Join acclaimed poet, essayist, teacher, and translator Lyn Hejinian as she reads from her work at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge, MA, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 7 p.m.
Lyn Hejinian is the co-director (with Travis Ortiz) of Atelos, a literary project commissioning and publishing cross-genre work by poets. Her academic work is addressed principally to modernist, postmodern, and contemporary poetry and poetics, with a particular interest in avant-garde movements and the social practices they entail. In addition to her literary and academic work, she has in recent years been involved in anti-privatization activism at the University of California, Berkeley, where she serves as the John F. Hotchkis Professor of English.
Hejinian's The Unfollowing (Omnidawn, 2016) is a sequence of elegies, mourning public as well as personal loss. The grief is not coherent. Though the poems are each fourteen lines long, they are not sonnets but anti-sonnets. They are composed entirely of non-sequiturs, with the intention of demonstrating, if not achieving, a refusal to follow aesthetic proprieties, and a rejection of the logic of mortality and of capitalism. As the author sees it, outrage, hilarity, anxiety, and ribaldry are not easily separated in the play of human emotions. And they are all, and sometimes equally, the proper, anarchic medium for staying alive.