Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Others Letters: Dana Ward (@ Harriet)


"So much to say, but one thing I’m curious as to yr thinking is the sort of standardized sense of how poetry becomes public. I’ve noticed, both in listening to your reading the other morning, & then in reading some of your notes at Harriet, perhaps in some of the comment fields there, that you talk about the absence of a standard trade edition of your work, or have a sense of its belatedness/potential, depending. Very interested in you talking about how Wild Horses of Fire performed some of that work in advance of/in tandem with the absence of, a more normative mode of tech. bringing it into the world–the perfect bound book. What’s your sense of the latter’s import outside of its obvious practical use–having a physical object to put into the hands of others. Do you think/write at the scale of ‘the poetry book’ as it stands as currently administered thing 80-150 pages? As someone in a place similar to you–a lot of poetry with no real physical center of gravity–wondering what your desires are to this end? I have a nagging sense of dissatisfaction, centered primarily around the fact that the work I make rarely wants to open out over the course of 60 pgs. Shorter interrelated quasi-serial works, more like constellations really, seem for me to be the way correspondence/ togetherness exerts its magnetisms between poems. Then there’s really from there but a ’stack dump’ of shorter books into this form. Vexing! Always this beautiful problem of how to be public, my favorite problem."
--Dana Ward

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