John Keene and Christopher Stackhouse
Featuring line-drawings by Stackhouse & poems-as-essays by Keene—handed back and forth and back again, written and rewritten, drawn and redrawn—Seismosis penetrates the common ground between writing/literature and drawing/visual art, creating a revisioned landscape where much of the work is abstract, or abstracted, or both.
The multiform agreements the texts & the drawings make, from a brilliant & decisive center, are revolutionary, antilinear, and highly responsive. The result is a sophisticated call-and-response affair. A pioneering event between two African-American artists, Seismosis is a formal experience.
How drawing ultimately
is coming into forms,
John Keene is a former member of the Dark Room Writers Collective, a graduate fellow of Cave Canem, and recipient of many awards and fellowships—including a 2003 Poetry Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and a 2005 Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Prize for fiction. Keene is the author of the acclaimed experimental novel, Annotations, from New Directions.
Christopher Stackhouse is the author of Slip (Corollary Press), a Cave Canem graduate fellow, a poetry editor at Fence magazine, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry for 2005. An MFA candidate at Bard College, Stackhouse is also an exhibiting artist whose canvases and works on paper have appeared in several New York City galleries.
Seismosis is available for purchase from Small Press Distribution or from 1913 Press.
“… Seismosis is the complete text for the course, replete with illustrations, examples, graphs, exercises, and tests.” —from the Foreword by Ed Roberson
“Wow. Rarely a book makes such an impact. Keene and Stackhouse heat up the strange place where abstraction becomes as visceral as thoughts or conversations. Anyone interested in artistic collaborations will rarely find one this complete, in the pleasure of ever-forming and dissolving boundaries between gestures. An immediate delight.” —Thalia Field
“This exquisite collaboration goes beyond a linear mutual appreciation: poet likes artist’s work—artist likes poet’s work. In Seismosis, Keene & Stackhouse present an interwoven, intersecting conversation between one another and their art forms. We read the poems and see the drawings—we read the drawings and see the poems, as the collaborators make use of space, line, and textural performance in one multimedia framework. Here, two men’s boyish charms and haunting playfulness create a three-dimensional canvas out of thinking inscriptions.” —Tracie Morris
It’s what happens when writing and drawing give each other a hand, a free hand, to shake it up, to go the distance from crossing out to crossing over, from ear to here and back again, fast. A little nerve music for the time being—sampling seismo for the pleisto scene.— David Levi Strauss