to make my mind be actions outside only. which they are. that
grey-red bars. actions are life per se only without it.
(so) events are minute—even (voluptuous)
~ Leslie Scalapino*
The innovative, highly original, so-called "experimental language" poet Leslie Scalapino, founding editor in 1986 of O Books and the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, as well as fiction, plays, and essays, died May 28, 2010, of cancer.
Scalapino's O Books published the work of such renowned writers as Alice Notley, the late Ted Berrigan, Robert Grenier, and Fanny Howe, as well as anthologies. It continues to be a leading publisher of contemporary poetry, essays, and plays by established and young emerging writers.
I. . . sought (later in writing) the 'anarchist moment'—
the moment that would be only disjunction itself.
In the process, I've created this memory track.
Yet had the sense that I had to make fixed memories
move as illusion, that they move as illusions.
~ From Zither & Authobiography
Considered a visionary in her approach to writing, teaching and mentoring, editing, and publishing, Scalapino was drawn to collaborations with visual artists including Kiki Smith and Petah Coyne; musicians such as Larry Ochs; dancers; and, of course, other writers.
We are fortunate to be able to hear Scalapino's voice. In the video below, she reads from her Floats Horse-Floats or Horse Flows (Starcherone Books, March 2010). (Versions of chapters 1 and 4 were published at The Brooklyn Rail in March 2007.)
In this second video, the poet reads from The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom:
* Closing of announcement by Tom White, Scalapino's husband, of her death
Remembrance by Lyn Hejinian at Poets.org
Scalapino's poem "walking person who has sky flowing—by one who beside is as if"
It's Go in Horizontal: Poems 1974-2006 (New California Poetry, 2008)
Zither & Autobiography (O Books, 2003)
The Tango (Granary Books, 2001)
New Time (Wesleyan Poetry Series, 1999)
The Front Matter: Dead Souls (Wesleyan Poetry, 1996)
Scalapino Books Not Published by O Books
Penn Sound Recordings
Poet Ron Silliman's Roundup of Links on Scalapino