Monday, June 5, 2023

Jérôme Melançon : A Beautiful Rebellion, by Rita Bouvier

A Beautiful Rebellion, Rita Bouvier
Thistledown Press, 2023





Rita Bouvier likes being surprised. The beautiful rebellion she mentions in her title is that of reality against expectations and attempts at controlling it. It is found in children, in wasps, in history, in bodies – all surprising, and all skirting expectations.

The round dance, specifically, with the joy, beauty, and togetherness it creates, and its ability to literally feed people by drawing on traditional practices, stands as the illustration of rebellion. Bouvier presents her understanding of rebellion as deeply Métis. It does not focus on the armed resistance of the past: Louis Riel becomes important not for his political or military actions, but instead for refusing to be typecast as insane and have his actions erased. Bouvier also finds rebellion in the Anishinaabe performance artist Rebecca Belmore’s artwork; “blood on the snow” is mentioned, and “Facing the Monumental” inspires and is present in two poems (and “blook on the snow” was important enough that she brought a photograph of the installation to a poetry workshop I attended for others to draw upon).

This rebellion opposes the harm done to children and the wider massacres, erasures, injuries, and thefts committed against Indigenous peoples are non-human peoples, but also those she witnesses around the world. She expresses “a desire to know what makes us human / as if knowing might save me” (86). She also shares the opposite, in an act of seeking balance: “it is up to you     it is up to you / to take back your humanity and selfhood” (52). These breaths within lines recall the speech of someone who knows thoughts are coming and knows to take the time to let them arrive. Humanity is an opening to what it is not: in “facing the monumental,” the monumental is everything that comes before humanity in the order of things; its monumentality is the extra-ordinary, the immense – the ability to turn to what is not ourselves, to create respectful relationships, to better human life, to nurture.

Bouvier does not only witness rebellion, she also engages in it. Her poems are full of words and sentences in Mitchif and nêhiyawewin. She ensures the languages are noticed, seen, heard, and known to be alive and well. She wants her readers to know she is Métis, to find strength in the strength she can share. Her presence in the poems is vital to their movement. The speaker is the poet; the poet never forgets that she is speaking. The words seem full of simplicity, but in fact are only direct, shaping the reading so that interpretation is not the matter. Interpretation is too risky where peoples have difficulty speaking to one another and treating one another as human; instead Bouvier entrusts us with a key and shows us the way in.

Perhaps I tend to see political philosophy in more places than is warranted – yet even by that standard, Bouvier’s are strong political and philosophical poems. She creates “an awkward moment” by recounting the harms of colonization and adding marginal comments to add. She names, and she does not enter the metaphorical register so that after all the colonial stratagems and structures are named, there remains the full force of language:

as if you could     exempt yourself
from the ethos of the land
its aliveness     its wildness                    (it will haunt you)

But she does use allegory, as in “one late autumn day” (45), where a story about herself, as a child, stealing hazelnuts from a squirrel and being punished for it, opens the way for those with good intentions to reflect on the difficulties of reconciliation. This poem shows the allure and wonder of what is encountered for the first time, the urge to take it, and the harm it brings:

stored deep     in the cool     dark earth
I discovered
the hazelnut had lost its sting
with no regard for my sister squirrel
I stripped her nest and took it all

Bouvier often summons memories, and welcomes the additional memories she encounters as she moves through them (see for instance “a winter’s day in Île Bouleaux”). This movement of welcoming extends to the joy she sees while watching others (“daylight thief at Amigo’s Café”), the excitement of feeling and watching a storm approach (“dark skies over South Bay”), the feeling of togetherness that arises when being close to human and nonhuman animals, and even trees (“ode to the jack pine”). The philosophical impulse – and presence to all life – is also present in more meditative poems, like “listening to stone” (40-41), where the speaker is stone that is sculpted, where the words allow us to feel the life that rests within stone.

As these titles and others indicate, Bouvier’s poems are firmly set in place, between Île-à-la-Crosse and Saskatoon, among the relatives she names and whose memory she recalls, in the close braiding of words, animate and inanimate life, and emotions. The collection offers repeated occasions for meditating along with Bouvier, following her gaze to what will then grab our own.





