Non-fiction

Wanting Something Completely Different – 111 Vignettes of Left-Wing Figures, Themes, Films, and Writers
Jairus Banaji
Rab-Rab Press - 20.00€ -

A collection (montage) of biographies and themes written by Jairus Banaji.
Wanting Something Completely Different discusses a range of political figures, themes, directors and writers in a series of brief, evocative descriptions ('vignettes') aimed at laying out a vision of a modern, cosmopolitan left that can think creatively about the world we live in. The political figures include both thinkers and activists from a wide range of backgrounds—from Frantz Fanon and the Palestinian novelist Ghassan Kanafani to the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. The themes range equally widely from the death of Walter Benjamin (reconstructed here from a remarkable documentary on the same theme) and the slaying of Pasolini to the work of British Marxist Perry Anderson, or the corrupt nature of India's leading corporate groups, or the outstanding contributions of Italian and U.S. Black feminists to feminist theory. And under the rubrics which discuss film and literature, there is the same striving for diversity and depth.

The vignettes collected in this Rab-Rab book first circulated on Facebook over some seven years or more and are reproduced here with a new introduction and extensive bibliographical references and notes.

Jairus Banaji is a historian and revolutionary Marxist activist. He received the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize in 2011. His academic work has ranged widely across sources and languages, with major books on Late Antiquity and commercial capitalism as well as numerous papers and articles.

Art Monsters: Unruly Bodies in Feminist Art
Lauren Elkin
Chatto & Windus - 35.00€ -  out of stock

A dazzlingly original reassessment of women's stories, bodies and art - and how we think about them.

For decades, feminist artists have confronted the problem of how to tell the truth about their experiences as bodies. Queer bodies, sick bodies, racialised bodies, female bodies, what is their language, what are the materials we need to transcribe it?

Exploring the ways in which feminist artists have taken up this challenge, Art Monsters is a landmark intervention in how we think about art and the body, calling attention to a radical heritage of feminist work that not only reacts against patriarchy but redefines its own aesthetic aims.

Writing in the tradition of Susan Sontag, Hélène Cixous and Maggie Nelson, Lauren Elkin demonstrates her power as a cultural critic, weaving daring links between disparate artists and writers - from Julia Margaret Cameron's photography to Kara Walker's silhouettes, Vanessa Bell's portraits to Eva Hesse's rope sculptures, Carolee Schneemann's body art to Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's trilingual masterpiece DICTEE - and shows that their work offers a potent celebration of beauty and excess, sentiment and touch, the personal and the political.

'Destined to become a new classic' - Chris Kraus

Productive Archiving
Ernst van Alphen
Valiz, Amsterdam - 25.00€ -

Productive Archiving discusses a variety of problems of archival organizations. It mainly focuses on the following three issues that are usually overlooked: first, the question of inclusion in or exclusion from the archive; second, the loss of individuality in the archive, the danger of homogenization; and third, that archiving may become a form of pigeonholing, boxing specific identities into a confined space.

Avoiding the archive because of these problems is not an option, because archival organization is a basic symbolic mode on the basis of which we organize our lives, the past, the present and the future. What this book suggests is that it is best to explore constructive and creative solutions for these problems. Especially artistic archives seem to be able to develop these possible solutions, because they offer speculative, unexpected ways to order, select, and narrate specific information, and bring about new connections and archival organizations.

Is Now the Time for Joyous Rage? – (A Series of Open Questions, vol. 4)
Jeanne Gerrity and Jacqueline Francis (eds)
Sternberg Press - 12.00€ -  out of stock

The fourth book in the annual series A Series of Open Questions published by CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts and Sternberg Press is informed by themes found in the work of Lorraine O'Grady, including diaspora, Black female subjectivity, racial hybridity, translation, intersectional feminism, institutional critique, Black representation in the art world, archives, music, Conceptualism, and performance art.

The Wattis Institute's annual reader, A Series of Open Questions, provides an edited selection of perspectives, images, and references related to the Wattis's year-long "On our mind" research seasons. Each volume includes newly commissioned writing by members of the research season's core reading group, as well as text and visual contributions by a diverse range of other artists and writers. The title of each reader takes the form of a question and becomes, as new books are published, a gradually evolving series of open questions.

