A product of Third Factory


Various authors | The Grand Piano | Mode A | 2006-

Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007

Juliana Spahr | The Transformation | Atelos | 2007

Andrew Joron | The Cry at Zero | Counterpath | 2007

Justin Sirois | Silver Standard | New Lights | 2006

Jasper Bernes | Starsdown | ingirumimusnocteetcomsumimurigni | 2007

Denise Riley | Impersonal Passion: Language as Affect | Duke UP | 2005

Wade Compton | 49th Parallel Psalm | Arsenal Pulp | 1999

Anne Boyer and K. Silem Mohammed, eds | Abraham Lincoln #1 | 2007

Michael Scharf | For Kid Rock - Total Freedom | Spectacular Books | 2007

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Ted Berrigan | The Collected Poems | California UP | 2007

As an undergraduate I spent many hours with The Sonnets. But that is all I’ve read of Berrigan until now. But now that I’ve been spending intense lazy moments with this work, I realize that I need another summer, another semester, another something to fully see how the young poet that produced a collection of poems that dislocated the way I think about poetry became so much more.

Alice Notley | Disobedience | Penguin | 2001

This is a book I’ve been (re)reading in pieces for several months now: Its continuousness—present or otherwise—holds my attention, as does the interrogation of—as well as the engagement with—the “daily” through a deferred yet persistent “I”—but also an eye.       

Robert Creeley | Pieces | Scribner’s | 1969

Excited to own a copy of the (I think) first edition. The reading experience is markedly different from the collected edition(s), in that I have that sense of this particular, this singular work—and the sunshine-esque cover frames—if it does not perhaps contextualize—the experience nicely.

Ryan Murphy | Down with the Ship | Los Angeles: Otis Books/Seismicity Editions | 2006

The daily often becomes something else in these tenderly obdurate poems. As Kevin Killian notes in his Amazon review, “[t]he present day seems to dwindle in the retrospective hallucinations of his writing, which is often emotionally charged as well as precise.” A well thrown first book.

César Vallejo, trans. Clayton Eshelman & José Rubia Barcia | The Complete Posthumous Poetry | California | 1980

Sarah and I were traveling through Peru this summer, so I felt obligated to pick this up; read it of course on long bumpy bus rides through the Andean areas of Peru that Vallejo may have never visited. At any rate, there is a quiet terror lurking in this work that repels yet still intrigues.

Alan Gilbert | Another Future | Wesleyan | 2006

Just smart, lucid writing about poetry (etc.) that seeks to situate poetry in the fragile history of the now. Not a model but a practice that situates poetry in relation to, well, poetry’s relations I suppose.

Alexadre Weheliye | Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity | Duke UP | 2005

This investigates the relationship between black cultural production and sound technologies, but its really the first chapter—which theorizes the historically hierarchical relation between sound and writing—that I found quite useful in thinking about the ways that sound functions as an alternative signifying system.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Half of a Yellow Sun | Knopf | 2006

This is Adichie’s second novel. It’s everything I enjoy in a novel: thick, subtle, and unexpectedly beautiful.

PENN Sound (on my ipod) | Current Tracks: Nathaniel Mackey, Ted Berrigan, Lyn Hejinian, Carla Harryman, Ben Friedlander, Peter Gizzi, Jennifer Moxley.

Sarah gave me an ipod for my birthday, so I can now listen to PENN Sound tracks in the truck. To hear the breath, yes. But I also love listening to (the) LINEbreak.

Virginia Woolf | Between the Acts | Harcourt | 1941

Read this in a graduate seminar at Brandeis on (primarily high) modernism. A brilliant kind of “response” to Ulysses, which I spent a lot of time with in this course, and, as opposed to voices waking “us,” we encounter a people that speak when the curtain rises.

