During May and June, No Tells is featuring "Recommended Summer Reading" selections by No Tell contributors.
Piotr Gwiazda's recommendations:
New & Selected Poems by Charles O. Hartman (Ahsahta Press, 2008)
This volume by an accomplished poet, scholar, and musician shows the full range of his inventiveness and craftsmanship. To give just two examples, “A Little Song” is one of the most beautiful and perfectly executed poems in sapphics, while “Tambourine” is a post-Romantic meditation on selfhood and nature in which (in another formal feat) the decimal digits of pi are used to determine the length of successive words. Ultimately, what is most impressive about this collection is not even its versatility but the fact that nearly every page of it contains genuine, unpredictable verse.
The Proteus (Moria Books, 2008) and Joys: A Catalogue of Disappointments (BlazeVOX, 2008) by Christophe Casamassima
“Having nothing to say, no words but the words of others, I have to speak,” says the narrator in Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable. This statement could serve as the motto for Christophe Casamassima’s “Proteus Cycle” project which will culminate with a third volume scheduled for release later this year. Profound in its implications, Casamassima’s technique entails “writing through” other authors, from Joyce and Jabès to a variety of more or less obscure texts. The result is a dizzying array of words and sounds, allusions and quotations, useless sense and useful nonsense—a pure experience of intertextuality.
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Piotr Gwiazda is the author of Gagarin Street: Poems (WWPH, 2005). Recent poems appear in Baltimore Is Reads, linebreak, With + Stand (The Red Issue), Poetic Voices Without Borders, and The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel: Second Floor.