Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Interview with Schloss-Post

Clara Herrmann of Schloss-Post (Akademie Schloss Solitude) conducted this interview with me regarding Occupy Poetics.

For the most part, I felt there was a potential historical value in a lot of this material, so I wanted to preserve that sense of the work’s artifactuality. I, for one, would write something very different now were I asked to address the political landscape, but I feel it is important to see a process, if only a process of becoming a little less ignorant and naïve regarding the truth of one’s place in the world, or of simply changing one’s perspective. I think Amiri Baraka is a kind of hero in this regard because his works stage the drama of changing one’s mind and position. Which is to say, they dramatize a process of becoming the person he is, which is of course ever-mutable, always changing, in relation to his contemporaries and contemporary events. This is also why as a general rule I refuse to rewrite poems years after their composition; because time changes how I write, and I want to admit time into the poems in different ways. Without acknowledging these time signatures/stamps, which become more acute with age, something is lost. Something proper to a moment, occasion, process, configuration, relation, or event.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Maj Hasager's Making Visible

The publication MAKING VISIBLE is the extended version of the film project We will meet in the blind spot, which takes its point of departure from the architecture in and around the Esposizione Universale di Roma (EUR) area in Rome. We will meet in the blind spot is intended as a document of stories and voices that are often lacking in the discussion on migration, both in an Italian context as well as within a broader European perspective. Through encounters with a local Filipino community that is centred on a church in EUR, stories and voices were revealed and the project departs from their personal accounts.

MAKING VISIBLE consists of writings and interviews by Thom Donovan, Francesco Innamorati, Maj Hasager, Silvia Litardi, Karen Mette Fog Pedersen, Lorenzo Romito and Alina Serban. 

Rabbit Ears

Thank you to Joel Allegretti for including my poem for Snooki/Jersey Shore in his anthology of TV Poems, Rabbit Ears.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Left Melancholy in Solitude Atlas

A part of my "anti-memoir," Left Melancholy, appears in Schloss Atlas, a collection documenting the  writings and projects by fellows of Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Review of Stephanie Gray's Shorthand and Electric Language Stars

in PPNL:

"When I come to the end of many of these poems, I find myself starting at the beginning, puzzling at how Gray got from point A to point B. The poems don’t move syllogistically, but through the improvisation of a psychological process. Sometimes they are diaristic, recounting events from the day. Sometimes they are more structural, even procedural. Many of them are about knowing (and what one doesn’t or can’t know, for lack of information)."

Friday, September 18, 2015

Two events in and around Detroit (9/26 and 9/27)

The weekend of September 26th-27th I will be participating in the following events in Detroit and Ypsilanti, Michigan. 

First, a reading and conversation with Tyrone Williams at the home of Rob Halpern and Lee Azus:

Saturday September 26
319 Garland Street in Ypsilanti
Gathering begins 7:30
Readings will begin at 8PM

Second, I will be hosting a poetry reading and moderating a conversation with Detroit natives Isaac Pool, Anna Vitale, and Tyrone Williams, as part of Cara Benedetto's art show at Michael Jon Gallery, The Human Bookmark.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I am very excited to announce the publication of Occupy Poetics, a collection of writings, interviews, and statements that I produced with many others between the fall of 2011 through the winter of 2014. Thank you to Andy Fitch and the staff at Essay Press for taking on this project as part of their incredible chapbook series. I am profusely grateful to my many collaborators and interlocutors in this book, for their original participations and for allowing me to reprint their words: Brian Ang, Steve Benson, Ana Božičević, David Brazil, Brandon Brown, David Buuck, Anelise Chen, Stephen Collis, Lara Durback, Jack Frost, Dan Thomas Glass, Evan Kennedy, Ben Kinmont, Lauren Levin, Richard Owens, Jen Scappettone, Suzanne Stein, Anna Vitale, Jeanine Webb, Kathy Westwater, and Brian Whitener. Occupy everything!

Friday, September 11, 2015


ATTN: Issue 1ATTN: is an event-based journal. Twice a year, we ask poets to document whatever it is that has their attention on a particular day (poems, notes, sketches, collage, reviews, screen grabs, etc). Work is done on 8.5 x 11″ sheets, then mailed to the FOBW press address. Covers are letter pressed & laser printed, and all contributions are xeroxed and included as is. Each issue documents communities of attention in their moment of attention.
The first issue features contributions from Amanda Ackerman, Harold Abramowitz, Will Alexander, Kimberly Alidio, Andrea Beltran, Sarah Campbell, Jessica Ceballos, Chen Chen, Ching-In Chen, Chiwan Choi, Norma Cole, Allison Noelle Conner, Beverly Dahlen, Janet Dandridge, Michelle Detorie, Spencer Dobbs, Thom Donovan, Julia Drescher, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Esperanza, Susan Gevirtz, Robert Glück, Whit Griffin, Donald Guravich, Rob Halpern, Jen Hofer, Brenda Iijima, Bhanu Kapil, John Keene, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Kim Koga, Joanne Kyger, Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Aditi Machado, C.J. Martin, Cassie Nicholson, Connor Nicholson, Duncan Nicholson, Maximo Spinoza Ontiveros, Maryam Parhizkar, Kristin Prevallet, Andrea Quaid, Eléna Rivera, Carlos Soto Román, Jocelyn Saidenberg, Ash Smith, Margaret Tedesco, Shannon Tharp, Anne Waldman, Alli Warren, and Jane Wong.
For a discount on the cover price, subscribe to ATTN: here or here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015





