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Thursday, March 26 • 2:30pm - 3:45pm
Pataphysical Innovations: A Reading and Discussion with Apostrophe Books

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Although Apostrophe Books has defined itself as a publisher of “innovative poetry,” our authors have transgressed even this label by making all generic categories of writing somewhat suspect. From Tony Trigilio’s conceptual deformation of Don DeLillo’s White Noise to Joe Milazzo’s bizarre and haunting palimpsests to Gina Abelkop’s sinister and surreal mock romances, Apostrophe writers don’t simply perform “interventions on movements, canons, timelines, and other gatekeepers of the status quo,” they eschew whatever’s on the other side of those gates all together. 

The mantra at Apostrophe is not simply innovation, but pataphysical innovation. This means the philosophy of the absurd, the ecology of hypothetical experience, the science of imaginary solutions. Our authors challenge categories and genre distinctions most often associated with literature and poetry via discourse that intersects philosophy, cultural studies, theory, and, especially, pataphysics. By investigating language and consciousness through conceptual operations, parody & pastiche, Oulipo-like methods, surrealist conceits, and cross-genre experiments, these writers expand potential definitions of literature. The intersection of poetic discourse with pataphysics involves an “anti-metaphysical” trajectory that delights in the uncertain and indeterminate nature of human experience; a kind of postmodern negative capability. Our writers subvert the idea of a “well-crafted” poem by disclosing its own operations and undermining presumptions about what constitutes a poem. 

After a short introduction from the editors (Mark Tursi and Richard Greenfield), five APOSTROPHE authors (Tony Trigilio, Joe Milazzo, Catherine Meng, Gina Abelkop and Johannes Göransson) will read their work. A panel discussion with the writers and editors concerning the characteristics of our aesthetic followed by questions from the audience.

avatar for Mark Tursi

Mark Tursi

Adjunct Professor, Marymount Manhattan College & New Jersey City University
Mark Tursi is the author of four books of poetry: Brutal Synecdoche, The Impossible Picnic, Shiftless Days, and, forthcoming in fall 2018, The Uncanny Valley. He is one of the founding editors of Apostrophe Books, an innovative press devoted to publishing poetry that intersects philosophy... Read More →

avatar for Gina Abelkop

Gina Abelkop

Gina Abelkop (murmuringambrosia@gmail.com) is the author of Darling Beastlettes (Apostrophe Books, 2012) and I Eat Cannibals (coimpress, 2014). She lives in Athens, GA, where she runs the DIY feminist press Birds of Lace.

Johannes Goransson

University of Notre Dame

Richard Greenfield

Richard Greenfield (editor@apostrophebooks.org), Co-Founder and Co-editor of Apostrophe Books, is the author of Tracer (Omnidawn 2009) and A Carnage in the Lovetrees (University ofCalifornia Press, 2003).

Catherine Meng

Catherine Meng (yingpow@yahoo.com) is the author of the full-length poetry collections The Longest Total Solar Eclipse of the Century (SplitLevel Texts, 2013) and Tonight’s the Night (Apostrophe Books, 2007). She lives in Berkeley, CA with her family.
avatar for Joe Milazzo

Joe Milazzo

Joe Milazzo (jrmilazzo@gmail.com) is a writer, editor, educator, and designer. He is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie (Jaded Ibis Press) and The Habiliments (Apostrophe Books, forthcoming), a volume of poetry. He also co-edits the online interdisciplinary arts journal... Read More →
avatar for Tony Trigilio

Tony Trigilio

Tony Trigilio's recent poetry collections are Book 1 of "The Complete 'Dark Shadows' (of My Childhood)" (BlazeVOX Books, 2014) and "White Noise" (Apostrophe Books, 2013). He is editor of "Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments" (Ahsahta Press, 2014). He directs the program in Creative... Read More →

Thursday March 26, 2015 2:30pm - 3:45pm PDT

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