MB: They Jes’ Grew.
I was going to leave it there, but Kent told me I have to say more.
- Jes’ Grew, for those who don’t know, is the epidemic at the center of Ishmael Reed’s hilarious prophetic noir, Mumbo Jumbo. It’s hard to put your finger on Jes’ Grew because it doesn’t stay still long enough. It’s related to Emerson’s whim but it’s got more rhythm which I like to think Emerson would have enjoyed. If it’s dance – and it is dance – it’s also a freedom of mind that can look like dance. Or sound like it. It’s a “psychic epidemic.”
Things Jes’ Grew when all of a sudden you start moving and not only can’t you stop, you don’t want to stop. Inspiration is a sad Atonist imitation of Jes’ Grew. Jes’ Grew takes the top off. Jes’ Grew is a mortal threat to civilization and its discontents – as Ishmael Reed said, it belongs under some ancient Demonic Theory of Disease. Right now we can see Jes’ Grew starting to spread again, infecting millions with its laughter and its anger and its passion and its movement. Swaying its hips and marching down the middle of the street. The mass movement is moving and Jes’ Grew is its feverish disease, its Nkulu Kulu of the Zulu, a locomotive with red green and black python entwined in its face, Johnny Canoeing up the tracks.
Dispatches Jes’ Grew in a crucible of talk and mind and laughter and anger where all good things grow. Boom. Then there it was, dancing. Kent saw that and took it up several notches. We started off slow and picked up steam one day at a time and Jes’ Grew.
KJ: Though Mike and I are quite aware that posting on the Dispatches site has been considerably slowed the past number of weeks… We’ve been pretty overwhelmed by the work on the Resist Much/Obey Little anthology, soon to be released by Dispatches Editions. 350+ poets and 740 pages. (Actually, Tennessee Reed, Ishmael’s daughter, is in it, so there’s that chance growth to Mike’s reference, I suppose.) But we’ll get back to our usual cranky senior-citizen selves. Dispatches from the Poetry Wars will keep advancing by projective force of institutional critique, one unsuspected accretion leading instanter onto another, as someone else more or less once memorably put it… Of course, most of what we do is totally by the seat of our pants, as you might imagine. Dancing sitting down, etc. It is how we’ve done it, how we like it, and how we’ll keep rolling.
And strange that we’ve been doing it only for nine months, that it’s developed this much and attracted such a readership in this initial gestation, our audience consistently growing. One gratifying thing has been getting lots of communications from folks (some of them not eager to publicly share the confidences!), from poets of different aesthetic backgrounds and generations, telling us how much they dig Dispatches’ outlier charge, its willingness to be impolite in this deeply cautious poetic field, where people walk around on quiet toes most of the time, afraid for their “careers.” In any case, it’s become evident many readers appreciate that we confront and satirize and critique, with no special allowances for anyone, ourselves not excepted. Or is that “ourselves included,” I grew up in Uruguay with Spanish double negatives and I get confused. On the other hand, it’s been gratifying, and confirming, too, to not get any communication from some folks or institutions! Like the Poetry Foundation, which we’ve gone after a tad, it’s true, and which has clearly determined to pretend we don’t exist. Gratifying, I mean, in the sense of being a bit entertaining, really. Well, “Onward, Subcultural soldiers,” as the old-time hymn goes!
DD: In your first dispatch, you write: “Poetry is and always will be an unruly opening of profound modes of oppositional thought, a constant reset of “knowledge” and its categories, a site of revelation for unprecedented form and exorbitant meaning.” How do you see these “modes of oppositional thought” operating in this era of “alternative facts” and what you’ve called a “reality TV ontology”?
MB: Modes of oppositional thought operate within, and in fact are part of the crucial in-formation of, temporary autonomous zones that proliferate a-centrally to greater or lesser degrees in relation to the Given. They are openings, the play of emergence where you pick up news of that elsewhere that is here, always here and in this moment that Octavio Paz named otherness. Alternative facts and Reality TV ontology are conditions that only signify within the discourses determined by modernity. And as Charles Olson tried to tell people, we are already way past that.
No wonder the categories are breaking down. No wonder truth is evaporating in the desperate struggle to adjust to our groundlessness. It’s modernity’s truth without meaning, truth as an accurate measure of only the material extension of the cosmos, truth as fact whose techne creates the massive commodification machine that feeds the endless markets that arise to create sites where brief, fleeting experiences that resemble what used to be called meaning occur at endless points of purchase. What a deal. And even poetry, which I used to consider the anti-commodity, the death of commodification, has been turned into a token to advance careers, establish hoards of cultural capital, and found academic empires.
