New Directions 38
Since its inception in 1936, the New Directions in Prose and Poetry anthology series has been at the very core of the ND list. Of special interest in this the thirty-eighth number is a variety of visual and graphic materials that strives to extend the concept of the written word. David Antin’s “real estate,” a lengthy and highly entertaining narrative, is reproduced from the author’s own transcription of his improvised “talk poem.” Poet and critic Dick Higgins contributes two concrete poems. And from the late Russian man of letters, Aleksei Remizov (1877-1957) come eight remarkable drawings, introduced by the exiled Estonian poet and critic Aleksis Rannit. Also included are: Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Second Populist Manifesto: Adieu a CharIot”; James Purdy’s bizarre “Anonymous/Anomalous Letters of Passion”; “The Face at the Bottom of the World,” a poem sequence by Betsy Adams; “Klaus von Stauffenberg Reads His Palm While Shooting Niagara,” from Paul West’s fictionalized account of one of Hitler’s leading generals; Peter Kurinsky’s “The Investigation,” a tale of a young man’s unearthing of family skeletons; a newly translated story, “Blues for a Black Cat,” by the late French author Boris Vian (1920-59); “The Flies,” an evocation of a writer’s idyl gone awry, by the Faroese author William Heinesen; “Six Prose Poems” by the young Mexican-American poet Jimmy Santiago Baca; “Buried Alive,” a cryptic narrative of political repression by the Spanish writer Ramón Hernández.