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Joel Bettridge | That Abrupt Here | Cultural Society | 2007

Susan Briante | Pioneers in the Study of Motion | Ashasta | 2007

Julie Carr | Equivocal | Alice James | 2007

Graham Foust | Necessary Stranger | Flood | 2007

Brain Henry | The Stripping Point | Counterpath | 2007

Suzanne Heyd | Crawl Space | Phylum | Forthcoming

Elena del Rivero | The Book of Dust (artist’s book) | Consulate of Spain | 2006

Elizabeth Robinson | Under that Silky Roof | Burning Deck | 2006

Evie Shockley | a half red sea | Carolina Wren | 2006

Sarah Vap | American Spikenard | Iowa | 2007

Beatrice Wood | I Shock Myself: The Autobiography of Beatrice Wood | Dillingham | 1985

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Fernando Pessoa | Education of the Stoic; The Only Manuscript of the Baron of Teive | Exact Change | 2005

A short and fragmentary meditation by a mostly lost Pessoa heteronym whose testament is almost more real than any “real” writer’s diary. A brutal suicide note, a dismissal of everything, including the modernism that brought the Baron into this world. The Baron catches us by surprise with a rare, merciless lucidity, which nonetheless leads to a kind of blindness to his own paradoxes. A perfect edition, with additional materials, essays, commentary, which round out this mysterious and recently reconstructed prose text. I got a major kick out of its minor key.

Henri Michaux | Stroke by Stroke | Archipelago | 2006

This is beautiful and brilliant, and there’s—as always with Michaux—something chilling about it. No more words. Just strokes.

Michael Nicoloff | Punks | Taxt | 2007

A slim, very simple, DIY chapbook, containing what appears to be one long poem in two columns per page. The poem is totally thrilling, new, provocative, exceptionally musical with an ear for the language of our cell-phone waves—a cracked-up, cracked-out parodic carnival of our language, an apocalyptic bric-a-brac of its various ideological or consumerist controls. Though it seems to be engaged in a well-thought (socially avant-garde) critique. Instead of that stand-off-ish-ness often associated with observing/criticizing the culture, this poem has the dynamic movement of personal engagement, and a real “I” somewhere among all the drones.

Katerina Clark | Petersburg: Crucible of Cultural Revolution | Harvard | 1998

Fascinating and extremely well written and researched... Breaks up a lot of popular misconceptions about the Russian avant garde and has tons of great investigations into early soviet cultures, mass spectacles, theater, film, popular art and esthetics, etc. The demise of Petersburg as (cultural) capital marks the beginning of totalitarian culture.

Joseph Lease | Broken World | Coffeehouse | 2007

This has great movement. Dynamic, politically charged, longer poems. Angrily associative. In just a few places the tone leans a tad sentimental. I had a really great time reading this book, I found it moving—it seemed a relevant lyrical (in parts elegiac) response to today—especially the second half.

Ammiel Alcalay | Scrapmetal | Factory School | 2007

Wow, he sure had a lot of jobs—I found each one fascinating. I love the way the short, yet detailed work-stories punctuate the book, grounding its larger themes and political battles—which are themselves really interesting, though I felt a little barraged by the information, not knowing who to trust. The form this book takes, between essay and poetry, etc., is actually one of the most successful attempts at a hybrid-genre work among recent releases that I’ve chanced upon.

Rob Fitterman | War, a musical | Subpress | 2006

Surprising forms and movement—exploration of the book object and typography (a little decadent at times) but, most surprisingly perhaps, this book is a hell of a lot of fun to read. It’s not just all concept, though of course that’s the frame... it manages to say a lot.

Ivan Blatny | The Drug of Art; The Selected Poetry of Ivan Blatny | UDP | 2007

It’s not because I want to put a UDP book on this list, but because working on this huge project gave me access to the complex, multilingual work of this amazing Czech poet who is almost unknown to English readers. This isn’t a plug as much as a plea—I don’t want this poet to be overlooked once more... Find out a little about Blatny and you’ll see why I think readers of Attention Span are likely to be interested in this dead writer—and if you end up wanting to read the book without buying it, I’ll gladly loan you a copy. I think this is one of the most unusual and thorough editions of poetry that we at UDP have been able to do so far.

