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23 December 2009

After Ellen, Ana Bozicevic; also new events, reviews, interviews, books received, Göransson, McSweeney, and a humongous White Fungus among us

New reviews of Ana Božičević's Stars of the Night Commute

* at After Ellen: "thought-provoking, inspired and unexpected. Highly recommended."

* at Tower Journal: "On the edge of explosion. . . . an extremely talented and relentless young writer."

* at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center: "Following in O'Hara's footsteps, it challanges us to place the stuff of daily life under the adjective 'poetic.'"

If you haven't already picked up a copy of Stars of the Night Commute, we hope you will. 14$ includes free first-class shipping.

New Reviews at the Tarpaulin Sky reviews blog

Louis Streitmatter's A New Map of America (James Brubaker, Ed., The Cupboard, Vol. 2, 2008) reviewed by Jack Boettcher

Brubaker diverges from the conventions of the fiction-as-scholarship in the book’s subtle, rewarding humor and its rich characterization of Louis Streitmatter, which is intimate even as Brubaker professes greater and greater distance from his acquaintance. We see Streitmatter’s map not as a perfect, chiseled elucidation of the idea—as in the fictions of Borges—but through Streitmatter’s obsessions and oddities as a character, a man “in search of my country.” [Read the full review here.]
Timothy David Orme’s Catalogue of Burnt Text (BlazeVOX Books, 2009) reviewed by Jodi Chilson
Timothy David Orme dares us to exist, to become part of the motion, part of the plane his speaker inhabits; he dares us to take up the absence in the work and fill it with the speaker-self and our-self engaged in motion, through the act of reading becoming accomplice to the act of creation. [Read full review here.]
Noelle Kocot's Sunny Wednesday (Wave Books, 2009) reviewed by John Findura
Kurt Vonnegut famously wrote in Slaughterhouse-Five, of death, “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.” In Noelle Kocot’s fourth book of poetry, Sunny Wednesday, that sentiment is only partly true: everything here hurts. [Read the full review here.]

TSky Press author Joyelle McSweeney on The “Future” of “Poetry” from her talk at the Minnesota Book Festival. Excerpt below. Read the rest here.
The future of poetry is the present, and it has already arrived. The present tense rejects the future. It generates, but it generates excess without the ordering structures of lineage. It subsumes and consumes pasts into its present , erasing their priority. It’s self-defeating; its rejection of survival into a future may be infanticidal.. Without a concern with past or future it necessarily negates many of the values which come with Western literary tradition, including stability, well-craftedness, elegance, restraint, timelessness, humanism. It is concerned with the media through which it moves, flimsy concerns and flimsy conceits, superficiality, errata and (likely) ephemera, flexibility, instability, unevenness, but it also partakes of a non-productive productivity typified by bombast, excess and overproduction. This art often involves failure and ‘bad fits’—the ‘bad fit’ of one genre into another, the bad fit of one media into another. Its modality is violence, frequently a self-violence against the text itself, so that text is something that explodes, exhausts, breaks down, flounces around, eats and/or shits itself, is difficult to study or call a text at all.

Forthcoming TSky Press author Johannes Göransson is interviewed at eXchanges--"An alternately illuminating and awkward conversation"--regarding translation, or, more specifically, "Closeness and Distance in Translation | Dada and Capitalism | Everyone Forgets Lawrence Venuti’s Critical Terminology | Translations Ghettoized as the Foreign | Pilot and Bilingualism | Get Rid of the Native Speaker | Future of Poetry Translation in America | The Internet as a Myth of a Neutral Space | Homophonic Translations: America Looks at the Foreign through a Mirror? | Foreignization Is a Kind of Domestication." Read an excerpt below. Read the entire interview here.
Part of the problem with a lot of translation is that the way they are packaged has sort of ghettoized them as the foreign text. And we go to them out of some kind of ethical duty to engage with the foreign and widen our horizons and learn more about foreign cultures. I didn’t want Remainland to be that kind of book at all. I wanted that book to be a book of poetry that was from a foreign country that would interest Americans, people I knew in America, as a book of poems—that would not be bracketed as the foreign text. To me, Aase is a great poet and in some ways, a major European poet. I didn’t want to bracket it off too much so that this European poet would be read when we wanted to take some medicine or something like that.

