Archive for the ‘Michael Heller’ Tag

A Minor Festschrift for Michael Heller

michael hellerIn Montreal, Concordia University’s Liberal Arts College sponsors an annual lecture. One year, it was Helen Vendler; another, a reading by Allen Ginsberg; and, once, poet Michael Heller, who riffed off Walter Benjamin’s reading of Paul Klee’s painting “Angelus Novus” (see the ninth of Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History), to develop what he termed a “phantomology.” The details of his argument are immaterial here, but, what’s to the point, of all the lectures I’d heard at this yearly event, his was the only one I hung on every word.

It’s been my luck to remain acquainted with the man and his poetry and criticism since, work that connects the present to the Objectivist tradition in poetry and poetics, especially Heller’s friend and mentor, George Oppen, and that develops an independent vision and practice of its own.

It’s therefore a great pleasure to see Heller’s work appreciated in a manner of micro-Festschrift at Jacket2, that features new poetic and critical work by Heller and himself along with a collection of appreciations. Read it all, here.

Review of Michael Heller’s collected poems @Jacket2

Review of This Constellation Is a Name @ Jacket2

As Ezra Pound wrote Louis Dudek:  “C/vn not a one man job.” Happily, readers other than my lone self appreciate the writing of Michael Heller, and Eric Hoffman has reviewed Heller’s collected poems, which review is readable at the link!

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Michael Heller, an Introduction to his Poetry

immanent occasions blogspot has beaten me to putting up some remarks on Michael Heller‘s poetry, now collected in his This Constellation is a Name. You can read the post, hereDsci0012-330.

Happy Birthday, Charles Reznikoff

Happy Birthday, Charles Reznikoff

The Allen Ginsberg Project has thoughtfully posted a recording of a reading in honour of American Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff, the promise and possibilities of whose work are, happily, increasingly appreciated, from yesterday’s late Beats to today’s Conceptualists and more direct descendants, such as Michael Heller (whose volume of collected poems This Constellation is a Name was published just last year). The Objectivists’ fame has reached even to Russia:  Kirill Medvedev (a very compelling figure in his own right) reflects on their legacy in his poem “The End of the Ceasefire (The End of the Objectivist School?)”. Perhaps with the excesses of Capital and America’s warmongering Reznikoff’s executors will feel the time is ripe to reissue Reznikoff’s cold-eyed, unrelenting castigation of exploitation and racism, Testimony.

(My difference of opinion with certain latter-day receptions of Reznikoff’s work can be found here).