens and enlarges our contemporary lives and vocabularies.” –Eduardo Corral

“If you are as crazy about anaphoras as I am, then the first poem in NOTHING IS WASTED will engage and bid you proceed. Shabnam Piryaei’s work rings smart, ‘Every inheritance is a compass.’; surreal, ‘a benevolent crow / pecked daylight’s bullet / into the room’ …; and at the same time, pinned fast with moments that are utterly tactile, ‘somehow unbroken / in your sleeping hand, a speckled egg’. A charming voice where NOTHING IS WASTED.” –Kimiko Hahn

An Anti-containment: Juxtaposition and Gesture :: An OS conversation with Nothing is Wasted poet and filmmaker Shabnam Piryaei

 

Described by the San Francisco Book Review as “a force to be reckoned with in literary circles,” Shabnam Piryaei is an award-winning Iranian-American writer and filmmaker. In addition to authoring the books Nothing is Wasted, FORWARD and ode to fragile, she has been awarded the Poets & Writers Amy Awardand the Transport of the Aim Prize, as well as grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. She has written and directed three award-winning short films that have screened at festivals and galleries the U.S. and internationally.

WHAT THE WEREWOLF TOLD THEM

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“Here is the strength of poetry for the world. Is it possible this book exists? I cannot be the only one who realizes I have been waiting all my life to read Chely Lima! The poet driving their own body in the trunk through the vast vulnerable fields of becoming human the way they want to become human in an inflexible world. Many thanks to Margaret Randall for these beautiful translations of one of the most brilliant books in many years! Chely Lima is here! Everyone tell everyone!” –CAConrad

“These are poems of astonishing courage and compelling craft. Their language sizzles on the page. The poet’s familiarity with history and his penchant for plumbing its most significant myths imbue these texts with a special richness. The myths come from the Greeks, Hindus, Germanic fairy tales, those drum beats brought to the New World by Africans during the ravages of the Middle Passage, and stories from indigenous America. Chely also creates some myths of his own.

“These poems are also gender-transgressive, revealing a personal journey as painful as it has been liberating. And it is a complicated journey. We cannot say the poet is only a man or that he was once a woman; such binary notions are themselves being challenged here. Body parts and the uses to which they are assigned in our inadequate society are routed from their comfort zones, made to look at themselves in a succession of mirrors and confronted head on. Chely refuses to play by society’s hypocritical rules—in his life or work.

“The poem called “Recognition” begins: “I am digging up my face, / which is to say all the faces of my tribe. / With difficulty I haul them from obscurity / and hang them from the insulting stakes / marking each of their graves, my grave.” And the poem ends: “I am rebuilding with one clenched fist / in my pocket. Rebuilding my tribe, / my face unmasked for the first time.” Chely’s power lies in being willing to take the reader to the depths of his agony while at the same time permitting us to glimpse a future, a way out of suffocation that is woven of his ability to imagine a world in which acceptance and dignity bloom.” – Margaret Randall, from the Introduction

A War Cry for All We Need : An OS [re:con]versation with Chely Lima

Chely Lima is a queer North American poet of Cuban origin. He writes prose, poetry, theater, journalism, scripts for film, radio and television; and is also a photographer. He has published numerous books in Cuba, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador—among them Lucrecia quiere decir perfidia (Ediciones Bagua, Madrid, 2015), Triángulos mágicos (Editorial Planeta Mexicana, 1994; Eriginal Books, USA, 2014; and Ediciones Territoriales, Cuba, 2015), Discurso de la amante (Imagine Cloud Editions, 2013), and Confesiones nocturnas (Editorial Planeta, 1994), all of these novels. His books have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Esperanto and Czechoslovakian. His monologues and works for the theater—for children as well as adults—have been performed in Cuba and Ecuador (he lived in the latter country from 1992 to 2001). A rock opera and a cantata were performed in Cuba’s National Theater in the early 1990s.

Lima also also taught classes in a variety of artistic mediums and in several countries. In 2006 he went to California, where he had an internship at the M. H. de Young Museum of San Francisco. Since 2008 he has lived in Miami, Florida, where he has given workshops at Miami Dade Collage and other institutions. He has also written theater reviews for El Nuevo Herald. Currently he is entirely dedicated to his own writing, and occasionally works with beginning authors.

THE FURIES

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“At long last here’s Bill Considine’s considered, rollicking, breezy, deep, avant-post take on what Poetry is, what Theater is, and what happens when these arts tumble dance through history together only to land simultaneously on page and stage. Equal parts Sophocles and Ashbery, whose lineage from Electra right through to ‘The Heroes’ he invokes, Considine riffles the classics to fan a new breath of Pure Future. Perform these plays in your mind’s eye or take the dare and produce them on stage – they are transportative. IOW, as Agamemnon says in ‘Agamemnon, King of Cars’, ‘Let’s prowl the great desert, /Whooping on speed, /In pick-up trucks or tanks./Let’s all wear cowboy hats.'” – Bob Holman

“‘The Furies’ is a terrific intervention, a unique contemporary dramatic verse collection with tropes of classic themes and characters. Considine has a poet’s lyric ease, wit and calling, and a sensibility that travels through the complicated dynamics of history and war. As Orestes asks Electra, “Shall I talk of our childhood and/ all the times you silently/ stared at the summer leaves/ and tried to imagine, total death, / nuclear war, all at once, and why?/ Do you remember our civil defense drills…” This is a refreshing “oral” book and generously available here for actors and poet-performers on the stage, as well as readers, in the hand. Bravo!” – Anne Waldman

