PRESENT CONTINUOUS is a collection of hybrid essays, written during the recent covid pandemic, moving between criticism and poetic prose, between visual and textual expressions of the present moment and a future that still has a past to resolve. From the initial announcement of the lockdown to Black Lives Matter protests to a “second wave” of restrictions and the issue of police violence, Grundy’s writing offers, in the words of Richard Owens, “a quality, a shade of incredible intelligence and intuitive imagining that cannot be reproduced”. "The world in art and poetry will begin with a world anew", commented the late musician and poet Henry Grimes. In these "expositions of harmony and theory", David Grundy strives to imagine that new world.
“Grundy’s is an excessive and generous critical project. Many of his prose texts begin by looking at a minute formulation otherwise gone by unnoticed or unanswered, to spiral outwards into wide-ranging digressions, so as then to return to the minute textual detail – as a technique of demonstrating how wide-ranging and important that detail had been in the first place, not just to the text but to THE WORLD, in explosive compression.”
“I am grateful to see your work move as it does and get the attention it deserves because — to be truthful — I do not know that I have ever known anyone quite as productive as you — ever — and I mean this through and through. And in the labor, the work ethos, there is a quality, a shade of incredible intelligence and intuitive imagining that cannot be reproduced without that labor. Spirit, I suppose, cannot be performed but either is or is not, and the spirit of your labor is always embedded in the thinking you share — that seamlessness that cuts across from your poetry to your prose and back again. I celebrate you for it. Truly so.”
David Grundy is a poet and scholar based in London. He is the author of A True Account (The 87 Press, 2023), and A Black Arts Poetry Machine: Amiri Baraka and the Umbra Poets (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019) and co-editor, with Lauri Scheyer, of Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton (Wesleyan University Press, 2023). He co-runs the small press Materials/Materialien.