Sunday 29 May 2016
New publications from MATERIALS: The Sea Together, by Ed Luker, and Army Poems, by Kenneth Irby. A sequence of new poems by Luker, and a previously unpublished sequence by Irby, presented with an introduction by Kyle Waugh, emerging from his time in the US army during the early 1960s. While Luker's poems speak of the present moment -- the highly politicized space of the sea as a locus of movement and the material cruelties of what's known as 'the migrant crisis' -- Irby's call forward over decades to speak passionately, out of intense love and intense hate, of the experiences of those whose lives were torn apart by the army. These Army Poems are poems of declarative urgency and formal richness, imbued with a deep sense of identification with those stigmatized for their sexual desires, speaking out against the disciplinary exclusion and damage wrought on the bodies and minds of those caught up in the army's structures. Written in the army, they also write against the army: as the final poem in the sequence puts it, “I hate the Army, / singly, by itself, one jewel, one open / mouth”. Poetry written from a condition of simultaneous distance and enclosure, this work bursts out of its moment of composition to speak with the intensity and grace we now require more than ever. As Lyn Hejinian has written, it “radiates love”.
Both books are available to purchase from the MATERIALS website. Still available are Yule Log, a magazine published last December, Pragmatic Sanction by Danny Hayward, Praxis, Apostles! by David Brazil, and Merry Hell, by Sara Larsen, and more books will be forthcoming in the next few months.
Also, my own To The Reader is now available as part of the new series of pamphlets from Shit Valley, alongside Justin Katko's Basic Middle Finger and Verity Spott's Trans* Manifestos, with a further pamphlet forthcoming from Kaveh Bahrami. Spott's Manifestos in particular are essential, wrenching reading.