“Just when I was wondering whatever happened to poets’ theater, along comes William Considine’s thrilling collection of four verse plays, ‘The Furies.’ Much poets’ theater is heavy on the poetry (making it soporifically undramatic) or ignores language for quirky effects. Considine’s work, however, is miraculous both onstage and in the ear. Not only that, he is learned, funny, witty, big-hearted, and timely. Take, for example, Solon’s “daring disobedience” in Prologue: Prehistory: “You teach people / to say fantasies in public / and enjoy tall tales in meetings, / so faking will succeed / as the political intelligence / of our people.” Lincoln in Queens is as human as anything by Woody Guthrie, with a unique take on our most written-about president, who is “back from the dead in Queens,” busy urging the narrator to “find the Furies” and speaking “of God like a lost lover: I lived in faith in the old-fashioned fable / of suffering and moral endurance. / We purged the blood-curse on our nation: / slavery! Now you can escape / the iron shackles of war, / the fable of blood atonement, / the faith of Furies.” After small productions around New York City over many years, it’s great to have these plays in one place to be read and reread, and, one hopes, performed again.” –Elinor Nauen

‘The Furies’ is an attack in dramatic verse on mythic sources of war and the tragic cycle. What starts in jest and hope becomes tragic and then deeply personal. Prologue: Prehistory sets the stage in theater and theory. Agamemnon, King of Cars is a comic goat song; Iphigenia refuses to be sacrificed, Odysseus returns from the underworld to plead for peace, and the chorus decline to go to war. Electra turns the foretold stories on their head, as Electra and Orestes refuse their parts, leading to new tragedy. Lincoln in Queens is a tale in which Lincoln commands a contemporary poet to go in search of the fabled Furies, to free them and abolish war. It’s a tale in seven segments – Iron, Unemployed, A Vision, Depression, Journey, The Furies, and Offering – ranging from the Rustbelt and lingering wounds of the great war through personal and global depression to a final vision at the white sands of Alamogordo. These pieces, produced separately, are brought together here for the first time as a unified series.

Escape from Mythic Tyranny: An OS Process and Practice [re:con]versation with The Furies William Considine

William Considine is a poet and playwright. A chapbook of poems, Strange Coherence (from The Operating System) and a CD of poems with music, An Early Spring (from Fast Speaking Music) were published in 2013. He also makes poetry videos.

LOST CITY HYDROTHERMAL FIELD

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Drawing on the work of such thinkers as John McPhee, Rachel Carson, Timothy Morton, Frank White, and others, LOST CITY HYDROTHERMAL FIELD explores philosophies of nature old and new through poetry and science fiction. The anthropocene crisis and the crisis of humanity-as-invasive-species are framed in this text as global, as well as personal, misadventures. A mixed-genre work, readers encounter poems and stories–islands and continents–in a rapid succession of speculative geography, and readers are invited to join its beleaguered, psychozoic populations.

“Peter Milne Greiner’s poems range widely across space, time, and cultural history–from the Magna Carta to The Little Mermaid, from the pyramids to the astronomical observatory at Mauna Kea–and catch up in their full-throttle trajectory a universe of detail about the nature of things. Indeed, the poet’s brooding over the fate of Geena Davis as well as that of ‘lame dystopias’ suggests nothing so much as Lucretius’s epic enterprise: ‘I mine human doing, ‘ Greiner declares, ‘for all its garish hyper objects.’ By deploying a language alert to figurative provocation that’s sharpened by a tautly disjunctive syntax, Greiner uncovers the apocalypse in the quotidian and raises everyday life to fearsome implication.” –Albert Mobilio

“LOST CITY HYDROTHERMAL FIELD is in the world, but it’s not of it. Peter Milne Greiner is the voice of the cosmic mundane–sublime, real, and existentially funny.” –Claire L. Evans

Hopping the Imaginary’s Obscure Islands :: An OS [re:con]versation with Peter Milne Greiner

Peter Milne Greiner’s work has been featured in Motherboard, Dark Mountain, Fence, SciArt Magazine, and elsewhere, and has been lauded by the likes of Jeff VanderMeer and Claire L. Evans. He studied poetry at The New School under Sekou Sundiata, and is a scholar of the history of the Roaring Forties. In July of 2013 he sent a poem into space through the Jamesburg Earth Station in Carmel Valley, California. He is the author of the chapbook Executive Producer Chris Carter. LOST CITY HYDROTHERMAL Field is his first full length collection.

SECRET TELLING BONES

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Our bones are full of secrets–and, just like the rest of us, they’re desperate to spill. SECRET-TELLING BONES is Jessica Mehta’s fourth collection of poetry. Each piece has an identity that informs the next, thriving and living tissue that evolves with each new trauma.

We’re often surprised at what seems to be genetic. From shame to selfishness, anorexia to self- destruction, Jessica’s words form the framework of a complicatedly beautiful world. It doesn’t matter whether we share similar stories or not. At the marrow level, the human experience is all the same. Jessica captures the breaks and cracks with a pulsing rhythm in her most recent collection.

“Fears and fingers and soft splayed thighs all placed gently (or not!) in the whitewater of identity, memory, and wholly adult interaction. This is a poetry where punch meets gut so often all you can do is wag your head and turn the page. This is the poetry of Jessica Mehta.”–Danny Earl Simmons

“Jessica Tyner Mehta’s work is both ethereal and accessible, graceful yet sharply tuned. There is music in her lines, entrancing the reader and then jolting them awake, like a lullaby with gleaming teeth. Mehta’s poems thunder with a strong first person narrative and a haunting confessional tone; they cut through to the reader like a piercing, direct look in the eye. Yet Mehta’s voice is never still, it softens in waves, offering an invitation to listen, and be transformed.”–Jamie Houghton

“‘What aloneness there must be, ‘ Jessica Mehta writes, ‘when you’re damned to this world with no body.’ This exceptional collection explores the many facets of inhabiting a physical form–the appetites, the impermanence, the tangible manifestations of grief, disgust, and desire. These poems are alive with motion. They reverberate beyond the reader’s mind and fill their whole body, one delicious mouthful at a time.”–Sarah Bokich

Words Stuck in the Hands :: An OS [re:con]versation with Jessica Tyner Mehta

Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, born and raised in Oregon and a member of the Cherokee Nation, is the author of the novel The Wrong Kind of Indian. She’s also the author of three collections of poetry including Orygun, What Makes an Always (an Eric Hoffer Book Award honorable mention), and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo. Jessica is a recipient of writer-in-residence posts with Paris Lit Up (Paris, France), the Women’s International Study Center (WISC) Acequia Madre House (Santa Fe, NM), and is the youngest recipient ever accepted as the poet-in-residence at Hosking Houses Trust (Stratford- Upon-Avon, UK). She’s the founder of multi-award winning writing services company, MehtaFor (www.mehtafor.com) and the Get it Ohm! karmic yoga movement (www.getitohm.com).

