An Army of Lovers

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9780872866294: An Army of Lovers
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"This experimental work is not for the faint of heart, but it is laced with meditations that will appeal to readers concerned with poetry’s role in the world."—Publishers Weekly

"I am fascinated by their attention to inequality, to questions of violence and community: something borne out by the collaboration itself."—Bhana Kapil's Best Books of 2013 on The Volta

"An Army of Lovers explores the liminal spaces where cities and individuals come together and stand apart with strange, brainy grace."—Michelle Tea, author of Mermaid in Chelsea Creek

"By means of a series of stylistically and tonally various prose segments (by turns reflexive and dialogic, ironic and depressive, unhinged and hallucinatory, wetly emotional and dryly wry, including a detournement of a Raymond Carver story), the book centers, emotionally, on the ebb and flow of what it calls 'struggle-force.' Signature drone strikes, torture, ecological collapse, environmental illness and chronic fatigue syndrome: it's all connected."—Miranda Mellis, Rain Taxi

"The book offers many ways of approaching the age-old questions What makes something art and What makes someone a decent citizen, as well as (if not primarily) exploring the ways in which the answers to these questions might intersect. More impressively, it does so without being didactic and yet without being obscure, as so many efforts at high-concept art tend to be."—Evan Karp, SF Weekly

"Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd."—Christopher Higgs, HTMLGIANT

"Authors who co-write often produce two halves that refuse to coalesce, but East Bay poets Juliana Spahr and David Buuck fuse with fantastic results in this short experimental novel. It's the story of Demented Panda and Koki, two poets united by a desire to write politically engaged works. Wounded, bored, inspired and skeptical, they soldier on through a landscape of toxic spills, consumer excess, odd juxtapositions and trance states."—Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News

"Authors Spahr and Buuck, who appear in this novel as Bay Area poets 'Koki' and 'Demented Panda,' style it up all the way from magical realism to 'new journalism' and Raymond Carver Cathedralspeak, but it's the weary 'I can't go on. I’ll go on' optimism at which wounded veterans of the army of lovers excel. Theirs is a rigorous book, and a book of marvels, with something funny, something painful, stirring on every page."—Kevin Killian, author of Spreadeagle

"This picaresque story about the 'particular lostness' of poetry, the ways poems always win and the lives of self-described 'mediocre' poets is actually pretty hilarious! It’s also smart, incisive and politically astute. Now, to the barricades!"—Rebecca Brown, author of American Romances: Essays

An Army of Lovers begins with the story of two poets, Demented Panda and Koki, united in their desire to write politically engaged poetry at a time when poetry seems to have lost its ability to effect social change. Their first project is more than a failure, resulting in a spell that unleashes a torrent of raw sewage and surrealistic embodiments of consumerist excess and black site torture techniques. Subsequent chapters feature an experimental composer (Koki?) and a performance artist (Panda?) whose bodies are literally invaded with the ills of capitalism, manifested through leaking blisters and other maladies, as well as a radical remix of a Raymond Carver story, questioning What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry.” The novel concludes with Panda and Koki returning to the site of their failed collaboration to conjure up a more utopian vision of an army of lovers.” Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd.

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About the Author:

Juliana Spahr is the author of four books of poetry: Well Then There Now (Black Sparrow P, 2011), This Connection of Everyone with Lungs (U of California, 2005), Fuck You-Aloha-I Love You (Wesleyan U, 2001), and Response (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon P, 1996). She is the recipient of the 2009 Hardison Poetry Prize awarded by the Folger Shakespeare Library. In 2007 she published The Transformation (Atelos), a book of prose which tells the story of three people who move between Hawai‘i and New York in order to talk about cultural geography, ecology, anticolonialism, queer theory, language politics, the academy, and recent wars. She edits with Jena Osman the book series Chain Links and with nineteen other poets she edits of the collectively funded Subpress. She has edited numerous critical anthologies and teaches at Mills College.

David Buuck is a writer and teacher who lives in Oakland, CA. He is the founder of BARGE, the Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics, and co-founder and editor of Tripwire, a journal of poetics. From 2003-08 he was associate editor at Artweek, and from 2007-11 the President of the Board of Directors of Small Press Traffic, a literary nonprofit in San Francisco, where he also co-curated the annual Poets Theater festival. The Shunt, a book of poetry about the Bush years, was published in 2009 by Palm Press. He is a proud member of Occupy Oakland and various related offshoots.

From Publishers Weekly:

This avant-garde debut novel from poets Spahr and Buuck eschews convention while containing flashes of surprising humor and insight. The novel opens and concludes with the story of Demented Panda and Koki, two mediocre San Francisco Bay Area poets who decide to collaborate. Their planned epic poem is about a vacant lot on the border of two cities, but after a summer of talking, Demented Panda has written nothing, and Koki has produced so much that it&'s the same as nothing. Subsequent sections tell the story of a composer infected with a mysterious illness, and a reworking of a Raymond Carver story is offered. The links between these sections are tenuous, although descriptions of illness and observations of the roles of art in society create a thematic unity. The deprecations of the poets&' processes in the Demented Panda and Koki sections are funny, and the observations about art in the other sections are sobering. However, many readers will question the point of the disjointed narrative, and several sequences describing the manifestations of the mystery illnesses are hard to take. This experimental work is not for the faint of heart, but it is laced with meditations that will appeal to readers concerned with poetry&'s role in the world. (Oct.)

