Tarpaulin Sky Press joins Action Books, Calamari Archive, and Per Second Press. Featuring Aaron Apps, Amy King, Nat Baldwin, Claire Donato, Johannes Goransson, Elizabeth Hall, Brandon Hobson, Valerie Hsiung, Robert Lopez, Vi Khi Nao, Julie Reverb, Joanna Ruocco, and Abe Smith.
In addition to his Tarpaulin Sky Press titles The Sugar Book (2015), Haute Surveillance (2013), and entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (2011), Johannes Göransson has published three other books of his own writings—A New Quarantine Will Take My Place, Dear Ra, Pilot (“Johann the Carousel Horse”)—and several books in translation, including Dark Matter and With Deer by Aase Berg, Ideals Clearance by Henry Parland, and Collobert Orbital by Johan Jönson.
Together with his wife, Tarpaulin Sky author Joyelle McSweeney, Göransson co-edits Action Books, and with John Woods he runs Action, Yes (online journal). He teaches at the U of Notre Dame in Indiana and blogs at montevidayo.com. He is interested in approaches to writing that crosses boundaries – such as genre conventions and linguistic borders – and blurs the demarcations of the autonomous text. He has written critically about contemporary American and Swedish poetry, translation theory, the historical avant-garde, Sylvia Plath, and Gurlesque poetry and other neo-gothic aesthetics. In addition, he has a special interest in film, particularly the 1960s underground cinema of Kenneth Anger and Jack Smith.
Visit the author website for Johannes Göransson
Fiction | Poetry | Other
5.5″x7″, 208 pp., paperback
$16 includes shipping in the US
(vs. $18 + $3.99 shipping elsewhere)
“Fans of Göransson’s distorted poetics will find this a productive addition to his body of work” (Publishers Weekly); “Sends its message like a mail train. Visceral Surrealism. His end game is an exit wound” (Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle, Fanzine); “As savagely anti-idealist as Burroughs or Guyotat or Ballard.” (James Pate, Entropy Magazine); “Takes the reader far beyond their comfort zone, as poetry should. Just like Los Angeles herself, the poems inhabit that glittering/grotesque duality of Kardashian Family and Manson Family” (Carleen Tibbetts, American Microreviews); “I’m not sure that even Rimbaud would title a poem ‘My Sperm Gets in the Flowers’” (Johnny Payne, Cleaver Magazine); “convulses wildly like an animal that has eaten the poem’s interior and exterior all together with silver. bang bang” (Kim Hyesoon); “These poems made me cry. So sad and anxious and genius and glarey bright” (Rebecca Loudon)
READ MORE ABOUT THE SUGAR BOOK
Fiction | Poetry | Other
5.5″x7″, 200 pp., paperback
$14 includes shipping in the U.S.
(v. $16 + $3.99 shipping elsewhere)
“Beautifully startling and fucked and funny and tender and sad and putrid and glitter-covered all at once” (Blake Butler, VICE); “So filled with invention and wit and ferocity that I was compelled to read it, at times against my will, mesmerized, enthralled” (Carole Maso); “A book that is unclassifiable — part epic poem, part science fiction, part pornographic film, and all literature” (John Yau, Hyperallergic); “It’s spectacular, it’s pyrotechnics, it’s naked bodies and sex and orgies…. And there is trauma. It’s an emergency, a state of emergency. ‘The trauma saturates the mansion, it’s a trauma-rama’” (Laura Carter, Fanzine).
READ MORE ABOUT HAUTE SURVEILLANCE
entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate
Fiction / Poetry / Drama
5.5″ x 7″, 100 pp., pbk.
$14 includes shipping in the US
(vs. $16 + $3.99 elsewhere)
“Contains a gore so massive you will either shower or move the book to the other side of the bedroom upon opening its cover…. It is a new thing. Göransson has managed to produce a discomfiting, filthy, hilarious, and ecstatic piece of literature that is cocked and ready” (Lorian Long, Bookslut); “Goransson pays the ultimate penance and shoulders the heaviest burden: to reflect a culture accurately, no matter how disfigured. His art drinks deep of the disease it most fears so that we can learn more from his symptoms. He’s the Poet Laureate of the Coal Mine, our savior canary, dying and producing perpetually death-obsessed art that we might all be spared. So for all its ugliness—all its child predators and body dysmorphia, its castrations, its Ronald Reagans, its hate crimes and artists and anorexia, everything—Entrance is the dubious gift of the diagnosis we’ve been too afraid to confront on our own. It’s embarrassing, it’s frightening, but it’s also potentially the long-neglected first step in addressing a major disease” (Nick Demske).
READ MORE ABOUT ENTRANCE TO A COLONIAL PAGEANT
Watch Paul Cunningham’s book trailer for The Sugar Book by Johannes Göransson. Also: check out Johannes’ new website.
Laura Carter examines the hybrid carnage that is Johannes Goransson’s Sugar Book (TS 2015) at Atticus Review: “It’s anything but comfortable for us as readers. This sugary land is where life is frail, anorexic, and hardly moving, where the buzzing of flames and water (and perhaps a bit of ?) is ever present. A true horror play, a comedy of failures that can’t seem to find a livable world, which may be closer than the characters imagine.”