AGON

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“In the tragi-comic–and worse–chaos of our times–suppose our writing began to appear as letters caught in barcodes. Phrases and bits of words breaking off en route to scanners designed for registering information but not the disturbance of meaning. It is, literally, with this provocative vision that Judith Goldman’s AGON begins. Fragments–words with ing or ite or ppeals detached–mark the violence and folly of our weaponized and otherwise benighted cultures. At times, a necessary lyricism wells up without betraying the truth of ‘Cumulative transfers By the ‘agreed upon’ price / the Temp, est has of late stripped the pe, tals away.’ There’s even more to this many-genred book–one to be lived with, in the urgency of its poetry, its philosophical and socio-political inquiry–font of brilliance that sustains vitally agonistic conversation across perilous divides.”–Joan Retallack

“The Commodification of Everything. That was the pivot point of materialist discourse not even five years ago. But now, it’s time to crack open the piths of the most fundamental doings of our species. After the sweeping tide of ethnonational victories currently sweeping the globe, The Weaponization of Everything, is not merely the ‘speak’ of The Now, but the do of all its subjects, whether collusive or rebellious. Judith Goldman’s AGON is borne amidst this new reality. Few works of experimental literature aim so high as to flush out the full range affectual coordinates as to reveal their age’s Agon as a controlling demigod of our own making, that is, to raise up the Agon’s ‘agon’.”–Rodrigo Toscano

“Judith Goldman’s AGON confronts the ubiquitous naturalization inherent in the weaponization of race, gender, global warming, poetics, language, utterance, politics, torture, immigration, and whatever else is changeable under the guise of aggression masquerading as mental freedom. ‘…the intensification of weapons already in place, ‘ and ‘…observed nearly everywhere, ‘ AGON deftly solders ideas of defensive assimilation (weapons already in place) to our conscious and unconscious activities of daily living. One can only bow down in shock and awe to AGON’s scorched earth dissemination of open-ended spaces to think, while thinking is still, hopefully, under what we presume is our jurisdiction.”–Kim Rosenfield

A cross-genre work that intercuts and assembles three textual threads, AGON inventories ubiquitous contemporary exempla of weaponization: in the culture propagated by neoliberalism, all social forms–ordinary, necessary relations, transactions, and communications–have been turned into fodder for social aggression. AGON audits the disavowed violence of abstractive technologies in their material effects, while also tracing the subtle anatomy of violence in its more “proper” spheres. Is poetry one of these? Writing alongside Amiri Baraka’s invective “Black Art,” AGON builds a dossier on the aggressivity peculiar to literary speech, thinking this issue in relation to the volatile politics around poetry in America at this moment.

Judith Goldman is the author of VOCODER (Roof, 2001), DEATHSTAR/RICO-CHET (O Books, 2006), and L.B.; OR, CATENARIES (Krupskaya, 2011). She co-edited the annual journal WAR AND PEACE with Leslie Scalapino from 2005 -2009. She teaches in the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo, focusing on contemporary North American poetry and poetics, ecological studies, biopolitics, affect theory, and media theory. Alongside AGON (The Operating System, 2017), she is at work on ______ Mt. [blank mount], a project that writes through Shelley’s ‘Mont Blanc’ in the context of past futures and future histories of ecological catastrophe.

TO HAVE BEEN THERE THEN: MEMORIES OF CUBA, 1969-1983

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Title]

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Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Randall. “Gregory Randall has done it: written a captivating, ethically humane, and inspirational memoir of growing up in revolutionary Cuba as a child of exiled political activists. He is able to tell forthright yet loving stories of his engaged life with multiple fathers, escaping the 1968 military crackdown in Mexico as an eight year-old in charge of his younger siblings, forging friendships in Cuban boarding schools, and living his adolescence as an intellectual and political coming-of-age banquet among artists and revolutionaries from across the continent. He sees dogma and cant yet remains deeply committed to the vision of a liberated space and new women and men. Read this powerful book and be stirred anew to live fully in harmony with your values.” Bernardine Dohrn

“TO HAVE BEEN THERE THEN is an extraordinary book. Gregory Randall recreates scenes from a revolutionary childhood and youth in Mexico and Cuba during the 1960s and 70s with brilliant vividness that brings an adult’s wisdom to the child’s perspective. He evokes the spirit of revolutionary consciousness of the era, when Cuba’s radical experimentation and commitment to building a new world intersected with revolutionary dreams and movements throughout Latin America. Randall’s childhood was peopled with artists, intellectuals, and revolutionaries from throughout the continent who shared a deep belief in the possibility for radical social change. Cuba’s revolutionary history is told here with verve and drama, through personal detail of a child and young man coming of age in truly historic circumstances.” Aviva Chomsky

“Gregory Randall grew up in revolutionary Cuba. He left in 1983, and later he and his wife Laura relocated to Uruguay and Gregory established himself within the academic world there. Revolutionary Cuba’s literacy campaign in 1960-61, which sent young people into the mountains during a period that included the Bay of Pigs invasion, is generally recognized. Cuba’s far flung medical assistance in situations like the recent Haitian earthquake is also well-known. This book explores the more comprehensive Cuban effort to create what the Zapatistas call un otro mundo, another world. I know of no other book that so richly provides an empathetic view of the twentieth-century socialist project from both within and without.” Staughton Lynd

