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Forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press

With recent new books by Tan Lin, Roberto Tejada, and Ed Roberson (see the post below on “Lunar Eclipse”), Wesleyan University Press has increasingly become one of my favorite presses for fresh and innovative poetry.  Their new spring catalog looks equally exciting with new titles from Rae Armantrout, Elizabeth Willis, and new translations by Césaire.  I’m particularly looking forward to Evie Shockley’s the new black, which is now available for pre-order.  Here’s a brief example of the kind of verve you’ll find in her poetry (it might also serve as an oblique response to Tim’s recent post on transparency and WikiLeaks):

dear opaque policy,

transparency is the new this
is for your own good
. covering
your ears is a sound defense.
the status quo never looked
so good. goods. and servers.
ye gods! the national security
blanket is a crazy quilt. award
awash aweigh awol. a globe
warming up to consumption.
he’s got the whole world in
his lands. friends. ends. trust
me. must we? survey says:
property. and life, and liberty,
but only if you’re not it. tag.

— from “the farewell letters”

Michael Leong is the author of the poetry books e.s.p., Cutting Time with a Knife, Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?, and Words on Edge. His creative work has been anthologized in THE &NOW AWARDS 2: The Best Innovative Writing, Best American Experimental Writing 2018, and Bettering American Poetry, Volume 3. His co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s long poem Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven is forthcoming from co•im•press in late 2019. His critical monograph Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in May 2020. He has received grants from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts.

2 thoughts on “Forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press

  1. I like it because it is honest…current…and sad in what we as a human race considers…OK. History…repeatedly…keeps repeating. Thus why keep doing what is politically correct…acceptable…proper in this day and time? How and why do we accept conformity as if it is our only option? Are our current options only excuses to not do what is in the soul…correct…knowing from wrong to right…within the spirit of the understood…in what we know of that to be true and honest… but it only being called a call to LOVE all…not just those around us?

    2000 years ago was as they understood their modern to be. Conformity a blending without trial and judgement… the preferred option of existances as long as it did not conflict with the family hierarchy…tradition…and space of dwelling globally. Are we any differant today…as in that modern day?

    Who changes things? Things change when there is one that steps out…throws it all out there…and touches but one soul of spirit in the knowing of what is being said is but true. Is there such an unknown that walks of a differant temprate in these days? Is there one that does not commiserate with the modern but chooses to walk a reflective history of steps…with a pre-determined path forged forth…of unknown design of uniqueness of birth at conception? Is there but one that will accept differance above rejectable uniqueness?

    Mechelle “Who Is Like Who?”

  2. Cool snippet, Michael. I like the way BIG OTHER posts can speak to one another serendipitously. I’m thinking about it in relation to John’s post above yours where Rios denigrates cliche (although he does so in such an engaging way, what with the taboos and tattoos and cockatoos living side-by-side, I feel like I’m at a Cliche Bazaar). It seems that in the case of “dear opaque policy” a fair proportion of Shockley’s language is derived from cliche, repositioning and juxtaposing such language in ways that reinvigorates and renews it. From the title on down, really. Of course, I’m assuming that this is typical of her style. It’s sampling, right?–rather than eschewing what the remote control can deliver to the eyes and ears, finding its materials there, channeling channels, forging a poetry that can accommodate cliche. Two non-overlapping modes of literary liberation.

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