Tag Archives: spring 2009


edited by Judith Rugg and Michèle Sedgwick Intellect Books ($60) by Patricia Healy McMeans Issues in Curating Contemporary Art and Performance presents itself as a forward-thinking topical discussion around the blurred and often contentious lines between curator and artist. On closer examination, though, and with a bit of detective work, it reveals itself as simply a […]


Gary Copeland Lilley Ausable Press ($14) by John Jacob In Gary Copeland Lilley’s arresting volume Alpha Zulu, the long poem “Serial,” reads: She’s a collection of worn edges until I push the blade towards her heart. One hand keeping God’s name inside her mouth. I look into her eyes as she leaves. As Kim Addonizio notes […]

SIGNAL FROM DRACO: New and Selected Poems

Mebane Robertson Black Widow Press ($17.95) by Christopher Kondrich “Some guests are givens; some, some they surprise,” Mebane Robertson concludes the first poem in Signal from Draco. Either way, they disrupt a lonesome man’s party. This is a fitting metaphor for Robertson’s entire collection; he is the operator of some guest-producing contraption and the guests are […]


THE O MISSION REPO (VOL. 1) a Repo of the O Mission Error Attacks on Unit Travis Macdonald Fact-Simile Editions ($12) LETTERS FROM ABU GHRAIB Joshua Casteel Essay Press ($12.95) by Elizabeth Robinson The O mission Repo and Letters from Abu Ghraib, are worthy of attention not merely for their politically charged subject matter but also for the distinctive […]

DISORIENTATIONS: Art On The Margins of the Contemporary

Travis Jeppesen Social Disease ($31.95) by John Holten “If one were to compare Henri Matisse’s work to something, it would have to be an orange”—so goes Guillaume Apollinaire’s memorable description of the great modernist painter’s work. Apollinaire’s criticism presents some of the most engaging, inventive words on the early years of modern art, applying the […]

PUNCTUATION: Art, Politics, and Play

Jennifer DeVere Brody Duke University Press ($21.95) by Gregory Kirk Murray A puncturing of semantic space, Jennifer DeVere Brody’s Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play performs at every turn a subversive politics that celebrates the margins as places where the real deal goes down. The author’s prefatory “For(e)thought” eschews the traditional introduction for a less argumentative, less confrontational starting […]

ON CRITICISM (Thinking in Action)

Noël Carroll Routledge ($19.95) by Nigel Beale This book is best read by the light of another, John Carey’s What Good are the Arts? (Oxford University Press, 2006), a witty, truculent, masterful polemic which argues that a “work of art is anything that anyone has ever considered a work of art, though it may be a work […]

RIMBAUD: The Double Life of a Rebel

Edmund White Atlas & Co. ($14) by Burke Bindbeutel Modern art has no Great Disruptor like Arthur Rimbaud. Paul Valéry, who emulated him decades after his death, put a fine point on it when he wrote, “before Rimbaud, all poetry was written in the language of common sense.” From the sticks of Charleville, France he […]

ANTOINE’S ALPHABET: Watteau and His World

Jed Perl Vintage ($15) by W. C. Bamberger I have a fondness for books that employ alphabetical structures. In the best of them—Louis Zukofsky’s Bottom: On Shakespeare, Steve Katz’s Wier & Pouce, Walter Abish’s Alphabetical Africa, among others—the alphabet isn’t simply a paint-by-number for arranging random thoughts, but alloys with the content to create unexpectedly strong effects. Jed Perl’s study […]

VOICES FROM THE NORTH: New Writing from Norway

edited by Vigdis Ofte & Steinar Sivertsen translated by John Irons, James Anderson, Deborah Dawkin, Erik Skuggevik, Ren Powell, Don Bartlett, and May-Brit Akerholt The Maia Press / Dufour ($21.95) by Poul Houe The early 1990s saw the publication of such titles as Gillian Tindall’sCountries of the Mind: The Meaning of Place to Writers and James Howard […]