Temporary autonomous zones celebrate groundlessness as opportunity for the imagination to go on a tear. They don’t require bourgeois truth because modes of oppositional thought are creative, not reactive. We are the inheritors of the inevitable disintegration of a 500-year-old system riddled with violent, irresolvable contradictions that are coming to head. Temporary autonomous zones are forays into what John Clarke called “world completion,” looking out, not back, seizing the opportunity to articulate new groundings that refuse to become grounded.
KJ: That is a wonderful passage in our first, opening Dispatch, isn’t it? A kind of encapsulated Poetics. I wish I’d written it. But Mike usually comes up with the best lines. Not that I don’t get lucky and trip across a few myself. Which Mike then revises for me. No just kidding. The two of us actually have a fully fraternal and non-competitive collaboration. Quite amazing, really, that we’ve gone on this long, at this level of intensity, with no major blowups. Not exactly the most common thing in poetry circles.
I have just one comment here, about Mike’s use of the term “alternative fact.” It’s not really a disagreement with what Mike says, so much as an expansion of the term into other criteria: Poetry is its own alternative fact, the constructive ethical flip side to the manipulative “alternative facts” of ideological dissimulation and propaganda. To poach from Picasso (or was that Pessoa?) we aim to lie our asses off in name of the truth. And to poach from Eileen Myles’s cool blurb on the back of the Resist Much/Obey Little anthology, we will drown their banal, manipulative lies with the clear water of our truth-telling ones. (Mike, don’t blow up on me for first time for disagreeing with you here!)
DD: Kent, you and Michael have spent your artistic lives challenging orthodoxies and status quos inside and outside the poetry world. How, if at all, has this mission changed post-election?
KJ: Yes, I suppose that is true, how we’ve spent our artistic lives. It’s one reason we are outsider pariahs with overdue AARP cards. Not to mention that it’s why we never get invited to any poetry soirees on either of the three coasts (I’m including the Great Lakes, there, where I live). Or in the Dakotas or Saskatchewan, for that matter. So: Know what you are getting into, thou hordes of young poets at the AWP, now yearning to emulate our gadfly proclivities…
Seriously, I know what you’re getting at, Dante: That in the introduction to the anthology, Mike and I forcefully call for a united front of poets, across the tendencies and factions. And this is something the big book represents and enacts, to be sure, as its contents reflect all manner of “aesthetic” allegiances, from the colloquial and prosaic to the experimental and paratactic. Calling for such a united front would seem to provisionally put “poetry war” critique on hold, right? So, you ask a good question.
But I don’t think the matter has “changed post-election,” really, at least not in that manner. I myself go way back with this united-front position, and far back beyond my days as a publishing poet, in fact, to the mid-1970s, when I first become active in socialist politics. Extending those learned principles, I wrote an essay that was pretty widely circulated at the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, titled “Bernstein’s ‘Enough!’” wherein I called for provisional poetic unity via the temporary collective vehicle of the Poets against the War project, and somewhat acidly berated the infantile sectarianism shown at the time by Language Poetry figures like Charles Bernstein, Barrett Watten, and Ron Silliman. More recently, I published an essay in Lana Turner, titled “No Avant-Garde,” where I called for the thinking-through of a broad cultural front, wherein writers and artists would deprioritize their aesthetic differences (but without giving them up!) vis-a-vis the tasks of principled unity around issues of progressive cause and action. Not that there aren’t others out there who might disagree with my views, and I am eager to invite them into exchange, if so! But poets, especially “Left” ones, generally don’t seem to like to debate too much in public, alas.
