TrenchArt: Recon

Aesthetic Essays in Varied Form

Edited By Teresa Carmody
Introduction By Teresa Carmody
Cover Art By Renée Petropoulos

Hand-bound in an edition of 230, TrenchArt: Recon introduces the sixth annual TrenchArt series, with aesthetics written by participating series writers and visual artist, Renée Petropoulos. “Recon” for reconnaissance, recognition, a preliminary survey to gain information, an exploratory military survey of enemy territory. The Recon series writers use appropriation, constraint, and generative processes to explore new possibilities for such literary stand-bys as lyric, plot or portrait. Together, these books provide an aerial view, a survey, of ways writers are approaching this question: what does one make in, and of, the brokenness. The series includes TrenchArt: Recon; Negro Marfil / Ivory Black; By Kelman Out Of Pessoa; Tall, Slim & Erect: Portraits of the Presidents; and The Phonemes.

Table of Contents

  • Making In the Broken: An Introduction | Teresa Carmody
  • Mayfly | Frances Richard
  • Methodical Mad Science | Doug Nufer
  • Naturaleza del Poema (The Nature of the Poem) | Myriam Moscona
  • The Nature of Translation | Jen Hofer
  • From Mexico to Brazil to the United States | Renee Petropoulos, with marginalia by Sianne Ngai and Veronica Gonzalez
  • Ars Poetica | Alex Forman
Featuring Alex Forman, Doug Nufer, Frances Richard, Jen Hofer, Myriam Moscona, Renée Petropoulos, Sianne Ngai, Teresa Carmody, Veronica Gonzalez

About The Authors

Jen Hofer is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, urban cyclist, and co-founder of the language justice and literary activism collaborative Antena. Her translation of Negro marfil by Mexican poet Myriam Moscona, published as Ivory Black by Les Figues Press in 2011, won the 2012 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets and the 2012 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

Her other translations include the homemade chapbook En las maravillas/In Wonder (Libros Antena/Antena Books, 2012); sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2008); lip wolf, a translation of lobo de labioby Laura Solórzano (Action Books, 2007); and Sin puertas visibles: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by Mexican Women (Ediciones Sin Nombre and University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003).

Her most recent books are the handmade chapbook Lead & Tether (Dusie Kollektiv, 2011); a series of anti-war-manifesto poems titled one (Palm Press, 2009); and The Route, a collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos, 2008). She has poems, essays and translations forthcoming from Dusie Books, Insert Press, Kenning Editions, and Litmus Press. She teaches in the MFA Writing Program at CalArts and the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art & Design, and works nationally and locally as a social justice interpreter through Antena. Most recently she has been hand-sewing quilted poems; her installation “Uncovering: A Quilted Poem Made from Donated and Foraged Materials from Wendover, Utah” is currently on view at the CLUI.

Myriam Moscona is from Mexico, of Bulgarian Sephardic descent. She is the author of nine books, from Ultimo jardín (1983) to De par en par (2009). Two of her published books are outside the realm of poetry, yet remain connected to poetry: De frente y de perfil (literary portraits of 75 Mexican poets) and De par en par, which explores the phenomenon of poetry beyond its traditional construction. When Negro marfil was conceived, Moscona focused on the use of visual materials (inks, pastels, graphite and acrylics), which led her to explore alternate means of expression. In this way she came to visual poetry: drawn in through the side doors of writing. Moscona has received numerous awards, including the Premio de Poesía Aguascalientes and the Premio Nacional de Traducción; she is a grantee of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, and she was awarded a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation.