Volume 42, Number 3: Art & Poetics

April 2024

Lift to the ideal space of “Art & Poetics”. Breathe deeply and remain buoyed in this lofty inspired ether. In this issue we find, in the conversations, articles, prose and poetry, that the idea of poetry if not the form itself is woven with and between words and images — as impetus, matter, solace and hosannah.

For painter Alex Katz poetry was central right from the start. Go back to the 60s when poets were where he found himself located because, “I thought the poetry scene was very radical and had a lot of energy. That’s where I wanted to be,” he told Border Crossings. This supportive productive collaboration continued through his career and in this issue we also talked with Vincent Katz, asking if he had early memories of growing up surrounded by poets. His response was peopled by the poets in this milieu: Frank O’Hara, Kenward Elmslie, Joe Brainard, Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Bill Berkson, Anne Waldman, Lewis Warsh. A brief biographical note indicates the outcome of this setting. Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, critic, editor and curator.

Barry Schwabsky is a critic and art historian who writes with authority, and dazzlingly, on painting. He is also a poet. He has combined these elements, writing an article for this issue, titled “Painting, Poetry, Impasse” in which he looks closely and with regard at the work of three individuals who have also combined poetry and images: Elise Asher, Milton Resnick and Matthew Wong. And so the issue goes: surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim and her poetry; Stephen Horne writing a “Precarious Balance” and querying the work of Vija Celmins, Pierre Dorion, Cecilia Vicuña, Yam Lau and Irma Blank; Anne Carson whose interview in this issue is titled, “Sparkly Bits, Words with Thoughts in Them,” and pictures too, I add, and whose interview opens with a drawing of her own; painter Michael Smith whose work and words indicate a firm connection between poetics and visual aesthetics; and poetry by Susan Musgrave to break your heart but still have you sing; as well as prose by Lisa Robertson and Anne Carson and more from Vincent Katz — this time poems. And why not engage with Finnegans Wake?

“Art & Poetics” is a rich feast leaving you satisfied but ready for more.

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