I am pleased to share that “Cinncinatus of the West,” “Luxury and Lack,” and “To Entertain,” three poems and their corresponding ceramic pieces by my friend and collaborator Stephanie Rozene, are up at The Offending Adam’s special issue on Politics and Poetry. These poems are excerpted from the larger 24-piece collaborative project, Simultaneous Contrast, which we initially shown as a part of the “DIS-arming Domesticity,” gallery exhibit in Wallingford, PA in 2010. We’re so pleased to have a “printed” home for these works and offer many thanks to Andrew Wessels at The Offending Adam for his support and giving this project such a wonderful home in this special feature. Along with our project, the issue also features Craig Santos Perez and Kristin Sanders. [Read an excerpt from Wessel’s introduction to the issue and praise for TOA after the jump] Here is an excerpt from the introduction to the issue:
Bits and pieces of language from this political morass like “horses and bayonets” or “binders full of women” have become trigger points for the creation of art. Many of the Internet memes that have been created using these phrases, while oftentimes still retaining a political message, claim a primary fidelity with aesthetics rather than politics. While to some degree these are jokes used to release some of the tension and frustration of the political process, they are also simultaneously making a claim for art as a restorative and necessary pursuit.
Which leads me to this week’s issue here at TOA. In the spirit of the election season (and also in the spirit of rebelling against the election season), we present a group of writers who both confront and reject politics through an aesthetic act. On Monday, Craig Santos Perez displays the political perspective of the disenfranchised and colonized of Guam, where the island and residents of Guam become little more than a place for the Presidents’ plane to re-fuel. Kristin Sanders writes a series of poems analyzing and questioning the idea and physical reality of the feminine by responding to art by Brad Bourgoyne that is then redacted, made invisible.Moriah Purdy and Stephanie Rozene bring us a collaborative work with poems by Purdy accompanying ceramics by Rozene that explore the various conflicting ideals, paradoxes, and personas implicit in the complex roles Presidents and First Ladies play as host and hostess of the United States.
If you are not yet aware of The Offending Adam, visit its virtual pages immediately and explore thoroughly. Wessel’s team really puts together a beautiful, engaging, challenging site for poetic works. Their support of collaborations, in particular, seems unprecedented. Other collaborations featured on the site include, but are not limited to, a recent collaboration between Wendy Xu and Leora Fridman (Oct. 8th issue), and a call and response series by Rusty Morrison and John Gallaher. The site takes full advantage of the web medium so that, rather than feeling like a journal slapped onto a website, the features feel like conversants in the larger conversation between reader, writer, and editor. To quote the “About,” page: “What makes The Offending Adam unique, beyond our embrace of the online medium, is an emphasis on the relationship between contributor, journal, and reader. Our contribution process is not a static send-wait-reject/accept. It is a dynamic process between contributor and editor resulting in a publication accompanied by an editorial statement. The journal is a bridge between writer and reader, and we take that responsibility seriously.” More of this is needed in our community, methinks.