Contributions by The Allman Brothers Band, Charles Baudelaire, Selam Bekele, Martin Bernal, Linda Goode Bryant and Rujeko Hockley, Camille Chedda, Gabrielle Civil, Kathleen Collins, Erica Deeman, Jeanne Finley & John Muse, Jacqueline Francis, Edouard Glissant, E. Jane, Bec Imrich, Charles Lee, Darrell M. McNeil, Denise Murrell, Sawako Nakayasu, Lorraine O'Grady, Yétúndé Olagbaju, Hsu Peng & Allison Yasukawa, Lara Putnam, Trina Michelle Robinson, Legacy Russell, David Scott, Peter Simensky, Carrie Mae Weems, Judith Wilson, Alisha Wormsley.

Revolutionary Demonology
Gruppo Di Nun
Urbanomic - 25.00€ -  out of stock

An anthology of occult resistance: unpredictable and fascinating, at times hallucinatory, sullying politics, philosophy, cybertheory, religion, and music.

The End Times are here. The Digital Middle Ages approaches, the plague reaps its deadly harvest, climate apocalypse is around the corner, and fanaticism, fascism, and madness are rampant. The idea that we might gain the upper hand over the dark abyss into which the planet is tumbling is a form of magical thinking, laboring under the delusion that we can subdue eternity with relentless bloodlust, brutish exploitation, abuse of power, and violence. Revolutionary Demonology responds to this ritual of control, typical of what esoteric tradition calls the “Dogma of the Right Hand,” by reactivating the occult forces of a Left Hand Path that strives for the entropic disintegration of all creation, so as to make peace with the darkness and nourish the Great Beast that will finally break the seals of Cosmic Love.

Unpredictable and fascinating, genuinely bizarre, at times hallucinatory, sullying politics, philosophy, cybertheory, religion, and music alike with its fevered touch, this “anthology of occult resistance” collects together the communiqués of an arcane group who are already being hailed as the first morbid blossoming of “Italian Weird Theory”: a rogue contingent of theorists, witches, and sorcerers who heretically remix gothic accelerationism with satanic occultism and insurrectional necromancy.

Decolonizing Art Book Fairs – Pratiques de l'édition indépendante dans les Sud(s)
Yaiza Camps, Moritz Grünke, Pascale Obolo, Michalis Pichler, Parfait Tabapsi (eds.)
Miss Read, Berlin - 20.00€ -

A manifesto for the decolonization of art book fairs and publishing.

Can we decolonize art book fairs? Can we decentralize knowledge and deconstruct privilege in our contexts? Decolonizing Art Book Fairs aims to rethink through the existing and speculative frameworks of organizational practice in the art book fairs. This workbook attempts to introduce new narratives and help deconstruct the frontiers between north(s) and south(s), putting an emphasis on practitioners and initiatives from the African continent and diaspora. A workbook with (primarily newly commissioned) texts and interviews.

Contributions by Jean-Claude Awono, Yaiza Camps, Chayet Chiénin, Chimurenga, Renata Felinto, Wanjeri Gakuru, Moritz Grünke, Aryan Kaganof, Sharlene Khan, Grada Kilomba, Carla Lever, Fouad Asfour, Dzekashu MacViban, Gladys Mendía, James Murua, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Simon Njami, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Monica Nkodo, O Menelick 2Ato, Pascale Obolo, Michalis Pichler, Mario Pissarra, Sergio Raimundo, Djimeli Raoul, Flurina Rothenberger, Bienvenu Sene, Bisi Silva, Kwanele Sosibo, Parfait Tabapsi, Louise Umutoni, Zamân Books & Curating.

An Apartment on Uranus (Uk edition)
Paul B. Preciado
Fitzcarraldo Editions - 19.50€ -  out of stock

Uranus is the coldest planet in the solar system, a frozen giant named after a Greek deity. It is also the inspiration for Uranism, a concept coined by the writer Karl Heinrich Ulrichs in 1864 to define the ‘third sex’ and the rights of those who ‘love differently’. Following in Ulrichs’s footsteps, Paul B. Preciado dreams of an apartment on Uranus where he can live, free of the modern power taxonomies of race, gender, class or disability.