Jérôme Melançon writes and teaches and writes and lives in oskana kâ-asastêki / Regina, SK. His third chapbook, Bridges Under the Water, is forthcoming with above/ground press. It follows Tomorrow’s Going to Be Bright (2022) and Coup (2020), as well as his most recent poetry collection, En d’sous d’la langue (Prise de parole, 2021). He has also published two books of poetry with Éditions des Plaines, De perdre tes pas (2011) and Quelques pas quelque part (2016), as well as one book of philosophy, La politique dans l’adversité (Metispresses, 2018). He has edited books and journal issues, and keeps publishing academic articles that have nothing to do with any of this. He’s on Twitter mostly, and sometimes on Instagram, both at @lethejerome.

Greg Bem : The Atom, by Sarah Mangold

The Atom, Sarah Mangold
Wave, 2023



are a repetition
of familiar forms.

(from Number 17)


Sarah Mangold’s latest work is a foray through a century-old series of drawings by Swedish artist and mystic Hilma af Klint: The Atom Series. Mangold has responded through book length form with her own series, a short interpretation and processing of the works that pushes forward Mangold’s powerful commitments to a contemporary feminist poetics across time and space. Mangold’s writings here are wondrously charged poem responses that bring Klint into 2023 through ekphrasis, existentialism, and literary conversation.

Klint’s The Atom Series was released in 1917, and according to Mangold in her chapbook’s afterword, they “illustrate two images of an atom on each page: one image shows the atom as it exists on the etheric plane and the other shows the atom’s state of energy on the physical plane enlarged four times.” A brief look at these works through a Google search reveals something between geometric elegance and hallucinogenic mutation. Klint is known to many art historians as the first painter to create abstract art, and we see in The Atom Series a fantastical journey between abstraction and representation by way of the painter’s personal relationship to and description of the works as a process, of an opened door.

Klint included captions to each, brief lines of poetry that offered a semblance of representation to otherwise superbly abstract and revelatory works of mysticism. Lines like “Through its longing to create ever more beautiful forms / first on the etheric plane, and then in matter, the body / becomes capable of being penetrated by light” (from The Atom Series, Number 4) accompany the beautiful and colorful artworks. Mangold provides every one of the captions alongside her original works: an awesome offer of reawakening and rejuvenation for Klint’s words, which stand up and feel current, fresh, living.

bodies of
the same kind serve
the substance.

(from Number 9)

The words offer a pathway to the core of each drawing, exploring the essence of “the atomic” through abstraction and poetry. Alongside contemporary discoveries and cultural phenomena including the X-Ray, Radio, and Science Fiction, Klint’s poems and paintings feel both ancient and futuristic, getting to the core questions of humanity. Indeed, they fit into that phantasmagorical period between romancing the pastoral and becoming inundated with the techno-industrial: where do humans, where does the human spirit, fit into this wild and perplexing world? Klint’s atoms are as much about atoms as they are about the awestriking impact of creation, where the minuscule and the infinite coexist somewhere in our minds.

Enter Mangold, at a time where the world continues to brace itself amidst ecological disaster, human rights abuse, and the complete and utter breakdown of consciousness into technological addiction and deadening. Mangold’s The Atom fits right in as a foil to the everyday horror we, global humans, face daily. Sarah Mangold’s small publication is a small siren or horn that beckons us to return to the radical exploration of the self as we move through a historical landscape of trauma and systemic pressure.

In addition to including all twenty captions from The Atom Series, Mangold offers her own interpretations of each work. Her writings capture a uniquely hybrid form that evokes a variety of poetry forms and aesthetics: vispo meets haiku meets confession meets tweet here. Each poem is circular, roughly 9-10 lines in length moving from short to long to short again. The twenty poems correspond with the twenty drawings and are also reciprocal to Klint’s captions.

am a pressure
gauge with a circular

(from Number 3)

Like her previous works, Mangold brings personal voice into her atoms. There are many unknowns to Mangold’s words, but they are calm, collected, and despite their curious qualities feel direct and precise. This is a striking difference from Klint’s writing, which feels omniscient, guardian-like, the chorus or philosopher passing along flutters of wisdom. But Mangold’s words, her reflections and responses, her translations, read as wisdom too. They feel her own, and also universal. They have their own sense of mysticism in the era of the internet. As they bridge experience with field, the mystical is a return to seeking the raw, the harmonious, verisimilitude over delusion and consumption. They are open, mysterious, raw, and inviting.

Mangold isn’t the only artist to be entranced and inspired by Klint’s cosmic and awe-inducing visual works, but her poetry finds an element of relationship that connects to Klint’s voice be it through word or picture. She has positioned both the original works and her own into a new space that asks us to consider and reconsider the role of abstraction in our daily world of understanding, alongside the role of history. This aspect of the longitudinal emerges beyond previous postmodern disintegration and instead feels welcome in our shared global contexts.