Of course, there is nothing new about such proposals. Such principled united-front strategy is at the heart of Left history and policy—it’s even the core assumption of the internal operations of bolshevist parties, before the Stalinist era! Not to mention social-democratic ones. What I’m saying is not that aesthetic differences be ignored or that critique be suspended. To the contrary, such critique must continue and be understood as part of the very process of cultural solidarity construction. What must happen, though, is that poets rise above their narrow poetic allegiances and predispositions of coterie to see that these don’t have to trump (sorry) the greater responsibility of collaboration and solidarity in the current conjuncture. Because that, most unfortunately for poetry’s politics, in and out, is what has happened: though there are some crossovers, poets of different aesthetics largely don’t talk to each other. Poets of the Geraldine Dodge Festival mainstream pretty much ignore and dismiss poets of the Avant wing of things. Avant poets think they’re so far ahead of slam poets in NYC or Chicago that they don’t need to pay them heed, for the slam folks are clueless about their more sophisticated vanguard understandings, and so forth. This is all sophomoric, cliquish bullshit and has to cease. There are many avenues and ways of collaboration between the poetic “tendencies” that haven’t even begun to be explored, and it will be in that comradeship, volatile to be sure, that the richest and most productive aesthetic debates will evolve. And may those debates be honest and fierce, as they should be. But the first step is to give up on this crap of “screw your poetry, ours is more of the common language and working class,” or “ours is more advanced, this is the analytic form we need, not your sorry workshop stuff” etc. We need to bring it all together, now, I would say, and see what happens. No one is above anyone else because no one really knows what the answer is. You know what I mean?
MB: Nothing has changed. Nothing. It is the same terrorist state that has operated in the US since Winthrop and the General Court expelled Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams. Sometimes it dresses up better, and sometimes it likes people to think it is “nice.” But it goes on shooting unarmed black men like Charles Kinsey, lying on his back with his hands in the air yelling “Don’t shoot.” (We have a precise found poem about this at Dispatches.) It goes on dragging Sandra Bland out of her car and lynching her in her cell for being an uppity black woman. Bang. The Poetry Wars are important and ongoing, even as we join multiple antagonists from that war to resist the current regime, because poetry is the only news worth knowing, and without waging a struggle for that, the careerists will succeed in locking it all up in the Great Philadelphia Poetry Detention Center (aka Great Philadelphia Poetry Warehouse and Media Center), where it will be alphabetized, categorized, and filed away for easy consumption in podcasts and use in marketing programs to increase the cultural capital of the Poetry Capitalists. Fuck that.
DD: You and Michael have written an amazing introduction to the anthology Resist Much/Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance, in which you discuss the origin and intent of the project. Could you restate for our readers how this anthology came about and how it seeks to inaugurate a resistance to the Trump administration and its policies?
KJ: Thank you for saying that about the essay, Dante. Mike wrote to me on the day after the election, no doubt hungover, like I was, and he said, “Maybe it’s time for an anthology.” Because my head was stuffed with gauze alcohol swabs and I wasn’t thinking straight, I immediately wrote back to him, “OK, sure, let’s do it!” Then I can’t remember exactly what happened, it’s sort of a blur. Mike yelled at me a few times and I yelled at him, then we made up, or maybe we did not; we sometimes like doing yelling at each other.
Our masterstroke was pulling in a team of twenty incredible and dedicated poet-editors, who then went to the wall to bring people to the book. You can see their names on the cover. We totally decentralized the book’s production, out of emergency necessity, and (excepting the many unsolicited submissions we received to the Dispatches site, which Mike and I handled) the many editors had full autonomy over their solicitations and selections. Full mutual trust, risky but necessary. Then we gathered all this stuff, after thousands of emails back and forth between everyone, and went through a million more logistical nightmarish details, and Mike heroically handled all the formatting and technical labors, because I don’t even know how to create a PDF, and we put it all together, handling a second and fourth round of nightmarish logistical details, and then we wrote the intro and sent it all off for final design to the talented Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, one of our co-editors, and here we are, after being at 770 pages, and then having to edit the formatting down to 740 at the last second, because the spine couldn’t handle the thickness otherwise. This all happened in less than ten weeks. Right now, as we write, Valentine’s Day, the pornographic complicity (in more ways than one) of the Trump clique with the Russian mafia is coming clearer and clearer. Love to you, from tens of thousands of poets in the world, neo-Fascist johns.
MB: It Jes’ Grew.
DD: Despite the dire political situation confronting the United States at this moment, your introduction strikes a hopeful note for “collective measures of performance and action that move beyond the printed page.” Could you talk about “the new dimensions of activist vision” that may energize poetry in the coming years?