Recently Received at TSky Press

Macgregor Card, Duties of an English Foreign Secretary, Winner of the 2009 Fence Modern Poets Series (Fence Books, 2009)

Douglas Kearney, The Black Automaton, Winner of the National Poetry Series (Fence Books, 2009)

Brian Evenson, Baby Leg (limited hardcover edition, Tyrant Books, 2009)

Catherine Wagner, My New Job (Fence Books, 2009)

James Westwater, Blue Boy and Pinkie, Together Again (self-published, 2009)

& from New Zealand, coming live to New York to melt your freakin head, White Fungus:

White Fungus is set to launch its 11th issue at P.P.O.W in New York on Thursday, January 14 with a night of performances as part of the gallery's Hostess Project series of events.

Kick-starting at 7pm, the event will feature:
Our Love Will Destroy the World (Campbell Kneale)
David Watson
Tao Wells
Anne Fiero
Millions (David Suss)
If, Bwana (Al Margolis) with Tom Hamilton, Jacqueline Martelle and live video by Katherine

511 West 25th Street, Room 301
(at 10th Avenue)
New York, NY

White Fungus issue 11 is the first to be produced in the formerly Wellington-based publication's new home, Taichung City, Taiwan. The new issue comes with a CD compilation of artists off New York record label Pogus Productions. It includes articles on Miya Masaoka, Hijokaidan and experimental and non-academic music in Beijing. It features interviews with David Watson, Taiwan artist Isa Ho, Robert Voicey of Vox Novus and New Zealand curator Laura Preston; articles on artists Don Driver (Auckland), Jonathan Terranova (New York) and a critical look a Post-colonial and Oceanic art by Rudolph Hudsucker; art works by Yao Jui-Chung, Dan Arps, Su Hui-yu and Chung Shih-shun; poetry by McArthur Gunter and Peggy Chang; part three of Juan Santos' series Capitalism at the Expense of All Life, an article by Jane Janesly on New Zealand's Neo Liberal economic reforms of the 1980s, a reflection by Tao Wells on the letter-writing of Lazlo Toth, a review of The Coming Insurrection by Harold Grieves, and a 20-page black & white comic adaptation of The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Tim Bollinger.

Pogus CD compilation is compiled by Al Margolis and features artists: Ellen Band & David Lee Myers, Annea Lockwood, Noah Creshevsky, Anla Courtis, Big City Orchestra, Chris Brown, Jorge Antunes, Nick Didkovsky, Tom Johnson, Beth Anderson, Tom Hamilton/Bruce Eisenbeil, Christian Wolff/Larry Polansky/Chris Mann/Douglas Repetto/Tom Erbe, MartÌn Alejandro Fumarola and If, Bwana.

White Fungus at P.P.O.W is kindly supported by Creative New Zealand.
White Fungus' relocaton to Taiwan is kindly supported by Asia New Zealand Foundation.

07 December 2009

Outbreak! TSky Editors & Authors Cropping Up All Over the Place


Edited by Christine Wertheim
Poetry | Prose | Essays | $20
Les Figues Press, 2010
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-17-2
ISBN 10: 1-934254-17-7
Size: 6“x9”
Pages: 132
Binding: Softcover, Perfect

Contributors: Dodie Bellamy, Caroline Bergvall, Meiling Cheng, Wanda Coleman, Bhanu Kapil, Chris Kraus, Susan McCabe, Tracie Morris, Eileen Myles, Maggie Nelson, Juliana Spahr, Vanessa Place Christine Wertheim, Stephanie Young, Lidia Yuknavitch

Identity is dead. The 21st-century subject is an unstable fiction with no identifiable features or group affiliations. He’s a man without inherent qualities, a post-human ideal. But those who have long been hailed as Other exist in a different relation to this ideal. Unlike those traditionally self-possessed |s, these Others may find themselves split between a yearning to be contemporary and unqualified, and longing for a continued allegiance to their qualitative, albeit constructed, group identity.

