Poetry. The poems of RED ARCADIA present a jittery, spasmodic—often obscured—series of moving x-ray images of contemporary culture in its frenetic contradictions, its self-destructiveness, and sometimes in its moments of fractured sublimity; a wobbly digicam portrait of the bewildered, mournful, and sometimes bemused subject caught in the rush of sounds and images, scrabbling through the levels of the city's palimpset/midden, checking his watch for the arrival of some heroic Captain Modernism."These sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued poems register damage, reading commodities or movies for us, out there in shopping malls or imaginary museums. They resolutely think through the world, half-scratched mordant footnotes to our political realities. They offer small consolation. This neatly organized book presents a poetry of ideas, then, but concocted by an intelligence unusually passionate, raw nerve-endings tingling with 57 varieties of ersatz. Mark Scroggins's ventriloquy—knowing, ironical, satirical—is the book's singular pleasure, its delicate likeness chiming in our ears with delight."—Robert Sheppard"Mark Scroggins practices a literature of contained excess, drawn from the welter of experience and its reflexive twin, theory. His poetry combines Benjaminian and Zukofskyan author functions, disclosing the cultural logics of distributed financialization through the method of materialist inversion. As it turns out, these condensed surfaces are identical to the ages' insights insofar as we could ever hope to live them. Consonantal lushness, vocalic variation, beautiful lineation, sublime contradiction are the predominant features of Scroggins's perverse constructivism. Poetry is thereby redeemed in its damaged finality."—Barrett Watten
Mark Scroggins is a poet, biographer, and critic. He was born in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany in the depths of the Cold War, and grew up in various places-Germany, upstate New York, California, Texas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He now lives in Montclair (New Jersey) and Manhattan. Scroggins has written or edited three books on the poet Louis Zukofsky (including The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky) and a study of the English fantasy author Michael Moorcock. His essays and reviews have been collected in three volumes: Intricate Thicket: Reading Late Modernist Poetries, The Mathematical Sublime: Writing About Poetry, and Arcane Pleasures: On Poetry and Some Other Arts. He has edited a selection of the erotic writings of the Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. For the past seven years, Scroggins has been working on a long serial poem, Zion Offramp; the first fifty sections are being published by MadHat Press.