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Derek Pollard

Derek Pollard is co-founder with Derek Henderson of Blue Night Press and is currently Managing Editor of Barrow Street Press. His writing has appeared in American Book Review, Colorado Review, Diagram III, Pleiades, Six–Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak, and Zoland Poetry.

Blurbs

"The horizon of these poems is a lifeline, truly. Here I find rescue everywhere and every way I turn. Henderson and Pollard have fronted catastrophe with loving eyes. Small wonder, then, that they find miracles."

– Donald Revell

"In this sequence, the collaboration between word and reader, writer and responder, life and death, Derek and Derek, is an invitation, a dance card in which the dancer and the danced become not a duet but a crowd of possibility -- ‘the shining market of us.’”

– Eleni Sikelianos

"[The] coupling goes on, gets faster and faster; little lights begin to blink; those are in your head, and it’s the text that’s doing it -- that and the dead, who also come back again and again. The Dereks manage to capture all this while keeping it hurtling forward. Vertiginous -- and very moving.”

– Cole Swensen

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Featured Book

Inconsequentia

A Revolution When Whispered

07/25/12

Dereks Pollard and Henderson’s Inconsequentia made me belly laugh within the first five pages. I guffawed. It was embarrassing; thank god nobody was around.

Reading Inconsequentia, a collaborative effort by Derek Henderson and Derek Pollard, isn’t altogether different than reading highfalutin, high-concept books from Po-Mo darlings like Lisa Robinson and Bernadette Mayer, but it’s not the sort of book you want to whip out in a café to impress the cute hipster girl in the plaid shirt. You will probably let out a few loud, embarrassing, monosyllabic laughs here and there. Hell, you’ll probably drool a little. Don’t misread me, though; none of this is bad news. Rather, it’s testament to the gleeful abandon with which these Dereks approached the making of this book, and to the huge degree to which their effort is truly engaging.

I don’t know anything about how the Dereks achieved this collaboration. I imagine that they emailed. I imagine this only because “’invisible typewriter’” is identified as a “revolution when whispered,” and I’m fairly certain that “invisible typewriter” is a lolcatz meme. That’s the only “clue” I get, though, because the result of whatever method the Dereks employed is a strong, consistent, and very flexible voice.  In fact, that might be a generative principal of this work: the elusive “product” generated from multitudes.

people everyone

morning always

from It

creates itself

Inconsequentia arises from and seems to enact the chaos of order-making. “We sort through the making of This: / Like parents, spawning certain Things.”  It is the celebration of things, and of making them in which the book seems largely to be engaged. If the “we” in this excerpt might be read as a simple clue into the logic of this collaboration, here is a counter example as confounding as it is exhilarating: “Respond to this,” chides page forty six. “If you. You are not continuing it,” page forty seven seems to reply.

This exchange can be read as a) an exchange between collaborators, b) an admission that there has been no such exchange, c) an exchange between the voice of the speaker and the reader, or c) a hell of a lot of fun. There are other instances of things that look like multiple voices blending into one:

If you read

I am breath I am air.

I am spawned.

Convincing ploy-univociallity follows form an interrogation of the author / reader / author / world dynamic, the act of creating “It,” a product wrought of processes, but perhaps the heart of this work is its persistent sense of humanity. Inconsequentia struggles for the poem, offers it up, and asks for approval. The result is a never-boring exploration of the poetic consciousness, couched firmly in a contemporary moment, and grounded by the proximity of such wonder to the mundane.

That’s just about enough from me.  I’m not here to read the book for you, damnit. I’m just here to tell you that Inconsequentia is an important book, and that you ought to go pick it up.

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1 Comment

  1. Jennifer Brown said on 07/27/12 at 3:11 pm Reply

    So happy to see this wonderful book reviewed. It is indeed important, and people certainly should go pick it up!

    Reply

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