Dec 12, 2009

What Is Coming and the Blurbs that will Appear with It

Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!

Passing Professor Davis’s office door yesterday— Professor Davis’s closed office door—I found myself wishing he was on a Fulbright like before, not a MacArthur, so that he would be back among us sooner, casting his brilliant (and humane) light. Because how is our intellectually restless little ivied community to survive without him? This book will help. From a time when he was young, full of hope, teaching in Muncie, it looks us straight in the eye, inviting us to identify with this nubile and insouciant David—before he became the giant that is Peter Davis."

--Mairead Byrne

Poets have long labored under the illusion of a readership when, in fact, the notion of audience is often the last thing on poetry's mind. It's in this sense of contradiction -- the need to be loved & the need to be left alone -- that much poetry finds its spirit. Peter Davis further complicates this picture by creating a book addressing a totally fictive audience thereby foregrounding this ambiguous condition. Uncomfortably self-conscious and maddeningly self-referential, Davis has constructed a complex book-length work of institutional critique that both refutes and upholds that presumed sacred bond between author and audience. Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! is a perfect work for an age where thinkership has triumphed readership.

-- Kenneth Goldsmith

Perhaps readers might expect this blurb for this collection of delightful, self-referential meta-poems to be self-referential itself. If you think that while you read the back of this book, you’re wrong. We made it to the third sentence already without expressing any ambivalence about it: in Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!, Peter Davis breaks new ground by naming the ground itself in an Adamic fashion only he can do. I was pretty proud of myself with that term, Adamic fashion.

--Daniel Nester