Poetry. African American Studies. "HUGHSON'S TAVERN is a sly, rowdy, big-eared book, lining out and sounding out, filled with desperado aplomb. Big-footed as well (reminding one of Olson's reminder that a foot is to kick with), it plies a 'boot-heel music' given to offhand acuity, tonic reprisal, declarative elan: Butch Morris meets Howlin' Wolf. As elsewhere in Moten's woPoetry. African American Studies. "HUGHSON'S TAVERN is a sly, rowdy, big-eared book, lining out and sounding out, filled with desperado aplomb. Big-footed as well (reminding one of Olson's reminder that a foot is to kick with), it plies a 'boot-heel music' given to offhand acuity, tonic reprisal, declarative elan: Butch Morris meets Howlin' Wolf. As elsewhere in Moten's work, in HUGHSON'S TAVERN the wounded rally"--Nathaniel Mackey. Moten is the author of ARKANSAS, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, and I Ran from It but Was Still in It. He lives in Durham, North Carolina....
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Hughson's Tavern Reviews
Fred Moten was here this past week. He gave a lecture, did a reading, and held a luncheon workshop--all of which have left me rethinking, reconfiguring, rewriting . . . and in anticipation of his forthcoming releases . . . I introduced him at his reading:Fred Moten’s work is, to quote him, “a critical remixing of noncovergent tracks” (In the Break 7). In his work, we find a blurring of those stubborn distinctions between the inside and the outside in a fold that is also a break, and in a break that is also an ensemble. And it is for this—among very many other—reasons that I am grateful to help welcome him to Buffalo this evening. Moten’s poetry articulates across, between, and beneath the range of discourses currently shaping the communities that constitute this poetic life; it seems to me, that he is after, as he writes at one moment in In the Break, the “generative forces there in the asymptotic, syncopated noncovergence of event, text, and tradition” (87). But he is also, in his critical-poetic work—in his improvisations that sound in and out in unexpected registers—he is also after not a revolution—not that kind of differentiated repetition—but rather a radical transformation of the hard knots of these our lived facts. In short, as Tracie Morris has observed, in Fred Moten’s work we encounter an “unskimmable text,” a text that is fluidly obdurate (see audio file at PENN Sound). Here is a poetry tuned into the sonorous historical grooves of the present; in this way, this is a poetry that actualizes and activates the potentialities of an ensemble in and for another future. This is all clear in his most recent volume, Hughson’s Tavern, a work that takes its cue from, as he has elsewhere explained, the tavern—Hughson’s Tavern—that was the place where the slave rebellion of 1741 was planned. This tavern was “a gathering place, a place where people thought and theorized not what it would mean to be free—but how to be free” (again, PENN Sound).And it is the how—the power of making, of remaking—that Fred Moten’s poems play out. In the cut and in the mix, this is a poetics predicated on a “striving that is aleatory and that is an open system as bridges” (PENN Sound). Please help me welcome, Fred Moten.
Here it is only March, and I think this might be the best book of poems I'll have read this year. Certainly a high bar to clear for any other contenders.Very little objective to say about this one at the moment -- it simply knocked me flat and then sang to me as I was coming to.
because the city's the moves and burn that we relaythe set we make by dancing uncollected earlyand late to keep it open past time in the real for youWhat is it about Moten? His poetry is always daunting. The first read-through a slog with brief illumination. But those illuminations bring you back, keep you rereading. Like walking through a foreign city you are overwhelmed, lost in your navigation, unable to take it in. The structures foreign and occasionally beautiful give momentary pause but you are still lost, anxious. It is only through familiarity and lived time there that you can trace the redolent and the holy on a specific corner; when the trampled grass becomes to you a path. anagracefullyphonograppaalibibelatednessfledladennessuntranslatedcirculatedundergroundon corners