Pre-order pricing
$45 institutions
$25 individuals

Send cheques (payable to Michael Cross) to
ON Contemporary Practice
2556 Frances Street
Oakland, CA 94601

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An inquiry into the languages of bodies and the bodies of languages, Eleni Stecopoulos’ Visceral Poetics enacts literary scholarship as somatic practice. Opening new directions in poetry and poetics as well as literature and medicine, Stecopoulos argues for the body’s poetic agency, for a criticism viscerally attuned to the treatments of language, and for a different understanding of the therapeutic potency of art.

Visceral Poetics articulates a remarkable field of correspondences between the formal and linguistic techniques of modern writers and the modalities and diagnostic techniques of holistic medicines. Focusing on works by Antonin Artaud and Paul Metcalf that connect voyage to somatic transformation, Stecopoulos illuminates a history of quests to heal what she calls “the chronic syndrome of the West.” Stecopoulos also enlists her own experiences with medicine in a dialogue between treating texts and treating one’s body. Blending virtuosic close readings, performative writing of the author’s encounters with diverse healing systems, interdisciplinary research, and poetry, Visceral Poetics gives us a body that can “overwrite discourses of pathology with currents of empathy.”

In new readings of some of the most opaque elements of Artaud’s oeuvre, Stecopoulos explores his collaboration with pain and use of energetic principles derived from modalities like homeopathy and acupuncture. She revisits the poetry and “translation therapy” of Artaud’s asylum years, understanding his exoticism as a technology of healing through world languages. Stecopoulos animates the complicated role of Artaud’s multiethnic background and ties his translations to histories of linguistic imagination situated in colonial encounter and nationalist and imperialist strategies. Visceral Poetics also includes one of the few sustained meditations on Metcalf’s documentary narrative Genoa: A Telling of Wonders, a hybrid text that becomes a navigation of Western disease and the imperial conceptions to which American letters bear witness.

A critique both of the ways institutions disembody us and the primitivism that persists in heterodox seeking, Visceral Poetics undertakes a profound journey through language and energy, kinship and estrangement. It joins the tradition of American poets’ scholarship exemplified by Charles Olson’s Call Me Ishmael and Susan Howe’s The Birth-mark, yet does something uniquely its own—a grand refusal of the division between who feels and who interprets.

Stecopoulos’s book is the second in ON Contemporary Practice’s Monograph Series, which features extensive essays and collections by single authors as well as collections by multiple authors regarding discourses in contemporary poetics.


Eleni Stecopoulos is singularly aware of a healing power in poetry that touches the most obscure depths of our carnal existence. She seeks to uncover “how the body in its opaque poetry can be homeopathically treated by poetry—as aesthetic, not anaesthetic, therapy.” Eleni Stecopoulos’s researches open an important field for investigation and practice: the healing force of language, of poetry.

-         Alphonso Lingis

Searching in real time, thinking/feeling as writing, this tour de force of authentic scholarship reaches far back to the matrix of writing/embodiment at the crux of human consciousness, far forward into a modernism (Artaud, Metcalf) that explores the edges of such embodied writing, and in all directions as Stecopoulos’s every insight emerges from and remains immersed in a surround of the immediately personal. This is a lyrical study of great depth, an epic poem of experiential erudition.

-         Maria Damon

Eleni  Stecopoulos’s brilliantly provocative, syncretic manifesto identifies idiopathic disease with ideolectical poetics, pathology with anomaly – the flesh of the text and the text of the flesh – bringing home the liberatory potential for visceral readings of the unintelligible. For Stecopoulos, diagnosis is a practice of aesthetic translation and poetry a quest for knowledge outside the disabling strictures of Western rationalism. Written in lyric bursts of telegraphic intensity, Stecopoulos follows her guides, Artaud and Metcalf, through veils of suffering in order to repossess, from the jaws of evisceration, her own life – and ours.

-         Charles Bernstein

In a thick rich book of Artaudian trickster moves, Eleni Stecopoulos performs healing rituals upon medical practices and cultural prescriptions, writing toward her own healing process, with opacity as sustaining wayfarer and shield against early collapse. Disease emerges as narrative symptom for disconnect, and language becomes subtle homeopathy, weaves a new myth, for suffering writers and suffering war-torn worlds, in a visceral poetics based on Artaud’s asylum writings: “a rhythm of exorcism against the drying out of opium by conspiracies and consecrations” (Artaud, Selected Writings).