Poet and artist and librarian and union organizer in Seattle Metro since 2010, Greg Bem lives on a ridge, explores ambience, peripherals, artificiality, and mountains.

Louis Cabri : Two poems

Best By



Pull the doors
off, river
shadow, protector

from flame
the silhouetted

propped against corridor wall
black and yellow light
re-simulates yellow light, re-simulates black

Behind and above, voiced shadow
points to elevator
down, Times Square

Questioning the instruction
turn and enter
a pitch volume

The name
Times Square

by “the third

unconscious” what?
and by Verso that
first person pronoun will buy them

‘Bifo’ and
Joque, “protectors”

in critical
function sense
of art

the way
doing extinguishes

and his arcane flowering

hates the sea
visits Gasp
writes of seabirds

all these names
become trinkets I
dream, become

toute cette époque
attroce, nous sommes
de plus en plus conduits

à la voir
à travers
son r

“I” dream?
our dream



Image: “Arcane” by Cayusa



backseat game snap



Dawn of a new era, bro.
Era of the arse, bro.
Dude. Era of the Art of Nice.
Midnight at the Butt Light, dog.
Don’t say it, dog.
R u policing me, dude?
Just sayin’, bro.

Manpower, dog.
What about girlpower, dog.
That’s “man” and “girl”, dog.
Dude. Girlpower’s different.
Equal, dog.
Girlpower’s different.
It’s workforce, dog, it’s a stat.

The WEBB out there, bro.
Sale at Foot Locker, dog.
Dude. It’s astronomy or whatever.
Double-U e b b.
Nasal spray, too.
NASA, dog.

Oh yeah.
Scooch over.
Same universe, bro.
No way, dog.
No spoofing.
Am I, though?

It’s Windows, dog.
Same uni, bro.
What about manservant?
Gimme Lipton Ice, mom.
Some lip, bro.

It’s dog-eats.
What, dog.
What, dog.
What, dog.



Image by author



Louis Cabri’s recent poetry includes Treazure Chewings (available at and Hungry Slingshots (New Star Books).

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Jonathan Skinner : Both, Neither, Between, Many: Jessica Smith’s Works with Paper

from Report from the Smith Society Vol. 1 No. 1






The most precious shelves in my library are those corrugated with what look like rows of 45s, jagged with chapbooks hiding their titles. Time spent here is of the most pleasurable kind—rediscovering treasures of singular desktop publishing beauty, raw intuitive design, outrageous experimentation, traces of history, exchange, and bold moments in poets’ development. If the poem has a natural habitat, it’s the chapbook. More surprising are those items that buck traditional format and are bound to sit awkwardly on bookshelves, including some of the most beloved items in my small press collection: Foursquare Magazine, edited by Jessica Smith, and her self-published book works (which I call ‘works with paper’), ruthless grip, blueberries, Sommarhuset, and bird-book. Put out between 2001 and 2005, these limited-edition publications reached me thanks to Jessica’s generosity in making community through poetry. Her publications speak to and convene this community, shedding warmth across distances in time as well as space.

What follows is an edited sort of catalogue raisonné of these publications along with some commentary on their relation to Smith’s theorization of “plastic poetry” and, as works with paper, to my own understanding of, and appreciation for, the values of small press publishing.

bird-book (2001)

18 different colored sheets of origami paper (6 x 6 in.) with a cardboard back in wax paper envelope: poetry printed on numbered white sides.

Dedicated to Rachel Carson: “because without her bird-watching might be a rather dull and hopeless activity.”

Colophon includes note on source material from Carson, Audubon field guide, Eshleman, McCaffery, Frost; a list of 35 birds; a quotation from Mandebrot: “to have a name is to be.”

“solitary sandpiper” — “skids// bobs with his head,/ into the water”; veery’s “cryptic coloration” — “rich/ downward           echoes// spiral . . . descending whew/ relief/ in the gloaming// make a little house and stop working.”

