Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Absent Magazine and the Youth of Today
Issue Two of Absent Magazine is now available online:
featuring poetry by Jasper Bernes, Charles Bernstein, Regis Bonvicino, Jack Boettcher, Tim Botta, Julia Cohen, Shanna Compton, John Cotter, Shafer Hall, Lisa Jarnot, Pierre Joris, Joan Kane, Noelle Kocot, Jason Labbe, Kathleen Ossip, The Pines, Matthew Rohrer, Kate Schapira, Mathias Svalina, Kathryn Tabb, Allison Titus and Betsy Wheeler.
in translation with Sergei Kitov and Octavo Paz.
musical work by Aaron Einbond.
prose by Joe Amato, Peter Ciccariello, Simon DeDeo, Adam Golaski, Kent Johnson, Amy Newman, Davis Schneiderman and Tyler Williams.
edited by Elisa Gabbert and Simon DeDeo; with great gratitude to Irwin Chen and his class at in .
work solicited for issue three: please read guidelines at:
http://absentmag.org/issue02/html/guidelines.html * letters to the editor solicited: please read http://absentmag.org/issue02/html/letters.html
Absent seems to me one of a number of intriguing online magazines (Melancholia's Tremulous Deadlocks is another) being edited by young writers. Magazines published by up-and-coming writers provide excellent insights, I think, into the ways a new generation of writers sees both themselves and their relationship to the larger environments of poetry--and often to the environment of their predecessors in particular.
I remember the combination of interest and suspicion that publications I was involved with through the 90s received from writers both of my own generation and of previous generations. Some of you may recall that conversation could be pretty intense and heated. One of the things I remember deciding for myself at that time was that when I was older, I was never going to become one of those "What's All This Then?" people who seemed to come right out of a Monty Python skit. I thought, when it's my turn to be an "older poet" (and we'll leave aside the problematics of that term, or not, as you will), I'm going to do my best to be interested in what comes afterwards, and not to try to force it to be like what me and my own generation were engaged in doing.
So, anybody have a good reading of the area and range of interests being traced in a magazine issue like this issue of Absent? What exactly are the Youth of Today up to?
Answers to this question should begin with phrases like: "When I read this magazine, what I see in the Youth of Today is..."
Or, if you are one of the Youth of Today, things like "Speaking as one of the Youth of Today, I can really relate to this magazine because..." or "As a proud Youth of Today, I have to say that this magazine in no way really represents the interests of today's youth because..."
My apologies to the editors for putting it this way; my own giddiness is no reflection on their work. It's just that the first week of school makes me feel like (as they used to say in my neighborhood when I was still a Youth of Today) "someone has just gone upside my head with a board." I am genuinely interested in people's takes on this issue.