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Book Description City Lights Books, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "This experimental work is not for the faint of heart, but it is laced with meditations that will appeal to readers concerned with poetry's role in the world."--Publishers Weekly "I am fascinated by their attention to inequality, to questions of violence and community: something borne out by the collaboration itself."--Bhana Kapil's Best Books of 2013 on The Volta "An Army of Lovers explores the liminal spaces where cities and individuals come together and stand apart with strange, brainy grace."--Michelle Tea, author of Mermaid in Chelsea Creek "By means of a series of stylistically and tonally various prose segments (by turns reflexive and dialogic, ironic and depressive, unhinged and hallucinatory, wetly emotional and dryly wry, including a detournement of a Raymond Carver story), the book centers, emotionally, on the ebb and flow of what it calls 'struggle-force.' Signature drone strikes, torture, ecological collapse, environmental illness and chronic fatigue syndrome: it's all connected."--Miranda Mellis, Rain Taxi "The book offers many ways of approaching the age-old questions What makes something art and What makes someone a decent citizen, as well as (if not primarily) exploring the ways in which the answers to these questions might intersect. More impressively, it does so without being didactic and yet without being obscure, as so many efforts at high-concept art tend to be."--Evan Karp, SF Weekly "Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd."--Christopher Higgs, HTMLGIANT "Authors who co-write often produce two halves that refuse to coalesce, but East Bay poets Juliana Spahr and David Buuck fuse with fantastic results in this short experimental novel. It's the story of Demented Panda and Koki, two poets united by a desire to write politically engaged works. Wounded, bored, inspired and skeptical, they soldier on through a landscape of toxic spills, consumer excess, odd juxtapositions and trance states."--Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News "Authors Spahr and Buuck, who appear in this novel as Bay Area poets 'Koki' and 'Demented Panda,' style it up all the way from magical realism to 'new journalism' and Raymond Carver Cathedralspeak, but it's the weary 'I can't go on. I'll go on' optimism at which wounded veterans of the army of lovers excel. Theirs is a rigorous book, and a book of marvels, with something funny, something painful, stirring on every page."--Kevin Killian, author of Spreadeagle "This picaresque story about the 'particular lostness' of poetry, the ways poems always win and the lives of self-described 'mediocre' poets is actually pretty hilarious! It's also smart, incisive and politically astute. Now, to the barricades!"--Rebecca Brown, author of American Romances: Essays An Army of Lovers begins with the story of two poets, Demented Panda and Koki, united in their desire to write politically engaged poetry at a time when poetry seems to have lost its ability to effect social change.Their first project is more than a failure, resulting in a spell that unleashes a torrent of raw sewage and surrealistic embodiments of consumerist excess and black site torture techniques. Subsequent chapters feature an experimental composer (Koki?) and a performance artist (Panda?) whose bodies are literally invaded with the ills of capitalism, manifested through leaking blisters and other maladies, as well as a radical remix of a Raymond Carver story, questioning "What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry." The novel concludes with Panda and Koki returning to the site of their failed collaboration to conjure up a more utopian vision of "an army of lovers." Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd. Seller Inventory # AAS9780872866294

