The Werk Edition
Delaina Haslam, who recently delighted conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith with her piece about him in NLP (his new book, Uncreative Writing, is reviewed here in the TLS), takes on another avant-garde giant, sound poet Jaap Blonk. NLP is delighted to be working with Haslam again: she is an endlessly searching writer, and allows NLP to widen its own horizons within art to include more conceptual reviews, both in style and content. NLP allows its readers to question how much of a pioneer Blonk is, encouraging you to consider the genealogy of his work, and, equally, the ambiguous trajectory of progress. Haslam’s desire to document and question gets to the heart of NLP’s ethos. Blonk, interestingly, seems a harder man than Goldsmith to please; the interview is also a treatise on a writer’s struggle to bring a successful piece to fruition – a meta-interview, if you will, in timeworn Haslam style.
Renowned author Ewan Morrison, with a studied Benjaminian aura imbuing his work, updates Benjamin’s unfinished Arcades Project for NLP. This coincides with his latest work, ‘Tales From the Mall’, which is out on Glasgow-based Cargo Publishing on May 1st. Morrison’s asserts that Benjamin’s seminal text “partakes in the processes which led to the postmodern, that it is a diagnostic text and a sick text: one that suffers from the very thing it describes.” NLP loves Morrison’s bold, ambitious project, that captures with great dexterity the questioning yet magisterial nature of Benjamin’s writing. According to Douglas Coupland, “Morrison continues Ballard’s tradition of locating menace beneath the sleekness and shine of post-industrial life”.
Last year, NLP interviewed a quiet radical, the editor of Poetry Scotland, Sally Evans. We felt keen to record other people working in the field of editing, commissioning and collating, in our continuing quest to document the great thinkers and do-ers of Scotland’s contemporary arts scene. We immediately contacted Gerry Cambridge, the editor of The Dark Horse – a publication that is always beautiful to look at and an education to read. Cambridge dazzles in this interview which is both revealing and wide-ranging; it is a welcome addition to NLP’s growing catalogue of seminal instructive works on the process, and history, of writing in Scotland – and worldwide.