A cross-referenced encyclopedia of all things New, Mathew Timmons’ The New Poetics challenges the prevailing obsession with the emergent and the reinvented by remaking The New itself in the image of the banal. Employing techniques of collage and appropriation, Timmons explores the endless repetition and recapitulation inherent in a language constructed from signs, signifiers, memes, short-hands, ready-made phrases and the vast wash of pop-culture paraphernalia. Written with poetics as both subject and approach, but in rambling prose paragraphs and breathless, run-on sentences, The New Poetics simultaneously critiques and reenacts the search for the ever-desirable and ever-elusive New in the rubble of convention.
Praise for The New Poetics
“Consisting of cross-referenced, encyclopedia-style entries on everything new—The New Alexandrine, the New Egret, the New Emotion, the New Look, and the New New Deal, for instance—The New Poetics updates Pound’s imperative to “make it new” to address the contemporary commodification of newness itself. In making newness old, The New Poetics begins to chart a way to think futurity differently. And as a work of poetics, Timmons’s book both operates through and points up a contradiction inherent to flarf and conceptual writing: the valorization of non-newness as simultaneous valorization of the (new) gesture away from the new. These poems are great at the individual level, and you should read this book for that reason. But also, you should read this book because doing so will upset a slew of old poetics questions you thought you had worked out.”—Marie Buck
“I’m often asked “what’s new in poetry?” — and now there’s an easy answer. From the man who first demonstrated that powerful dramatic poetry could be written in the new blank verse comes Mathew Timmons’ The New Poetics. In the hands of the Language Poets, the New Prose Poem insisted on its scriptural illegibility rather than a speech-based comprehensibility. In Timmons’ hands, however, everything is legible, which makes it simultaneously reiterated and fresh. The news, that is, as Pound would have it, that stays news.”—Craig Dworkin
“The New Poetics helped deepen my thoughts about the paradoxical relations between temporality and culture-making. It is paradoxical and committed in a most excellent way.”—Rodrigo Toscano