In this bold and transgressive book, Preciado recounts his transformation from Beatriz into Paul B., and examines other processes of political, cultural and sexual transition, reflecting on socio-political issues including the rise of neo-fascism in Europe, the criminalization of migrants, the harassment of trans children, the technological appropriation of the uterus, and the role artists and museums might play in the writing of a new social contract. A stepchild of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, Preciado argues, with courage and conviction, for a planetary revolution of all living beings against the norm.

L'Écriture de Monique Wittig À La Couleur De Sappho
Catherine Écarnot
Éditions de Ixe - 20.00€ -

Invitation au voyage à travers l’œuvre littéraire de Monique Wittig, ce livre nous embarque dans une passionnante exploration de ses textes de fiction, de L’opponax à Virgile, non. Il rend compte de la lutte amoureuse qu’elle livre au langage – matériau brut qu’elle travaille au corps pour faire advenir dans la réalité ce qui n’y a pas (encore) droit de cité. La convocation malicieuse et grave des grands récits du passé, les nombreux emprunts aux auteurs anciens, la pratique de la citation font des Guérillères une formidable épopée féministe, du Corps lesbien un Évangile selon Sappho, du Voyage sans fin le combat drôle et tragique d’une Quichotte féministe et lesbienne.

En soulignant la cohérence des textes et leur fragmentation, Catherine Écarnot met en évidence la passion poétique qui habite ces livres que Wittig concevait comme des « chevaux de Troie » : des machines de guerre destinées à fissurer la réalité pour y inscrire une subjectivité mouvante, échappée du continent noir de la féminité, rétive aux assignations de genre. Uniques et radicalement disruptives, les fictions ainsi créées ouvrent grands les chemins qui relient littérature et lesbianisme.

Publié pour la première fois en 2002, cet ouvrage, le premier consacré en Europe à l’œuvre witigienne, reparaît dans une nouvelle édition remaniée, actualisée et enrichie de nombreuses références aux études publiées depuis sa parution.

Art et production
Boris Arvatov
Éditions Sans Soleil - 19.00€ -

Art et production de Boris Arvatov fait partie des classiques oubliés des avant-gardes qui se sont épanouies durant la Révolution russe. Publié à Moscou en 1926, il vient porter le fer dans les débats qui agitent l’école constructiviste : que doit être le statut de l’art après la révolution, ses liens avec les techniques industrielles de reproduction, avec la critique de la vie quotidienne, comment doit-il entrer dans l’usine ? Autant d’interrogations radicales, témoignages d’une séquence politico-sociale bouillonnante. Une nouvelle conception de l’art émerge, qui laissera une empreinte indélibile sur une tradition de critiques matérialistes de la culture, de Walter Benjamin à Peter Bürger, en passant par Fredric Jameson, celle qui posera la question de l’articulation entre pratique artistique et logiques propres à la sphère de la production. Un document exceptionnel enrichi d’illustrations, paraissant en français pour la première fois, une porte prviliégiée sur un moment-clé de la modernité exthétique du XXe siècle. 

Boris Arvatov (1896–1940) est un artiste et critique d’art russe. Il est notamment connu comme théoricien du productivisme, un mouvement d’avant-garde post-révolutionnaire lié au constructivisme. 

The Geofinancial Lexicon
Ed. Jack Clarke & Sammi Hammana
Abstract Supply - 13.00€ -

The concept of a Geofinancial Lexicon emerged in 2016 as a curated subset of the then-canonical financial lexicon compiled and maintained by the Financial Times. The experiment set out to demarcate the possible relationships between the Earth, finance and the anthropocene through the complicitous vocabulary of financial advisors and traders – the Bulls, Bears, Doves and Hawks of ‘high-finance’ and economic policymaking.

This edition, rewritten and recompiled for general release, aims to open this experiment out to the wider-world and provide a generative platform for future investigations, conceptualisations, experiments, languages, actions and collaboration.

How to maneuver: Shapeshifting texts and other publishing tactics
Maha Maamoun and Ala Younis (eds.)
Kayfa Ta - 26.00€ -  out of stock

The research and series of exhibitions that this publication grew out of, is part of an ongoing project exploring the significant work of individuals, collectives and institutions in the field of alternative art and publishing practices, past and present.

