Posted April 1, 2021

Happy Birthday, BOSCH’D!

Joan Retallack reads from BOSCH'D in a room in front of a bookcase for Segue Series on Zoom

“Who among us doesn’t long for magic. / Who among us truly understands the decimal system.”

— Joan Retallack, from “The Magic Rule of 9”

Happy Birthday BOSCH’D!! One year ago today, on April 1st, Joan Retallack’s inimitable BOSCH’D launched with humor and gravitas into the midst of a year that would, like our love for this book, only grow more intense!


Here’s a look back at a year in BOSCH’D:

As Joan describes the book for the launch reading in the Poetry Project’s House Party #13, “BOSCH’D is structured as a kind of secular liturgy dedicated to the improbable idea of a poethical anthropocene. That inspiration, for me, means loving the improbable, in recognition that nature is not the opposite of culture but is the entanglement of all things. And that’s where poetry’s many improbable logics come in.”

Watch here


In her review, Rachel Blau DuPlessis calls BOSCH’D “a dazzling and elegant plus a very cunning and humane performance of a book.”


Read poems from BOSCH’D in Joan’s prosimetrum (“a dialogic genre alternating prose and poetry”) on poethics & the Anthropocene, “Hard Days Nights in the Anthropocene” at Electronic Book Review. As Joan writes, “Prosimetrum presents a challenge of reciprocal alterity in its writing and reading poesis that our world could benefit from in other areas. Constructive reciprocal alterity is the opposite of neo-liberal colonialism. True conversation – turning (verse) toward and with (con) one another – is just that. Although what happens on pages is removed in kind and magnitude from what happens across cultures, ethnicities, races, genders, at borders, on city streets, socio-poetic models can affect the pragmatic and visionary imagination.”

Read here


And if you missed it this past January (you didn’t really miss it after all!), check out the recording of Joan’s reading with Mónica de la Torre for the Segue Reading Series, cohosted by Artists Space:

Flyer for Joan Retallack and Mónica de la Torre reading for Segue Series on January 23rd 2021 at 5 pm EST

Watch here 


As another poet well-versed in the crucial coupling of humor and gravitas wrote, “Much Madness is divinest Sense.” BOSCH’D is a ray of divine madness in a world too-often structured by some very musty logics. We feel fortunate to have this poethical, secular-liturgical book as a companion in the urgent work of reenvisioning, unmaking and remaking our Anthroposcene.


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