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
In the tradition of Sun Ra and Aime Cesaire, Will Alexander's poetry combines the surreal with an extra-terrestrial perspective on the relation of humans to mind and the cosmic environment. His perspective emerges from Africa and the Earth's trans-oceanic rim. He is also a poet, essayist, novelis, philosopher, visual artist, as well as playwright. His myriad books include Vertical Rainbow Climber (1987), Asia & Haiti (1995), Above the Human Nerve Domain (1998), TOWARDS THE PRIMEVAL LIGHTNING FIELD (Litmus Press, 1999), Exobiology as Goddess (2004), Sunrise Armageddon (2006), and The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (2009). His latest book is AT NIGHT ON THE SUN (Chax Press, 2017). A Whiting Fellow, a PEN Oakland National Book Award recipient, and the winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize for 2016. Will Alexander lives and works in Los Angeles.Author City: Los Angeles, CA USA