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A “Found” for Bern Porter

My review of Bern Porter’s Found Poems (Nightboat Books, 2011), a welcome reprint of an underappreciated 1972 masterpiece of appropriation , is now up at Hyperallergic.  I had been studying the book in Seattle (when I was there for the MLA convention) as well as on my flight home to New York.

In the spirit of Porter’s “founds”–which provocatively combine visual poetry, found poetry, and collage–I decided to use whatever materials I had at hand (the MLA convention program and the Alaska Airlines information card about emergency landings) to create a humble homage to the Marcel Duchamp of the poetry world.  Indeed, Dick Higgins has said, “Porter’s Found Poems have the same seminal position as Duchamp’s objets trouvées.”

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.

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