self-portrait as joseph cornell: A Selected Bibliography

October 6th, 2018

self-portrait as joseph cornell is a series of poems shaped like vertical horizontal boxes, the sort of boxes that Joseph Cornell is renowned for having made. Taylor has channeled Cornell's spirit and sense of composition to create this original work. Ken Taylor and fellow co-founder of Lute & Drum J. Peter Moore will read from their respective poetry collections, self-portrait as joseph cornell and Zippers and Jeans, on Saturday, 10/13, 3pm at the Co-op.


From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, by Nathaniel Mackey - As much as I love Nate's poetry, I think l like the books in this work best. He has more time to play in the field here, and he does, and I delight in it. Music, music, music... Nate has allowed me to sit in on his classes at Duke, as a local who was interested. He's a great teacher and teaches me something every time we get together, or when I attend his readings or when I pick up his work.

Some Trees, by John Ashbury - I've read 16 books by Ashbury. His language cruises past me, but excites me. I almost alway have to put his work down to write.

The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, by Maggie Nelson - I learn so much by reading Maggie Nelson's work, both in terms of thought and perspective. I end up reading 3 or 4 other books that she references each time I read something by her. Cool, bright mind.

Sea Garden, by H.D - These poems are so rich in dimension while being so precise and tight. But not strained. Magical writing.

Sorting Facts: or, Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker, by Susan Howe - This book and the film she is writing about are instructive on how one might try to write poetry. I don't think I'll ever reach the plane of thinking where Howe resides. But I admire this and many of her other works.

Inferno, by Eileen Myles - I love Eileen's poetry. But I really was touched by this work. She makes some statement in it about defending or protecting being a poet before defending being a lesbian. She didn't want a perception of her writing to be muddied by others' impressions of her person. She loves poetry that much. And she can pivot in the middle of a line or statement and take your legs out. Sure and tough and sweet language.

Voices Cast Us Out to Cast Us In, by Ed Roberson - Ed goes deep and long and keeps turning back and weaving what he's written into what he is writing and taking it all forward. It's completely accessible and opaque (in a great way) simultaneously. He's all in every time.

The Service Porch, by Fred Moten - Fred is my man. He's had as much influence on my work as anyone. I love his writing. The way his mind moves in the rhythms and syntax it moves in. He's given me many encouragements. Helped me get published. Very sorry circumstances couldn't keep him in NC.

Dark Church, by Joseph Donahue - Joe is someone who is compelled to write and does. I've seen his notebooks, and like Mozart, there are no corrections. I'm sure he tweaks his work later, but it pours into him in suites of couplets that shimmer. He also is a servant of poetry and forwards the cause in many ways without interest in acknowledgment. But his work is great, and more people should know it.

Phosphorescence of Thought, by Peter O'Leary - I love all the work I've read by Peter. His poems and his criticism. He's smart and loves language. He plants both feet on the ground and brings it in full voice. And he has a deep and ethical care in what he takes on. I think because he's in direct correspondence with a holy spirit or spirits I haven't sorted out yet.


About Ken Taylor: Ken Taylor is the co-founder and contributing editor of Lute & Drum, an online journal of poetry and poetics. He is the author of self-portrait as joseph cornell (Pressed Wafer, 2016) and the chapbooks: dog with elizabethan collar (selva oscura press, 2015) and first the trees, now this (Three Count Pour, 2013). His poetry has appeared in Hambone, Volt, Blackbird, Blackbox Manifold, Carolina Quarterly, and others.

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