MB: Poetry is resistance by its very nature. It exposes the structures of containment that bind us mentally and spiritually, and materializes acts of freedom that break through that containment. Some people, like William Blake, realized that and made their writing into an ongoing revelation of our condition, a weapon for liberation, an act of resistance that still propels us further, beyond those mental chains. Others just get an MFA or an advanced degree in Poetics and carry on with their poetry careers. With the rise of a mass movement, and I do think that is what we are seeing in relation to the naked aggression of Trump’s regime against decency, compassion, care, even the idea of “democracy” itself, (poetry) business as usual is over. Poetry that brings the news will become more and more a part of people’s daily lives.
KJ: What Mike says. And we should be especially keen right now to the experiences of poetic/cultural activist movements in other places and times, study them for lessons we might apply: experiences where poets have reimagined the very meaning of “poetry” and thus given it unsuspected powers of influence and inspiration within the broader dialectic of struggle. We mention a few of them in the introduction, like the example of the CADA group and its allies during the Pinochet period, in Chile. American poets should look at the cultural guerrilla tactics of vanguard groups like CADA and others and seek to apply them to current Trumpian conditions. The stage of ideological, transgressive struggle has been set by the neo-fascist theater producers themselves. It’s time to occupy that stage with epic cultural actions and anti-actions, moving the meaning of radical performance into four and more dimensions, trashing all the B-movie scripts they had dreamt of directing.
DD: Reading through the manuscript of the anthology, Pierre Joris’s piece, “A little contribution to a how-to of resistance” caught my eye. The piece ends:
Vision-in-resistance/ resistance-in-vision as essential
modes of action. (Revolution we’ve learned goes in circles, eats its own, creates bureaucra-
cies.) Bertolt Brecht said: What times are these when / To talk about trees is nearly a crime, /
Because it avoids speaking of all that’s evil! Paul Celan answered: What times are these / when
A conversation / is nearly a crime, / because it includes so much / that’s already been said. I
add: What times are these when a US President can define “real freedom” as the ability “for a
person or nation to make a living, to sell or buy.”
It seems to me that the dialogue enacted in these lines is emblematic of the anthology’s project as a whole. Could you riff off of Joris (and Celan, and Brecht) and discuss this dialogue?
MB: Well, the key is Pierre’s opening equation: vision-in-resistance / resistance-in-vision. We need to keep in mind that the struggle we are engaged in is not simply “political” in so far as that is defined as a negotiation/struggle for power in a civic arena. The power at stake is the power to define a world as we emerge from the wreckage of the last Sampo. Poetry is uniquely placed to respond to that necessity because of its freedom in language, its creative potential, its necessary but indeterminate meaning which is entangled with vision. Not all poetry does that. A lot of it is all about buying in. Pierre’s injunction is to keep the vision active and non-central because without that, the same old tyrannies, tyrannies of meaning and power which are like wave and particle in quantum mechanics, will be reborn with new names. What times are these is a really good question to keep in mind not as some kind of closure, but as an opening between or beyond the particular horrors of our moment.
KJ: If I could offer this thought, triggered by your reference to Brecht: One genre-avenue for poets in the coming period that could be more explored, at least in regards to insurgent poetic engagement, is Poet’s Theater. What unsuspected estrangement-effects might happen when poetry and theater interface? More theater by poets! Not the largely nihilistic, hollow kind that we have had since the late-Language poetry phase up through Flarf, but a vibrantly radical and committed new form of poetic staging, one that learns (albeit with critique!) from Brecht, Erwin Piscator, John Arden, and Margaretta D'Arcy, say. Not that I’m all that in-the-know about theater; I’m certainly not. But there’s a space of action for poets here, no question.
DD: Resist Much / Obey Little has eighteen editors. I was wondering if a few of the editors could give me a comment on their involvement in this project and the importance of this anthology right now.
Nita Noveno: This anthology is urgent literature for our democracy. Working on the editorial team with Mike, Kent, and the others for the past few months (all online) was a pleasure. They were responsive, flexible, and encouraging in what was a challenging process. I especially appreciated their openness and energy in the endeavor. It was all worth it for a formidable and inspiring book.
Philip Metres: I was happy to be a contributing editor, to solicit poems from other poets, as part of a wider chorus of resistance to the election of Donald Trump. The naysayers will say that this is not enough. Of course it isn't enough. Poems themselves can never replace the prose of political engagement (voting, calling and writing congress people, canvassing, writing letters to the editor, protesting, boycotting, divesting, and the rest) but poetry can be part of our vocal commitment to democratic life, to the quest for human liberation, social justice, and planetary health. In the end, I'm less interested in the rhetoric of resistance than I am in the possibilities of the revisionary imagination to create the beloved community.
