Last night I was the featured writer at the monthly Writers’ Salon at the Center for the Arts Network of Oneonta in Oneonta, New York. Among other poems, I read “Symphony of the Great Transnational,” a long poem from my first book, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015). Here is a link to the recording; a slightly different version of the poem was originally published in Spork in 2007.
I am happy to announce that my first volume of poetry, The Rocking Chair, is forthcoming from Blue Sketch Press in 2015. I have worked on this book for many years and am delighted that it is finally seeing the light of day. Here is a description. More info to come.
The Rocking Chair by Bradley J. Fest
Bradley J. Fest’s debut work, The Rocking Chair, is a long poem that emerges from the detritus of contemporaneity, absorbing and accumulating whatever it can from the networked chaos of the overmediated present. Assembled from science fiction and the western, critical theory and hardcore, videogames and phenomenology, footnotes and simulation, diabolism and hyperarchivalism (etc.), this work yawps through diverse material and discursive registers. Working from the footnote and endnote as primary formal constraints, Fest invents a poetry in conversation with the Man with No Name as much as John Ashbery, Alain Badiou, Stephen Hawking, or The Blood Brothers. The poems abuse textuality through misplaced rigor and confused genre archetypalism, across sections and subsections of lyric reflection and play, in order to discover vibrant and vital materialitites. As humorous as it is deeply serious—declaring the task of “making anxiety fun”—The Rocking Chair enacts a radical poetics of assemblage and emergence, seeking to articulate some way of being and an imaginary commensurate with life in the twenty-first century.