Thursday, April 6, 2017

new from above/ground press: The Lover is Absent, by Jessica Smith

The Lover is Absent
Jessica Smith

published in Ottawa by above/ground press
April 2017
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Jessica Smith, Founding Editor of Foursquare and name magazines and Coven Press, serves as the Librarian for Indian Springs School, where she curates the Indian Springs School Visiting Writers Series. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, she received her B.A. in English and Comparative Literature: Language Theory, M.A. in Comparative Literature, and M.L.S. from SUNY Buffalo, where she participated in the Poetics Program. She is the author of numerous chapbooks including Trauma Mouth (Dusie, 2015) and two full-length books of poetry, Organic Furniture Cellar (Outside Voices 2006) and Life-List (Chax Press 2015).

This is her third chapbook with above/ground press, after Shifting Landscapes (2006) and MNEMOTECHNICS (2013).

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 or paypal at

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Katie L. Price: Poetry & Practice: Perspectives on Medicine and Narrative WSU

above/ground press author Katie L. Price (author of the 2015 chapbooks Sickly and BRCA: Birth of a Patient) tomorrow afternoon at Washington State University!

"This may seem tangential to our class at first glance. However, Katie L. Price has a very interesting project to turn the information contained on her medical records into poetry. In formal terms, the project shows how restructuring information—from documentary form to poetic form—can alter its meaning in dramatic ways, even if the data stays the same. The process of making private health records public also resonates with what Frank Pasquale writes about health insurance scores. Rather than letting her medical history add up to a numeric identity assigned by some data broker, Price works to regain a kind of control over her health records. In the process, she works against narratives of private illness and private risk, showing instead how perceptions of health have very public consequences. Medical patients bear the brunt of those consequences, her poetry suggests, not commercial insurance services.

This event should help us imagine interesting new angles for the course material. Price’s poetry could become an interesting point of entry for a final project about individual reputation in the era of run-away data. Attend the talk and blog about it for extra-credit—brownie points if you ask a question about digital technology!"