Friday, 7 January 2011

Spectral Emphatic



I am excited to announce that my third book of poetry, Spectral Emphatic, will be coming out in early 2011 with the Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. Just earlier this year they were kind enough to produce my book of durational experimental poetry, Taropoetics. Spectral Emphatic is a more conventional collection of poems, in that it is an overall collection of individual pieces written with no obvious method or procedure apart from the traditional inspiration, mulling, crossing-out and sudden imaginative leaps.

It has a theme, though, that threads through all of the poems in one way or another. The idea is that Spectral Emphatic is the sometime journal of an imagined poet and artist collective called The Bohemian Embassy: a small group stamping their obsessive, exhortative writings onto pulpy pages, making short runs of a cult publication. The book begins with their manifesto:

SPECTRAL EMPHATIC: JOURNAL OF THE BOHEMIAN EMBASSY

ITS MANIFESTO:

THE GROUP WILL STRETCH SPECTRAL FINGERS INTO THE WRITERS’ CONSCIOUSNESS AND POSSESS HER.

THE GROUP WILL MATERIALISE AS OCCASIONAL PHANTASMS.

THE GROUP SHALL SLIP IN AND OUT OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

MEMBERS OF THE GROUP SHALL TEETER AT THE EDGE OF THINGS.

WE WILL EMBRACE THE GHOSTLY AND LIMINAL.

THE GROUP SHALL BE LIKE EELS IN MURKY PONDS: SYMBOLS IN THE WRITER’S DREAMS.

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP SHOULD BE AWARE OF THEMSELVES AS RESIDUAL FORMS CONTAINING UNSPENT PSYCHIC FORCE.

WE WILL INVESTIGATE THE WORLD WITH MAGIC PERSEVERENCE.

WE WILL ENCOURAGE THE WRITER TO EMBRACE THE SENTIMENTS OF HER GOTHIC AND SYMBOLIST FOREBEARS.

WE WILL DRIFT IN THE TIDEWINDS.

THE GROUP WILL RESPOND TO OTHER ARTISTS WHOSE WORK CONTAINS LIMINALITY AND THREAT, MENACE OR OTHERWORLDLINESS.

THE GROUP WILL APPLAUD WHEN THE WRITER DELVES INTO HER NIGHTMARES.

WE WILL ENCOURAGE CONSIDERATION OF ICONIC MYTHICAL FIGURES.

WE WILL TRANSMIT ON LOW FREQUENCIES.

The group features two main characters, Valerie and Veronik, that appear in some of the poems – they are ghostly, liminal, gothic, bohemian heroines that stand on the edge of things, transmitting symbols and dreams to those on low wavelengths.

The collection, then, is concerned with the ghostly and liminal; the gothic and symbolist. It also includes poems inspired by artists who might enjoy membership of the Bohemian Embassy: Christine Aerfeldt, Sarah Moon, Paula Rego, Nikki Sixx: artists who have explored the dark and mysterious places where the mind and spirit stray if unchecked. And those dark and mysterious recesses of the mind are where some of the other poems dally – grief, obsession and madness, unspent psychic forces, as well as addressing familiar mythic figures – the Sphinx, the Sirens, the goddess Medea.

Spectral Emphatic also returns to the theme of divination, but this time via bibliomancy, with 8: A Bibliomantic Poem. This is a long work in three parts made as a result of a processual approach to writing – in this case, a poem that investigates the essence of the energy of the number 8 by a writing-through of text from page 8 from every book on a three-shelf bookcase. The Bohemian Embassy also have a hand in this, using the writer’s trancelike state in writing through to transmit some of the mysteries they are concerned with.

The book cover is included above - illustration by the super talented Laura Daligan. Her website: http://www.lauradaligan-art.com/

2 comments:

Daria Hlazatova said...

wow! congratulations! the title sounds very intriguing! and the cover is beautiful too!

Claire Massey said...

It sounds brilliant, Anna! I love the cover, too. x