Thursday, November 8, 2007
Harvey Hix's New Work/Documentary Poetry (from Reznikoff to Public Enemy)
Yesterday, I had the chance to meet up with Harvey (H.L.) Hix and interview him about his recent work, God Bless: A Political/Poetic Discourse, published by Phil Brady's Etruscan Press. Hix employs the language of speeches made by George Bush and Osama Bin Laden in various traditional Western and non-Western forms (from the sestina to the ghazal). It is a fascinating project, demonstrating an aesthetic attention that becomes a kind of ethical and political attention, a close listening of the first order. A document of listening, GOD BLESS aptly demonstrates the profound lack of listening at the heart of this administration's decision-making process. I'll do a full review of the book later, but wanted to let people know that it is eminently worth reading.
Check out this recent piece I did for the Poetry Foundation, on documentary poetry as a kind of tradition.