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Book Description City Lights Books, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "This experimental work is not for the faint of heart, but it is laced with meditations that will appeal to readers concerned with poetry's role in the world."--Publishers Weekly "I am fascinated by their attention to inequality, to questions of violence and community: something borne out by the collaboration itself."--Bhana Kapil's Best Books of 2013 on The Volta "An Army of Lovers explores the liminal spaces where cities and individuals come together and stand apart with strange, brainy grace."--Michelle Tea, author of Mermaid in Chelsea Creek "By means of a series of stylistically and tonally various prose segments (by turns reflexive and dialogic, ironic and depressive, unhinged and hallucinatory, wetly emotional and dryly wry, including a detournement of a Raymond Carver story), the book centers, emotionally, on the ebb and flow of what it calls 'struggle-force.' Signature drone strikes, torture, ecological collapse, environmental illness and chronic fatigue syndrome: it's all connected."--Miranda Mellis, Rain Taxi "The book offers many ways of approaching the age-old questions What makes something art and What makes someone a decent citizen, as well as (if not primarily) exploring the ways in which the answers to these questions might intersect. More impressively, it does so without being didactic and yet without being obscure, as so many efforts at high-concept art tend to be."--Evan Karp, SF Weekly "Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd."--Christopher Higgs, HTMLGIANT "Authors who co-write often produce two halves that refuse to coalesce, but East Bay poets Juliana Spahr and David Buuck fuse with fantastic results in this short experimental novel. It's the story of Demented Panda and Koki, two poets united by a desire to write politically engaged works. Wounded, bored, inspired and skeptical, they soldier on through a landscape of toxic spills, consumer excess, odd juxtapositions and trance states."--Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News "Authors Spahr and Buuck, who appear in this novel as Bay Area poets 'Koki' and 'Demented Panda,' style it up all the way from magical realism to 'new journalism' and Raymond Carver Cathedralspeak, but it's the weary 'I can't go on. I'll go on' optimism at which wounded veterans of the army of lovers excel. Theirs is a rigorous book, and a book of marvels, with something funny, something painful, stirring on every page."--Kevin Killian, author of Spreadeagle "This picaresque story about the 'particular lostness' of poetry, the ways poems always win and the lives of self-described 'mediocre' poets is actually pretty hilarious! It's also smart, incisive and politically astute. Now, to the barricades!"--Rebecca Brown, author of American Romances: Essays An Army of Lovers begins with the story of two poets, Demented Panda and Koki, united in their desire to write politically engaged poetry at a time when poetry seems to have lost its ability to effect social change.Their first project is more than a failure, resulting in a spell that unleashes a torrent of raw sewage and surrealistic embodiments of consumerist excess and black site torture techniques. Subsequent chapters feature an experimental composer (Koki?) and a performance artist (Panda?) whose bodies are literally invaded with the ills of capitalism, manifested through leaking blisters and other maladies, as well as a radical remix of a Raymond Carver story, questioning "What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry." The novel concludes with Panda and Koki returning to the site of their failed collaboration to conjure up a more utopian vision of "an army of lovers." Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd. Seller Inventory # AAS9780872866294

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Book Description City Lights Books, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. "This experimental work is not for the faint of heart, but it is laced with meditations that will appeal to readers concerned with poetry's role in the world."--Publishers Weekly "I am fascinated by their attention to inequality, to questions of violence and community: something borne out by the collaboration itself."--Bhana Kapil's Best Books of 2013 on The Volta "An Army of Lovers explores the liminal spaces where cities and individuals come together and stand apart with strange, brainy grace."--Michelle Tea, author of Mermaid in Chelsea Creek "By means of a series of stylistically and tonally various prose segments (by turns reflexive and dialogic, ironic and depressive, unhinged and hallucinatory, wetly emotional and dryly wry, including a detournement of a Raymond Carver story), the book centers, emotionally, on the ebb and flow of what it calls 'struggle-force.' Signature drone strikes, torture, ecological collapse, environmental illness and chronic fatigue syndrome: it's all connected."--Miranda Mellis, Rain Taxi "The book offers many ways of approaching the age-old questions What makes something art and What makes someone a decent citizen, as well as (if not primarily) exploring the ways in which the answers to these questions might intersect. More impressively, it does so without being didactic and yet without being obscure, as so many efforts at high-concept art tend to be."--Evan Karp, SF Weekly "Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd."--Christopher Higgs, HTMLGIANT "Authors who co-write often produce two halves that refuse to coalesce, but East Bay poets Juliana Spahr and David Buuck fuse with fantastic results in this short experimental novel. It's the story of Demented Panda and Koki, two poets united by a desire to write politically engaged works. Wounded, bored, inspired and skeptical, they soldier on through a landscape of toxic spills, consumer excess, odd juxtapositions and trance states."--Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News "Authors Spahr and Buuck, who appear in this novel as Bay Area poets 'Koki' and 'Demented Panda,' style it up all the way from magical realism to 'new journalism' and Raymond Carver Cathedralspeak, but it's the weary 'I can't go on. I'll go on' optimism at which wounded veterans of the army of lovers excel. Theirs is a rigorous book, and a book of marvels, with something funny, something painful, stirring on every page."--Kevin Killian, author of Spreadeagle "This picaresque story about the 'particular lostness' of poetry, the ways poems always win and the lives of self-described 'mediocre' poets is actually pretty hilarious! It's also smart, incisive and politically astute. Now, to the barricades!"--Rebecca Brown, author of American Romances: Essays An Army of Lovers begins with the story of two poets, Demented Panda and Koki, united in their desire to write politically engaged poetry at a time when poetry seems to have lost its ability to effect social change.Their first project is more than a failure, resulting in a spell that unleashes a torrent of raw sewage and surrealistic embodiments of consumerist excess and black site torture techniques. Subsequent chapters feature an experimental composer (Koki?) and a performance artist (Panda?) whose bodies are literally invaded with the ills of capitalism, manifested through leaking blisters and other maladies, as well as a radical remix of a Raymond Carver story, questioning "What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry." The novel concludes with Panda and Koki returning to the site of their failed collaboration to conjure up a more utopian vision of "an army of lovers." Fantastical, lyrical, whimsical and wildly experimental, An Army of Lovers is as serious as it is absurd. Seller Inventory # BTE9780872866294

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