Wednesday, February 11, 2009


What would the Iliad look like if rewritten using only one vowel? What happens to political poetry when channeled through the waste of corporate language and search engines? On February 20, Small Press Traffic presents Christian Bök and Rachel Zolf, two celebrated members of the Canadian avant-garde, who will read from their landmark, award-winning books.

Christian Bök's Eunoia was an instant bestseller in the U.K., where it was just released in the fall of 2008. First published in Canada in 2001, Eunoia is a univocal lipogram (using only one vowel per chapter), which achieves its full impact when performed live by Bök. Charles Bernstein has called it 'an exemplary monument for 21st century poetry.' Bök will be reading from the Griffin Prize-winning Eunoia, among other recent works.

Rachel Zolf's Human Resources is a writing machine in which poetry and ‘plain language’ collide. At the intersection of creation and repackaging, we experience the visceral and psychic cost of selling things with depleted words. Pilfered rhetorics fed into the machine are spit out as bungled associations among money, refuse, culture, work and communication. With the help of online engines that numericize language, Human Resources explores writing as a process of encryption. Zolf will read from Human Resources and her current work-in-progress on competing knowledges in Israel-Palestine, The Neighbour Procedure.

Small Press Traffic Presents Christian Bök and Rachel Zolf
Friday, February 20, 7:30 p.m.
Timken Lecture Hall, California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco
$10 suggested donation

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