-         Petra Kuppers

Experience what “radiates from a text,” “the gravity at the core of theater” in this long awaited critical work from Eleni Stecopoulos, the genesis of her Poetics of Healing—a curated series of stages in which these ideas are enacted and the isolated patient finds place in a complicated communal as both are changed. Placing the psychic reading of the body that refuses with will next to the reading of poetries claimed unreadable, she makes a document of vital forms for a new kind of scholarship, for a new and ancient kind of person or poet one and the same in the hopes that they won’t be re-swallowed by the dominant but will find their own breath. A breath that will resist and resist singularity and in the failures or blocks, the resetting, find the choral-tragic—through a different kind of reading/witnessing. The violences of a larger social body made visible though a syncope pressing right up against poetry.  In this epic lyric, everything and nothing at once.  In “a form that holds, rather than explains”—the mystery of how this beautiful important project came to be.

-         Melissa Buzzeo

The central question of Visceral Poetics is how to be. How to be a body. How to be a body in pain, a body not in pain. How to be a thinker, a scholar, a writer about literary works. How to be a poem too. It is unusual for a piece of literary criticism to take on such weighty questions. And Eleni Stecopoulos gives us no easy answers as she consults various forms of literatures and healing, questioning all of them and her relationship to them too. And as she does this she writes a book that is beautiful and moving, a life’s work dedicated to the work of living.

-         Juliana Spahr

Monday, August 10, 2015


--after Marcus Rediker

Caring for their captors
Like capital wasn't

Living in us the fictive
Kinship of these ships

Ethnogenesis and a way
Forgiveness has of escaping

With our freedom -- only
Those women could know

On the docks this allyship
Of survivors, heroism

Of their mercy how
The civilly dead care

For the civilly dead --
Though skin made a

Difference, though there
Was once the hold they

Sung this song for
The End of the world.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Hiroshima-Nagasaki feature (essay)

HIROSHIMA, AUGUST 6, 1945 // NAGASAKI, AUGUST 9, 1945—the August 2015 issue of Evening Will Come (The Volta), feat. correspondence, drawings, essays, interactive erasures, journal entries, music, photography, poems, remembrances, sculptures, songs, stories, talks, and translations, by Etel Adnan, Jeffrey Angles, Roland Barthes, Daniel Borzutzky, David Buuck, Don Mee Choi, Dot Devota, Thom Donovan, Rokusuke Ei, April Naoko Heck, Brenda Iijima, Hiromi Ito, Joy Division, Yukiyo Kawano, Erika Kobayashi, Eve Andrée Laramée, Kenji C. Liu, Kyo Maclear, Wong May, John Melillo, Collier Nogues, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Tomoe Otsuki, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Brandon Shimoda, Karen McAlister Shimoda, elin o'Hara slavick, Hiroshi Sunairi, Itaru Takahara, Roberto Tejada, Jalal Toufic, Hannah Weiner, Elizabeth Willis, Kenji Yanobe, Yasuhiro Yotsumoto, and Raúl Zurita. Photograph (above) by Shōmei Tōmatsu. Designed by Afton Wilky.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Future Citizen (statement)

at TTTV's X21 series

The 21st Century requires that I put my own body, ideas, emotions, time, breath, and resources on the line in order to build relationships of solidarity and kinship with those who would attempt to usher in (revolutionary) change—change that reorders the violent structures of our world. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Discussion with Margarita Sánchez Urdaneta


Margarita Sánchez Urdaneta will screen her film Mouth Filled Ash. The work reflects on how accounts of forced disappearances, mass graves, and terror tactics are obtained and framed in Colombia. Margarita Sánchez Urdaneta will be joined by the Thom Donovan in an examination of the relationship between accountability and forensics.

The event is organized in conjunction with
 the Whitney Independent Study Studio Program Exhibition, on view June 9 - June 27, 2015 at EFA Project Space.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Interview with Maj Hasager


"I do believe in a sort of slow art, at least in terms of production, and your framing of »an art that is careful to use time itself as a means of overcoming exploitation and expropriation« resonates very well with my thinking around methodologies. Specifically in the sense that there can be an alternative to the rush of newness in the art world—both in terms of production of objects as commodities as well as in relation to sociopolitically engaged art practices that can easily be highly commodified as well. Working conditions for artists or any other cultural producer often equate to a very short time frame and little pay to develop substantial projects. I would say that to me, the artistic process is a long-term commitment to people and places in order to be able to listen carefully to their personal narratives, to gain a larger understanding of a specific historical and cultural background—which does not necessarily stem from my own cultural background and experiences—before making a visual and textual interpretation.”—Maj Hasager