Poetry. DARK LADIES is an explosive meditation on death and laughter cast as both a Menippean masque and a user's guide to the tragi-comic. Mixing erudition with illogicality and vaudeville vulgarity it pays homage to Shakespeare by both erasure and incorporation. Preserving the end rhymes of all 154 of his sonnets, in mirror-reverse order, and embedding stage directions from his comedic and tragic plays, it offers a grotesque repurposing of the bard's great themes. Published to coincide with Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, written in large part during the epoch of George W. Bush and dedicated to the dead and dying on a continuing basis, it advances a truly pataphisical vision of a haunting question. If death is the real solution to life, is laughter the imaginary solution to death?
Steve McCaffery has been twice nominated for the Governor General's Award and is the author of more than 40 books of poetry and criticism. A selection of his explorations in numerous forms can be savored in the two volumes of SEVEN PAGES MISSING (Coach House Press 2001-02) as well as PANOPTICON (Book Thug, 1984) and The Darkness of the Present: Poetics, anachronism and the anomaly (University of Alabama Press, 2012). His book-object- concept A Little Manual of Treason was commissioned for the 2011 Shajah Biennale in the United Arab Emirates. His most recent books are Tatterdemalion (Veer Books, 2014); ALICE IN PLUNDERLAND (Book Thug, 2015); Revanches, a collection of visual and concrete poetry (Xexoxial, 2015); and PARSIVAL (Roof Books, 2015). English born and a long-time resident of Toronto, he was a co-founder of the Toronto Research Group (TRG), the sound poetry ensemble Four Horsemen, and the College of Canadian "Pataphysics. Since 2004 he has been the David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the University at Buffalo.Author City: BUFFALO, NY USA