It is with an awareness of this more ambiguous and refined notion of self that Feminaissance approaches questions of femininity and its relation to writing. Topics include: collectivity; feminine écriture; the politics of writing; text and voice; the body as a site of contestation, insurgence and pleasure; race and writing; gender as performance; writing about other women writers; economic inequities; Hélène Cixous; monstrosity; madness; and aesthetics.

If the fact that “women do not say ‘We’” was one of the constitutive problems for 20th century feminism, the fact that women do and still clearly feel the need to say “We” is just as rich and interesting a topic for feminism today. The writings gathered here prove feminism to be alive and more relevant to all genders than ever: not just because feminist discourse remains a political necessity, but because of its artistic and intellectual pleasures.
--Sianne Ngai

Inconceivable Wilson
a novella by J.A. Tyler
Scrambler Books
4.25"x 6.875", paperback, 129 pages
Cover photo by Andrew Ilachinski
* Order your copy now and receive free shipping (will ship sometime between December 15 and December 30, 2009)

About Inconceivable Wilson:
A woman in a red dress, ankles strapped in shoes, leaving a man at the airport, at a terminal, holding a photograph of him, this man, and on the back only written: Wilson.

Forgive him, he has become so much less now.

Wilson goes: planes, boats, walking until the sun quits rising, until the sun stops existing, and there he begins, there he becomes. A place where the trees change shape and purpose, the environment lost to nothingness, where people speak in clatters and clicks, incomprehensible, a place where he is lost in blindness, deafening sickness, waves of unencumbered night. And Wilson unties within their circle, these people of pitch and tar, this village, these men and their women, their children. He should be reading them, writing words, penning a culture, creating a world from the tips of sentences, but he is instead consumed by them, bent to charcoal words on canvas made of darkness, hearing always and only the rattling of bones and laughter. Curtains open and he becomes less.

Forgive him, he should not have gone.

Men, women, children play in his brain, finger the creases of his thinking, until he comes undone.

Go, he has gone. Go Wilson. He goes.

Go Wilson. Go.

Museum of Vandals
by Amish Trivedi
(accordion-fold mini-chapbook)
Cannibal Books
Boundless Books Series #1


Advising Editor Elena Georgiou has new fiction in No Contest, the online magazine from GenPop Books, wherein you will also find a review of Asst. Poetry Editor Jamey Dunham's The Bible of Lost Pets (Salt Publishing, 2009).

From the GenPop Blog:

An excerpt from Elena Georgiou's short fiction, "Hummus," from The Immigrant's Refrigerator:
She spent the hour between the piano lesson and the black-eyed peas and spinach for dinner trying to calculate the correct answer. The first time, d - y equaled Jesus answering a prayer. The second time, d - y equaled the separation of piano + pianist from family. The third time, d – y equaled government intervention and her being placed in care (which, in effect, was the same as the previous answer). The fourth time, d - y equaled a struggle for independence. The fifth time, d - y equaled being swallowed up by the Loch Ness Monster and living happily inside Nessie’s stomach, like Jonah had done inside the whale. Once inside Nessie’s stomach, she would repeatedly practice the "Sonata Pathétique" until her whole body was filled with music.

An excerpt from Charles Freeland's review of Jamey Dunham's The Bible of Lost Pets:
At the school where I teach, the creative writing students, through close contact with Jamey Dunham’s work, have been for some time filling their prose poems with all manner of small animals doing cute and/or zany things. I hope this will stop. Such superficial emulation does not so much stunt the student writers’ growth as threaten to rob Dunham’s accomplishment of its power. It gets everything wrong.


We're delighted to report that Andrew Zornoza's Where I Stay is hanging tough at #7 on SPD's Fiction Bestsellers list, and Ana Bozicevic's Stars of the Night Commute receives not one but four shoutouts at No Tell's "Best Poetry Books of 2009" list.

Also, this amazing "congratulations" greeting card image was, like, totally free for the taking.