Contributors: Ahmad Makia, Ali Eyal, Ali Hussein Al-Adawy, Ali Yass, Andrew Murphie, Bady Dalloul, Barakunan, Bernhard Cella, Elaine W. HO., Faisal Al Hassan, Farah Khelil & antoine lefebvre editions, Fehras Publishing Practices, Giulia Crispiani & Federico Antonini, Hala Bizri & Jana Traboulsi, Haytham el-Wardany, Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès, Hussein Nassereddine, Jabbour Douaihy, Jaffat El Aqlam, Khalid Albudoor & Nujoom Alghanem with Rand Abdul Jabbar & Uns Kattan & Hammad Nasar, Moad Musbahi, Noopur Desai, Raafat Majzoub, Yazan Ashqar.

There Is No Unhappy Revolution: The Communism of Destitution
Marcello Tarì
Common Notions - 18.00€ -  out of stock

In a time of ongoing political, economic, and climate crisis, can we afford our collective unhappiness any longer? There is No Unhappy Revolution gives expression to the age of revolution unfolding before us. With equal parts sophistication and raw urgency, Marcello Tarì identifies the original moments as well as the powerful disruptive and creative content haunting our times like a specter.

One hundred years after the October Revolution, amidst our current civilizational crisis, is it still possible to think and build communism? Yes, Tarì responds, provided we radically rethink the tradition of revolutionary movements that have followed one century to another. Offering both a militant philosophy and a philosophy of militancy, he deftly confronts the different contemporary movements from the Argentinean insurrection of 2001 to Occupy Wall Street, the Spanish Indignados, the French movement against the labor law, and the Arab spring, resurrecting and renewing a lineage of revolutionary thought, from Walter Benjamin to Giorgio Agamben, that promises to make life livable.

Postsensual Aesthetics: on the logic of the curatorial
James Voorhies
The MIT Press - 26.00€ -  out of stock

In this original work of aesthetic theory, James Voorhies argues that we live in the shadow of old ways of thinking about art that emphasize the immediate visual experience of an autonomous art object. But theory must change as artistic and curatorial production has changed. It should encompass the full range of activities through which we encounter art and exhibitions, in which reading and thinking are central to the aesthetic experience. Voorhies advances the theoretical framework of a "postsensual aesthetics," which does not mean we are beyond a sensual engagement with objects, but rather embraces the cognitive connections with ideas that unite art and knowledge production. Cognitive engagements with art often begin with publications conceived as integral to exhibitions, conveying the knowledge and research artists and curators produce, and continuing in time and space beyond traditional curatorial frames. The idea, and not just visual immediacy, is now art's defining moment.  

Voorhies reframes aesthetic criteria to account for the liminal, cognitive spaces inside and outside of the exhibition. Surveying a wide range of artists, curators, exhibitions, and related publications, he repositions the aesthetic theory of Theodor Adorno, and draws inspiration from Rosalind Krauss and Fredric Jameson, to describe a contemporary "logic of the curatorial." He demonstrates how, even as we increasingly expect to learn from contemporary art, we must avoid an instrumentalist and reductive view of art as a mere source of information. As Voorhies shows through an analysis of two major global exhibitions, dOCUMENTA (13) (artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev) and Documenta11 (artistic director Okwui Enwezor), and of Ute Meta Bauer's curatorial work at the Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, it is imperative for artistic research to retain its unique role in the production of knowledge.

Women Looking at Women Looking at Women
Annemarie Wadlow
Page Not Found - 20.00€ -

In what ways have women artists come together to investigate their own image? This publication delves into histories of feminist and queer collective practice, expanding on the various ways women claim agency of their identity, via collaborations that connect intergenerational and far-away friendships. Each chapter features artistic and theoretical case studies that discuss images produced by women artists, about women artists; proposing that to gaze upon someone represented with care and autonomy provides more affirmative ways to relate to ourselves. It discovers that to pay homage to overlooked knowledge of women artists builds a case for the artist as researcher. Only by engaging in both roles can we unveil what is not taught in the mainstream and inspire a more inclusive, generous future.

Each aspect of the book’s design is a collaborative endeavour, expanding the notion of individual authorship. It is with this sentiment that creating the publication became research in itself, via collaboration with both direct peers and an extended genealogy.

“Women Looking at Women Looking at Women” is designed by Marijn van der Leeuw, Esther Vane, India Scrimgeour, Hannah Williams and Annemarie Wadlow.