This is consistently one the most satisfying small press publications to open and unfold, with its fan of bright colours and its poems creating vast spaces within their small frames. They do what blueberries says it does (see next entry). Plus . . . that whew!

blueberries (2004)

blueberries are intended as an invitation to my work. These poems [6 in total] are an experiment to record the vast and shifting virtual architecture of memory in the space of very small pages [5 x 5 in.]  . . . made in a batch of 200 in early summer 2004. The first 45 have handmade blue flower paper covers and blue endpapers. . . . The following 155 were printed with plain blue construction paper covers. . . . Each recipient of the first 45 booklets has been provided with an additional copy. These blueberries are for tasting, not for selling.”

Blaubeerenwald” — “little hans/ faded like an old one// is it// it/ the blueberry king”

(Personal association: a moment at the Poetry Collection at the University of Buffalo when curator Bob Bertholf brought out a box of Ted Enslin’s ‘blueberries’ —“finger exercises” jotted, while walking, on 3 x 5 in. scratchpads Enslin carried in his front shirt pocket—a selection of which I later published in ecopoetics 06/07 [2009].)

Confession: I couldn’t part with the construction paper edition, so I still have both.

Sommarhuset (2005)

6.5 x 4.25 in. white envelope containing 8 objects and an 8.5 by 5.5 in. trifold, with a ‘Manifest’ of the contents and a ‘Manifesto’ printed on 4 of its front and back panels:

“These items [fragment of bedroom wallpaper, antique shipping label, photographic negative, sand, dried blueberry, bit of handmade lace, page from children’s songbook] were stolen in the summer of 2005 from Martin Hägglund’s family’s summerhouse in Käxed, Sweden, which is in the High Coast region on the Baltic Sea.” Also includes a mini CD-Rom with video clips.

1. Language is a system of signs.
2. A set of gestures that indicate or record a specific space and time, intentionally or unintentionally, ‘man-made’ or ‘natural,’ comprises a system of signs.
3. Gesture is language.” 

The medium of the mini-CD Rom is now obsolete. But not the envelope and trifold and language of objects.

ruthless grip (2005)

Poem-objects in a tiny white Chinese take-out box: open work, handheld, fortune cookie, fireworks.

“• poetics • a group of poetic objects created for a singular reading at a specific spatiotemporal location • intended as investigations of touch, gesture, gift-giving, memory, poetry as dictation (instruction) & craft, startle response & extemporaneous audience collaboration •

•thematically organised around exchange (gift, communication, handoff, touch), fortune (luck, time, futuricity, chance), American assimilation of ‘chinese’ culture (china to americans: fireworks, take-out, fortune cookies), & containment (boxes, holding, ‘ruthless grip’) •”

open work is a poem that works with the origami (6 x 6 in.) sheet, printed on both sides of a sheet of “blush-pink paper” and folded to 2 x 2 in. dimensions in a (manji or fylfot) pattern of four cuts and eight folds, box-tied with “chocolate satin” ribbon.


This book form enables recombinant spreads of its eighteen panels (counting both sides) that work both vertically and horizontally, affording (for instance) the following transformations —closed brackets [ ] indicate jumps to another square:

“it still resides/ there/ my memory     of [ ] the image of / pulling off / strips   of / clothes / dripping / the” > “it still resides/ there/ my memory     of [ ] finger / restraints that bind more/ tightly the harder [ ] and a second / a small / fist” > “it still resides / there / my memory     of [ ]  a bright pink / flower unfolding [ ]  to / georgia’s watercolors / later [ ] and a second / a small / fist.”

handheld also folds to 2 x 2 in. dimensions, also box-tied in ribbon (“vanilla satin”), but offering sixteen panels, cut and folded in a ‘boustrophedon’ form, on “grape” (front) and “cappuccino” (printed side) card.


The form of handheld affords touching pairings and re-pairings, an intimate yet promiscuous erotics: “eric // two pink pinkies / intertwining” opposite “aaron // five / finger-shaped / bruises” opposite “ashton // tiny girl-hand i / still feel.”

Ric Royer’s “in the joining” (ferrum wheel 1 1/2) is credited on a colophon panel, as well as name (2003-04 “onward” edition) along with Louis Zukofsky’s valentines. The references to ferrum wheel and to name are significant:

ferrum wheel, “an assembling of found ephemera, visual poetry, and manipulated gifts,” edited by Ric Royer and Christopher Fritton, appeared in six issues from August 2001 to March 2007, featuring work by Mike Basinski, Tawrin Baker, Eric Gelsinger, Matt Chambers, Charlene Dickerson, Bill Howe, Tim McPeek, Sheila Murphy, Brian Carpenter, Christopher Casamassima, Justin Katko, Kevin Thurston, Ben Friedlander, and others. In a review, Mike Basinski (also a contributor) described ferrum wheel as “a sculpture formed by many hands. It is a work or art itself and brings to mind the word combine as Robert Rauchenberg used the term for his constructions that were beyond painting and sculpture.” Smith contributed to the first and the third (and possibly to other) issues.

