Bernadette Mayer has always been an outlier with the confidence of an insider. Since her days editing the Conceptualist journal 0 to 9 with Vito Acconci, publishing the likes of Ted Berrigan, Sol LeWitt, and Kenneth Koch, she has channeled the most progressive trends in art without losing her own particular voice: working-class, old school, old neighborhood, cranky New York. Mayer is a punk yogi who can bite one moment, drop Dharma on you the next.
Poet, memoirist, and essayist Chris Campanioni adapts the dialectic for the age of the smartphone. For him, it’s not about the A/B binary of original object and subverted result; Campanioni brings Situationism to the party, generating texts with performative constraints that are often obscured as the writer erases his path to the final product.
Discussing The Searchers in one of his early film essays, Godard describes when John Wayne finds Natalie Wood and holds her at arm’s length as a moment of classical transference.
Landscape with Sex and Violence is Lynn Melnick’s second book of poems. It arrives when the testimony of sexual assault is encoded into social media and a 24-hour news cycle.
Shira Dentz is a deft experimentalist that casual readers of contemporary poetry need to discover.