Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Monkey & The Wrench - Now Available

The Monkey & The Wrench: Essays Into Contemporary Poetics

Mary Biddinger and John Gallaher, Editors

Nick Sturm, Associate Editor


Robert Archambeau. The Discursive Situation of Poetry

“Statistics confirm what many have long suspected: poetry is being read by an ever-smaller slice of the American reading public. Poets and critics . . . have blamed many things, but for the most part they have blamed the rise of M.F.A. programs in creative writing. . . . [But] these trends are unlikely to be reversed by the intervention of a few poets, critics, and arts-administrators. I’m not sure this is a bad thing. . . . Let me explain.”

Elisa Gabbert. The Moves: Common Maneuvers in Contemporary Poetry

“If each of a poet’s poems were unlike the others in every way, there would be no reason to prefer some poets to others; one could only have favorite poems, not favorite poets.”

Michael Dumanis. An Aesthetics of Accumulation: On the Contemporary Litany

“The continuous, obsessive repetition of the word [...] functions as a kind of incantatory seduction spell, lulling (if successful) the unsuspecting reader into the poem’s clutches.”

Stephen Burt. Cornucopia, or, Contemporary American Rhyme

“Rhyme can still be made useful, made to mean—and if it always stands out, it can even carry certain meanings more easily: it represents imposed (rather than discovered) order, artificial or fragile order, and irregular, fragmentary, temporary order at that.”

Benjamin Paloff. I Am One of an Infinite Number of Monkeys Named Shakespeare, or: Why I Don’t Own this Language

“[A] really good poem keeps us coming back for more, not just for more of the same. Translation . . . extends that potential considerably, not only by furnishing us with additional context and content, but by reminding us that we should not be so confident in our readings, that our sacred truths are far from settled.”

Elizabeth Robinson. Persona and the Mystical Poem

“A transcendent mystical experience . . . is no longer available to the postmodern poet. Still, I have confidence in the great resourcefulness of poetry to find way: to query and then shape findings into a poetry that enters a terrain of experience that can’t be accounted for by conventional logic.”

David Kirby. A Wilderness of Monkeys

“Ambivalence always sounds like a bad thing when somebody’s nagging you to make up your mind. But what’s wrong with taking your time? What’s wrong with thinking a lot about a poem or a scene or a character? What’s wrong with thinking about it forever?”

Arielle Greenberg, Craig Santos Perez, Michael Theune, Megan Volpert, and Mark Wallace. Hybrid Aesthetics and its Discontents

“One basic fact that all the papers seem to agree upon is that there is no problem with hybridity per se (indeed many of the following papers champion hybridity), just with how it so far has been theorized and anthologized.”

Cole Swensen. Response to Hybrid Aesthetics and its Discontents

“None of the readers of any anthology are actually there for the process of its construction, which is a loss, though an inevitable one, as much of what an anthology might offer is most alive in the discussions, the decisions, the distinctions, and the evolving considerations that lead to what ends up being the tip of an iceberg—the final selections, ordering, and framing that become the anthology itself.”

Joy Katz. Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye: Notes on the Ends of Poems

“Finding the natural end of a poem is sometimes like snapping off an asparagus stem where it breaks naturally. Poems can strain toward repetition, shouting FIN, when a natural conclusion is elsewhere on the page.”


At 1/12/2011 11:05 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Congrats on doing this book, John. The T of C is certainly intriguing.

At 1/12/2011 1:02 PM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

This look great. I need to read Elizabeth Robinson's essay and then get in touch with her again. It'd be fun to talk about mysticism, or unexplainable experiences and how they manifest in poetry.


At 1/13/2011 4:51 AM, Anonymous Eric Anderson said...

I've been looking forward to this. Thanks for putting this collection together, John.

At 1/13/2011 6:33 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Over the last few months, as it was coming together, Mary and Nick deserve most of the credit.

I just needed to toss that in!

At 3/23/2011 11:25 AM, Blogger Joy Katz said...

Thanks for the shout-out, John. It's a fantastic book and I'm so happy to be in it.


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