What does a future poetics look and feel like? The reading series ‘Parallax: Poetic Visions,’ presented by Hauser & Wirth Publishers in association with Zoe Brezsny, addresses this question by featuring poets who take risks through a wide variety of aesthetic approaches and performance styles. Their work bends genres at the crossroads of poetry, sound, and technology, operating as a tool of transformation.
Poet Ann Lauterbach says, ‘To write poetry in America is in itself a subversive act. One can see better from the periphery than from the center.’ In this spirit, ‘Parallax’ defines its central theme as truth-bearers on the threshold of a primeval, new language.
Each event in the series features two poets; some are emerging creative forces, while others have had long careers yet continue to reinvent themselves. These pairings seek to juxtapose practices so that each reader might reveal something unexpected in the other’s work.
Dorothea Lasky and Maya Martinez write intensely intimate poetry. They exult in a new sincerity, yet their poems are never simply confessional. They’re mythic and incantatory, epic and gritty. Are they dreams or are they representations of reality or a version of the two? And the ‘I’ who leads us through their lush, euphonic narratives is never just one ‘I,’ but rather an ever-shifting array of characters. The impact of their ecstatic boldness is both primal and sensitive, revealing a hidden sublime in the every day. Boston Review describes Lasky as having the power to ‘perturb, disturb, disrupt, and awaken,’ and Martinez summons a similar depth. ‘Flowers don’t talk to me and Dogs bite me,’ says Martinez at one point. Later she tells us she is ‘screeching now A DELICATE TERROR.’
Image by Audrey Gair