Poems written by Adeena Karasick. Book visualized by Warren Lehrer.
Published by Lavender Ink Press. October, 2023.
6.25” x 8” x 96 pages. 3-color foil-stamped, 3-piece Hardcover binding, smythe-sewn,
printed on acid-free, archival paper, black and white interior.
Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings is a collaboration between acclaimed poet, performer, cultural theorist and media artist Adeena Karasick, and designer/author and vis lit pioneer Warren Lehrer. Inscribing what the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas might call “espace vital” (the space we can survive), the two poems that embody this work form an ecstatically wrought exploration of re-entering the world after a pandemic that never seems to end.
The title poem and Touching in the Wake of the Virus track trepidations and celebrations of openings read through socio-economic, geographic and bodily space. Both poems explore a range of intralingual etymologies laced with post-consumerist and erotic language, theoretical discourse, philosophical and Kabbalistic aphorisms. They foreground language and book-space as organisms of hope—highlighting the concept of opening and touching as an ever-swirling palimpsest of spectral voices, textures, whispers and codes transported through passion, politics and pleasure as we negotiate loss and light.
In this first collaborative book, Lehrer choreographs Karasick’s words on the stage of the page through typographic compositions that give form to the emotional, metaphorical, historical and sonic underpinnings of the texts. His sensuous, textural, textual settings diagram themes within the poems like approach/withdrawal, navigating between and through a landscape of barriers and openings, seeking intimacy, fearing/daring to touch and be touched. Together, the writing and visuals engage the reader to become an active participant in the experience/performance of the work.
The book also comes with a soundtrack recording (via QR code to Soundcloud page) of Karasick reading the poems with music composed and performed by Grammy award-winning composer and trumpet player, Sir Frank London.
Exquisitely produced—in a symth-sewn, 3-color foil-stamped, 3-piece hardcover binding, printed on acid-free paper, Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings is made for lovers of beautiful (yet affordable) books, boundary-pushing poetry, art, design, philosophy, performance, and anyone trying to navigate opening and touching in the wake of pandemics and other mass maladies.
Founded by Bill Lavender in 1995 in New Orleans, Lavender Ink publishes mostly American poetry, fiction and nonfiction, with a mission to change the world through cross-culturally significant literature.
from Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings
from Touching in the Wake of The Virus
Audio excerpt of Adeena Karasick performing Touching in the Wake of the Virus, with music by Frank London
Audio excerpt of Adeena Karasick performing Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings, with music by Frank London
Adeena Karasick is a high voltage performance poet. Whenever possible, Lehrer accompanies Karasick’s performance/readings of Ouvert Oeuvre: Openings with real-time visual projections. Book Launch events feature this book and excerpts from Karasick’s Aerotomania, which is published simultaneously by Lavender Ink. Events can include conversation/Q&A about the collaboration. Depending on the venue and availability, Frank London will join with live musical accompaniment. Karasick and Lehrer are also available for double bills, each presenting from their respective body of work. They also continue to present individually. For booking, contact Adeena and/or Warren.
Adeena performing the poems at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Video taped live at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, May 20, 2023. Performed by Adeena Karasick, Projections by Warren Lehrer
Offstage, Warren projects images in real time at the New Orleans Poetry Festival
A few in-process photos and side and back cover view
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