“Here is the perfect book for this time of change in US-Cuban relations, and when a new generation in the United States has embraced the idea and goals of socialism and human solidarity. Gregory Randall’s exquisite coming of age story, set in Cuba during the second decade of the Cuban Revolution, is unflinchingly truthful and compassionate.” Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Gregory Randall was born in New York City in 1960, then lived eight years in Mexico, fourteen in Cuba, eleven in France and since 1994 has resided in Uruguay. He and his wife have three children and one grandchild. He did his undergraduate work in telecommunications in Cuba and earned his doctorate in information technology from the University of Orsay, France. Since 1994 he has been a professor of electrical engineering at the University of the Republic in Montevideo. From 2007 to 2014 he was also that institution’s vice president for research, during which time he promoted and oversaw the establishment of several university campuses in the interior of the country. TO HAVE BEEN THERE THEN: MEMORIES OF CUBA 1969-1983 (The Operating System, 2016) is his first book, a memoir of childhood and young adulthood in the Cuba of the 1970s and 80s, with moving, often breathtaking stories of what it was like for a young boy to grow up in revolution.
Margaret Randall is a feminist poet with a long history of social activism (in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua, as well as the United States). More than 150 published booksreflect her personal experience and generational struggles. She has also translated much poetry by others. In Mexico, she co-founded El Corno Emplumado, a bilingual journalthat published more than 700 writers from 35 countries. Returning to the US in 1984, the government ordered her deported, claiming her writing subversive. She won her case in1989. Among her recent awards are the Poet of Two Hemisphere Prize (Quito, Ecuador 2019) and the 2020 George Garrett Award given by AWP.

http: //www.margaretrandall.org/
https: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Randall

FLOWER WORLD VARIATIONS (EXPANDED EDITION)

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Title]

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As part of the Glossarium: Unsilenced Texts series, The OS presents FLOWER WORLD VARIATIONS, a revised and expanded version of Jerome Rothenberg’s variations on a set of traditional Yaqui Indian Deer Dance songs, with computer-generated drawings by Harold Cohen, one of our truly great pioneer computer artists. Originally published in a modest 1984 offset edition the book has been redesigned and expanded, featuring an updated introduction by Rothenberg and an excerpt from Cohen’s writings on the nature of mark-making and meaning/metaphor over a wide range of times and cultures. As such it serves also as a memorial and tribute to Harold Cohen, whose recent passing it helps to commemorate.

“The process of translation is here re-imagined as a new wilderness by Jerome Rothenberg and Harold Cohen, in a multilayered composition of poems and computer generated drawings for the ‘human / other-than-human worlds’ originally composed by the Yaqui poets of Arizona. An oral masterpiece, rendered masterfully. A moment to rejoice!”—Cecilia Vicuña

 

Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally known poet with over eighty books of poetry and twelve assemblages of traditional and avant- garde poetry such as FLOWER WORLD VARIATIONS, Technicians of the Sacred, and, with Pierre Joris and Jeffrey Robinson, Poems for the Millennium, volumes 1-3. Recent books of poems include Gematria Complete, Concealments & Caprichos, A CRUEL NIRVANA, A Poem of Miracles, and RETRIEVALS: UNCOLLECTED & NEW POEMS, 1955- 2010. His most recent big book is Eye of Witness: A Jerome Rothenberg Reader, co-edited with Heriberto Yepez, and he is now working on a global and historical anthology of outsider and subterranean poetry.

Harold Cohen (1928-2016), a groundbreaking digital artist, won a reputation as a painter in London in the 1960’s, but is best known for the project that would occupy him for 40-plus years: the invention and evolution of the AARON program. He worked for decades bringing computing into the mainstream of art and exhibited widely with AARON. His work has been exhibited at the Tate, the LA County Museum, The Stedelijk, the San Fransisco Museum, documenta 6, and elsewhere. There is a permanent exhibit dedicated to his work at the Museum of Computing History.

LA COMANDANTE MAYA

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Translated by Margaret Randall. Who was Rita Valdivia? In October 2017, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death in Bolivia, occasion for tributes throughout the world. Margaret Randall defies the absence of women’s stories in Che’s myth, bringing us the brilliant poetry and powerful personal history of this woman who died in combat just after her 23rd birthday. In a pre-feminist era and before she was 17, Rita named and escaped domestic violence. Not yet 20, she wrote poems that continue to astonish. At 22 she assumed a leadership role in Bolivia’s Army of National Liberation (ELN), the fighting force that took up the struggle for freedom where Che left off. LA COMANDANTE MAYA reveals the life and legacy of one of the many women involved in an effort that, up to now, has publicized only a token female presence. Read testimonies of Rita Valdivia’s remarkable life by those who knew her best, and be astonished by her unique and lyrical poetry in bilingual format.–

Rita Valdivia died in combat just after her 23rd birthday. In a pre-feminist era and before she was 17, Rita named and escaped domestic violence. Not yet 20, she wrote poems that continue to astonish. At 22 she assumed a leadership role in Bolivia’s Army of National Liberation (ELN), the fighting force that took up the struggle for freedom where Che left off. LA COMANDANTE MAYA reveals the life and legacy of one of the many women involved in an effort that, up to now, has publicized only a token female presence.
Margaret Randall is a feminist poet with a long history of social activism (in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua, as well as the United States). More than 150 published books reflect her personal experience and generational struggles. She has also translated much poetry by others. In Mexico, she co-founded El Corno Emplumado, a bilingual journal that published more than 700 writers from 35 countries. Returning to the US in 1984, the government ordered her deported, claiming her writing subversive. She won her case in 1989. Among her recent awards are the Poet of Two Hemisphere Prize (Quito, Ecuador 2019) and the 2020 George Garrett Award given by AWP.
http: //www.margaretrandall.org/
https: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Randall
THE COLOR SHE GAVE GRAVITY

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Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Women’s Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Disability Studies. Movement Studies. Dance.