Kass Fleisher: I wasn’t part of the Outrage Action (I call it) after the election—I had been working the election in three states—not the presidential, but for three senate races, in PA, IL, and CO. But when you’re phonebanking, you hear some weird shit (people say the damnedest things into their telephones…) so I knew this was going to go down hard. I was also working citizen journalism on Facebook and getting killed by the right *and* the left. And I’ve been a feminist activist since 1982 and had been telling anyone who would listen to me, No way does this country elect a woman in a landslide. (Usually I spared people the lecture on nativism.) So when people started shrieking from any platform they could find on November 9, I was not among them. I had predicted 3 recounts, and I was bummed that we weren’t getting the recounts I wanted. lol. (Just so you know how dumb I am: I predicted them in PA, NC, and someplace I now forget—I can check my records but I doubt anyone gives a damn. I had been saying, “Pennsylvania is the new Florida.” But NC was a shock to me. Did not see that coming. In my defense, neither did James Carville. (Ha.)
One of my bubbles is the poetry bubble, and the thing folks in that universe were shrieking in The Great Aftermath (:>) was, We have to make poetry, we have to make poems, we poets have to work through poetry, let’s make some poems, who can publish some poems. To be honest, my first thought was, Stop voting for the Green Party when you’re running against an idiot; and my second thought was, What can poetry achieve in this situation.
It wasn’t a question because, really, I thought—nothing.
But I’ll tell you what, and I speak now as an anthologist and a micro-press publisher, I really liked what Kent and Mike came up with. (And other people may have been involved; it was Kent who approached me.) It wasn’t a howl in the wilderness—they got very well organized very fast. I’m in awe of how fast, and I love the model of finding X number of editors and giving us the freedom to solicit and edit people/works of our choosing. That was genius, and they also cared nothing for aesthetic schools or “what kind of poetry”—we were told “relevant.”
Immediately I began to think of this as an avalanche of anti-inaugural poems. It was clear that the recently revived Inaugural Poet thing was not going to happen, and if poetry can achieve something in our current situation, it would have to be in an avalanche.
And that’s what we have here—a fucking avalanche of anti-inaugural poems. I loved getting to work with the people who answered my own call, and I loved working on their pieces, which were all over the place in terms of structure and topic and form—and so what I see now that the damn thing is together, is that this avalanche of poems has a function. I’m scheduling a launch for it in my remote area for a couple of reasons: one is that folks of all bubbles still need a place to gather and process and plan to activate in this environment; and because the avalanche is so impressive that they will gain an appreciation for poetry of wildly varying “types.”
The way this thing was put together was *perfect*; the outcome is reflective of that initial blast of organization. I wish I’d been in the room for that—I probably would’ve said, You people should’ve worked a polling place. I’m that kind of asshole, lol. Folks in this particular bubble, and I’m one of them—we tend to be quite isolated—we work alone—we don’t always get out much—my own writing pals are scattered to the winds—so, it’s great that they found this way to bring us together, and with this magnificent result.
Can’t say enough about what they achieved here. I’m grateful.
Andrew Levy: Resist Much / Obey Little is BIG, with the voices of 350 contributors. When Kent and Mike asked for my participation as a contributing editor on the anthology, I didn’t hesitate. We could have easily, with a little more time (and money), attracted 3500 poets with valuable things to say at this moment in our country’s history. I’m teaching a literature course at CUNY this spring. The following statement from Martin Luther King, Jr. is the epigraph to the course syllabus: “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed non-conformists…The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority… Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” (From Strength to Love)
Mindful of partisans such as Steve Bannon encouraging empire and its requisite illusions of apocalypse, whose armies of ruin offer paratory glances of an abandoned tomorrow, on the planet Earth the creatively maladjusted poets in Resist Much / Obey Little speak truth to power, thereby holding warring factions of American unreason accountable. How do mechanisms of social abandonment, in the imaginary hatred of the undevelopable, in a loss of sympathy for and understanding of the human and non-human, accompanied by the rise of nationalism, collide in silence with stultified invention, as, for example, in Trump’s nominations of Betsy DeVos, Jeff Sessions, his immigration ban, and further deplorable executive orders. Resist Much / Obey Little challenges that drift into a common “normalizing” chord that so much of America’s collective unconscious and corporate media is rife with. That’s a significant accomplishment.