Annemarie Wadlow (1993, UK) is a research-led artist working between moving image, writing and photography. Her work explores the middle ground between image and imagination, questioning notions of inheritance, personal identity and belonging. She is the co-founder of Nice Flaps, an artist initiative that hosts experimental life drawing sessions.

Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
Adrienne Maree Brown
AK Press - 16.00€ -

Inspired by Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist "spirituality" based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us. 

Kwetsbaarheid — Over raken en geraakt worden
Marlies De Munck en Pascal Gielen
Valiz, Amsterdam - 8.00€ -  out of stock

In een competitief bestaan verbergen we onze zwakke plekken. Evaluatiedrift en de voortdurende dwang tot innoveren duwen mensen steeds verder weg in een bolster. Hoe danook gaan we allen als knoeiers door het leven, vindt Marlies De Munck. Ze roept daarom op tot openheid en mededogen. Want dat bolsteren hindert je om te raken. En om geraakt te worden. Pascal Gielen houdt een warm pleidooi voor een esthetische kunde: het vermogen via al onze zintuigen een rammelende en fragiele werkelijkheid toch als een samenhangend geheel te ervaren. Dat is de potentie van kunst en cultuur: om ons te verzoenen met een chaotisch en kwetsbaar leven.

Marlies De Munck is cultuurfilosofe. Ze is als docent verbonden aan het Departement Wijsbegeerte van de Universiteit Antwerpen en aan het KASK & Conservatorium in Gent. Als lid van het Culture Commons Quest Office (CCQO) aan het Antwerp Research Institute For the Arts (ARIA) doet ze onderzoek naar de gezondheid van cultuur.

Art and Solidarity Reader
Katya García-Antón (ed.)
Valiz, Amsterdam - 30.00€ -  out of stock

Solidarity has re-entered the global zeitgeist with resounding force in the last decades and is especially urgent to consider today. Yet this concept – both a potent ideal and a slippery notion – is one of the least analysed within the arts. Why? It is perhaps because colonialism, Neoliberalism, hyper-individualism and Western-centred concepts of art have eroded visions of a care-based society. Creating a fair and vital social fabric inspired by mutual dependencies between living beings and all entities including fauna, flora, air, land and water, is fundamental for our collective existence.

A critical toolbox with intersectional perspectives is needed to examine this minefield and reveal meaningful and inspiring narratives that can guide our future.

Contributors: Reem Abbas, Toufoul Abou-Hodeib, Noor Abuarafeh, Yásnaya Elena Aguilar Gil, Ali Hussein Al-Adawy, Salvador Allende, Beth Brant, Wendy Carrig, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Emory Douglas, Ntone Edjabe, Ingrid Fadnes, Eva Maria Fjellheim, Katya García-Antón, Soledad García Saavedra, Gavin Jantjes, Shoili Kanungo, Geeta Kapur, Lara Khaldi, Ixchel León, Audre Lorde, Chelsea Manning, Olivier Marboeuf, Barbara Masekela, Naeem Mohaiemen, Mário Pedrosa, Ram Rahman, Laura Raicovich, farid rakun/ruangrupa, Aban Raza, Devika Singh, Irene Soria Guzmán, Kwanele Sosibo, Eszter Szakács, Dulce Celina Ureña Hernández, Alice Walker.

Absence of Clutter: Minimal writing as art and literature
Paul Stephens
The MIT Press - 50.00€ -  out of stock

An exploration of minimal writing—texts generally shorter than a sentence—as complex, powerful literary and visual works.

In the 1960s and 70s, minimal and conceptual artists stripped language down to its most basic components: the word and the letter. Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Carl Andre, Lawrence Weiner, and others built lucrative careers from text-based art. Meanwhile, poets and writers created works of minimal writing—visual texts generally shorter than a sentence. (One poem by Aram Saroyan reads in its entirety: eyeye.) In absence of clutter, Paul Stephens offers the first comprehensive account of minimal writing, arguing that it is equal in complexity and power to better-known, more commercial text-based art.

