Poetry. African American Studies. Few poets writing today can compare with L.A.-based surrealist Will Alexander in terms of the intensity of his imagination or his radically experimental approach to language as material object. Through the use of automatic writing, Alexander practices a surrealism of the word, creating densely textured layers of signification from its sounded and written forms. COMPRESSION & PURITY, volume five of City Lights' Spotlight poetry series, is Alexander's seventh full-length collection. Known for his visionary epics influenced by poets like Césaire, Artaud, and Lamantia, Alexander here returns to shorter forms to address his ecological, cosmological and historical concerns. Highlights include monologues from the perspective of "The Blood Penguin" and "The Pope at Avignon," a song by the "Water on New Mars," and an homage to César Vallejo, "Combustion & Leakage." In true surrealist fashion, the book also includes both an autobiographical lyric essay, "My Interior Vita," describing the evolution of Alexander's artistic consciousness through jazz and surrealism, and his disavowal of the autobiographical process, "On Anti-Biography." An imaginative tour de force, COMPRESSION & PURITY confirms Alexander's reputation among surrealism's foremost contemporary practitioners.
Anis Shivani's Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2011 @ The Huffington PostJeffrey Cyphers Wright @ The Brooklyn RailBrooks Lampe @ TheThe Poetry Blog
Born in 1948, Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, visual artist and pianist. He was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry in 2001 and a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2002. He was also the subject of a colloquium published in the prestigious African American cultural journal Callaloo in 1999. Author of 20 books (including MIRACH SPEAKS TO HIS GRAMMATICAL TRANSPARENTS, INSIDE THE EARTHQUAKE PALACE: 4 PLAYS, ABOVE THE HUMAN NERVE DOMAIN, COMPRESSION & PURITY, EXOBIOLOGY AS GODDESS, and TOWARDS THE PRIMEVAL LIGHTNING FIELD), Alexander has taught at various colleges including University of California, San Diego, New College (San Francisco, CA), Hofstra University, and Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in addition to being associated with the nonprofit organization Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, serving at-risk youth. He is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles. Author City: Los Angeles, CA USA