EECCHHOOEESS is Norman H. Pritchard’s second and final book, originally published in 1971 by New York University Press, and now reissued by DABA. Pritchard (1939–1996) was an American poet affiliated with the Umbra group. Active in New York’s downtown art, film, and theater scenes in the 1960s and early ’70s, he taught writing for some time at the New School for Social Research, and published only one other book of poetry: the collection The Matrix: Poems 1960–1970 (Doubleday, 1970).
Pritchard’s writing is visually and typographically unconventional. His methodical arrangements of letters and words disrupt normative optical flows and lexical cohesion, modulating the speeds of reading and looking by splitting, spacing, and splicing linguistic objects. His manipulation of text and codex resembles that of concrete poetry and conceptual writing, traditions from which literary history has mostly excluded him. Pritchard also worked with sound, and his dynamic readings—documented, among few other places, on the album New Jazz Poets (Folkways Records, 1967)—make themselves heard on the page.
EECCHHOOEESS exemplifies Pritchard’s formal and conceptual sensibilities. A book of ascents and descents, mirrors and doublings, opaque signs, and stuttering repetition, EECCHHOOEESS provides an entryway into the work of a poet whose scant writings have only recently achieved wider recognition. DABA’s publication of EECCHHOOEESS is unabridged and closely reproduces the design of the original 1971 volume.
In 2011, artist Adam Pendleton assembled Black Dada Reader, a compendium of texts, documents and positions that elucidated a practice and ethos of “Black Dada.” Resembling a school course reader, the book was a spiral-bound series of photocopies and collages, originally intended only for personal reference, and eventually distributed informally to friends and colleagues. The contents—an unlikely mix of Hugo Ball, W.E.B. Du Bois, Adrian Piper, Gertrude Stein, Sun Ra, Stokely Carmichael, Gilles Deleuze—formed a kind of experimental canon, realized through what Pendleton calls “radical juxtaposition.” In 2017, Koenig Books published the Reader in a hardcover edition, with newly commissioned essays and additional writings by the artist.
A decade later, Pendleton has composed another reader, building upon the constellation of writers, artists, filmmakers, philosophers and critics that emerged in the first volume, and sketching out new potential forms and vectors for Black Dada. Along with new source texts—from Toni Cade Bambara to Piet Mondrian to Clarice Lispector to Achille Mbembe—Pendleton has included conversations with some of the figures whose writing and work were featured in the earlier Reader: Thomas Hirschhorn, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Joan Jonas, Lorraine O’Grady, and Joan Retallack.
Introduction by Adam Pendleton. Interviews with Thomas Hirschhorn, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Joan Jonas, Lorraine O’Grady, and Joan Retallack.
Source texts by Sara Ahmed, Mikhail Bakhtin, Toni Cade Bambara, Amiri Baraka, Augusto de Campos, Hardoldo de Campos, and Décio Pignatari, Angela Davis, Gilles Deleuze, Julius Eastman, Adrienne Edwards, Clarice Lispector, Achille Mbembe, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Charles Mingus, Piet Mondrian, Leslie Scalapino, Leonard Schwartz and Michael Hardt, Juliana Spahr, Cecil Taylor, and Malcolm X.
Co-published with Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König.
Lucy Ives, “Critical Eye: Publishing amid the Museum’s Ruins,” Art in America (September 2021)
Gender theorist Jack Halberstam and author Lynne Tillman discuss the roles of writing, bewilderment, and wildness in their work and lives.
Published on the occasion of Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen? at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the book series Who Is Queen? adapts conversations between pairs of notable writers, theorists, philosophers, and musicians into contrapuntal texts. A dialogue between two becomes a polylogue among many: a network of archival photographs and external texts.
This volume collects, for the first time, all of Brion Gysin’s “permutation poems.” Published or recorded between 1958 and 1982, these are poems composed from a brief phrase or sentence whose words are exhaustively or almost exhaustively permuted over the course of each poem. Gysin wrote the texts manually at first, although later, in collaboration with programmer Ian Sommerville, he would generate permutation poems with the help of a computer.
There were several versions of many of the permutation poems, which were also presented in multiple media; some were published in books, while others exist only as audio recordings. Many of them derive from a 1961 BBC radio commission, “The Permutated Poems of Brion Gysin,” in which readings of the texts were recorded, cut up, modulated, and overlapped. The present collection brings together all published and—where transcribable—unpublished versions of each poem, as well as a short explanatory text by Gysin, in a handsomely designed and generously sized volume. The poems are organized in chronological order by first publication or first recording, with further versions of each poem grouped together in chronological order immediately after the initial version. This organization brings distinctions between versions into relief, allowing readers to explore the playful systematicity that undergirds this remarkable body of work.
“The permutated poems set the words spinning off on their own; echoing out as the words of a potent phrase are permutated into an expanding ripple of meanings which they did not seem to be capable of when they were struck and then stuck into that phrase. The poets are supposed to liberate the words—not to chain them in phrases. Who told poets they were supposed to think? Poets are meant to sing and to make words sing. Poets have no words ‘of their very own.’ Writers don’t own their words. Since when do words belong to anybody. ‘Your very own words,’ indeed ! And who are you?” —Brion Gysin, “Cut-Ups Self-Explained,” 1959
Double-sided white silkscreen print on 10oz black canvas bag.