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The Aesthetic Directory, for publishing “2015.04,” “2015.15,” “2015.18,” “2015.26,” “2016.02,” and “2016.28,” the last unpublished sonnets from 2013–2017: Sonnets, the first volume of my ongoing sonnet sequence.
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).
I didn’t get a lot of writing done this year, but some of the little I did is out today near its close. I am thrilled and honored to have the first of my pandemic sonnets—“2020.01,” “2020.02,” “2020.03,” “2020.04,” “2020.05,” and “2020.06”—in the online arm of Always Crashing. I also had important poems from the sonnet project, including the “long sonnet” “2016.36: Preface,” out in issue three of Always Crashing earlier this year. Thanks so much to the editors’ ongoing support of my work and this project.
“2015.09,” “2016.27,” “2018.01,” “2019.01,” and “2019.02,” sonnets from my ongoing sequence, are in the fifth issue of Call Me [Brackets], “Chaos.”
Black Lives Matter
Gina Cherelus, “How We Juneteenth.”
Mariame Kaba, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.”
R. H. Lossin, “In Defense of Destroying Property.”
b2o Review, “COVID-19 Dossier.”
Hortense J. Spillers, “Apocalypse Now and Then.”
Charles Bernstein, “Herd Immunity.”
Nathan L. Grant, “Horseman No. 5.”
The A-Line Editorial Staff, “Convergence 5: Apocalypse Now and Then.”
Adrian Parr, “Pandemic Urbanism.”
Hamilton Nolan, “There Is No Plan (For You).”
Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks . . . .
Cornel West, “A Boot Is Crushing American Democracy.”
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People.”
Roxane Gay, “Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us.”
Jeet Heer, “The Fire This Time.”
Melvin Rogers, “We Should Be Afraid, But Not of Protesters.”
Matthew Dessem, “Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide.”
Jamelle Bouie, “The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It.”
Joshua Clover, “66 Days.”
Barbara Ehrenreich, “A Journalist Marked by Police Violence.”
Greg Afinogenov, “Everything Could Be Free.”
Mara Gay, photographs by Jordan Gale, “The Nation’s Largest Police Force Is Treating Us as an Enemy.”