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
Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, aphorist, philosopher, visual artist, and pianist. The author of over 30 books and winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize, the American Book Award, a California Arts Council Fellowship, and a Whiting Award, Alexander's work is characterized by a deep tension between the local and the cosmic, exploring the relationships between biological, physiological, and cultural phenomena and their analogues in physics and cosmology. His work is both surrealistic and meditative, resulting in a broadly various body of work that uses autobiography and astronomy to contextualize social and cultural pretensions and antagonisms. In his own words, Alexander's writing is a verbal yoga that emanates from the page as contagion.Author City: Los Angeles, CA USA