Poetry by Marjorie Welish
April 30, 2012 • 6 x 9 • 112 pages • 978-1-56689-212-4
Welish fuses poetry with visual art and architecture.
In her new collection, Marjorie Welish presents two books in one. “In the Futurity Lounge” may be read as that de-centered laboratory of the modern futurity lounge where experimental works are in a constant state of being constructed. Her poems are written across, through, and at the expense of urban sites, themselves part architecture, part language, including Roebling’s Aqueduct, Wright’s Fallingwater, Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s High Line, and Rem Koolhaas’s student center at Illinois Tech. “Asylum for Indeterminacy” is an extended zone of research devoted to translation constructed freely from a few given words from prior translations. Baudelaire’s “Correspondences” is the provocation.
About the Author
Marjorie Welish is the author of The Annotated “Here” and Selected Poems, Word Group, Isle of the Signatories, In the Futurity Lounge / Asylum for Indeterminacy, and So What So That (Winter 2016), all from Coffee House Press. The papers delivered at a conference on her writing and art held at the University of Pennsylvania were published in the book Of the Diagram: The Work of Marjorie Welish (Slought Books). In 2009, Granary Books published Oaths? Questions?, a collaborative artists’ book by Marjorie Welish and James Siena which was the subject of a special exhibition at Denison University Museum, Granville, Ohio; the book is in permanent collections, including that of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recent art exhibitions have occurred at Emanuel von Baeyer Cabinet, London, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, England, and ART-3, Brooklyn. Her honors include the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Fellowship from Brown University, the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Poetry Fellowship at Cambridge University, and two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has held a Senior Fulbright Fellowship, which has taken her to the University of Frankfurt and to the Edinburgh College of Art. She is now Madelon Leventhal Rand Chair in Literature at Brooklyn College.
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“In the Futurity Lounge/Asylum for Indeterminacy is an experimental double-header. . . . It’s a work to be grasped in the reading—and rereading.” —Library Journal
“What distinguishes the book as poetry is its ability to engage readers in the process of construction that creates a text in time, as much as ‘textual strategy’ constructs a building in space.” —Rain Taxi Review
“Is poetry a social prod or a dialectical production? Marjorie Welish addresses this ponderability fully in her double-titled new book, a provocative hybrid—a showcase for a preponderance of linguistic flair. . . . I love the dictionary and I admire Welish’s organizational perspective. Her endlessly inflected reflections are demanding but sustained. This ‘wounded language’ is branded by ascription, disinterred by sun.” —Brooklyn Rail
“[Marjorie Welish’s work] has both sensuality and really dazzling conceptual rigor.” —Culture Industry
“‘With the honor of this fellowship comes the privilege of being invited to do one’s own best work,’ says Welish. . . . Welish has garnered much acclaim in literary circles and has been described at once as thoughtful, edgy, and experimental with her use of language.” —Brooklyn College
“LangPo at its most deliciously unrepentant. Where was it we were slouching, again? and what do we do with the human mind while systems and events carry us there?” —Third Factory/Notes to Poetry
“In the Futurity Lounge is an archaeological dig into modernism’s ruins to find our present moment anticipated as figure, speech act, performance. Marjorie Welish’s brilliant arcade of architectural designs, Brechtian stage sets, Dada events and new technologies (the ball point pen, the typewriter) renews Baudelaire’s metropole as allegory. Indeterminacy, what we can’t know in advance, becomes both safe haven and exile.” —Michael Davidson
“Finished and finely wrung, this book is a linguistic experiment in active collaboration with matter—the dense data itself. Marjorie Welish, a painter in her multi-verse, leaves very little out though it may seem as if ruthless in being stark. But anaphora and lyricism lighten all passages. Her iridescent gray links her to Johns, and the very soft strophes of Morty Feldman. Her music may seem prolonged to some, but it is just long enough. I have been so impressed with her refusal of the dogmatic way. Her works are historical, social, and often lyrical in the desert, where the great dancers and the non-decorative architects meet, magically meet in one of our true baroque books of poetry. It’s not by accident that she appears in The Fold of Deleuze.”
“Welish poses and situates the question of temporality and category in lived history petitions the ‘wayfaring stranger,’ or any ‘she’ (‘completed in accordance with/programmed guy wires with/without/ naming undertaken in fact yet’) when function is elevated over form, when the social trumps aesthetics. Thus the studio, the period, the complete sentence, the anthology, the retrospective, the commemorative, the completed works, etc. are here systematically deconstructed under the ceaseless movement of temporality.” —Tyrone Williams
“With a nod to Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare, Homer, Lorine Niedecker, Baudelaire and others, Marjorie Welish, in her excellent new book, In the Futurity Lounge, stages an elastic series of radical encounters. Sometimes paratactic, sometimes not, her virtuosic streaming image clusters and recursive internal rhyme—‘e voc a tive’—will blow you away.” —Norma Cole
“[Welish] offers a complex lattice of delicious seeds, inviting her reader to consume deftly, knowing the real goal of hunger is to rebuild the self.” —Drunken Boat