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Handpicked!

 

The folks at SPD Books have chosen Diana Hamilton's The Awful Truth as one of their "Handpicked" selections for March!

This month, they're all about the REVERIE  - what happens when our dreams overtake our waking moments? What can we learn by following the monsters into the closet? Fantasy has much to teach us about the way we live our lives, the way we represent our reality. Let yourself fall into it and see what might come. 

Get 20% off your copy until the end of the month, and check out the other three selections [here].

If you'd like to purchase a copy of The Awful Truth direct from our store, click [here].

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Diana Hamilton, Hyperintimate Poetry, & the Machine for Fighting Anxiety

Marie Buck shares a really wonderful write-up of Diana Hamilton's The Awful Truth and Some Shit Advice (2014, The Physiocrats) over at Harriet. I'm going to append some selections below, but please check out the full essay for yourself and learn more about precarity and our world-historical moment. Buck is the featured writer at Harriet this month, and you can check out the rest of her posts--on Brandon Brown and her "favorite poem"; on pleasure and political despondence--[here]. 

From Marie Buck:

What I mean to say is: while of course a lot of poetry deals with intimate topics—lyric poetry is classically about love, lust, the self, and so on—Hamilton’s Some Shit Advice and The Awful Truthactively thematize it and create a sort of hyperintimacy, the feeling that the reader is in the role of a close friend or lover or therapist. Except actually, since we’re often reading about close friends and lovers and therapists and their interactions with the speaker: the reader is somewhere even closer, communing with the speaker through the medium of the book.

[. . .]

Hamilton’s work offers a sort of antidote to anxiety by 1) explicitly describing something that is often a public secret and 2) creating a utopian vision in which we all have plenty of people to whom to confess our dreams, our weird shits, our desires, our self-consciousnesses. This is, I think, why there is so much emphasis on documents of various sorts, and why both books are presented as gatherings of other texts (advice column, found manuscript, email, etc.). The books aren’t self-expressive projections of these intimacies into an implicit public sphere of readers. Instead, through doubling personae and through the use of multiple, expanding framing devices, they create scenes in which the reader is a participant. The expanding framing and reframing devices cause us to consider the actual publication of the book as the biggest frame, a frame that includes the reader

[. . .]

We need, they say, “a machine for fighting anxiety” that would allow us to act out of desire rather than fear. Hamilton’s book is a utopia of sharing and listening that exceeds social norms—that reorients our fears about the world into desire for our friends and for our lovers and for a better world for us all.

Purchase a copy of Hamilton's The Awful Truth  [here].

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New Mark Johnson forthcoming from Roof Books!

Mark Johnson continues his excavation of the Cheap Sub-Heavens with a new full-length--How to Flit--forthcoming soon from Roof Books. Stay tuned for that release, which is part of the same project that brought you Can of Human Heat (available for purchase at SPD and on our site!), as well as the GaussPDF-released Treatise on Luck.

From Can of Human Heat:

Every day, terrified I am late, I leave my plastic shed with
such extraordinary force I melt the frankly meager lip of
the miniature vase, nice because purposeless, that hangs
outside my door. The vase is replaced nightly—or its lip
fixed?—by bosses unknown to me. Why not fix the sag in
my mattress?? Every day, I leave my plastic shed with
extraordinary force and race to the wulfworks against a salt
bog breeze; it moves my shortclothes.

Couldn’t launch imaginary products on my pony, sold it. A
distinctive smell clung to me for days afterward; I bottled it
as SOLD PONY, without success.

Two anticlimaxes.

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*The Awful Truth* at The Poetry Foundation

Thanks to Corina Copp for sharing her thoughts on The Awful Truth over at the Poetry Foundation's round-up of staff picks for 2017!

Copp discusses new work by Aisha Sasha John--in which "knowledge is experiential, and the speaker is not an idea, but almost a physical presence"--and then turns to a lovely, brief description of Diana's book:  

[The Awful Truth] quotes, at length, other writers, like Bernadette Mayer, Rindon Johnson, Freud, and Laura Marcus on Freud, interspersing this reading—as well as emails, dream accounts, interviews, dreams of emails and interviews—into an already-chock-full text as if they are (they are) memories. The first section reminds me a bit of Eve Sedgwick's brilliant A Dialogue on Love, not just formally, though that too, but in the way the intelligent voice takes care of "you" and of "we." Both [Aisha Sasha John] and Hamilton are poets who contend naturally with other mediums, genres, and forms, but their shared topic of living as a writer holds so much in itself, and is so finely (and differently) wrought, that I don't really need to read much else right now. Ok? Okay.

See the full post [here] to hear about all the other great books you may have missed this year; you can also check out John's I have to live at the book's PRH site [here].

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launch and pre-order wrap-up

Setting up the book table in front of Andrew Durbin's Barbara Hammer show at Company Gallery. At left is the videogame station for playing Diana Hamilton's Dreams, co-written with Alejandro Miguel Justino Crawford. 