Minimal writing, Stephens writes, can be beguilingly simple on the surface, but can also offer iterative reading experiences on multiple levels, from the fleeting to the ponderous. “absence of clutter,” for example, the entire text of a poem by Robert Grenier, is both expressive and self-descriptive. Stephens first sets out a theoretical framework for reading and viewing minimal writing and then offers close readings of works of minimal writing by Saroyan, Grenier, Norman Pritchard, Natalie Czech, and others. He “reverse engineers” recent works by Jen Bervin, Craig Dworkin, and Christian Bök that draw on molecular biology, and explores print-on-demand books by Holly Melgard, code poetry by Nick Montfort, Twitter-based work by Allison Parrish, and the use of Instagram by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Saroyan. Text, it seems, is becoming ever more prevalent in visual art; meanwhile, poems are getting shorter. When reading has become scanning a screen and writing tapping out a text, absence of clutter invites us to reflect on how we read, see, and pay attention.

What Makes an Assembly? – Stories, Experiments, and Inquiries
Anne Davidian and Laurent Jeanpierre (eds.)
Sternberg Press - 28.00€ -  out of stock

A crossdisciplinary inquiry into the practices and forms of assembly making, through multiple times and geographies.

Assemblies are ancestral, transcultural ways of coming together as a community. Over the past decades, multiple social movements have reappropriated these forms of collective organisation as a prominent component of political struggle, to defend radical visions of democracy. At the same time, governments across the globe have sought to reframe public deliberation as a response to the failures of representative democracy.

How can we analyze this double movement, and could assemblies of equals once again offer possibilities to reimagine and renew the ways politics is practiced? To address these questions, we need to move beyond simply asking what assemblies can do, and instead examine how they are made. This means departing from the shores of a speculative, deliberative ideal and restoring attention to both their diversity of forms, and their capacities to perform, deform, and transform.

Bringing together accounts written by those who practice assemblies, and contributions from artists, activists, historians, philosophers, and social scientists, as well as three architectural experiments that attempt to imagine models for a future assembly, the book proposes a critical inquiry into the potential of assemblies to shape political subjects. From assemblies in Indigenous territories of Brazil to those of the Yellow Vests in France, from medieval communes to street parliaments in Africa, from citizens' assemblies set up by public authorities to practices forged from emancipatory traditions, What Makes An Assembly? examines the tensions that exist in all assemblies between the need for form and the danger of formalization; between the scripts, rituals, and architectural settings from which they derive, and their capacity to erupt and emerge anew.

Contributions by Ayreen Anastas, Andreas Angelidakis, Hans Asenbaum, Frédérique Aït-Touati, Richard Banégas, Sandra Benites, Jean Godefroy Bidima, Patrick Boucheron, Florence Brisset-Foucault, Manuel Callahan, François Cooren, Armando Cutolo, Pascale Dufour, Ben Eersels, Tallulah Frappier, Rene Gabri, Delphine Gardey, Alana Gerecke, Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation, Laurent Jeanpierre, Pablo Lafuente, Laura Levin, Stacey Liou, Catherine Malabou, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Florian Malzacher, Piersandra Di Matteo, Markus Miessen, raumlabor, Philippe Urfalino, Yellow Vests, Aleksandra Wasilkowska, Ana Terra Yawalapiti.

The Letters of Douglas Oliver and J. H. Prynne
Joe Luna (ed.)
The Last Books - 25.00€ -

Douglas Oliver (1937–2000) and J. H. Prynne (b. 1936) are two of the most original and ambitious poets of the contemporary era. Eschewing the conservativism of mainstream postwar British verse and embracing influences from America and Europe, each developed their craft through continuous correspondence and exchange as part of the febrile scene of poetical community and contestation that emerged in Cambridge in the 1960s. Their works over the following decades exhibit frequent shifts in form and style, from Prynne’s radical transformation and dispersal of the lyric tradition to Oliver’s adaptation of dream visions and medieval-inspired verse satires.

Their letters are a record of both the high stakes and playful experiments that constitute the writing lives of two singular poets determined not just to engage with modern political and social life during decades of crisis and upheaval, but to contribute through the circulation and publication of poetry to what Oliver calls “a community of political ethic.” Over the course of more than thirty years of friendship and mutual appreciation, the motivations for, and consequences of, their poems are constantly worked through, tested out, evaluated, and contradicted, always with a view to what the poetry means for the other, for the poetical communities they inhabit, and for the life of poetry itself.

