As I mentioned in my last post, my work appeared in two different publications today. The second: More sonnets from my ongoing sequence, “2021.05,” “2022.03,” and “2022.04,” are in The Kitchen Sink, a brand-new publication based in Oneonta, New York (where I currently reside) run by recent graduates of the State University of New York at Oneonta. Thanks to Alexis Ochi and the other editors for accepting my work. I’m also thrilled to have these poems published alongside work from one of my students at Hartwick College.
“2021.06,” “2022.01,” and “2022.05” in IceFloe Press
My work appeared in two different publications today. First, I’m thrilled to have more recent sonnets from my ongoing series, “2021.06,” “2022.01,” and “2022.05,” as part of a series of pandemic “Dispatches” at IceFloe Press. Thanks especially to Robert Frede Kenter for championing these poems and for the amazing visual poem collage he made to accompany my work.
“2022.06,” “2023.02,” “2023.03,” “2023.04,” and “2023.05–06″ in D.O.R (Deadly Orgone Radiation)
I’m delighted to have “2022.06,” “2023.02,” “2023.03,” “2023.04,” and “2023.05–06”—five very new sonnets—out in the second issue of D.O.R (Deadly Orgone Radiation), the journal publication of Lachlan J. McDougall‘s press, LJMcD Communications.
Paul Benzon to Deliver the 2022–23 Babcock Lecture at Hartwick College: “The Poetics and Politics of the Paralegible”
Paul Benzon will deliver the 2022–23 Babcock Lecture at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 in the Eaton Lounge of Bresee Hall at Hartwick College.
“The Poetics and Politics of the Paralegible”
What are the politics of writing—not at the level of language and discourse, but rather at the level of materiality and of the inscriptive mark itself? What might approaching writing as a material, visual practice have to tell us about issues of cultural identity, history, and power.
In the 2022–23 Babcock Lecture, Paul Benzon will explore these questions through a discussion of a mode of experimental writing he calls the paralegible. As the term suggests, the paralegible exists in the liminal space between the legible and the illegible, troubling the relations between the mark and the letter, the visible and the invisible. Simultaneously conjuring the desire to read and refusing that desire, it foregrounds questions of writing, authorship, and the textual trace. Turning to recent work by three artists—Renee Gladman, Hương Ngô, and Shirin Salehi—Benzon will show how the paralegible activates the political potentialities of writing that is at odds with language.
Paul Benzon (he/him/his) is an assistant professor in the English Department at Skidmore College, where he also teaches courses in the Media and Film Studies Program. He is the author of Archival Fictions: Materiality, Form, and Media History in Contemporary Literature (University of Massachusetts Press, 2021), and his writing has appeared in College Literature, electronic book review, Media-N, Narrative, and PMLA. His current project, from which this talk is drawn, considers how contemporary literary and artistic experimentations with print textuality, the book as an object, and textual and alphabetic design reckon with questions of historical trauma and social justice.
“Archives of Winter” in The Decadent Review
The third poem in my “Archives” series, “Archives of Winter,” is out in The Decadent Review; spring is forthcoming. (“Archives of Winter” originally appeared at Dispatches for the Poetry Wars, and was reprinted in the Poetics for the More-than-Human-World anthology.)
“2022.02” in Apocalypse Confidential
I have a new sonnet, “2022.02,” in Apocalypse Confidential.
“Archives of Autumn” in The Decadent Review
The second poem in my “Archives” series, “Archives of Autumn,” is out in The Decadent Review. Winter and spring are forthcoming.
“Archives of Summer” in The Decadent Review
The first poem in a short series, “Archives of Summer,” is out today in The Decadent Review. Further poems—“Archives of Autumn,” “Archives of Spring,” and a reprint of “Archives of Winter”—will appear in The Decadent Review as the year progresses. The “archive” poems are some of the final unpublished poems from my recently completed manuscript, Postrock.
2022–25 Cora A. Babcock Chair in English at Hartwick College
I am thrilled and honored to announced that for the next three years (2022–25), I will be the Cora A. Babcock Chair in English at Hartwick College. This position will support continued work on my current scholarly book project, Too Big to Read: The Megatext in the Twenty-First Century, the publication of my just completed poetry manuscript, Postrock, and my next two books of poetry, 2018–202X: Sonnets and Synthwave.
For a glimpse into this work in progress, see my recent essay, “‘Is an Archive Enough?’: Megatextual Debris in the Work of Rachel Blau DuPlessis,” and some select poem(s) from Postrock and from 2018–202X: Sonnets.
I also get to host an annual Babcock Lecture for the duration of the appointment [stay tuned].
Significant Others x Always Crashing: A Shadow Text Reading Series
On July 12, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. (EDT), as part of the Significant Others Reading Series—a “series dedicated to new books and the shadow texts that inspired them”—I’ll be giving an online reading of some of my sestinas from the latest issue of Always Crashing along with some of the poems in their background radiation. Mary Biddinger and Day Heisinger-Nixon will also be reading. Get the link to the reading here and order the issue here.