An ecstatically wrought, never quite post-Covid celebration/trepidation of openings.
Inscribing what Levinas might call “espace vital” (the space we can survive), OUVERT OEUVRE: OPENINGS is an ecstatically wrought, never quite post-Covid celebration/trepidation of openings. Written by Adeena Karasick and visualized by Warren Lehrer, the two poems track the pain of openings read through socio-economic, geographic and bodily space. They explore a range of intralingual etymologies of the word opening, laced with post-consumerist and erotic language, theoretical discourse, philosophical and Kabbalistic aphorisms. The poems foreground language as an organism of hope—highlighting the concept of opening as an ever-swirling palimpsest of spectral voices, textures, whispers and codes transported through passion, politics and pleasure as we negotiate loss and light.
This book is the first collaboration between poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist Adeena Karasick, and pioneer designer/author and vis lit practitioner Warren Lehrer. The poems, written by Karasick, speak-sing to re-entering the world after a long period in quarantine. Lehrer choreographs Karasick’s words on the stage of the page and through the pages of this volume. His typographic compositions give form to the interior, emotional, metaphorical, historical and performative underpinnings of the poems. Together, the writing and visuals create a new whole that engages the reader to become an active participant in the experience/performance of the poems.
“A twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick’s signature syllabic labyrinth.” —Craig Dworkin
“Karasick’s poetry jolts and challenges us out of our notion of what poetry is, or could be.”
“In Lehrer’s books, words take on thought’s very form, bringing sensory experience to the reader as directly as ink on paper can allow.” —The New York Times Book Review
Poetry. Hybrid. Art. Jewish Studies. Women’s Studies.
Adeena Karasick, Ph.D, is a New York based poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist and the author of 12 books of poetry and poetics. Her Kabbalistically inflected, urban, Jewish feminist mashups have been described as "electricity in language" (Nicole Brossard), "proto-ecstatic jet-propulsive word torsion" (George Quasha), noted for their "cross-fertilization of punning and knowing, theatre and theory" (Charles Bernstein) "a twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick's signature `syllabic labyrinth'" (Craig Dworkin); "demonstrating how desire flows through language, an unstoppable flood of allusion (both literary and pop-cultural), word-play, and extravagant and outrageous sound-work." (Mark Scroggins). Most recently is Massaging the Medium: 7 Pechakuchas, (The Institute of General Semantics Press: 2022), shortlisted for Outstanding Book of the Year Award (ICA, 2023) Checking In (Talonbooks, 2018) and Salomé: Woman of Valor (University of Padova Press, Italy, 2017), the libretto for her Spoken Word opera; Salomé: Woman of Valor CD, (NuJu Records, 2020), and Salomé Birangona, translation into Bengali (Boibhashik Prokashoni Press, Kolkata, 2020). Karasick teaches Literature and Critical Theory for the Humanities and Media Studies Dept. at Pratt Institute, is Poetry Editor for Explorations in Media Ecology, Associate International Editor of New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication, 2021 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award recipient and winner of the Voce Donna Italia award for her contributions to feminist thinking, and has just been appointed Poet Laureate of the Institute of General Semantics. The "Adeena Karasick Archive" is established at Special Collections, Simon Fraser University.
Author City: JAMAICA, NY USA
Warren Lehrer is a writer and designer known as a pioneer in the fields of visual literature and design authorship. His work explores the vagaries and luminescence of character, the relationships between social structures and the individual, and the pathos and absurdity of life. Known most for his unique marriage of writing and typography, his books and multimedia projects capture the shape of thought and reunite oral and pictorial traditions of storytelling in books, animations and performance. His books include: A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley; Five Oceans in a Teaspoon (with Dennis Bernstein); Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a new America (with Judith Sloan);?The Portrait Series (four-book suite); GRRRHHHH: a study of social patterns (with Bernstein and Sandra Brownlee); French Fries (with Bernstein); i mean you know; and?versations. Lehrer has received many awards for his books and multimedia projects. His work has been exhibited widely and is in many collections including MoMA, L.A. County Art Museum, The Getty Museum, The Walker Art Center, Pompidou Centre, and Tate Gallery. He is a frequent presenter at universities, conferences, art and literary centers, and bookstores throughout the US and internationally. Lehrer is a founding faculty member of the Designer As Author/Entrepreneur MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Purchase College, SUNY. With his wife Judith Sloan, Lehrer founded EarSay, a non-profit arts organization in Queens, NY, dedicated to uncovering and portraying the lives of the uncelebrated in print, on stage, on radio, in exhibitions, electronic media, and through educational programs in public schools, community centers, and prisons.
Author City: QUEENS, NY USA