‘”[I]n the slow gestures / of a person adjusting / to too much light’ and with the faith of a chemist, Stephanie Heit sets fire inside her own dark and offers ‘light someone not yet arrived/will understand.’ THE COLOR SHE GAVE GRAVITY is a breathtaking (which is to say, life-giving) book that both stills and energizes by breaking and reforming the unseen bonds of DNA, language, geography, and history.”–TC Tolbert

“Stephanie Heit’s THE COLOR SHE GAVE GRAVITY is a sonorous force field calling on tenderness, care, vigilance and abandon. An all-encompassing clarity saturates mind, spirit, movement and emotion. To locate the blind spot and unburden experience of the horizon’s relentless pressure–this is what the text does tenfold, imparting and dispelling the inexplicable along peripheries and in intimately centered frames of movement: gorgeously evocative and intensely realized capacious psychic flows.”–Brenda Iijima

“Stephanie Heit has choreographed, in her first full-length poetry collection, a deeply engaging articulation of the interplay between mental illness and the creative instinct, history and destiny, and limitation and willful boundary. Here, we have an author brave enough to say ‘I suffer’ and talented enough to excavate the lyrical beauty of that suffering. THE COLOR SHE GAVE GRAVITY offers the reader a textured view of a graceful body torn between trying to remember and trying to forget.”–Airea D. Matthews

“In these fierce, moving poems, we witness a self as it seeks its right path through those landscapes we call world. We are taken along, wandering through urban streets or across beaches that once were lakes, sometimes dreamily, sometimes searingly awake, digging through stories and years. These poems enact one of our most potent human gifts: our ability to find ourselves tumbling, falling down, standing up–in proprioceptive relation to everything in our earthly realm.”–Eleni Sikelianos

THE COLOR SHE GAVE GRAVITY traces longing for connection between women. An ecopoetics of the bodymind, these poems take us inside a dance inside an imaginary city inside sculpted spaces inside the insomniac body inside sister grief inside she. The work emerges from a landscape of somatic engagement and by experiences of psychiatric systems and multiple hospitalizations.

Cover Photo: “Crossing Visible,” by Gwynneth VanLaven

Stephanie Heit is a poet, dancer, and teacher of somatic writing, Contemplative Dance Practice, and Kundalini Yoga. She lives with bipolar disorder and is a member of the Olimpias, an international disability performance collective. Her debut poetry collection, THE COLOR SHE GAVE GRAVITY, was a Nightboat Poetry Prize finalist. Her work most recently appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Typo, Streetnotes, Nerve Lantern, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, Spoon Knife Anthology, Theatre Topics, and Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her partner and collaborator, Petra Kuppers.
AN EXERCISE IN NECROMANCY

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[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Title]

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“Poems just don’t get newer, fresher, or more timely than Patrick Roche’s simple explosions. ‘An Exercise in Necromancy’ is the New Confessional – direct, unflinching, pure. Ah yes. ‘Watch me fight and watch me fight and watch me fight and watch me fight/And watch me kiss this city back so hard it never stops shining.’ ” – Bob Holman

This work was produced in collaboration with Bowery Arts + Science, in its first volume: ‘An Exercise in Necromancy’, by Patrick Roche, winner of the first Bowery Poetry Chapbook Slam.

Patrick Roche is an award-winning poet and performer from New Jersey. Videos of Patrick’s work have amassed over 7.5 million views on YouTube, making him one of the most popular spoken word poets. He is the author of An Exercise in Necromancy (Bowery Poetry/The Operating System, 2017). Patrick has competed or been featured at multiple national and international competitions and festivals, including placing 3rd in the world at the 2016 Individual World Poetry Slam, 2nd  at the 2017 Capturing Fire national queer slam, 9th at the 2017 National Poetry Slam as part of the Bowery Slam Team, and 3rd at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI, the national collegiate slam) as part of Princeton University’s team. Patrick serves nationally as an ambassador for the JED Foundation, promoting mental and emotional health, suicide prevention, and substance abuse awareness. He has shared stages with Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of RUN DMC, Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow, Everybody Hates Chris and The Walking Dead star Tyler James Williams, and Olympic Gold Medalist Chamique Holdsclaw, among others.

Patrick’s work has appeared in or been published by Button Poetry, UpWorthy, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, MSN, Beech Street Review, Gal Pals Present, Freezeray Press, Voicemail Poems, and more. His work explores mental health, grief, sexuality, body image, disordered eating, family, memory, love, joy, pop culture, and everything in between. Patrick is a 2014 graduate of Princeton University, where he studied Classics (specifically Latin and Greek poetry) and Education.

2015-16 Projects

INSTRUCTIONS WITHIN


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Find out more about Ashraf Fayadh, who remains imprisoned for apostasy in Saudi Arabia, here.

[A Glossarium / Unsilenced Texts & Projects Title]

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Translated from the Arabic by Mona Kareem, with Mona Zaki, and Jonathan Wright; and with Ammiel Alcalay, Pierre Joris and Lynne DeSilva-Johnson assisting/editing. Longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award for poetry.

The Operating System is honored to publish the first Arabic-English full translation of Ashraf Fayadh’s singular volume of poetry, INSTRUCTIONS WITHIN, which was published by the Beirut- based Dar al-Farabi in 2008 and later banned from distribution in Saudi Arabia. This special edition includes two paintings by Ashraf Fayadh on its front and back covers, and is right bound, asking the reader to consider their estrangement from Arabic language, literature, and life, inviting a new relationship to begin to form. The Operating System will donate proceeds from sales of this book to support Fayadh’s ongoing case for his release from imprisonment for apostasy as a response to these very verses in Saudi Arabia.

