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Barbaric Vast & Wild: A Gathering of Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Present: Poems for the Millennium

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Barbaric Vast & Wild is a continuation and a possible culmination of the project that began with Jerome Rothenberg's Technicians of the Sacred in 1968 and led to the first four volumes of Poems for the Millennium in the 1990s and 2000s. In this new and equally groundbreaking volume, Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman have assembled a wide-ranging gathering of poems and Barbaric Vast & Wild is a continuation and a possible culmination of the project that began with Jerome Rothenberg's Technicians of the Sacred in 1968 and led to the first four volumes of Poems for the Millennium in the 1990s and 2000s. In this new and equally groundbreaking volume, Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman have assembled a wide-ranging gathering of poems and related language works, whose outside/outsider and subterranean/subversive positions challenge some of the boundaries to where poetry has been or may be practiced, as well as the form and substance of the poetry itself. It also extends the time frame of the preceding volumes in Poems for the Millennium, hoping to show that, in all places and times, what the dominant culture has taken as poetry has only been part of the story.


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Barbaric Vast & Wild is a continuation and a possible culmination of the project that began with Jerome Rothenberg's Technicians of the Sacred in 1968 and led to the first four volumes of Poems for the Millennium in the 1990s and 2000s. In this new and equally groundbreaking volume, Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman have assembled a wide-ranging gathering of poems and Barbaric Vast & Wild is a continuation and a possible culmination of the project that began with Jerome Rothenberg's Technicians of the Sacred in 1968 and led to the first four volumes of Poems for the Millennium in the 1990s and 2000s. In this new and equally groundbreaking volume, Rothenberg and John Bloomberg-Rissman have assembled a wide-ranging gathering of poems and related language works, whose outside/outsider and subterranean/subversive positions challenge some of the boundaries to where poetry has been or may be practiced, as well as the form and substance of the poetry itself. It also extends the time frame of the preceding volumes in Poems for the Millennium, hoping to show that, in all places and times, what the dominant culture has taken as poetry has only been part of the story.

40 review for Barbaric Vast & Wild: A Gathering of Outside & Subterranean Poetry from Origins to Present: Poems for the Millennium

  1. 4 out of 5

    Guttersnipe Das

    A continuous state of surprise! Everyone who styles themselves an outsider should be required to buy this book. It’d rocket up the bestseller list and surely we would become, along with our creations, more interesting and more tolerant, dashing and emboldened and enriched. The books I love most are those that grant me entrance to an entire world; this is such a book. Not since M.A. Caws’ Surrealist Painters and Poets have I found an anthology that so deserved to be called a treasure house. ‘Anthol A continuous state of surprise! Everyone who styles themselves an outsider should be required to buy this book. It’d rocket up the bestseller list and surely we would become, along with our creations, more interesting and more tolerant, dashing and emboldened and enriched. The books I love most are those that grant me entrance to an entire world; this is such a book. Not since M.A. Caws’ Surrealist Painters and Poets have I found an anthology that so deserved to be called a treasure house. ‘Anthologize’ is a dull word for Rothenberg’s daring feats of inclusion, a heroic attempt to somehow make a book of all that has been left out. Here are texts from the inside of pyramids, excerpts of Zen tales, Gnostic gospels, Pali scriptures and Hildegard of Bingen’s private language. What better way to read a book than in a continuous state of surprise! I did not expect: Nostradamus, Mayan spells, a brilliant translation of Dante, Nietzsche’s last mad letters, Marina Sabina, Robert Walser’s microscripts. Here is much that is strange, horny, godmad, crazed, obscure, direct. Canonized outsiders are present: Blake, Dickinson, Rimbaud, Genet, but they are outnumbered by the excluded, by texts from the schizophrenic and psychotic, the paralyzed or deaf, from those locked in, locked up and locked out. For those of us with non-normative bodies and minds, this book is crucial. It is a source of solace and encouragement, as well as a reminder of how much brilliance comes from way, way outside the margins. With any luck it may also prove to be an antidote and tonic for a time when artists and writers seem to be in a hurry to produce sensible, reasonable, marketable commodities. Only the great Rothenberg would have known or dared to create such an anthology. Arguing for it is like arguing for the dictionary: a book as delightful as it is necessary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Disappointing in the amount of repeated material from his earlier anthologies, this is still very worthwhile for what is included.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Completely in love with this anthology. The success of it comes from how Rothenberg defines “outsider art” - so often I think this can have problematic connotations which are mostly avoided in this collection. Rather than taking a narrow frame and focusing on obscure subjects, Rothenberg has selected an extremely broad selection of cultures spanning across time, and gives each work a carefully weighed opinion with fantastic commentary on each selection. It also happens to anthologize like every Completely in love with this anthology. The success of it comes from how Rothenberg defines “outsider art” - so often I think this can have problematic connotations which are mostly avoided in this collection. Rather than taking a narrow frame and focusing on obscure subjects, Rothenberg has selected an extremely broad selection of cultures spanning across time, and gives each work a carefully weighed opinion with fantastic commentary on each selection. It also happens to anthologize like every author I love, from Artaud to Wittgenstein, and has other wild selections as well. The text written inside of the tomb of a pyramid, prophecies from Christian mystics, spells, prison poems, and folk art are all included. Some of the best poems in here were written between the 5th and 10th centuries. It’s really nuts, could not put it down.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brian Pounders

  5. 5 out of 5

    Casey

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ben Jones

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Russell

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fred

  9. 4 out of 5

    Don Hackett

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Garrigan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fíona V.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vaughn Xavier Haynes

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ethan Doris

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

  15. 5 out of 5

    Biscuits

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tom Cheetham

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rusty

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Interior

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  21. 4 out of 5

    yarrow

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yasmine Amber

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  24. 4 out of 5

    Osiris Oliphant

  25. 5 out of 5

    Asmith

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fred Sampson

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie McGarrah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Metemorfoz

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  31. 4 out of 5

    Orçun

  32. 5 out of 5

    Bryn Hammond

  33. 4 out of 5

    Christoph

  34. 4 out of 5

    Zach Werbalowsky

  35. 5 out of 5

    Ben Heinz

  36. 4 out of 5

    Herb

  37. 4 out of 5

    Rae Diaz

  38. 4 out of 5

    Eleni

  39. 5 out of 5

    anton

  40. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Birt

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