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Vito Acconci and Bernadette Mayer, eds. | 0 to 9: The Complete Magazine: 1967-1969 | Ugly Duckling | 2006

Against the anthology and rote history, a summoning of a whole, all Courier.

AES+F (Tatyana Arzamasova, Lev Evzovich, Evgeny Svyatsky and Vladimir Fridkes) | Last Riot | Biennale di Venezia | 2007

Screen saver as revolution, post-Benettonian.

Giorgio Agamben | The End of the Poem: Studies in Poetics | Stanford UP | 1999

“And is this not precisely what happens in every genuine poetic enunciation, in which language’s movement toward sense is as if traversed by another discourse, one moving from comprehension to sound, without either of the two ever reaching its destination, the one to rest in prose and the other in pure sound? Instead, in a decisive exchange, it is as if, having met each other, each of the two movements then found the other’s tracks, such that language found itself led back in the end to language, and comprehension to comprehension. This inverted chiasm—this and nothing else—is what we call poetry.”

Jasper Bernes | Starsdown | ingirumimusnocteetcconsumimurigni | 2007

Lyric checks. Nuff said.

Laura Elrick | Permeable Structures: A Performance Essay, In Stereo | Belladonna | 2006

The live event, voiced versus, in harmony with mediation; then, the Factory School title.

Gherardo Bortolotti et al., eds. | GAMMM | link | 2006-

The beginning of something, with all its lapses flaws and wild overreachings, after long sobriety: hooray.

Goat Island Performance Collective | Daynightly they re-school you The Bears Polka | double film installation | 2005

What would happen, episodically, if Celan bedecked the blackboards of our grammar schools.

Giuliano Mesa | Quattro quaderni | Editrice ZONA | 2000

The supplest & barbesquest use of the comma I’ve scanned since Amelia Rosselli’s metrical spaces.

Roy Rowland | The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T | Stanley Kramer Productions | 1953

Seuss-permutation against gorgeous modernist set: 500 little boys are to play a colossal piano under Dr. Terwilliker & his Happy Fingers Method, unless the plumber rescues them & widowed mom via deinstallation. “Yes, sir, VERY atomic!” Youthsome cellar-curators of Hyde Park, thanks!

Rodrigo Toscano | Truax Inimical | Segue Series link | n.d.

The radio play relives?

Marguerite Yourcenar | Memoirs of Hadrian | Penguin | 1951

Somehow, missed til now.


From reflections on the composition: “I had taken the habit of writing each night, in almost automatic fashion, the result of those long, self-induced visions whereby I could place myself intimately within another period of time. The merest word, the slightest gesture, the least perceptible implications were noted down; scenes now summed up in a line or two, in the book as it is, passed before me in fullest detail, and as if in slow motion. Added all together, these accounts would have afforded material for a volume of several thousand pages, but each morning I would burn the work of the night before. In such fashion I wrote a great number of decidedly abstruse meditations, and several descriptions bordering on the obscene.”


From the body: “Nailed to the beloved body like a slave to a cross, I have learned some secrets of life which are now dimmed in my memory by the operation of that same law which ordains that the convalescent, once cured, ceases to understand the mysterious truths laid bare by illness, and that the prisoner, set free, forgets his torture, or the conqueror, his triumph passed, forgets his glory.”

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Rick Altman | Silent Film Sound | Columbia | 2004

“…successful representation has always depended on the ability of new media to disguise themselves as old media, to meet the requirements established by existing media.”

Joe Amato | Finger Exorcised | BlazeVox | 2006

“This is the poem that asks more of its readers / than meaning.”

Jeremy Biles | Ecce Monstrum: Georges Bataille and the Sacrifice of Form | Fordham | 2007

“Bataille’s rage is directed at the notion of beauty constrained by a prescriptive template, of a beauty legislated in advance by Platonic conceptions, by the confines of the idea. What he wants instead is a beauty ruptured, or a rupturing beauty, a kind of beauty that would violently exceed formal configurations.”