name was the undergraduate magazine for the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo that Smith founded and handed on once she completed her BA in 2002. The 2003-04 “onward” edition, dedicated to Robert Creeley, edited by Elena Barlow, Robin Jackelow, Allen Krajewski, Julia Purpera, and Jay Silvis—some of the last cohort to be taught by Creeley at SUNY Buffalo, who took up an invitation to become a Distinguished Professor at Brown University in 2003—and to which Smith contributed, is a multi-authored layout on large boustrophedon form fitted into aluminium CD-Rom cases repurposed from AOL (America Online) junk mailing, each case featuring original artwork on the lid.

Both references witness Smith’s connection to a group of writers influenced and enabled by Creeley (as well as by Charles Bernstein, Susan Howe, and Dennis Tedlock, amongst others) at the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo, but also by Buffalo’s patronage of the arts (through the Albright Knox, Burchfield Penney, and Hallwalls art galleries, venues like Rust Belt Books, and Just Buffalo Literary and Western New York Book Arts Centers, amongst other) and its support for experimental communities. The spirit of work conducted around name, ferrum wheel, and many other endeavors—notably house press—was collective, radical, cross-disciplinary, performative and remarkably unfettered by literary careerism.

butterflies (2006)

Small (5 x 5 in.) cut, folded and sewn card pamphlet with deco butterfly-patterned cover published, in an edition of 50 copies, by Big Game Books (Washington, D.C. / Maureen Thorson) as tinyside #1.

Four poems (three page-sized and the fourth taking up the spread of the final two pages) in the spirit of blueberries: efforts to record the ‘spatiality’ and “vast and shifting virtual architecture of memory” within the constraints of a small space, a standard font, and software-imposed limitations. These memories—of a grandparent, a mother, a first love, a journey to an island—which can be read down as well as across, dissolve and resolve into contact with butterflies:

                                                           I see                       the dead leaves
                                                              her                          of
                     ,                   on     the wall
                                                              like                               an overheated summer
                        swallowtail                     a vertical doormat blue and
      stretched out                         black with tail trails like
                                  :      a bruised princess”

(“Summer 1998 or 1994, Homewood, Alabama; Papiliondae”)

The contact is often tactile:

“on my finger                   a brown-grey moth                there
                                         kissing my salty skin                                           then

I felt    brown eyes lighting on me                                                    even
             like a goddess of butterflies                                                 fluttering”

(“March 1994, Mountain Brook Junior High, Alabama; Hesperiinae”)

While the first three poems claim space through stanza-like columns intersecting with gapped lines, the fourth poem fragments words and even individual letters widely across the spread, connectable in glancing or ‘stepped’ adjacency: “second// s of (color,/ flying”; “phase/ phrase    shifts”; “on the sad ground,/ on the grave ground,” “patterns/ pilgrims/ orange       im/ age”; “burnt/ ment”; “heaps of dead colors”.

[Mexico] The effect mimes the scattered, scattering and heaped bodies of monarch butterflies at the Oyamel fir Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacan, Mexico. It also explores how space intervenes on language and language on space in the construction of poetic meaning. Metamorphoses of language in Smith’s butterflies both embrace and challenge the metaphorical dimension of poetry—here the age-old lepidopteran figure for transmigration of souls. Where does memory inhere (in the body, on the page)? Is there a body beyond “the grave ground,” at the end of life’s transformations? If pages can become-butterflies, what in the creative process can become-chrysalis? And what becomes-caterpillar? Ephemera like the butterflies they enact, these small press editions challenge assumptions of scale.

Smith’s Organic Furniture Cellar: Works on Paper 2002-2004 includes a ten-page introductory essay on “The Plasticity of Poetry (A Poetics),” exploring some of the theoretical and poetic background to what Smith calls the “plastic poem.” Like Arakawa and Gins’s architectural projects (“Reversible Destiny”), Smith’s poems “respond to a preexistent topographical space as well as to existing syntactical structures in the reader’s mind. . . . With plastic poetry, I want to change the reading space in such a way that the one who reads is forced to make amends for new structures in his or her virtual path.”

