Earthbound Poetry Series, Vol. 1, No. 31 emerged earlier this week out of London. 3 poems comprise it: “House”, “Three Bags”, and “Pro”. Its cover artwork is taken from Tommi Parish’s series, Men I Trust. Purchase.
Out today at Social Text Online is a poem sequence called Meals that I completed at the end of 2019.
Philological Quarterly 98.4 (2019) has graciously published my discussion of Prynne’s commentaries. The essay is a bit cramped, but contains things about philology, commentary, and tries to tease out some theoretical convictions lurking behind Prynne’s adaptation of that form. Here’s an excerpt:
Such commentaries represent a renovation of commentary as critical
practice in English studies. Neither their interdisciplinarity nor their den-
sity is unique; critics as different as Erich Auerbach, Giorgio Agamben,
Helen Vendler, and Jacques Derrida have shown what can be done with
and through commentary. But Prynne’s commentary is of an extreme kind:
a radicalized version of close reading that frames the poem as a locus of
convergent and contradictory tendencies whose sedimentation supersedes
both author and reader. Despite the brilliant adumbrations in the margins,
the commentary retains its marginality by making the poem into a cur-
riculum. Never has the aesthetic autonomy of the single poem been so
challenged than by so intensely focusing on a single poem.
This book collects poetic work written between 2014 and 2018, including Story One, The Meritocrat, and The Last Shyness. It includes a new sequence, as well: the titular Old Business.
From the editors:
The poetry of Ryan Dobran begins in a congenial, observational mode and crystallizes swiftly into an engrossing lattice of voice and affect, a prismatic language that pivots unassumingly through shades of the quotidian and the disenchanted, the earnest and the circumspect, the ingenuous and the vatic. It is a recognizably contemporary poetry: familiar discourses and lifeworlds made uncanny by an exacting realism, conscientious of the creaturely and all-too-embodied travails of a rapidly immaterializing modernity, persistently shot through with fleeting glimpses of those distributed, elusively disciplinary forces—of law, finance, technology—that everywhere impinge locally and yet evade global apprehension. At the same time, there is yet something about Dobran’s clear-eyed view out onto the actual existing world that bestows a kind of proleptic clarity on the Skinner box of the present: the poetic defamiliarization at play is not the techno-stunned alienation of modernism but something older and more stoic, comic, or forgiving, not didactic and yet in its composure quietly instructive.
Here it is. It’s a thing. Golias Books order page not up yet but coming soon.