Since his post-9/11 essay on poetry and politics, "The Emergency," Andrew Joron has been regarded as one of American poetry's most profound practitioners. Trance Archive, Volume 3 in our City Lights Spotlight series, draws on over 20 years of Joron's work, tracing his trajectory from his early days as a science fiction poet to his later fusion of surrealist romanticism and language poetry materialism into what he calls "speculative lyric." Infused with radical politics, Joron's poetry takes inspiration from chaos and complexity theory, and reflects personal associations ranging from anarchist philosopher Paul Feyerabend to surrealist mystic Philip Lamantia. Featuring long out-of-print work as well as new poems, Trance Archive affirms Joron's place among major contemporary poets.
"Where is it but in Andrew Joron's work that 'A simulated victory / Crawls like a glove / Animated by music' or that 'a ball sobs for its nearness to a bell'? On speaking terms with a range of old and recent art and science, Joron's writing is filled with predicative invention, nominative élan, surprises near side and far side, the buzz that words and sub-words conduct among themselves. Trance Archive is a wrought, formidable book of sound, sight, sense and instigation."—Nathaniel Mackey, author of Whatsaid Serif (1998) and Splay Anthem (2006)
"Andrew Joron is a modern-day alchemist. He's not interested in solipsistic self-enrichment; rather, he practices the art of transformation. Though aligned with the revolutionary impulse behind Surrealism—the conjuring of paradox to expand the possible—he appreciates the movement’s aesthetic limitations and has somehow, miraculously, managed to create poetry attuned to materialist critiques of language without abandoning any of the art’s mystery and metaphysical inquiry."—Noah Eli Gordon, Bookforum