I’m really honored to be part of this volume framed around Nathaniel Mackey’s stunning and crucial essay on breath and precarity, alongside admired colleagues. Edited by Myung Mi Kim and Cristanne Miller, and coming in June from SUNY Press. Look out for it!


“Poets and critics address the potential of language to address the increasing level of discord and precarity in the twenty-first century.

“At a time when wars, acts of terrorism, and ecological degradation have intensified and isolationism, misogyny, and ethnic divisiveness have been given distinctively more powerful voice in public discourse, language itself often seems to have failed. The poets and critics in this book argue that language has the potential to address this increasing level of discord and precarity, and they negotiate ways to understand poetics, or the role of the poetic, in relation to language, the body politic, the human body, breath, the bodies of the natural environment, and the body of form.

“Poetry makes urgent issues audible and poetics helps to theorize those issues into critical consciousness. Poetry also functions as a cry to protest late capitalist imperialism, misogyny, racism, climate change, and all the debilitating conditions of everyday life. Hubs of concern merge and diverge; precarity takes differently gendered, historied, embodied, geopolitical manifestations. The contributors articulate a poetics that renders what has not yet been crystallized as discourse into fields of force. They also acknowledge the beauties of sound, poetry, and music, and celebrate the power of community, marking the surge of energy that can occur at a particular place at a particular moment. Ultimately, Poetics and Precarity fosters further conversations that will imagine the concerns of poetics as a continuously emerging field.”


Introduction / Myung Mi Kim and Cristanne Miller

Breath and Precarity: The Inaugural Robert Creeley Lecture in Poetry and Poetics / Nathaniel Mackey

The Ga(s)p / M. NourbeSe Philip

Precarity Shared: Breathing as Tactic in Air’s Uneven Commons / Jennifer Scappettone

On Not Missing It / Elizabeth Willis

Here and Elsewhere: Creeley’s Notions of Community and Teaching as Circulation / Vincent Broqua

Constructive Alterities & the Agonistic Feminine / Joan Retallack

Precarity, Poetry, and the Practice of Countermapping / Adalaide Morris and Stephen Voyce

Supine, Prone, Precarious / Sarah Dowling

The Opening of the (Transnational Battle) Field / Heriberto Yépez

Poetics and Precarity

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