“Why do you need to read this book in America today? Because a US journalist asked if it really was worth it to write poems that might get you killed. Because Ashraf Fayadh, as poet, artist and human being, is being jailed and tortured for doing his job, that is for daring to expose & deride the two-headed Moloch governing the country he lives in (Saudi Arabia) and ours (these States): Fundamentalist religion & oil-money. Because Ashraf Fayadh is inventing a needed poetics to break not only those taboos but also the shackles of standard Arab poetics, freeing the language–& a freed language is needed for free thinking. Because his own exile (he is of Palestinian extraction) is so absolute that it does not fit the traditional nostalgic poetics of exile & searches for a new way of saying a new & wilder dislocation. Because this exile is so close to all of our own dislocations, even as, smugly ensconced in our North American bunker, we don’t see that the same future is awaiting us. Because he wrote: ‘I am Hell’s experiment on planet Earth.'”–Pierre Joris

“Palestinian poet, artist and cultural activist Ashraf Fayadh reminds us, through his life and work, that blasphemy (for which he has been sentenced to 8 years in prison and 800 lashes) is still a crime in Saudi Arabia, but also that poetry is powerful against the criminal madness of a deranged state: ‘…these pages have exhausted all languages known to earth / …to offer a name that matches your definition of self / your name-like an inkwell pregnant with possibilities.’ The Operating System does us an extraordinary service by making this magnificent poet’s voice available. Read Fayadh to understand what we are fighting against, and for!”–Margaret Randall

“Just a few years before his death, the great poet Amiri Baraka railed against what he saw as a poetry of complacency, of ‘the indoors, ‘ and harkened back to those of his generation (and older), ‘who actually worked to register some understanding of ‘the great outdoors’ i.e., the real world.’ It is with more than some irony that we here, in the belly of the imperial beast, must seek such poetry of ‘the great outdoors’ from someone like Ashraf Fayadh, a Palestinian imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Like the real world, Fayadh’s poems are dizzying in their associations and resonance, recalling echoes of lines from different times, languages, and circumstances, from revery to exile, from brutality to utmost tenderness. Poet and artist Etel Adnan once wrote that ‘Palestine is a land planted / by eyes refusing to be closed.’ The poetry of Ashraf Fayadh, in a dream state of vigilance, attention, and horror, forces us to look at the world we actually inhabit, in all its glory and horror.”–Ammiel Alcalay

 

Ashraf Fayadh is a Palestinian artist and poet born in Saudi Arabia in 1980. He attended college at Al-Azhar University in Gaza City in 2001, and has been active in the art scene in Saudi Arabia with organizations like Edge of Arabia, a British-Arabian art collaboration. Ashraf has also curated exhibitions of Saudi art during Jeddah Art week in Saudi Arabia and Europe at the 55th Venice Biennale. He is currently imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for apostasy, for the language in these poems.

Mona Kareem is a poet, translator, and journalist based in New York. She published two collections of Arabic poetry in 2002 and 2004, some of which were translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Farsi, and Kurdish. Her third poetry collection Muharij al-Uzla (the clown of solitude) is forthcoming this winter. She is the translator of Ashraf Fayadh’s INSTRUCTIONS WITHIN (Operating System, 2016). Mona is a doctoral candidate in the Comparative Literature program at Binghamton University. Her dissertation explores issues of subalternity in the Arab feminist novel. She is a founding member of Status Hour, an academic audio journal. Mona pays her bills through teaching writing classes and researching migrant labor in the Middle East.

SAY / MIRROR

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[A Kind* Texts & Projects Title]

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2016 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry, Finalist. JP Howard’s debut collection, SAY/MIRROR, is a dialogue of history and memory, reflecting on and integrating vintage photographs of her mother, Ruth King (a fairly well known African American runway model in Harlem during the 1940’s and 1950’s) with snapshots from the poet’s own childhood. This manuscript began to emerge when Howard gained access to a large collection of her mother’s modeling photos, as well as some local Harlem magazine and newspaper clippings, and was thereby offered a window into her heyday, begging comparison to and recollection of a complex motherhood away from the spotlight. Here is a project that seeks to use poetry as both memoir and biography, alongside the evocative nostalgia of vintage image a map from which Howard has pieced together the bright but uneven path of growing up in the shadow of a “model” mother. The atlas of SAY/MIRROR charts the islands of the poet and her mother’s overlapping lives unearthing the shared experiences of a single parent and only child, coming to terms with each other in the 1970’s and 80’s: a socio-historical-emotional retelling of the life of a diva through a daughter’s eyes, with both parent and child learning to navigate the rocky terrain therein.

“JP Howard’s collection of poems is a raw reminder of the experience of motherhood and daughterhood. Her sharp memories of love and neglect; elegance, admiration and inadequacy leave a salty/sweet taste not soon forgotten.” Jewelle Gomez

“Juliet P. Howard’s porcelain collection of daughter memoirs is enough to break into you like fine China the shadow of her legacy hovering just above diva, the tenderness of grief stained just below doll.” Anastacia Tolbert

“Praise Juliet Howard for the wonderful ability to bring to life a mother whose beauty, seduction and danger challenge the notions of a young girl growing up in her shadow. SAY/MIRROR manages to capture with sharp detail and lively resonant language the elegance and ambivalence of the poet’s mother and her world. These poems evoke images of passion and loss, pain and joy. We must all stand up and applaud the poem ‘pushing her way to the surface… her shape on the page as she unfolds.'” Pamela L. Laskin

“JP Howard stands out both for her fine poetry and for her passionate, unrelenting involvement with and on behalf of lesbians of color, all lesbians, and the LGBTQ literary community. She reverently celebrates our forebears. A poet, a teacher, and a curator, Ms. Howard has shown an ongoing commitment to nurturing our writers and to writing and publishing from her heart.” Lambda Literary Award judges Reginald Harris and Lee Lynch”

to mourn, to protest, to wish for peace and to fight for justice — an OS [re:con]versation with JP Howard

Juliet P. Howard aka JP Howard is a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is the author of SAY/MIRROR, a debut poetry collection published by The Operating System (2015) and a chaplet, bury your love poems here (Belladonna Collaborative*, 2015). She curates Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS), a forum offering women writers a venue to come together in a positive and supportive space in NY. The Salon celebrates a diverse array of women poets and includes a large LGBTQ POC membership. JP is an alum of the VONA/Voices Writers Workshop, as well as a Lambda Literary Foundation Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow. She was a finalist in The Feminist Wire‘s 2014 1st Poetry Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Feminist Wire, pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Poets, Split this Rock, Nepantla: A Journal for Queer Poets of Color, Muzzle Magazine, Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women, The Best American Poetry Blog, MiPOesias, The Mom Egg, Talking Writing and Connotation Press, among others. JP holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York and a BA from Barnard College.