03 December 2009

Buggin Out: new look, new staff, new reviews & interviews . . ., and even some news re: chapbooks


Daniel's the artist who designed Kim Gek Lin Short's wraparound cover for The Bugging Watch & Other Exhibits. His work is so bloody great, we can't wait until the book's Spring release--so we're excerpting some images for the TSky website. & Keep on the lookout for other cover art making sneaky-preview appearances on the site.


The bad news: we're no longer hiring. The good news: we're delighted to welcome new editors and staff to the TSky crew. While we're at it, we'd also like to thank the good folk that have been here a long time, some from the beginning.

Big props to all, then: Advising Editors Rebecca Brown, Elena Georgiou, Bhanu Kapil, and Selah Saterstrom; Publisher Christian Peet; Editor in Chief Colie Collen; Editors Laynie Brown, Blake Butler, Sandy Florian, Lily Hoang, Karla Kelsey, and Joanna Howard; Managing Editor Dianthe Harris; Associate Editors Duncan B. Barlow and Christine Wertheim; Production Editors Cristiana Baik, E. B. Goodale, Annie Guthrie, Kristen Nelson, and Stephen Shoup; Assistant Editors Brian Mihok, Jamey Dunham, and Michael Tod Edgerton; Reviews Editors Ross Brighton and Jared Schickling; Events Coordinator Michelle Puckett; Asst. Managing Editor Amanda Skubal; Line Editor J.A. Tyler; Copy Editor Caroline Ashby; Liaisons Sarah Brown, Jac Jemc, Deanne Lundin, and Brian Rogers; Events Assistant Megan DiBello; Production Assistants Ginger Knowlton, Josh Neely, Joseph Mains, and Joanna Pelletier; Editorial Assistants Erinn Mann, Eireene Nealand, Nathaniel Otting, Janna Plant, Mark Rockswold, Julianna Spallholz, Julie Strand, and Amish Trivedi.


Notifications are already being being mailed. We're running behind (shocking!) but hope to finalize all decisions within the next week or two.


TSky Press author Andrew Zornoza is interviewed by Molly Gaudry at Keyhole Magazine: includes "out-takes" from Where I Stay, a craving for negative reviews, good advice for homeless people in verdant pastures, a childhood pic, review copies for Eddie Vedder, and heaps of the refreshingly humble genius we've come to expect from Mr. Z.

An excerpt:
MG: Are you an experimental writer? What do you think about the possible overuse of the term "innovative"?

AZ: I like the word innovative. I don't like the word experimental. To me, the word conjures up failure and the white humped backs of balding scientists. All writing is experimental if you insist on having a reader. Even Judy Blume. But I'm not experimenting. I'm not trying anything new. New has nothing to do with it. I'm just putting the words the way I want to hear them. You may be experimenting by reading it, but me, I'm just trying to make it feel right.
Click here to read the entire interview


Brittany Taylor reviews TSky publisher Christian Peet's Big American Trip, at Verse magazine.

An excerpt:

As we follow the lone wanderer from Blaine, WA, to Brooklyn, we are given an increasingly intimate view of his private frustration with a society that wipes out all that has come before and simultaneously acknowledges its ravaged past with cheerful sound bites. The captions that crown many of the postcards are not-quite-prosaic bits of encyclopedic arcana that offer insight into the matter-of-fact manner in which Americans have treated their predecessors. With these tidbits, Big American Trip seeks to recall America’s erased history, deridable and otherwise. . . . The postcards are at once addressed to no one and everyone; it does not matter who reads them, but everyone will. Buckle up for Christian Peet’s worthwhile Big American Trip.

Please click here to read the whole review.


James Belflower’s Commuter (Instance Press, 2009), reviewed by Joel P. Sodano Jr.

Commuter plays host to a constellation of motifs (international tourism, industrialization, photography, memory, identity) in addition to its main thematic focus—the juxtaposition of marriage and childbirth with the trauma of experiencing terrorist violence. In short, Commuter invites the reader on an aesthetic journey that tests the concept of relation through its positioning of various fragmentary manifestations of event, memory, emotion. This is illustrated at the book’s outset by a metro map that forms a multi-nodal system of simultaneous connection and separation. Thus, reading Commuter results in an experience greater than the sum of its parts, wherein one discovers unpredictable connections between various points of entry and departure. [Click here for the full review.]

