Before Starting Over is an informal chronicle of several important developments in English-language poetry during the nineties and the turn of the century, most importantly Asian American poetry, digital poetics, and the changing face of poetry's "experimental" wing. There is nothing pious about the approach: one chapter is a distillation of conversations and controversies that occurred on the internet via the author's blog, Free Space Comix, while another is largely composed of playful and polemical "poetics" statements geared toward a popular - i.e. non-elitist or -insider - audience. Consquently, nothing is taken for granted, whether it be the efficacy of a central literary Tradition, or the primacy of the "marginal" or aesthetic "lineages" that are valorized in smaller writing communities identifying with either the "avant-garde" or ethnic minorities (or both). Included are several book reviews by the author that attempt to create a language for discussing the most "difficult" poetry of the past fifteen years energetically and engagingly, in a manner that is neither sugared up nor requiring a doctoral degree to decipher.
Several interviews discuss strands of "digital poetics" that were not discussed in the author's Fashionable Noise: On Digital Poetics, especially notions of "hacktivism," internet publishing and the poetics of the anti-war blog Circulars. All in all, the experience of reading Before Starting Over is in which the reader is invited to disagree, to argue, but most of all to feel as passionate, troubled yet optimistic about poetry as the author, one of the more active and intelligent (uh huh) poets and critics to mobilize both the internet and journalistic print publications to examine and champion emerging strands in writing.
Buy Before Starting Over book by Brian Kim Stefans from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Publisher: Salt Publishing
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Author Biography - Brian Kim Stefans
Brian Kim Stefans was born in Rutherfrod, New Jersey in 1969. He has published several books of poetry, including Free Space Comix (Roof, 1998), Gulf (Object Editions, 1998) and Angry Penguins (Harry Tankoos, 2000). Fashionable Noise: On Digital Poetics, a book of experimental writings that both explored and described the nexus between digital technology and poetry, appeared from Atelos in 2003. He is an internationally recognized digital artist and has run the website arras.net, devoted to new media poetry and poetics, since 1998.