Joan Retallack

Author, Editor

Joan Retallack is a poet and essayist with a background in philosophy and visual arts. Poetry volumes include Errata 5uite (Edge Books) chosen by Robert Creeley for a Columbia Book Award; AFTERRIMAGES (Wesleyan); How To Do Things With Words (Sun & Moon Classics); Procedural Elegies / Western Civ Cont’d (Roof Books)—an Artforum Best Book of 2010. She has received a Lannan Poetry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and two Gertrude Stein Awards. Her friendship with John Cage led to MUSICAGE (Wesleyan), a volume of their conversations on Cage’s compositional poetics. Retallack’s The Poethical Wager (California) is a widely influential sequence of experimental essays on ethics and poetics, as well as the form of the essay itself. In 2018, Litmus Press published The Supposium: Thought Experiments and Poethical Play in Difficult Times, edited by Retallack as documentation and continuation of a MoMA event she organized in collaboration with Black Dada artist Adam Pendleton. BOSCH’D—Fables, Moral Tales & Other Awkward Constructions (Litmus Press, 2020) rejiggers ancient and contemporary wagers on textual forms of poethical courage.” With gravitas and humor, Retallack considers our species’ best and worst proclivities in medias res of the Anthropocene.

From Our Catalog

By Joan Retallack
The Supposium
Edited By Joan Retallack
By Joan Retallack

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