Opera on TV
Opera on TV is a collection of experimental poetry/theory that examines the role of aesthetic practice in political subject formation, particularly for queer and trans subjects. The book addresses the role of state institutions and economic structures in making our lives intelligible -- from our interpersonal relationships to our political identities and artistic endeavors. Many of the poems blend explorations of queer feminist aesthetics and politics with musicality and lyricism, in a variety of forms, such as prose blocks, lists, and transcripts. Drawing connections among themes of beauty, nostalgia, ideology, and liberation, Opera on TV suggests ways to complicate the notion of art as a mode of political education.
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About the Author
"James Lowell Brunton's Opera on TV reminds us that the most compelling works of formal and conceptual experimentation and innovation emerge not because of a self-indulgent quest for the "different" but because the complexity, challenge and unorthodoxy of the thoughts and feelings being explored demand complex formal ways to articulate the difficult. In this sense Brunton is extending the metaphor and simile, the construction of the line, and the limits of language to offer a work of emotional, intellectual and urgent cultural importance. These poems are at once disarmingly personal and alarmingly alert to our political and historical moment." --Kwame Dawes
"James Lowell Brunton's Opera on TV shows the poet questioning the value of and need for every genre of art in the 21st century. It's a first book smart enough to be self-conscious about not knowing what the future holds for one who calls himself an artist: 'I begin to grow dimly aware of myself and my limitations.' In the midst of its conundrums the book turns to unashamed and philosophical love for the natural world: 'We are often to be found looking out of windows.' No matter the subject, the passion with which Brunton handles his obsessions makes each one of these poems a love poem." --Jericho Brown
"In Opera on TV, James Lowell Brunton builds us a world of light and ruin. His poems, relentlessly playful and remarkably exact, unearth every good thing we have loved, lost, and likely misunderstood. He asks us, "What does it mean to love the light more than the message?" And these poems know what that means--every line enacts a purposeful irreverence for constructed meaning and cultivates, instead, a stunning and radical desire for what is." --- Stacey Waite (author of 'Butch Geography' and 'the lake has no saint')