I sometimes write authors to tell them I like what they wrote. Then it occurred to me that it might be nice to share those complimentary remarks with the rest of the world (after all, I've already bought the book, and who knows maybe you will, too). Is that gauche? OK.
So, to inaugurate this questionable practice,
here is what I wrote Christian Hawkey about his book Ventrakl (Ugly Duckling 2010):
"I love the rhythm it establishes
between the dialogic, ekphrastic, and lyric. Translation, yes, but also a
certain amount of mediumship or necromancy - anyway, it gives the sense of
bringing Trakl present (and maybe projecting Hawkey back). I love the way the
materiality (and playfulness) of the poems intersperses the documentary
I should give some back story. The premise of
the book (on UDP's amazingly wonderful Dossier series, ed. by Anna Moschovakis)
is that Hawkey is having a conversation with the German expressionist poet
Georg Trakl. This project presents some difficulties, as (a.) Trakl is dead,
and (b.) there's about 100 years between the two poets. The ventricle is the
back-and-forth between these - via homophonic translations and staged dialogues
between the two (both of these quite funny - sometimes the deeply sincere
German of Trakl becomes brand names or pop culture references in 21st c.
American English), was well as some relatively straightforward biographical
speculating (which is rather more somber). Also lots of photos
accompanied by writing that sometimes takes a parallax relation towards them.
And lists. And a mix of verse and prose. In short, the sort of book a Joe
Harrington would be a sucker for. You might, too.
A couple items to archive here - I've listened to neither of these, so am saving for later-- Pam Brown talks about collaborating with me and Maged Zaher (the latter became a Tinfish Press ...
1 day ago