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Tom Jenks - The Tome of Commencement

Tom Jenks' The Tome of Commencement (a Rogetification of the Book of Genesis) is a Synonymical translation of the first book of the Old Testament. Jenks is interested in Oulipian mathematical/aleatory experiments and uses current technologies to create his texts. In his previous work An Anatomy of Melancholy Jenks created an assemblage of every tweet mentioning the word "melancholy" during the calendar month of January, commonly agreed to be the most depressing month of the year. The Tome of Commencement is created using spreadsheets containing the original text and a list of synonyms…

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Date: 4 February 2015

Rhys Trimble - Hexerisk

Rhys Trimble is a word terrorist.
 
And there is so much that I don’t understand in this word hospital where everything is injured and being operated on with no obvious intent to heal for the health of the thing is its constant innovation. Dollsheads rest on crabmetal legs. Tolstory. To read here is to walk into a death-like severance of language, a permanent hospitalisation: ‘my vocab did this to me”.’
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Date: 4 February 2015

P. Inman - Written 1976 - 2013

*poetry stripped beyond its essentials.

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Date: 4 February 2015

Allan Popa - Drone

Allan Popa is probably the Philippines’ most significant living poet, having published seven collections and teaching a new generation of writers at Ateneo de Manila University. […] Popa also writes and publishes in English, which Elmer Ordonez notes is ‘one of the legacies of the country’s colonial experience; in fact, English was used by the American occupiers to achieve cultural hegemony over a nation that had fought Spanish colonialism for close to four centuries.’

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Date: 6 August 2014

Carrie Etter — Imagined Sons

Carrie Etter’s third collection, Imagined Sons, is an intimate and searing set of poems. And much like its subject, once in these poems, there’s no getting out. 

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Date: 6 August 2014

MacGillivray - The Last Wolf of Scotland

Some readers coming to the debut poetry collection The Last Wolf of Scotland might have first encountered its Scottish author, MacGillivray, from situations off the page. Variously a performance artist, musician, and clan chief, as a writer she is aware of—indeed she exploits—the intimacy of words on a page, in space, encountered in solitude and silence. Her book enters into the public traditions of oral culture, lyricism, and mythography to reinvent an unfortunate 19th-century historical figure. Yet, instead of being about these traditions, it uses their methods to reinvent the man locally, personally, and really.

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Date: 6 August 2014

John James - Songs In Midwinter For Franco

John James’s last three volumes have been haunted by ghosts and we are aware of the poet being ‘touched by their sacred lineage’ (‘Thoughts Beyond the Stricken City Long After René Char’). …… The third of these volumes, the one with which I am immediately concerned here, was written at La Manière in the South-West of France and it is one of the most moving sequences of poems, or songs, that I have read for as long as I can recall.
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Date: 6 August 2014

Eléna Rivera - The Perforated Map

A map is an abstraction of a real physical terrain, drawn up as much to expand knowledge as to provide a means of travel through unknown space. On our planet, on which there are few unexplored and unmapped areas, a map is most often an aid to getting from one place to another, what lies in-between is of less interest, is often only a panorama of inconvenient sceneries. Today’s map no longer has those mysterious and legendary spots where mermaids cavort and monsters lounge in wait for the unwary.
 
Not so the human mind. Or the human body. Both of which, due to the philosophical quirks of western civ, are often treated as individual and separate. In her first book with Shearsman Books, Eléna Rivera looks at the overlap between the two: the creation of a social being. Her book is a very personal narrative…
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Date: 6 August 2014

Marianne Morris – The On All Things Said Moratorium

The On All Things Said Moratorium brings together a mix of Marianne Morris’ new work, combined with selected poems from various previous small-press publications. As the note on the back of the book suggests, this is an exploration of culture as “a medium of resistance”. Morris explores the way that language creates “certain permissions and impossibilities in our own lives”. 

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Date: 6 August 2014

Tony Lopez — Only More So and False Memory

When the experimental British poet Tony Lopez published False Memory (Salt) in 2003, reissued here by Shearsman, influential readers from both sides of the Atlantic heralded a new poetic voice with a strikingly fresh world-view. The set of capacious sonnet sequences, principally made of words and phrases not of the poet’s own creation, are indeed quite unlike other poetic collage in their tonal brio and continual comic entertainment. Covers (2007), its sequel, took a slightly different path, continuing its predecessor’s satire on a more modest scale, with short poems on more-or-less identifiable subjects. Though Covers, as its title suggests, continued the citational method Lopez had broken through with earlier in the decade, it seemed the majestic work promised by the charismatic and expansive cataloguing of False Memory was yet to arrive. 
 
Only More So is that work, and one of the great British achievements in the prose poem form.
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Date: 6 August 2014

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