perennial fashion presence falling
perennial fashion presence falling
“...some ekphrastic evening, this’ll be both criticism and poetry and failing that fall somewhere that seems like in between.”
So writes poet, critic, theorist, and MacArthur fellow Fred Moten in his latest poetry collection perennial fashion presence falling. Much like the poems found in The Feel Trio (Letter Machine 2014), which was a National Book Award finalist, and All That Beauty (Letter Machine, 2019), the poems here present Moten’s “shaped prose” on the page and the dizzying brilliance of both polyphonies and paronomasia. Within this collection, the poems hold an innate quantum curiosity about the infinitude of the present and the ways in which one could observe the history of the future. Poems beget poems, overflowing and flowering, urging deeper etymological investigations. In perennial fashion presence falling, Moten approaches the sublime, relishing that intermediary space of microtonal thought.
These poems are celebrations and performances of Black vernacular culture’s transformative power, performances of celebration in the root sense of the Latin celebrare (honor), the honoring of culturally specific meaning-making, speech acts that explore the multiple significances manifest in historical patterns and their breaking.
Michael Thurston, Massachusetts Review
Moten helps us feel the difference between real beauty of spirit and its impersonations, by uniting style, rigor, and form so seamlessly that the lesser musics will simply be forgotten.
Harmony Holiday, BOMB
[Moten’s] newest collection develops a poetics of indeterminacy, using visual art and music as focal points upon which to hone its faculty of critique. And, being an unyieldingly interdisciplinary text, it does so in the context of scientific, philosophical, and critical discourses that turn upon the thought of the intensive: that which resists being counted, weighed, or otherwise quantified. In perennial fashion presence falling, Moten’s fields and rivers don’t stretch, his landscapes don’t unfold, so much as they sublimate, transfiguring representation into abstraction.
Coleman Edward Dues, Cleveland Review of Books
Moten’s poetics say only in “disintegration,” or as this collection might call it “surfacing,” of what is known as “culture,” only in the falling / breaking apart, only in the “reach beyond grasping,” can “we get to / go through / someplace else,” which is the very place art needs to aspire if we are ever going to move from a culture built upon brutality.
Dan Hodgson, Action, Spectacle
Fred Moten works in the Departments of Performance Studies and Comparative Literature at New York University. He is concerned with social movement, aesthetic experiment and black study and has written a number of books of poetry and criticism, the latest of which, written with Stefano Harney, is All Incomplete (Minor Compositions/Autonomedia, 2021). In addition to his long-term collaboration with Harney, Moten is engaged in ongoing work with critic Laura Harris, artist Wu Tsang and musicians Gerald Cleaver and Brandon López. Moten is a MacArthur Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His book perennial fashion presence falling was published by Wave Books in 2023.
Publication: May 2023
ISBN# 9781950268764 (9 x 9, 128pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781950268801 (9 x 9, 128pp, limited edition hardcover)