Smith makes a point to distinguish plastic poetry from earlier mimetic modes of visual poetry: “Unlike the calligram, the plastic poem makes the reader aware of her eye’s movements across the page. She becomes aware of her memory’s activity of putting fragments into letters, letters into syntax, and syntax into narrative.” Here Smith is interested in “the logic of syntax and its relation to the workings of memory.”

The essay discusses the “typewriter art” of Steve McCaffery (in Carnival) and the “painterly historiograms” of Susan Howe (in Singularities) as “foundational examples of plastic poetry.” A final section of the essay discusses how the poems in Organic Furniture Cellar, the longest section of which is comprised of “Shifting Landscapes,” take up and advance on strategies developed by the “flexible” scoring methods of John Cage, Dick Higgins, Yoko Ono, and Michael Basinski; as well as Cage’s “spines” and “mesostic nodes”; Joan Retallack’s “splits” (Afterrimages); Christian Bök’s, Ronald Johnson’s and Jay MillAr’s “ghosting”; and the “concrete poems” in some of McCaffery’s and bpNichol’s early collaborations (In England Now That Spring). In her “Acknowledgments,” Smith credits a “small second-hand furniture store in Cambridge, Massachusetts” for the title of her book and notes that “the store name evokes an exploration of memory, of mnemonics, of the organic cellar of the mind and its structures.” The topology of the mind’s sediment surfaces in the evocation of text here. 

While Organic Furniture Cellar exhibits all the seriousness of work addressed to the academic context of the Buffalo Poetics program (whose intellectual community and influences saturate the introduction), ‘ephemera’ like bird-book, blueberries, Sommarhuset, ruthless grip and butterflies develop that work with an eye and ear to communities of small press poetic production, circulation, and exchange in formats that resist reification. (Smith also resisted the conventions of the poetry reading—projecting her poems on a screen at Rust Belt Books, for the audience to read silently.) Smith would next turn her efforts toward summoning a feminist community of experimental poetry and art by producing the monthly broadside Foursquare Magazine, in more than thirty six issues over the course of three years.

Foursquare (2006-2010)

“A monthly broadside (single-sheet) magazine featuring experimental poetry by women, with cover art designed by women, encased in fabric sleeves. There are three years of monthly editions plus special editions featuring single authors. 2006-2010.” Each issue was printed in an edition of 50, with ‘textile engineering’ by Pamela & Edward Smith of MAC Uniforms.


, vol. 2 no. 9, cover art by Bettina Cronquist; poetry by Deborah Poe, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Julia Drescher, and Shannon Smith. 

Foursquare, Special Edition: K. Lorraine Graham, cover art by Alixandra Bamford. 

Smith’s small press publications enact their theory (and their politics) in objectified forms that are intimate, ephemeral in deeply ecopoetic ways, and, while engaging the inorganic iterations and ideals of mechanical reproduction (and typography), designed, printed, assembled and distributed at the scale of the handmade. They are, as she says about her blueberries, invitations—inviting us into the spaces between poetry and art, writer and reader, maker and holder, here and there, present and past. They are eloquent about ‘betweenness’ as a desired condition.

Not works on paper but works with paper—and textile, in the case of Foursquare—Smith’s small press productions manifest both the singular aura of artworks and the public, communal responsibility of publication, with its imperatives to edition via means of mechanical reproduction and to distribute. This ‘bothness,’ a feature of much of the vital work classed as ‘poetry’ that I value, also can be a ‘neitherness’, insofar as such work risks invisibility in arenas literary as well as artistic.

The tactile, haptically engaging intimacy of these works can neither be easily displayed nor mass-produced, nor recreated in the digital medium. While the archive obviously provides a critical afterlife for such objects, they can remain stranded amidst archival taxonomies of sorting, classification and retrieval. In the personal collection, small press publications more readily speak to one another and to the context of their production as well as to communities of making, publication, distribution and circulation, activating a ‘manyness’ that may be the unspoken condition of such brilliant and energetic work.






Jonathan Skinner is a poet, editor, translator, and critic, known for founding the journal ecopoetics. His poetry collections and chapbooks include Chip Calls (Little Red Leaves, 2014), Birds of Tifft (BlazeVOX, 2011), Warblers (Albion Books, 2010), and Political Cactus Poems (Palm Press, 2005). He has published numerous essays at the intersection of poetry, ecology, activism, landscape and sound studies. Skinner teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick.

most popular posts