Tuesday, October 10, 2006


In Bordeaux, while discussing wine with one of the locals, and specifically the possibility that some winemakers are tailoring their wines to a perceived globalized taste, the Frenchman said, "For some, wine is a lifestyle.  For others, wine is a way of life." 

That's a poetics. Replace the word "wine" with "poetry" in that statement and you got Winepoetics. While discussing this with Bruna Mori, Meritage Press' newest author, I came to share, "Poetry is a dream, and I choose to live that dream rather than dream of it."

Make that dream real, rather than imagined. And part of living Poetry, for me, is a commitment to publishing poetry by others -- I am delighted to announce a SPECIAL PRE-RELEASE OFFER for Bruna Mori's first poetry book! It's a well- and deeply-conceived (and deeply-felt) project, and I hope you'll agree!


poems by Bruna Mori
paintings by Matthew Kinney
ISBN-10: 0-9709179-6-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-9709179-5-9
Release date: November 2006
Distributors: Small Press Distribution, Amazon.com & www.MeritagePress.com
For more info: MeritagePress@aol.com

Relevant categories: Poetry. Creative Nonfiction. Urban Studies. Cultural Studies. Women's Studies.

Meritage Press is delighted to announce the release of Bruna Mori's long-awaited first poetry collection, Dérive, which also presents reproductions of paintings by New York-based artist Matthew Kinney. Drawn by the New York cityscape and encounters found there, physical trajectories are mapped in words and sumi-ink. Poems that depict an ever-shifting subjectivity within the urban sphere are interspersed with paintings of architectures dis/assembling.

From Second Avenue to 242nd Street, spanning mahjongg parlors and halfway houses, "Bruna Mori creates a lyrical alchemy of the debris and mythology of New Amsterdam (Brenda Coultas)." "Mori rides the New York City subway to its terminus, and in so doing reminds us that those oft forgotten souls who inhabit urban outreaches are adamant bridges between their old world and new (Martine Bellen)."

The book honors (and strays from) the Situationist theory of the dérive, or "drift"--where one or more persons during a certain period let themselves be attracted to the terrain, détourning one's steps on noncapitalized time. Through drift, Mori "found" collaborator Matthew Kinney painting the skyline in sumi-ink on a torn-edged canvas--a carryover from his skate-punk days when he regularly made impromptu washes on cardboard kept in his backpack. Not long after, they decided to combine their work.


To celebrate Dérive's release, Meritage Press is pleased to offer a Release Special through November 30, 2006. For $11.00, you can obtain a copy of Dérive—a savings off the book's retail price of $14.95—plus free shipping/handling to U.S. addresses. Just send a check made out to "Meritage Press" to:

Eileen Tabios
Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Road
St. Helena, CA 94574


"Mori is not only a cogent observer of life and its environs but a magnanimous participant who shines a light on the profound beauty of no-name pizza parlors and sweaty flesh that bears green tattoos of the heart."
—Martine Bellen

"Dérive is an animated guidebook to the boroughs of my city and should be required reading for travelers and residents alike."
—Brenda Coultas

"Much to admire. In the range of experiences detailed and the ever-shifting vantage point, the city and its inhabitants emerge as vastly various and yet inextricably bound to one another."
—lê thi diem thúy

"A deft poetic journey through the fissures and ironies of city life."
—Norman M. Klein

Bruna Mori was born in Japan and has lived primarily in the United States--mostly in New York, and Louisiana and California. Tergiversation (Ahadada Books, 2006) and The Approximations (2nd Avenue Poetry, 2006) are her first chapbooks, and Dérive is her first book. A writer and editor, she teaches at Art Center College of Design and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. Her BA and MFA degrees were completed at the University of California, San Diego and Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College.

Matthew Kinney was born in Georgetown, Massachusetts. A visual artist with an emphasis on painting and sculpture, he presently has a studio space at Spire Studios in Beacon, New York; also an advocate of sustainable agriculture, he works at Windfall Farms in Montgomery. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


You can catch Bruna, by the way, at the upcoming IMPUNITIES, a two-day experiment in writing and community in Los Angeles at REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater.

It looks like an interesting conference; here's a description:

What role does writing and narrative play in the invention of alternative communities, identities and politics? Can imaginary communities or fictitious authors solve real problems? What are the methodologies of the oppressed, the voices of the silenced and the technologies of otherness? Such work might include collaborative projects, self-organizing or anarchic groups, poetic terrorists, writer-pirates, and textual gleaners, revolutionaries or exiles. Impunities gathers disparate cultural vagabonds who set into motion our collective fantasies of escape, oblivion, arrival, and transformation.

And here's a description of the panel being moderated by Bruna on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006:

Imagined Identities: Technologies of the Self
How can alternative identities be imagined and articulated in language? Do such literary technologies of the self help us negotiate with real powers, or do they always remain in the realms of 'fiction'? Speakers: Shelley Jackson, Bhanu Kapil, Edwin Torres
Moderator: Bruna Mori