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.