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On Fugue & Strike

“In Fugue & Strike, poetry hovers spectrally above the infrastructures of the capitalist machine, laying bare its circuitry and potential oblivion. A missive smeared in excrement becomes a manifesto. Mutiny is declared against poetic form. Cops and scabs murder each other. In its close examination of the void between labor and commodity, pleasure and oblivion, Hall’s terrifying and often hilarious book envisions ‘a space of public salvage,’ a global common that stretches from Buffalo to Ithaca, to the world. These poems will make you want to strike, fight back, and leave a burning bag of shit on your boss’s doorstep—and for that, we need them. Joe Hall is one of the greatest poets we have.”

— Marty Cain, author of The Prelude

“In the thick of an endless fight for liveable life, Hall presents parallel wastages—both the people made into waste by state and socioeconomic violence, and the excess objects, fragments, sites, and molecules generated by the same violence. The fugue of navigating a breathlessly gentrified, financialized city space leads to a time-hopping study of garbage handlers’ strikes. Words fail, action arises, and somehow, along with it, hope. Any reader sharing this fugue/strike might say, ‘I felt the tip of something I could not see in me that trembles,’ and know that it is not just fear.”

— Jay Besemer, author of Theories of Performance

Photo by Pat Cray / @yungpainkiller

Joe Hall

W  R  I  T  E  R   |   T  E  A  C  H  E  R   |  R  E  S  E  A  R  C  H  E  R

Writer // Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Someone’s Utopia (2018). With Chad Hardy, he co-authored The Container Store Vols I & II (2012). With Cheryl Quimba, he co-authored the chapbook May I Softly Walk (2014). His next book, Fugue & Strike, is forthcoming in 2023. Hall has performed and delivered talks nationally at universities, living rooms, squats, and/or rivers in most of the 50 states as well as Canada and Washington, DC. He participates in Hostile Books, a publishing collective dedicated to radical materiality, with Ryan Kaveh Sheldon and Angela Veronica Wong,

Teacher // Hall is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at St. Bonaventure University. He has taught community based creative writing workshops through the Worker Center in Buffalo and Just Buffalo Literary Center. His college teaching experience includes all levels of undergraduate creative writing and environmental literature. He is frequently amazed by his students.

Researcher // In 2018, Hall received a PhD in Literature from the University at Buffalo, SUNY upon completion of his dissertation on liquid commons in eighteenth-century literature. The Journal of Post Colonial Studies and Eighteenth-Century Fiction have published his articles on literature, water, waste, and imperialism. His essays and reviews have appeared in Annulet, Terrain.orgThe Colorado Review, and Fence Digital. His current research project involves settler colonial aesthetics in modern American ecopoetics.

If you or your community is interested in being in conversation with Joe or to follow his work, you can find him at joehalljoehall on Twitter and Instagram and joescirehall / at / g m a i l . com.

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