Mess and Mess and

Douglas Kearney

The joy in reading Mess and Mess and comes from the way Douglas Kearney’s writing performs and transforms the sensations of the historic, imagined and real black body into a kind of jive signification system of pun, gesture and resistance through time, space, etymology, gloss.  Jive meaning: some mess, some movements, some secrets glyphed behind the hand, continually decoding and decoying the code.  “Here, the body shifts to its proxy, language,” as Kearney creates his own methods for naming and theorizing not just creative process but the experience of art and utterance as a relationship with the various phenomena of living, dying and getting free.  Evoking the heady erotics of Nathaniel Mackey and the critical interventions of Adrian Piper, Douglas Kearney’s meticulous and playful ars poetica illustrates the unseen dimensions of what makes his work necessarily graphic, totally vulnerable and admirably outrageous.

Tisa Bryant

Now and then, in Altadena, Arkansas and elsewhere, mess is a unit of measure, enough of something to feed anyone that needs to be fed. It’s in this regard that measure is poetry—how we sustain and share, in sound and flavor, our capacity to make a living, to live beyond our means, which they keep on trying to keep all for themselves. What you’re holding in your hands bears all of that. Shit is hard and terrible, and what you’re holding in your hands, which is most definitely the shit, bears all of that, too. Humans have made a mess of things and nothing but swarm, sheen, shimmy, stagger and stutter is gonna get us in deep enough to get us out of it. An old-new analexical word search and blackword research project, an anamessianic mess for the end of time that no one can tell us how to use, Mess and Mess and is Miss Ann’s apocalypse, Amos ‘n’ Andy’s undermanumission, Douglas Kearney’s antimassapiece.

Fred Moten

This book is a Mess. It’s a theory of Black cultural production that does its work by refusing to be straight(ened) up. It’s Doug doing his do(o). Dig it. Like a mess of greens, this Mess is gritty to start with, but you know it’s going to be goooood. Dig in. It won’t read itself—but it might read you.

Evie Shockley

Douglas Kearney’s Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) was a finalist for the California Book Award in Poetry. The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009) was a National Poetry Series selection. A collection of his libretti is forthcoming (SubitoPress 2015). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award and residencies/fellowships including Cave Canem and The Rauschenberg Foundation. His work has appeared in Poetry, nocturnes, Iowa Review, Boston Review, What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, Best American Poetry, and Best American Experimental Writing. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in Santa Clarita. He teaches at CalArts.

Reviews and News

2016 Winners of the Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry

The editors of Noemi Press are excited to announce the winners, finalists, and semi finalists for the 2016 Noemi Press Book Award in Poetry.

Winner: Indictus by Natalie Eilbert

Finalist: Careen by Grace Shuyi Liew

We will be also publishing Gentry!fication: or the scene of the crime by Chaun Webster and A Problem and Some Space by Hannah Ensor

SEMIFINALISTS

The Devil’s Workshop by Xavier Cavazos

Hagia Animalia by Sara Biggs Chaney

Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Leaving Impulse by Rachel Martin

Manipur by Robin McLachlen

The Historians of Redundant Moments: Novel in Poems by Nandini Dhar

Northern Ledger by Kate Partridge

Probable Garden by Bronwen Tate

Saints and Cannibals by Robert Lunday

Winter Swimmers by Carolyn DeCarlo

Woman, Yielding by Andrea Blancas Beltran

un/documented—kentucky—songs by Steven Alvarez

2015 Winners of the Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry

The editors of Noemi Press are excited to announce the winners, finalists, and semi finalists for the 2015 Noemi Press Book Award in Poetry. We received about 400 poetry submissions this year and thank all the writers who submitted for trusting us with their work.

Winner

Bone Confetti by Muriel Leung

 

Finalists

Natality by E. G. Means

MOUTHS by Claire Marie Stancek

 

We will also be publishing finalist Vanessa Villarreal’s manuscript Beast Meridian in the Akrilica series.

 

Poetry Semifinalists

They Go In Pairs by Samuel Ace

Arcadia, Indiana (a tragedy) by Toby Altman

You Can Take It Out by Cheryl Clark Vermeulen

Red of Split Water-A Burial Rite by Lisa Donovan

Century Worm by Todd Fredson

Actual Echo by Matthew Mahaney

A Turkish Dictionary by Andrew Wessels

Review of Between Grammars at Entropy

Vogel describes her early experiences of reading and writing as “a bridging between [her] voice and [her] body,” as a kind of communion. “Language slowed the world for me,” she recalls, “it gave me a sense of tactility, a skin to encase my thinking.” Vogel’s visceral experience of language is palpable in Between Grammars; there is a sense of tactility ever-present. Beyond the philosophical exploration, reading this book is as much a sensory experience as an intellectual one, the text shot through with light, sound, and touch.

 

Read the rest at Entropy.

Rain Taxi review of The Ghost In Us Was Multiplying

Armendinger is a master at using fragmented language with precise purpose. His poems experiment with language and form—this collection includes a poem delivered in the form of an instant messenger conversation, and a poem placed as a footnote within another poem—but never read as mere avant-garde posturing. Instead, Armendinger again and again finds new ways to use defamiliarized language to access the unsayable.

It’s a rare and wonderful thing to find a poet who can so powerfully, vividly, and gracefully engage with the problems of language and the world. The Ghost In Us Was Multiplying is a vital book: experimental, substantial, fragmented, unified, unsettled, and unsettling, Armendinger’s work is key reading for all those who care about what our broken words can do.

Read the rest at Rain Taxi.

Cleaver Magazine reviews Change Machine

Change Machine Book CoverJ. G. McClure reviewed Bruce Covey’s Change Machine for Cleaver Magazine:

Think about the change machine outside your car wash: you put in a dollar, the machine spits out coins. Not a neat bundle, but a jangling tray-full. Now think of William Carlos Williams: “A poem is a machine made of words.”Now give William Carlos Williams superpowers and have him beat the hell out of the car wash while musing on Pokémon, Barthes, and metapoetics, and you’ve got a sense of Bruce Covey’s Change Machine.

Read the full review at Cleaver Magazine 

2014 Winners of the Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry

The winner of the 2014 Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry is Objects of Attention by Aichlee Bushnell. Aichlee will receive $1000 and publication of her collection in Fall 2015. We will also publish Sister by Steven Karl; his book will be published in Spring 2016.

Finalists for the 2014 Noemi Press Book Award for Poetry:

  • The Derelict Daughter by Brittney Scott
  • NOS by Matthew Cooperman and Aby Kaupang
  • Sister by Steven Karl
  • Simple Machines by Barbara Duffey
  • Actual Echo by Matthew Mahaney
  • A Turkish Dictionary by Andrew Wessels
  • Objects of Attention by Aichlee Bushnell
  • Sweet Insurgent by Elyse Fenton
  • If You Love Error So Love Zero by Stephanie Anderson

 

$15 Paperback | Published 2015
ISBN-13 978-1-934819-51-7