This volume collects for the first time the majority of Oliver and Prynne’s correspondence, allowing new insights into the literary, political, and historical contexts of their lives and writing. An introduction, notes, and appendices provide a scholarly apparatus to situate Oliver and Prynne among the poets and publishers with whom they worked and socialized, and to identify and expand upon their frequent references to an enormous range of source material and reading matter.

“The correspondence between J. H. Prynne and Douglas Oliver is gripping and illuminating, brilliantly edited and completely absorbing. Two great poetic intelligences respond to each other’s work and to the society around them, thinking through the issues at stake in their poetic practice, their differences in approach, the different worlds they inhabit, their shared commitment to writing poetry and their admiration of each other’s work. The letters, complex as their matter can be, repay repeated reading; taken together, over a period of 33 years, they chart the context and creation of some of the most significant work in late twentieth-century poetry. This is an utterly engaging volume, and should be read by anybody interested in poetry and its place in the contemporary world.”—Ian Patterson

“For writers who welcome each other as peers, the exchange of letters is the spontaneous moment of exposure, the drawing out of selves. It is thinking in mutuality. In this thoughtfully edited and carefully, even beautifully, presented correspondence between Douglas Oliver and J. H. Prynne, two of the preeminent poets of the ‘British Poetry Revival’ of the post-World War II generations, we witness two writers of immense gifts thinking with each other, coming alive to thought and, ultimately, a shared world or community of wish. There is life, there is death; there is grief, there is anger – and love – but always there is a seeking, an attempt to arrive at a language for our worlds. Henceforth, one cannot imagine reading the work of either Oliver or Prynne without this correspondence and all that it offers in openings onto what Oliver himself saw as ‘the poet’s full performance [which] is the whole life’s work.’ It is a glimpse into an athanor of poetic creation.”—Michael Stone-Richards

Queer St Ives and Other Stories
Ian Massey
Ridinghouse - 40.00€ -  out of stock

This first ever queer history of St Ives weaves together biography with art and social history to shine new light on a pivotal era in the development of British modernism.

Based on original interviews and previously unpublished letters and diaries, Queer St Ives reveals a fascinating, hitherto undocumented history, adding vital new insight into the history of the fabled British art colony. At the center of this pioneering volume is the sculptor John Milne, who arrived in the southwestern town of St Ives, Cornwall, in 1952, to work as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth. Hidden behind tall granite walls, Milne's house, Trewyn, became a meeting point for queer figures from the arts and was the scene of legendary parties.

The large cast—queer and otherwise—featured here includes artists Francis Bacon, Alan Lowndes, Marlow Moss, Patrick Procktor, Mark Tobey, Keith Vaughan and Brian Wall; Whitechapel Art Gallery director Bryan Robertson; actors Keith Barron and Richard Wattis; potter Janet Leach; writers Tony Warren and Richard Blake Brown; and the extraordinary Julian Nixon, a queer everyman whose involvement in the group has been little explored until now.

Why are they so afraid of the lotus?
Jeanne Gerrity and Kim Nguyen (eds.)
Sternberg Press - 12.00€ -  out of stock

Based on questions raised by the work of filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha, the second volume of the Wattis Institute's annual reader includes new writing and art by Ranu Mukherjee, Kathy Zarur, Shylah Hamilton, Astria Suparak, and Tamara Suarez Porras, as well as written and visual contributions by Trinh T. Minh-ha, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Sky Hopinka,Christina Sharpe, Christine Wang, Camille Rankine, Dionne Brand, Renee Gladman, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Steffani Jemison, among others.

What does the promise of "speaking nearby" rather than "speaking about" look like today? What are the politics of hospitality? What are the problematics of "postfeminism," and how do we challenge the West as the authoritative subject of feminist knowledge? What are the ways that language can be a site of rupture? How do we generate mistrust in the "well-written," and how can poetry be a radical act of refusal? How can we be subjects that believe in land and not borders? What influence has technology and digital space had on the "making and unmaking of identity"? How do we navigate a cyclical eruption of decolonizations?

The Wattis Institute's annual reader, A Series of Open Questions, provides an edited selection of perspectives, images, and references related to the Wattis's year-long "On our mind" research seasons. Each volume includes newly commissioned writing by members of the research season's core reading group, as well as text and visual contributions by a diverse range of other artists and writers. The title of each reader takes the form of a question and becomes, as new books are published, a gradually evolving series of open questions.

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