LET IT DIE HUNGRY

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Contrary to the book’s title, LET IT DIE HUNGRY is a collection of poems bursting with life. Recklessly sensual, provocative and profoundly curious, Meissner’s coming-of-age poems seek to anchor their place in a messy world, blurring the edges of hard borders and disparate identities. Finding joy, connection and determination in desperate spaces, as well as the slippery terrain of a changing self, Meissner’s voice is at once a reckoning, a proclamation, and an open question. Sprinkled with the author’s illustrations, the book’s multidisciplinary approach also includes lesson plans, originally utilized in a women’s prison, that invite the reader to write their own way out of polarizing dichotomies and into the vast grey space of what it means to be alive.

“Caits Meissner’s LET IT DIE HUNGRY is a stunningly potent archive of surviving. In poems, drawings, notes, and workbook-style experiments, Meissner generously shares her tools of becoming while simultaneously reinventing what a book of poems might be. In each of these modes it is clear: Meissner believes in the powers of seeing, testifying, and saying what is most difficult. Running through the blood of this book I hear Audre Lorde’s charge in The Transformation of Silence Into Language and Action ‘Your silence will not protect you.’ From lyric narratives to achingly lucid prose, this book is ardor-medicine against oblivion. These poems ‘[spill] past the heart’s armor.'” Aracelis Girmay

“Caits Meissner’s LET IT DIE HUNGRY deals with the difficulty of the body, the ‘human robe’ (as she aptly calls it) that hinders and endangers the soul beneath. It’s an intense book at time violent and vulnerable a dangerous but brave place for readers, filled with dreams, fantasy, nightmare, all mixed-in with stark reality. These poems are human and wise, and in the writing prompts, the reader is helped along in the struggle to better understand herself. This is a wildly exciting debut book.” Bianca Stone

“In this collection dedicated to the women poets of Afghanistan that concludes with a poem for the women poets at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Caits Meissner writes with great urgency of lives and landscapes scarred by conflict and pain. But even as her rangy, associative poems take us into terrain of turmoil, her compassion for her subjects offers the possibility of reconciliation through the very recognition that poems provide.” David Groff

Explore Caits Meissner’s “Transcribing the Journey” OS Field Notes series 

Caits Meissner is the author of the illustrated hybrid poetry book Let It Die Hungry (The Operating System, 2016). Her latest projects include the DIY comix poetry zine Pep Talks For Broke(n) People and a comix vignette series, New York Strange, publishing monthly in Hobart journal throughout 2020. She currently is the inaugural Palette Poetry Second Book Fellow and spends her days as the Prison and Justice Writing Program Director at PEN America.

A GUN SHOW

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S Percussion (Where (we) Live, Next Wave 2012) gives the Second Amendment a soundtrack in this affecting foray into America’s fraught relationship with guns. Taking mallets to disassembled sniper rifles and assorted drums, the musicians serve as Greek chorus, commenting instrumentally on sung and spoken texts drawn from the nightmares and nostalgia of armed experiences. Three-time Obie-winning director Ain Gordon and choreographer and performer Emily Johnson give depth to this probing work in which anger meets inalienable rights, dark memories resurface, and a contested weapon sings a bittersweet song.

A GUN SHOW was facilitated / edited by Lynne DeSilva-Johnson in collaboration with Adam Sliwinski with imput from Sō Percussion for release in tandem with the NY Premiere of A GUN SHOW at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), as part of the Next Wave festival, Nov 30-Dec 3, 2016.

Sō Percussion is a percussion-based music organization that creates and presents new collaborative works to adventurous and curious audiences and educational initiatives to engaged students, while providing meaningful service to its communities, in order to exemplify the power of music to unite people and forge deep social bonds. They seek to create a new model of egalitarian artistic collaboration that respects history, champions innovation and curiosity, and creates an essential social bond through service to our audiences and our communities.

Sō is: Eric Cha-Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, and Jason Treuting. With its innovative multi-genre original productions, sensational interpretations of modern classics, and “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” (The New Yorker), S Percussion has redefined the scope of the modern percussion ensemble.

Sō Percussion in Performance, is in collaboration with Emily Johnson (movement) and Ain Gordon (director).

Adam Sliwinski has built a dynamic career of creative collaboration as percussionist, pianist, conductor, teacher, and writer. He specializes in bringing composers, performers, and other artists together to create exciting new work. A member of the ensemble S Percussion since 2002, Adam has performed at venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, The Bonnaroo Festival, Disney Concert Hall with the LA Philharmonic, and everything in between. S Percussion has also toured extensively around the world, including multiple featured performances at the Barbican Centre in London, and tours to France, Germany, The Netherlands, South America, Australia, and Russia. Adam has been praised as a soloist by the New York Times for his “shapely, thoughtfully nuanced account” of David Lang’s marimba piece String of Pearls. He has performed as a percussionist many times with the International Contemporary Ensemble, founded by classmates from Oberlin.

MARILYN

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Winner of the 2017 Association for Asian American Studies Award for Best Book of Creative Writing (Poetry). Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey’s first book, MARILYN, began as an exploration through somatic experiments on what it means to stay and became a fragmented map of the immigration system, the international adoption process, and family. How do you articulate disenfranchised grief? How does a person who has no origin write herself into existence? What happens when all you have left is, as Sarita Echavez See says, ‘the body to articulate loss’? Framed by a return trip to the Philippines in 2011, her first time back since leaving, Reavey takes the most intense images [real, imagined, dreamed] encountered while living in-between six different countries, and expunges them in attempt to stitch the Asian, diasporic body. The result is an ancestral line, a path back not to the beginning of life nor just before, but rather to the primordial. To ancestral roots. To orality: a name.

“Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey has written a work of loss, healing and place. What is a page, both before and after a radical fire? What does it mean to come to language again as to life? Reavey answers these questions through her many attempts in this book, and beyond it, to breathe, create, survive, think and be.”–Bhanu Kapil

“MARILYN combines lyric essay, documentary image, and visual poetry to investigate origin, identity, and transformation. The multiple literary forms speak to the work’s thematic preoccupations with ‘camouflage and adaptability and shapeshifting, ‘ all concerns of the diasporic body. The author renames herself, moving the work beyond literary convention into performative, conceptual, and shamanistic contexts: ‘The name I go by now is ‘Ngoho.’ It is a verb.’ A verb expresses action. This is an active work by an active mind.”–Amy Catanzano

Born in the Philippines, raised in Wisconsin, Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey is a poet, a Reiki practitioner and a cellist interested in plant spirit communication and healing. A graduate of the MFA Writing & Poetics program at Naropa University, her work appears in Construction Magazine, Galatea Resurrects #23 and The Volta, among others. Reavey currently works as Marketing Director at Woodland Pattern Book Center.

THERE MIGHT BE OTHERS

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Performance Studies. Dance. Art. Music. Hybrid Genre. Collaborations. With Rebecca Lazier (Choreographer), Dan Trueman (Composer), Maria Baranova (Photography), and Lynne DeSilva-Johnson (Editor, Concept, Commentary, Design).

This document is a collection of propositions. It contains the dance and music score, performer instructions, guiding principles, and notes on the collaborations that led to the creation of the performance of There Might Be Others. In publishing this document the work becomes an open source for any reiterations, reimaginings, and repurposings. It is a field guide to a process of collective composition, an archive of a project, and presents the score as a set of possibilities to be taken in parts or absorbed as a whole. While a held paper is a fixed item, the score is a moment on a continuum. TMBO marks choreographer Rebecca Lazier’s New York Live Arts debut with this commissioned movement-based realization of Terry Riley’s seminal masterpiece IN C, performed with a live score by Dan Trueman in collaboration with members of two of today’s most vital ensembles, S Percussion and Mobius Percussion. Created along with a diverse group of artists, designers and scientists, and featuring an international cadre of performers, the work questions the role of presence, performer agency and collective decision-making to create emergent forms.

“Seminal works of the avant-garde become so when the inherent risk at the heart of the experiment catalyzing the vision to its fruition pushes the work’s sphere of influence beyond its original form and often its intended meaning. Intrepid choreographer Rebecca Lazier’s penchant for musical interpretation and the infinite aesthetic and physical languages in its breadth makes her among the very best of her generation and as this book attests, she possesses a vision that will bear influence on generations to come. What a gift to this and future generations that the unique scope of this remarkable project will have its record in the pages of this tract, and a gift to us to be a part of bringing ‘There Might Be Others’ to life.” Tommy Kriegsmann, Director of Programs, New York Live Arts”

THERE MIGHT BE OTHERS: An OS [re:con]versation with Rebecca Lazier and Dan Trueman

Rebecca Lazier is a New York–based choreographer originally from Nova Scotia. She has collaborated with new music composers and ensembles including Shane Shanahan, Jody Elff, Fred Ho, Dan Trueman, Paul Lansky, Newspeak, and now, Mobius and Sō Percussion. Lazier’s most recent work, Coming Together/Attica, premiered at The Invisible Dog Art Center and was named one of 2013’s most memorable experiences by critic Eva Yaa Asantewaa and subsequently toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Turkey, and Greece. A film adaptation was exhibited at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. In New York Lazier’s work has been presented at Danspace Project, The Kitchen, Symphony Space, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, and Movement Research at Judson Church.
She has toured nationally to The Yard (Martha’s Vineyard), Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), Jacob’s Pillow, Tulane University, Mobius (Boston), Columbia College (Chicago), Sushi Performance and Visual Art (San Diego), International Festival of Ideas (New Haven), among many. Internationally her work has been presented at venues in Canada, Greece, Russia, Poland, and across Turkey. Lazier has received a Bessie Schönberg Choreography Residency at The Yard and was an honorary fellow at Djerassi. In New York she has been the artist­-in-­residence at the Joyce Theater Foundation, funded with major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Movement Research, funded, in part, by the Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund. Lazier is currently on faculty at Princeton University.

Dan Trueman is a musician: a fiddler, a collaborator, a teacher, a developer of new instruments, a composer of music for ensembles of all shapes and sizes. He has worked with ensembles such as So Percussion, the PRISM Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Gallicantus, the JACK Quartet, as well as individuals like scientist Naomi Leonard, choreographer Rebecca Lazier, poet Paul Muldoon, director Mark DeChiazza, fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird, guitarist/songwriter Monica Mugan, and many others. Dan’s work has been recognized by fellowships, grants, commissions, and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Barlow Endowment, the Bessies, the Fulbright Commission, the American Composers Forum, the American Council of Learned Societies, Meet the Composer, among others. He is Professor of Music and Director of the Princeton Sound Kitchen at Princeton University.

Current and recent projects include bitKlavier (the prepared digital piano); The Fate of Bones, a new record with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (to be released in April ’20); 24 Preludes for bitKlavier(in progress); Songs That Are Hard To Sing, for So Percussion and the JACK Quartet (released by New Amsterdam Records in 2019); Midden Find, for fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Contemporaneous (in progress); Olagón, an opera featuring Iarla Ó Lionáird, with text by Paul Muldoon, and directed by Mark DeChiazza (premiering at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, May ’21, with the Crash Ensemble); There Might Be Others, with choreographer Rebecca Lazier and scientist Naomi Leonard(winner of a Bessie Award, Outstanding Music Composition).

Dan Trueman

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