DOCUMENTS is the publishing imprint of the Centre for Expanded Poetics. Our aim is to publish work attesting to the multiplicity of practices, techniques, and modes of theoretical intelligence that inform contemporary poetics. If poetics refers to the theory of poetry (its forms, histories, critical categories) it is also the theory of poiesis (of making), and this larger field draws it beyond the boundaries of poetry as a specifically literary activity. As we study this tension between poetry and poiesis, we want to document its contemporary transformations by publishing texts that have shifted and sharpened the focus of our attention to philosophical problems, embodied histories, political contradictions, artistic experiments, and scientific models of structure and form.

Each book in the series is designed by LOKI, printed in an edition of 250 on the Centre’s Risograph MZ1090, bound and distributed by our collaborators at Anteism, and eventually available as a digital flip book on the Centre’s website.

Volumes are available for purchase through Anteism’s catalog. Proceeds go to authors (75%) and to Anteism’s distribution costs.

Edited by Nathan Brown and Michael Nardone

Forthcoming in 2019-2020
Nora Collen Fulton, Thee Display
Tanya Lukin Linklater, Slow Scrape
Alisha Dukelow, A Modernist Affect Grid (In Eight Poems)

Published in 2018

Devin Wangert, Dead Time: Intolerable Images and the Politics of Banality (purchase here)
Banality is a style of experience often indicated by variations of the statement, “nothing is happening.” When you are “doing nothing,” the life you are living appears as both ordinary and impassive. In the present moment, these qualities also come to describe the endurance of structures of impoverishment, disenfranchisement, criminalization, and environmental destruction that form the background and backbone of the current political-economic system, so that “doing politics” often comes to mean interrupting banality. Offering new ways of conceiving the notions of inactionability and intractability that attend to these structures, Devin Wangert forwards banality as a concept capable of both adequately describing those structures as inactionable or impossible situations and of identifying affinities between forms of livelihood that go on living in and responding to those situations. He suggests that repertoires of thinking and acting which were historically posed in opposition to banality and understood as responsible for creating change come instead to actively produce impossible situations as banal and posit banality as an obstacle to political subjectivity, thought, and action.  

Devin Wangert is a PhD candidate in the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University.

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NourbeSe Philip, Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence (purchase here)
A woman, travelling alone through time, Africa, and unnamed lands, searches for Dr. David Livingstone, celebrated by the West as a “discoverer” of Africa. Throughout her quest, for knowledge and for Livingstone, the traveller visits many peoples, listens to their stories and their silences, and learns about their Silence. Suspense, parables, and dreams play major parts of the story twists and turns toward the traveller’s confrontation with Livingstone-I presume.
Looking for Livingstone explodes Western assumptions about the “silence” of indigenous peoples; this is on elegant and compelling novel which beautifully gives voice to the ancestors to whom it is dedicated.

M. NourbeSe Philip is an unembedded poet, essayist, novelist and playwright who lives in the space-time of the City of Toronto. She practised law in the City of Toronto for seven years before becoming a poet and writer. She has published four books of poetry including the seminal She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks, one novel and four collections of essays. Her book-length poem, Zong!, is a conceptually innovative, genre-breaking epic, which explodes the legal archive as it relates to slavery. Her most recent work is BLAnK is a collection of essays on racism and culture.