The Book / Or / The Woods

Text on forest background

J †Johnson


Punctum Books

“Here is The Book / Or / The Woods [forthcoming, Summer 2020], an epic song cycle that devours itself on repeat, taking cover in its own flames. We think epic in the sense of bpNichol writing Martyrology, Jabès with his books of books, Rosmarie Waldrop’s Curves to the Apple, Keith Waldrop’s Transcendental Studies, Harryette Mullen’s Recyclopedia, Craig Santos Perez’s from unincorporated territory, Nathaniel Mackey’s long song(s), & others. We think epic with these ongoing & collected meta-serial works rather than the traditional notion of the epic as heroic nation building story, though we borrow epic tropes from Dante’s supernal underworld forest (& infernal forested underworld), sing with Sappho’s lyre, are haunted by the spirit of Homer’s katabasis, & are formed by the Popol Vuh’s wordly cosmos, which influenced us before we read it.” — Punctum Books