Our official launch parties in NYC and Montreal this past month were a lot of fun. Thanks are due to Andrew Durbin, New York's Company Gallery, Michael Nardone, and the Godberd alternative school in Montreal for support; all of the friends and fans who came out to enjoy the readings and bring home some books; and especially to Diana and Mark, who really brought the goods and whose work sets a high bar for all of us.

Check out some pictures below, and feel free to follow us on instagram if you'd like to see more.

Read More

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Montreal launch party!

This Saturday we will be taking a trip up to Montreal for a reading and launch party to celebrate the release of Diana's The Awful Truth and Mark's Can of Human Heat. We will have the books for sale, hot off the presses, as well as some other amusing merch. Please come out and support these two, independent publishing, and your own healthy social life--we're really looking forward to this trip! Events details below and on FB [here].

Diana and Mark will also be joined by Maryse Larivière, an artist and writer based in Montreal. Her most recent exhibitions include Under the Cave of Winds (2017), Echoes from the Bosom (2017), and In Some Far Place (2017). She is the author of ORGAZING (2017), Hummzinger (2016) and Where Wild Flowers Grow (2015), and has contributed writings to a number of journals including C Magazine, Esse Art+Opinions, and the Organism for Poetic Research. 

ZUTIQUE is an occasional reading series focused on poetry, poetics, performance, and sound curated by Michael Nardone (http://soundobject.net/).

November 18th
Godberd | GAMMA
2080 Avenue Joly
Montreal, QC

8pm-11pm

*Event page [here]*

 

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NYC Launch!

Wednesday 11/15. We're finally launching! 

After almost a year of planning, editing, and producing, we're happy to be able to present two excellent new books to the adoring public: Diana Hamilton's The Awful Truth and Mark Francis Johnson's Can of Human HeatPlease come out this Wednesday to support these two authors and to support our new big little press!  Both authors will be reading from their books, and we will have beautiful new copies of both for sale--along with some other Golias Books-themed merchandise. Please do tell your New-York-area or poetry-interested friends; it should be a great reading by two very talented writers and a generally celebratory night.

Doors at 7:30 and reading at 8pm. The reading will be short and sweet in order to accommodate our generous hosts at the gallery so don't be late! Afterparty and extended hangout location is RPM Bar on Broome.

If you aren't able to make it (or even if you are!) please consider helping to support the press by pre-ordering books from our launch campaign [here].

Header image is by Barbara Hammer from Truant: Photographs, 1970-1979 currently on display at Company Gallery--more info [here]. Just another reason to come hang out...

Details below and RSVP/share on the FB event page [here].

Golias Books NYC Launch

November 15th
Company Gallery
88 Eldridge Street, 5th Floor
New York, New York 10002

Event page [here].

Doors at 7:30PM, readings start promptly at 8pm.

Graciously hosted by Andrew Durbin at Company Gallery in Chinatown.

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Diana in Chicago

Diana will be reading tomorrow night at Volumes Bookcafe in Chicago! She'll appear alongside friends and comrades Connor Messinger, Jo Barchi, Sophie Krueger, and Keisa Reynolds--things kick off early at 6pm, so get over there. 

For more info, see the event page [here]

[img: "Iconic Chicago"]

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Mark’s book has arrived!

And Lawrence made a shrine so that he could worship it. 

We're excited to be launching with some of Mark's fine work, and proud of the finished product inside and out. Can of Human Heat is a very smart and very funny book, with some haunting overtones of body horror and proto-political disquiet, but we could go on about it all day. Pre-orders can be placed through our launch campaign [here] or directly from our store [here].

Check out further details, a PDF excerpt, and our belabored but earnest cover copy [here].

 

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Dworkin on Hamilton

Listen [here] to a thought-provoking paper on "Affective Imbalance in Contemporary Literature" from Craig Dworkin, given at Leeds Beckett University's Inside Out lecture series. 

In the course of an argument about larger trajectories in 21st-c poetry, Dworkin offers an insightful, extended reading of Diana Hamilton's Okay, Okay (Truck Books, 2012). Drawing on Maurizio Lazzarato's theories of affective/immaterial labor,  Dworkin uses a close reading of Hamilton's book about "the intersection of labor and weeping" to address what Michael Hardt has characterized as the 21st century's peculiar "synthesis of cybernetics and affectivity" and what Dworkin calls "the monetization of cathexis":

[Hamilton's] book works to pull back the cubical divider and reveals the paradoxical inverse of the strictures and expectations of the affective economy.

The discussion of Okay, Okay and affective labor (starting just before 14:00) represents just one of three major axes in Dworkin's talk, and the rest (including the synoptic and very lucid technological-historical introduction) is well worth watching. To briefly paraphrase (and, of course, oversimplify) the lecture's larger outlines: certain recent trends in poetry, Dworkin argues, reflect a definite shift from the conceptual poetry of the early 00's and can be indexed to the changing cultural milieu of online life. What we commonly simplify under the rubric of "Web 2.0" actually does represent a real sea change in both the underlying technological infrastructures and the lived experience of internet use, and Dworkin suggests that the formal representation of affect in Hamilton's poetry offers one way of measuring the distance between the online environment today and the promises/menaces of the earlier, 2000-era internet as they were explored in the poetic bulk-curation projects of two decades ago.