Roberto Bolaño, trans. Chris Andrews | Last Evenings on Earth | New Directions | 2006

“…mostly it was stimulating, although I couldn’t say exactly what was being stimulated.”

Tyler Doherty and Tom Morgan, eds. | For the Time Being: The Bootstrap Book of Poetic Journals | Bootstrap | 2007

“No matter how personal, it is essentially a public document addressed to others.”

Kass Fleisher | The Adventurous | Factory School | 2007

“Your love of narrative, you will forgive me, makes of you a half-witted conventional. To claim an end when you could claim no beginning.”

Morton Feldman | Give My Regards To Eighth Street: Collected Writings of Morton Feldman | Exact Change | 2000

“The mythmaker is successful because he knows that in art, as in life, we need the illusion of significance. He flatters this need.”

Eugene Hayworth | Fever Vision: The Life and Works of Coleman Dowell | Dalkey | 2007

“‘Caught’ indicates ‘trapped’ as well as ‘hooked.’“

Sarah Mangold | Picture of the Basket | Dusie | 2006

“it is possible to disappear/ upstairs into immaculate research / if you’d like to speak /yes there are institutions”

Leonard Michaels | The Collected Stories | FSG | 2007

“If you can imagine a little boy…listening to his mother, who can hardly speak English, reading Dickens hour after hour in the most extraordinary accent, it might help to account for my peculiar ear.”

Dana Ward, ed. | Magazine Cypress 4 | [na] | 2006

“Surprised because I am so much with death / in love with the people who recite me?”

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Phil Karlson | Kansas City Confidential | United Artists | 1952

Fritz Lang | The Woman in the Window | RKO Radio Pictures | 1944

Ida Lupino | The Hitch-Hiker | RKO Radio Pictures | 1953

Anthony Mann | Border Incident | MGM | 1949

Otto Preminger | Fallen Angel | Twentieth-Century Fox | 1945

Nicholas Ray | On Dangerous Ground | RKO Radio Pictures | 1952

Robert Siodmak | Criss Cross | Universal International Pictures | 1949

Jacques Tourneur | Canyon Passage | Universal Pictures | 1946

William A. Wellman | Yellow Sky | Twentieth-Century Fox | 1948

Edgar G. Ulmer | The Black Cat | Universal Pictures | 1934

Josef von Sternberg | The Shanghai Gesture | United Artists | 1941


I read several books of poetry over the last year that I thought were worthy of mention. Some of them were truly excellent. Overall, however, I found myself more consistently moved within the medium of film, in particular films that were all over half a century old, and under that heading mostly films that could be classified as noir or noir-relevant. I’m not sure what this means. Certainly I don’t feel any less engaged in my own writing, even if I find my reading interests increasingly narrowed to the work of poets with whom I have a markedly shared aesthetic in many regards. At the same time that I feel I have become more tolerant on a general and theoretical level of differing approaches to the art from diverse positions and motivations, my actual personal attention span for most contemporary poetry has if anything dwindled. There are a good many practicing poets whose skill I recognize and respect (and I mean this not disparagingly, as a backhanded compliment, but as a genuine acknowledgment of their gifts). Nevertheless, in terms of work I really want to sit down and read, I could probably count the number of books from the past year on eleven fingers. Then why didn’t I, you ask? For one thing, anyone who is at all familiar with my taste could probably guess what books I would pick: three or four books by flarfists, a couple of Canadians and/or Mexicans, a venerable avant-veteran or two, an odd Philadelphian or precocious e-brat—and maybe a quickly-pulled wild card just to throw people off. The films listed above, however, have the advantage that I myself was excited to see which ones I would pick, there being so many others that could have ended up there: Track of the Cat, for example, another terrific western (sort of) by Wellman; or Ulmer’s dreamy and rickety Strange Illusion; or H. Bruce Humberstone’s I Wake Up Screaming; or Phil Karlson’s Kansas City Confidential; or any of Terence Fisher’s Frankenstein films for Hammer; or….

