Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Anthology of constraint-based writing

The /n/oulipian Analects

Edited by Matias Viegener and Christine Wertheim

Les Figues Press

From :

"The /n/oulipian Analects
is an alphabetical survey of constrained writing in modern English. Editors Wertheim and Viegener gathered and arranged critical and creative pieces from some of the most prominent and influential constraint-based writers—Caroline Bergvall, Christian Bök, Johanna Drucker, Paul Fournel, Jen Hofer, Tan Lin, Bernadette Mayer, Ian Monk, Joseph Mosconi, Harryette Mullen, Doug Nufer, Vanessa Place, Janet Sarbanes, Juliana Spahr, Brian Kim Stefans, Rodrigo Toscano, Matias Viegener, Christine Wertheim, Rob Wittig, Stephanie Young—adding the unknown variable n to the great legacy of Oulipo. The result: an excellent mix of introductory basics for those new to constraint-based writing, blended with in-depth exposition and critique for those already avid readers and writers."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Barbara Guest -- poems and poetics

Just published:

The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest
Wesleyan UP, 2008

Here are some excerpts from essays on poetics by Guest:

From "Mysteriously Defining the Mysterious," HOW(ever) (1986):

"In whatever guise reality becomes visible, the poet withdraws from it into invisibility."
(see Guest's EPC page)

From "Invisible Architecture" on Guest's EPC page:

"By whom or by what agency is the behavior of the poem suggested, by what invisible architecture, we ask, is the poem developed. The Surrealists taught us to wander freely on the page, releasing mechanical birds, if we so desire, to nest in the invisible handwriting of composition. There is always something within poetry that desires the invisible."

From "Wounded Joy" in American Poetry Review (2002):

"Do you ever notice as you write that no matter what there is on the written page something appears to be in back of everything that is said, a little ghost. I judge that this ghost is there to remind us there is always more, an elsewhere, a hiddenness, a secondary form of speech, an eye blink." (see Guest's EPC page).