Hartwick College’s unique January Term (J-Term; my first!) is again starting off unconventionally, but I’m excited to be teaching an intensive month-long course on feminist poetry and poetics. The syllabus: ENGL 247 Four Modern American Poets: Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Bernadette Mayer, and Rachel Blau DuPlessis.
The most recent sonnets in my ongoing sequence will appear across two issues of Version (9) Magazine, a journal “fostering . . . space for . . . texts that relate to the world of theory” (they previously published some other poems of mine). “2020.07,” “2020.08,” “2020.09,” “2020.10,” and “2020.11” are in volume 1, issue 2. “2020.12,” “2021.01,” “2021.02,” “2021.03,” and “2021.04” will appear in early 2022 in the magazine’s third issue.
I am incredibly indebted to Samuel Verdin, editor of The Aesthetic Directory, for publishing “2015.04,” “2015.15,” “2015.18,” “2015.26,” “2016.02,” and “2016.28,” the last unpublished sonnets from 2013–2017: Sonnets, the first volume of my ongoing sonnet sequence.
Today, I was officially promoted to associate professor of English with tenure at Hartwick College.
This is the result of many years of hard work, but to a large degree, I owe this success to decades of support from friends, family, teachers, mentors, and colleagues. The people I would like to thank are too numerous to name individually, and I fear I would leave someone out if I attempted doing so, as so many have done so many things to help me achieve this lifelong goal. But I would like to thank, first of all, my wonderful students and current and former colleagues in and out of the Department of English at Hartwick College, all those who took the time out of their day to visit my classes, all those who wrote letters of support, including my external reviewers and students, and all those who talked with me about the process, providing crucial advice. I would also like to thank my colleagues up the road at SUNY Oneonta, my amazing students, teachers, mentors, fellow graduate students, and other colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh, and my students and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University. Thanks to all the anonymous reviewers over the years, the sometimes unseen/unheard but not unacknowledged people who have suggested my name for peer review or to contribute to a journal, and the many editors and publishers who have supported my work, with particular gratitude going to the editors and publishers of boundary 2, Blue Sketch Press, and Salò Press. And I have the deepest abiding gratitude and appreciation for my family and their endless patience listening to me talk about the job market and the tenure process. Most importantly, my partner and spouse: Racheal, I simply could not have done this without everything you bring to our family’s life and your oh-so-keen eye for errata. Your support has meant everything. And if I have somehow overlooked you amongst those mentioned above: thank you thank you thank you.
 For some of these individual thanks, see the acknowledgment pages of my dissertation, “The Apocalypse Archive: American Literature and the Nuclear Bomb” (2013), of my two books of poetry, The Rocking Chair (2015) and The Shape of Things (2017), in various articles (here, here, here, and elsewhere too) and interviews (also here), and in works in process and to come.
Camilla Nelson has written a thoughtful and incisive review of Poetics for the More-Than-Human World: An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary, edited by by Mary Newell, Bernard Quetchenbach, and Sarah Nolan, published last year by Spuyten Duyvil (and in which I have a couple poems). The review appeared in vol. 2, no. 1 of Ecocene: Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities.
The start to this academic year is again unconventional, but feeling much closer to normal, especially owing to Hartwick College’s reopening plans. I’m again teaching two frequently taught creative writing courses and revisiting Poetry and Technology. The syllabi:
My essay, “‘Is an Archive Enough?’: Megatextual Debris in the Work of Rachel Blau DuPlessis,” has been published in Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture 54, no. 1 (April 2021): 139–65. This issue is the first of two special issues on “Big, Ambitious Novels by Twenty-First-Century Women,” edited by Courtney Jacobs and James Zeigler. The second issue will be released in July 2021. I also have an interview with DuPlessis forthcoming in boundary 2. I’ve included an abstract of my essay below, along with a table of contents.
I am particularly proud of this essay, as I wrote it predominantly during the summer of 2020–the height of lockdown–and during which we had no childcare and I couldn’t access the library nor my campus office, including its books. Lots of people to thank, consequently, but particularly Racheal Fest, Courtney Jacobs and James Zeigler for their hard work putting this together during an incredibly difficult year, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, and Dawn Baker, Hartwick’s interlibrary loan librarian. (There are more acknowledgments on the first page of my essay.) This essay is also the second published chapter from my work in progress, Too Big to Read: The Megatext in the Twenty-First-Century. For other related work on megatexts and hyperarchivalism, see:
In the twenty-first century, digital technologies have made it possible for writers and artists to create massively unreadable works through computational and collaborative composition, what the author has elsewhere called megatexts. The ubiquity of texts appearing across media that are quite literally too big to read—from experimental novels to television, film, and video games—signals that the megatext is an emergent form native to the era of neoliberalism. But what happens to other long forms, such as the twentieth-century long poem, when written in an era of megatextuality? Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s work, including Drafts (1987–2013) and Traces, with Days (2017–), readily suggests itself as a case study for thinking through a megatextual impulse in the twenty-first-century long poem. Though her work is plainly indebted to its modernist precursors (H.D., Pound, Williams, etc.) while disavowing at every level of its composition a patriarchal will toward totality, DuPlessis’s various experiments in the long poem are also thoroughly contemporary and respond to the economic, military, political, and environmental transformations of the neoliberal era by drawing upon and producing fragmentary, megatextual debris. This essay positions DuPlessis’s work amidst a larger twenty-first-century media ecology, which includes both the megatext and the big, ambitious novel, and argues that rather than simply (and futilely) resist the neoliberal cultural logic of accumulation without end, DuPlessis hypertrophically uses the megatext’s phallogocentric form against itself in order to interrogate more broadly what it means—socially, culturally, economically—to write a long poem in the age of hyperarchival accumulation.
“Big, Ambitious Novels by Twenty-First-Century Women, Part 1,” Genre 54, no. 1 (April 2021).