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Jennifer Scappettone | Beauty is the New Absurdity | Dusie | 2007

Brandon Brown | The Persians by Aeschylus | Unpublished MS | 2007

Anselm Berrigan | Have A Good One | Unpublished MS | 2007

Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007

Maxinne Gadd | Backup to Babylon | New Star | 2006

Lisa Robertson | The Men | Book Thug | 2006

Suzzane Stein | “Our Lady of the Flowers” | Phillysound link | 2006 |

Alice Notley | Alma, or the Dead Women | Granary | 2006

Stephanie Young | The Image Record | Unpublished MS | 2007

Beverly Dahlen | A Reading 18-20 | Chax | 2006

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Jasper Bernes | Starsdown | ingirumimusnocteetcomsumimurigni | 2007

Brandon Downing | Dark Brandon the Filmi | Grievous Pictures | 2007

Nada Gordon | Folly | Roof | 2007

David Larsen | Names of the Lion by Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khalwayh | Artifact Reading at the Unitarian Center, San Francisco | April 2007

Benjamin Friedlander | The Missing Occasion of Saying Yes | Subpress | 2007

Bernadette Mayer and Bill Berkson | What’s your idea of a good time? | Tuumba | 2006

Alice Notley | Alma, or the Dead Women | Granary | 2006

Michael Scharf | For Kid Rock / Total Freedom | Spectacular | 2007

James Wagner | Trilce | Calamari |2007

Alli Warren | Cousins | Lame House | 2006

Hannah Weiner | Hannah Weiner’s Open House | Kenning | 2007

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Simone dos Anjos | Mermaid Variations | private | 2007

A densely playful interweaving of mermaids near and far that spell out the story of a young woman rising through the sea of language. Into an alertness of presence only language can excite and sustain. This poetry is so fresh, so very much its own, a strange sweet salt.

Kristin Prevallet | I, Afterlife | Essay | 2007

Subtitled “Essay in Mourning Time,” this harrowing long poem brings all her linguistic skills to work on the irreducible wound of her father’s death—documentary, outraged cry, lyric understanding. Her finest work to date.

Richard Grossinger | On the Integration of Nature | North Atlantic | 2005

Grossinger’s remarkable journalistic and narrative gifts, which have been informing us for thirty years, show up here in a dazzling collection of themes, essays, dicta – none of them long, all of them evidence of the brilliance of brevity as he seizes meaningful glimpses of natural and technological change. Some of the most moving threads relate to the death of his vagabond poet brother.

Jennifer Moxley | The Middle Room | Subpress | 2007

To live a life with sustained awareness—what a gift that is, even if it is one received at times in retrospect. This fascinating memoir of what it means to come into one’s work, into poetry and society, is huge. And a page turner if ever I found one. She is like Duncan in the seriousness with which she sees the deed of poetry and the decisions young poets make. But she is also very funny. As we are, all poets, sublime and ridiculous at once: our special charm.

Jenny Boully | The Body: An Essay | Essay | 2007

Reprint of her dazzling debut book of 2002 – a poem made exclusively of footnotes in prose. The pages look like a philological edition from which the Greek has been removed, leaving the commentary below the blanks. And what a commentary it is! It teaches us that the comment comes before any possible text, that exceptions make the rule, that language is a sexually transmitted disease. A mosaic, perhaps, finally a continuous coverage that makes me feel I’ve finished a novel and found the novelist in my bed.

Miranda Mellis | The Revisionist | Calamari | 2007

A swift novel full of the lighthouse keeper’s dilemmas—more Winterson than Woolf—brave in its succinctness, in its trust of the reader to leap the gaps—and what better fun is there in reading. (Isn’t that what Jack and Jill means, the reader and the writer tumbling down the hill together?) Great detailed fiend illustrations by Derek White.