Poems by Adeena Karasick
Visualization by Warren Lehrer
Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings
Touching in the Wake of the Virus
96 Pages / Poetry
(3-piece Hardcover, paper over boards, 3-color foil stamp, one color interior, offset printed on acid-free paper, smyth sewn: $28.95)
ISBN 978-1-956921-13-7, October 5, 2023, Pre-sales available April 15.
Inscribing what Levinas might call “espace vital” (the space we can survive), Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings is an ecstatically wrought, never quite post-Covid celebration/trepidation of openings. Written by Adeena Karasick and visualized by master book artist/vis lit pioneer Warren Lehrer, the two poems track the pain of openings read through socio-economic, geographic and bodily space. They explore a range of intralingual etymologies of the word opening, laced with post-consumerist and erotic language, theoretical discourse, philosophical and Kabbalistic aphorisms. The poems foreground language as an organism of hope—highlighting the concept of opening as an ever-swirling palimpsest of spectral voices, textures, whispers and codes transported through passion, politics and pleasure as we negotiate loss and light.
This exquisitely produced book is the first collaboration between poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist Adeena Karasick, and pioneer designer/author and vis lit practitioner Warren Lehrer. The poems, written by Karasick, speak-sing to re-entering the world after a long period in quarantine. Lehrer choreographs Karasick’s words on the stage of the page and through the pages of this volume. His typographic compositions give form to the interior, emotional, metaphorical, historical and performative underpinnings of the poems. Together, the writing and visuals create a new whole that engages the reader to become an active participant in the experience/performance of the poems. The book is augmented by a soundtrack recording of both poems performed by Karasick with music by Grammy-award winning composer/musician Frank London.
A twined virtuosity of mind and ear which leaves the reader deliciously lost in Karasick’s signature syllabic labyrinth.
Karasick’s poetry jolts and challenges us out of our notion of what poetry is, or could be.
In Lehrer’s books, words take on thought’s very form, bringing sensory experience to the reader as directly as ink on paper can allow.
—The New York Times Book Review