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Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry [Paperback]

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Item description for Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry by David Trinidad, Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton...

Collaborative poetry --- poems written by one or more people --- grew out of word games played by French surrealists in the 1920s. It was taken up a decade later by Japan's Vou Club and then by Charles Henri Ford, who created the chainpoem, composed by poets who mailed their lines all over the world. After WW II, the Beat writers' collaborative experiments resulted in the famous Pull My Daisy. The concept was embraced in the 1970s by feminist poets as a way to find a collective female voice. Yet, for all its rich history, virtually no collections of collaborative poetry exist. This exhilarating anthology remedies the omission. Featured are poems by two, four, even as many as 18 people in a dizzying array of forms: villanelles to ghazals, sonnets to somonkas, pantoums to haiku, even quizzes, questionnaires, and other nonliterary forms. Collaborators' notes accompany many of the poems, giving a fascinating glimpse into the creative process.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   280
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 6, 2007
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1933368187  
ISBN13  9781933368184  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Trinidad, Denise Duhamel & Maureen Seaton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Trinidad (born 1953) is an American poet. Trinidad was born in Los Angeles, California. In the early 1980s, he was one of a group of poets who were active at the Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center in Venice, California. Other members of this group included Dennis Cooper, Bob Flanagan, and Amy Gerstler. As editor of Sherwood Press, he published books by Cooper, Flanagan, Gerstler, Tim Dlugos, Alice Notley, and others. In 1988, Trinidad relocated to New York City. He received his Master of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College in 1990. He taught at Rutgers University, the New School, and Princeton University. His collection PLASTICVILLE (2000) was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets. In 2002, Trinidad moved to Chicago to teach at Columbia College Chicago, where he co-founded the literary journal Court Green. In addition to his own books of poetry, Trinidad has edited A FAST LIFE: THE COLLECTED POEMS OF TIM DLUGOS (Nightboat Books, 2011) and the earlier selected Powerless (Serpent's Tail, 1995), Holding Our Own: The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford (with Maxine Scates, 2001), and Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry (with Denise Duhamel and Maureen Seaton, 2007). Trinidad's personal papers are archived at the Fales Library at New York University.

David Trinidad currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. David Trinidad was born in 1953.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > Poetry
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry?

When the Saints Go Marching In  May 2, 2007
Tough little Soft Skull surprises once again with a thick compendium of some interesting collaborative work between a tidal wave of US poets. My cat Sylvia loves Joe Brainard and ate most of the clever cover the editors picked for this book, a reproduction of his Good & Fruity Madonna--not as obvious as some Brainards but a nice salute to the most collaborative of the New York painters. Indeed ambitious Sylvia clawed her way through most of the opening of the book, and not until Ted Berrigan and Robert Creeley's "Think of Anything" is there an unmarked page. Bittersweet to see Creeley's "Process Note" (for many of the living poets supplied notes on how they came to write their poems) on the making of "Think of Anything" and what it was like to write with Ted Berrigan, for in the interim Creeley has left us and gone to join his compadre in some collaborative paradise. "That's the only time I collaborated with Ted, or quite possibly with anyone else either. It was fun!"

That's the dominant theme of the book, fun, and that's how good you'll feel while reading it. Will it be too frothy for some? I don't know, how much ginger ale can you take at one sitting? I often prefer to work collaboratively, but I realize that the resulting products may not be as fun to read as they are to write. It's something I always struggle with. What's great is that you are encouraged, allowed, forced into stretching out your talent, making yourself do things you never thought you could, for at worst you can always blame it on the other guy (or girl). Reading SAINTS OF HYSTERIA I tried to test this out by first reading collaborations between poets whose work I know well (say, Kerouac and Lew Welch, or Reginald Lockett and Opal Palmer Adisa, who share a memorable gem here) and trying to see if I could distinguish who wrote what. In the Palmer Adisa-Lockett piece, "A Game of Chance," they made it even easier by signing their separate bits, like the Lyn Hejinian/Leslie Scalapino SIGHT. Then I turned to poems written by people I'd never read, and in many cases never heard of, for SAINTS is a much more democratic anthology than many on the market, it has to be doesn't it. With these poems I tried to taste on my tongue, to judge if they had merit of a kind, and if so, what. I looked at poems by Joshua Beckman and Matthew Rohrer. I can't make up my mind about the merit, but I wasn't feeling even the fun. I'll have to look at individual poems by the two, but they might consider breaking up the act for awhile a la THE SUNSHINE BOYS. Their estimable contributions to SAINTS OF HYSTERIA add to an overwhelming sense of plenty.

The last word from the last poem in the book (by Doug Kearney and Harryette Mullen) is-- I should make you guess -- oh never mind, that wouldn't be kind, and besides you would all of you guess it -- is "open." That was to be expected I suppose, from this supremely open, generous and expansive book, one of its own kind, something sui generis.

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