Spotlight series #27 : Dani Spinosa

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.


Every time I showed a man in the literary scene one of my typewriter poems, he responded by recommending that I read through the major (read: male) figures of the concrete, visual, and typewriter poetry canons. Sometimes these men recommended a specific male poet, but usually they just suggested I read thoroughly. These were sometimes men you might expect such a response from: men who respect and admire canonicity, men who hold tenure-track positions at universities, men for whom Eliot and then Olson and then Nichol are patron saints. They were also often men who were feminists, marxists, anarchists, experimental poets, artists, activists. I thank them for those tireless recommendations for further reading because the repetition of that response gave me the idea for this project. I write these poems both to quell the fear that I might edge into this field without having paid my proper dues (see, look at who and what I have been reading!), and also to begin to dismantle that legacy. There were and are women doing beautiful, lively work in concrete poetics (among them Mary Ellen Solt, Judith Copithorne, Beth Learn, Ana Maria Uribe, to whom I owe a great debt). These voices also permeate these glosas

It is a truism that the avant-garde has been dominated not simply by men (to say nothing of whiteness, of settlers) but by a masculinist set of ideals. Hidden in this vanguardism is a deeply communal, deeply feminist poetics of derivation, homage, and love. My glosas take up this communal poetics, quoting uncited lines from visual and concrete poems and playing fast and loose with the form of the glosa. I love these poets, these poems, and I mean to show that love via stealing from them and re-presenting them. These poems were produced, for the most part, by being first typed on one of three of my home typewriters: a Smith-Corona Galaxie Deluxe, an Olympia De Luxe Portable, and a Clover 747TF. I then alter the typewriter product in Adobe Photoshop.


Emmett Williams

John Cage

Nicholas Zurbrugg

Hart Broudy

Dani Spinosa is a poet of digital and print media, an on-again-off-again precarious professor, the Managing Editor of the Electronic Literature Directory, and a co-founding editor of Gap Riot Press. Her first chapbook, Glosas for Tired Eyes, was published in 2017 with No Press, and her follow-up, Glosas for Tired Eyes 2, appeared recently with above/ground press. Her first scholarly manuscript, Anarchists in the Academy: Machines and Free Readers in Experimental Poetry recently appeared with University of Alberta Press (Spring 2018).



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