Richard Froude's The History of Zero (Candle-Aria Press, 2008), reviewed by Sarah Suzor.

Zero questions the relationship between “fictions” (poetry, prose, literature) and “facts” (history, definition), and where in both fiction and fact language fails in conveying anything of absolute truth. . . . Zero is meant to be read and re-read multiple times, and Froude knows this, for it is our desire, as audience, to “make sense of something” that Froude is manipulating. [Click here for the full review.]


is up to its usual jaw-dropping amounts of goodness, not the least of which is a book that must be seen to be believed: Brandon Downing's text-image opus Lake Antiquity, wherein kitsch acquires gravity, becomes pathos, becomes a reckoning with the fairly unbelievable images and text that we'd sooner forget that we "own" in more ways than one. If you've seen [WARNING: seizure-alert at following link:] Dark Brandon, then this book might explain it to you. If you haven't seen Dark Brandon, then you should buy that as well. Says the promo for Lake Antiquity: "Brandon Downing has been scouring refuse piles and skimming the creme/scum off the top of two centuries of cultural production for these chiming elements. His paste-ups are cut-ups; his cut-ups are pasted with a discrimination that shares a border with insurgency." Yes. That, and a butt-nekked gnome.

Do yourself a favor and check out FB's holiday deals on Lake Antiquity, as well as Catherine Wagner's My New Job, Douglas Kearney's The Black Automaton, Macgregor Card's Duties of an English Foreign Secretary.

Think how great you'll feel when you already own those books, and then show up at the 4-author book release party on Dec. 12th.


Most of the titles below are available for review, though we include the friend copies and the purchased copies as well, thinking we can probably scare up another copy if you're interested in reviewing one for TSky. Titles marked with asterisks are hand-bound books or are otherwise special editions and are limited, if still available at all.

Oana Avasilichioaei, Erín Moure, Expeditions of a Chimæra (BookThug, 2009)

* Jack Boettcher, The Deviants (Airforce Joyride, 2009)

Rob Budde, Declining America (BookThug, 2009)

Angela Carr, The Rose Concordance (BookThug, 2009)

Barbara Claire Freeman, Incivilities (Counterpath Press, 2009)

* Emily Kendal Frey, Mark Leidner, and Zachary Schomburg, Coincide Series #5 (Brave Men Press, 209)

Katrine Marie Guldager, Copenhagen (P.K. Brask, translator, BookThug, 2009)

* David Highsmith, congregations (Plan B Press, 2009)

* David Highsmith, Petroglyph (Painted Bison Press, 2009)

David Highsmith, your wilderness & mine (BlazeVox Books, 2009)

Christine Hume, Shot (Counterpath Press, 2009)

Matt Jasper, Moth Moon (BlazeVox Books, 2009)

* Scott Alexander Jones, One Day There Will Be Nothing to Show That We Were Ever Here (Bedouin Books, 2009)

Garrett Kalleberg, Malilenas (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009)

Diane Klammer, Shooting the Moon (Monkey Puzzle Press, 2009)

Karyna McGlynn, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande Books, 2009)

* Christina Pacosz, Notes from the Red Zone (Seven Kitchens Press [Rebound Series], 2009)

Stephen Ratcliffe, Reading the Unseen: (Offstage) Hamlet (Counterpath Press, 2009)

Joanna Ruocco, The Mothering Coven (Ellipsis Press, 2009)

* 6 x 6 #19 (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009)

* Claudia Smith, Put Your Head in My Lap (Future Tense Books, 2009)

Jane Sprague, The Port of Los Angeles (Chax Press, 2009)

Nancy Stohlman, Searching for Suzi (Monkey Puzzle Press, 2009)

* Michael Stewart, A Brief Encyclopedia of Modern Magic (The Cupboard, 2009)

* Michael Stewart, Almost Perfect Forms (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009)

* Janaka Stucky, Your Name Is the Only Freedom (Brave Men Press, 2009)

Spring Ulmer, The Age of Virtual Reproduction (Essay Press, 2009)