DD: Could you tell us a bit about Kent’s new book published by Dispatches Editions, Homage to the Pseudo Avant-Garde?
MB: It collects Kent’s work since 2008. As with most of Kent’s writing, it is sui generis. I mean, it is all part of the tradition of satire, satirical resistance animates his work, but each address finds its own particular form, the necessary form. From Middle English rhyme to mini-biographies to prize lists to bumper sticker verse, Kent is always inventing what is necessary to the articulation. It is often hilarious, but always deadly serious. I’m poaching myself from my intro to the book, I admit.
KJ: If I may, and it’s the only thing I will say about the book, and this is entirely Mike’s doing (he is a master of book layout and design): It arguably has the most exciting cover image of any North American poetry book in the last decade. I got lucky.
DD: The titles of two forthcoming titles from Dispatches Editions seem quite timely: A poet's guide to the end of the world, by Lisa Jarnot, and The Metaphysics of Survival, by John Clarke. What can we expect from these two books?
MB: John Clarke is a sadly under-recognized writer, partly because of his relation to Charles Olson, but largely because he was a deeply democratic person, someone who was committed to his work with no sense of ambition beyond the community of its interest. But I think it was Al Cook who said that Jack went as far beyond Olson as Olson went beyond Pound. The book is a collection of various pieces by Jack. The center of it is a book within a book edited by his friend and colleague, Al Glover, called toward a #6. It is a collection of letters, poems, and bibliography which gives you a strong sense of the complexity, immense range, and dynamic of Jack’s thinking. In addition, there is a long piece called “Lots of Doom” that is a transcription of a “reading” from 1971, three essays he wrote on Charles Olson, and some odds and ends. Lisa Jarnot wrote a terrific introduction and Daniel Zimmerman wraps it up with a profound meditation called “Knowing Jack.” Lisa’s book is a mystery. You could say we commissioned it. So you know it will be perceptive, insightful, and with a sharp edge.
KJ: We also have others in the tentative works: A book of strange and moving serial manifestos by the mysterious OBU group, a book by Laynie Browne, a translation by Chris Daniels of the astonishing and almost hereabouts-unknown Brazilian poet Orides Fontela, a profound and hilarious book of aphorisms by John Bradley, a rich collection of Mike’s own essays, and numerous other surprises to be announced.
DD: I’d like to end our conversation with a poem from Resist Much / Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance. Would you select one and introduce it?
Mike and Kent: This is the poem, published in 1979, by the great and ridiculously neglected Umbra-group poet Lorenzo Thomas, which opens the book, as epigraph. It’s almost as if he were visited, back then, it seems to us, by some Nostradamus-like vision of January 20th, 2017. We suspect there wasn’t anything “mystical” involved, but there’s something here in the undercurrent, as they say, that seems compellingly channeled across the long present. Listen poets:
The land was there before us
Was the land. Then things
Began happening fast. Because
The bombs us have always work
Sometimes it makes me think
God must be one of us. Because
Us has saved the world. Us gave it
A particular set of regulations
Based on 1) undisputable acumen.
2) carnivorous fortunes, delicately
Referred to here as “bull market”
And (of course) other irrational factors
Deadly smoke thick over the icecaps,
Our man in Saigon Lima Tokyo etc etc
— Lorenzo Thomas
Michael Boughn's most recent book, City — A Poem from the End of the World, was published in 2016 by Spuyten Duyvil. Hermetic Divagations — After H.D. is forthcoming in March, 2017 from Swimmers Group in Toronto. Together with Victor Coleman, he edited Robert Duncan's The H.D. Book for University of California Press. He lives in Toronto.
(Kent on the Left) Kent Johnson's latest books are A Question Mark above the Sun: Documents on the Mystery Surrounding a Famous Poem "by" Frank O'Hara (Starcherone/Dzanc), I Once Met: A Partial Memoir of the Poetry Field (Longhouse Books), and Homage to the Pseudo Avant-Garde (Dispatches Editions). With Kristin Dykstra, he is editor of Materia Prima: Selected Poems of Amanda Berenguer, forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse.
Dante Di Stefano is the author of Love is a Stone Endlessly in Flight (Brighthorse Books, 2016). His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in Brilliant Corners, The Los Angeles Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere.