Posted on

Michael Field available for preorders!

 

One of the foundational motivations for the editorial project at Golias was to help revive great works of poetry whose contemporary value and relevance is too often limited to academic audiences, and we are truly excited to announce the first publication in our line of archival reissues:

Precious against a Precious Thing: The Selected Poems of Michael Field

Available today for preorders (with free shipping!) at our store.

Composed over a century ago, the poetic worlds of Michael Field are as surprising, immersive, and breathtaking today as when they were written—as inventive as they are formally rigorous as they are deeply felt and lived. After more than a year of editorial preparation we are thrilled to finally be sharing this work, and we are also excited that the inimitable poet Stacy Szymaszek, former director of the Poetry Project, has contributed a lucid and inviting foreword to help ground the volume in our contemporary moment.

"Michael Field" was the shared pseudonym of Katherine Bradley (1846–1914) and her niece Edith Cooper (1862–1913), who lived together as lovers and collaboratively wrote some eight volumes of poetry and twenty-seven plays and whose poetry enjoyed both popular and critical success until their friend, the poet Robert Browning, let slip Field's true identity. While their early poetry displays strong aestheticist currents both formally and thematically, their later poems turn toward Symbolism and Catholic spirituality without ever straying from an idiosyncratic style that is somehow at once extravagantly precise and profoundly sensuous. The selection of poems in Precious against a Precious Thing spans their thirty-year collaboration and a wide range of formal gambits and registers, from erotic reconstructions of Sapphic verse fragments and ekphrastic reveries over Grand Tour oil paintings to theologically freighted odes, sonnets of rural retirement, and elegies to their beloved pet Chow Chow.

In her foreword, poet Stacy Szymaszek writes, “Field’s work is organized around body logic—experience, making a spectacle of one’s own life, beauty and giving pleasure. In the grips of our current political disaster, it may not carry a lot of weight to think one’s work is important for such things. Yet work that excites my mind-body helps remind me that I am an erotic being. When I proceed through life as my best erotic self, I am harder for the law to control. When I am harder for the law to control, i.e., making a spectacle of myself, others can see me. There is always the hope that Emily Dickinson expressed: ‘Are you nobody too?’ I step out of convention for community, and that action is the enemy of fascism.”

Preorders are available now at our online store, and we're offering free shipping from now until the end of the year. Despite our best efforts, and due to some of the pretty significant upheavals in the paper and printing industries this year, production schedules are backed up around the country and you will likely not receive these before 12/25. But you will receive them as soon as they arrive from the printer, and it will be worth the wait.

Please stay tuned, also, for some Winter 2019 events in both New York and North Carolina to celebrate the work and legacy of Michael Field.

Stacy Szymaszek is a poet, arts administrator, and teacher. She is the author of Emptied of All ShipsHyperglossia (both from Litmus Press), A Year from Todayhart island (both from Nightboat Books), and Journal of Ugly Sites and Other Journals (Fence Books), which won the Ottoline Prize and was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. In 2014 she received the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Szymaszek is a regular teacher at the Naropa University Summer Writing Program, a mentor for Queer Art Mentorship, and the 2018 Hugo Visiting Writer at the University of Montana. She was the executive director of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church from 2007–2018.
Posted on

Announcement: Spring 2019 releases!

We are pleased to announce that we will be releasing two full-length works in Spring 2019:

Old Business, by Ryan Dobran;

and Euphoria, by Shiv Kotecha.

 

 

Ryan Dobran's Old Business comprises four long poems: three chapbook-length works that have seen limited release by small presses in the UK—Story OneThe Meritocrat, and The Last Shyness—along with a suite of new poems published here for the first time. The volume represents an attentive, accretive phenomenology of the contemporary, of the widening gyre of modernity's immaterialization and its redoundings on the body. The four pieces represent a progression in Dobran’s work over time but are each in their own way equally finely tuned: both in the sense that each conceit is a sensitively calibrated instrument and that the resulting readings are crafted and critical, lacking didacticism and yet wryly, quietly instructive.

 

 

 

 

Shiv Kotecha's Euphoria is a series of four long poems, each titled for and dedicated to a single muse in a pantheon of club poppers. Each poem unspools in a complex and propulsive apostrophe which repeatedly, fractally dissolves the boundaries between self and other; together they are animated, agitated by a daemonic volition that continually turns the reader back toward a sense of desire without an object, an anxious anticipation and multiplication of surfaces that drives embodiment to an uncanny pitch. Weary of the Cartesian self, Euphoria inhales the epiphanic tradition in the bathroom and goes back out to the floor.

 

 

Both books will be published in late Spring and will be available in advance for preorders.

Ryan Dobran lives in Philadelphia. He received his PhD in English from the University of Cambridge, and his poems have been published by Barque Press, Face Press, and Critical Documents. He is editor of The Collected Letters of Charles Olson and J. H. Prynne and is coeditor of J. H. Prynne's forthcoming Collected Prose.
Shiv Kotecha is the author of The Switch (Wonder, 2018) and EXTRIGUE (Make Now, 2015). His writing can also be found in frieze, Art in America, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, Troll Thread, GaussPDF and elsewhere. He is currently a PhD candidate in NYU English, finishing a dissertation titled Decomposition as Explanation: The Forms of Duration from Poe to Post-Conceptualism.

 

Posted on

“ATTEMPT TO BE ADEQUATE TO THE EXPERIENCE OF LOVING AN ANIMAL”

Diana's "Attempt to Be Adequate to the Experience of Loving an Animal" (from her forthcoming full-length w/ UDP!) will be published in the Fall print issue of BOMB, in which your trusted author discourses on goats, cows, donkeys, otters, leopards, minks, kittens, Koko, Highsmith and Haynes, Du Bois and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, , Ranciere and Fanon, Derrida, Flaubert, and BressonHere's a short excerpt....

 

*

. . .

Of course, we believe some animals are articulate.

I, an animal, am trying to tell you my feelings,
although I could make an “inarticulate” attempt to do so.

When we are sad, we are often inarticulate.

Koko the gorilla can give some account of herself.

For example, she uses counterfactuals to tell jokes.

This is just the kind of “lie” Kenneth Koch recommends
in teaching poetry to children.

It works, especially if kids find out themselves:

I asked some 4th graders to write a line like
“I wish I was a ___________ but I’m really a ___________”

and they started literally:
I wish I was rich but I’m really a poor student.

Quickly, they learned they could wish wilder:
I wish I was a lion but I’m really a boy

before the class “troublemaker” tried inversion:
I wish I was a boy but I’m really a giraffe

liberating the class from any more sense-making.

To make a counterfactual into a joke,
the theory goes, you have to know enough
about what the other expects to fuck with them:
Koko must be able to predict how others feel.
This skill (making poems about wanting to be animals,
making jokes, as an animal, about wanting to be understood
by human animals) reflects a growing “theory of mind.”

More than her irony, though, Koko is known for her pets:
she asked for a cat for Christmas in 1983,
and the dick humans tried to pass off a “lifelike stuffed animal”
as the real thing, not with the generosity of a lie
designed to make a friend laugh, but the condescension of a lie
you think you’ll get away with.

She did not play with it and continued to sign “sad.”

For her next birthday, the humans gave in—

she got to choose a kitten, a male

Manx whom she named “All Ball.”

Unlike his stuffed replica, All Ball escaped

and was hit by a car. All Ball died.

They told Koko, and she understood.

She tried to explain how she felt, signing,

“Bad, sad, bad,” and “Frown, cry, frown, sad.”

Patterson also reported later hearing Koko

making a sound similar to human weeping.

*

 

Posted on

Brandon Brown on Diana Hamilton on Entropy

Brandon Brown talks "dream lit" and offers an eloquent and engaging read of Diana Hamilton's *The Awful Truth* over at Entropy. A short excerpt from the end of the piece is appended below. Thank you to Brandon and Diana for the positive dreams....

If the two halves of The Awful Truth constitute a diptych in their relationship to each other, and loosely allegorize the relationship of dreamer to the text they make from their dreams, inside each there is enormous variation, movement, contradiction, digression, and wonder. It is a work full of study, intellect, humor, and pathos. Hamilton has done something very difficult in showing the results of her extensive research without the moronic professionalization of academic writing or the anti-intellectual airlock of philosophical systems.

It is a common understanding that dreams are terrible literature. “Tell a dream, lose a reader,” Henry James warned. And yet I was never lost reading this book. It hearkens so much to worlds both familiar and unreachable. By studying how the dream futilely signifies—and energetically provokes—the emergence of abundant nothingness, and likewise how the awful world we make, and share, bears down on the dreaming body like the succubus in Goya’s “Nightmare,” The Awful Truth models how we might continue to write against these sentences on our possible futures.

The racist prison state might not crumble based on what we make. But those conditions, gruesomely clinical in their affiliation to knowledge, power, and truth, are passionate enemies of the dream. The only proper thing for us to do, from the perspective of capital, is to get up, pee, have coffee, hurry off to work. Leave the pages of the dream journal blank, they will only distract us. To which, I say, with Hamilton, fuck that. We want to write. We want to feel better. This book will help us.

Read the whole review [here].