PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing ‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing
(PN Review 236)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott 1930–2017
(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Oxford University Press
Gratis Ad 1
Next Issue Kei Miller on poetry and volume control Parwana Fayyaz's Afghan poems Gabriel Josipovici bids farewell to Aharon Appelfeld Craig Raine plants a flag A.R. Ammons from two angles

This review is taken from PN Review 213, Volume 40 Number 1, September - October 2013.

Chance and Design jess, O! Tricky Cad and Other Jessoterica, edited by Michael Duncan (Siglio Press, Los Angeles) $47.50

Much of the work collected in O! Tricky Cad and Other Jessoterica is available for the first time, having been published in limited runs or given out to a coterie of friends. There is, for example, a pasted-up send-up of the comic strip 'Big Ben Bolt', entitled 'Ben Big Bolt', dedicated to the poets Robin Blaser and James Broughton: 'A Merry Merry Robin and Jim and / a Happy You Near / from Robert & Jess'. A perfect example of Jess's artistic practice: taking extant things (holiday greetings, for example) and recasting or transforming them. Drawing on artistic and poetic techniques such as collage, bricolage or assemblage, Jess's work is founded on the artist as conduit and creator. He titled the series of paintings that includes his celebrated 'Narkissos' translation.

The artist and poet Burgess Franklin Collins, who would become known simply as 'Jess', was born in Long Beach, California in 1923. A gifted scientist, he contributed to the Manhattan Project during his WWII draft service and continued to work in the atomic energy industry following his exit from the army. However, following a moment of self-realisation about the future of atomic weaponry, Jess left his scientific career behind in 1949 and instead became an artist. Two years later, Jess met the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan, who would become his lifelong partner, soulmate and collaborator.

One affinity between the work of Jess and that of Duncan is their shared investment in and invention of ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image