“If it’s automatic writing, it’s machinic (firing on all eight cylinders). A circular vernacular. Freud’s death drive tied through repetition compulsion plus mnemonics to standard schoolmarm SVO. Haunt Musique. Sends its message like a mail train. Visceral Surrealism. [Johannes Goransson’s] end game is an exit wound.”
“Doubling down on his trademark misanthropic imagery amid a pageantry of the unpleasant, Johannes Göransson strolls through a violent Los Angeles in this hybrid of prose and verse…. Prostitution, pubic hair, Orpheus, law, pigs, disease, Francesca Woodman … and the speaker’s hunger for cocaine and copulation….. Fans of Göransson’s distorted poetics will find this a productive addition to his body of work.”
“In Johannes Göransson’s poetry, there is no self-congratulation…. Göransson is a controversial poet…. Göransson is certainly of the Left, but his work is as savagely anti-idealist as Burroughs or Guyotat or Ballard. Like those writers, he has no interest in assuring the reader that she or he lives, along with the poet, on the right side of history.”
“Goransson uses language smeared with bodily fluid and sex, language spackled with violence and death (in addition to literal bodies in states of otherness, objectification, violation, and evisceration), in mini-Ars Poeticas and commentary on the state of art and the art scene…. The Sugar Book is vile and violent, but also asphyxiatingly sweet, choking while gorging on its aloof, artful persona. It unsettles. It takes the reader far beyond their comfort zone, as poetry should. Just like Los Angeles herself, the poems inhabit that glittering/grotesque duality of Kardashian Family and Manson Family.”
“Antonin Artaud gave us the Theater of Cruelty. He ‘for whom delirium was/the only solution/to the strangulation/that life had prepared for him.” Now Johannes Goransson, in the ironically named The Sugar Book, gives us a poetry of cruelty. It is the necessary car wreck that brings the Jaws of Life. The book is a whisky genre-bender in a haunted Los Angeles.…. [The Sugar Book is] a tome in which vomit, semen (lots and lots and lots), and mercury poisoning drip from page after page. I’m not sure that even Rimbaud would title a poem ‘My Sperm Gets in the Flowers.'”
At Bombay Gin, Ella Longpre reviews Johannes Göransson’s Haute Surveillance (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2013): “a textual representation of the horrific and luminous spectacle of a post-modern condition defined by unavoidable participation in (and often a voluntary surrender to) a global war economy. The multi-genre work (a novel in dialogue with prose poetry and punctuated by epistolary and dramatic interludes) embodies a term coined in its own narrative, “atrocity kitsch,” inhabiting bathtubs, war prisons, and a Shining Mansion on the Hill….”
Last week Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room hosted Tarpaulin Sky authors Johannes Göransson & Joyelle McSweeney, who joined Stephen Burt for “In Extremis,” a panel discussion on poetry and violence.
There is no jot of Plinth that is not necessary. If you felt a little something extra in the air this Equinox, that was the birth of Issue #2: Brad Baumgartner, Sarah Fox, Jamalieh Haley, Laura Ellen Joyce, Peter O’Leary, Aimee Parkison, David Peak, Eugene Thacker, and TS’s own dark star, Johannes Göransson.
Selections include “I suffer from vertigo in the sepulchral chambers of the law,” “Safe in my chambers of alabaster,” “Now I have you in the underworld,” and “My Orpheus mask is shitty when I fuck Francesca Woodman.”
[Göransson] places readers in his piecework of violence, sex, art and emotion, in short snapshots of unexplained events, and leaves them scrambling to find their way out. Readers get one companion, one true character: an unreliable, determined, and probably insane narrator, and the reader slowly realizes this world is the narrator’s own….
TSky Press authors Johannes Göransson and Joyelle McSweeney, along with faves Aase Berg and Lara Glenum, are reading at the Stockholm International Poetry Festival, where this year’s theme is Gurlesque.
“[P]ursues the genre to terra incognita extremes…. [I]n some ways more a prose poem, bludgeoned and stuffed into dramaturgical form…. Its kaleidoscopic impossibility presses down upon the reader, forcing the question: Who writes the stage directions of life, the role each person plays in society?… Like a mad scientist throwing together unexpected chemicals, Goransson delights in coupling divergent concepts, seeing which combinations smoke, sizzle, or explode….”
…from Patrick Trotti at JMWW, regarding our three 2013 prose titles, from Claire Donato, Johannes Göransson, and Joyelle McSweeney: “Avant-garde writers of the past are put through a blender topped with equal parts muscle relaxer, speed, acid, and a new, distinct style forcing the reader to down the contents in one giant gulp. It will leave you feeling as though they just went speeding through a backyard makeshift house of mirrors ride that was rigged with no brakes, bending through the maze of tight corners to the point where you can the feel the sharp shards of glass on your forearm if you don’t keep your hand inside the ride that is their minds.”
Similar Peaks features a healthy swathe of text from Johannes Goransson’s third title with Tarpaulin Sky Press, The Sugar Book, which we’ll publish in early 2015.
“Göransson’s fast-paced, present-tense writing critiques itself while moving forward, collapsing together all of discourses and vocabularies associated with the nightly news, feminism, sexual identity, Hollywood movies, science fiction, performance art, pornography, and poetry invested in the stable lyric “I.” Bots from academia mix with bits of the street…. Goransson turns it into a book that is unclassifiable — part epic poem, part science fiction, part pornographic film, and all literature.”
Johannes Göransson’s Haute Surveillance (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2013): “A feverish and explicit set of images and ideas revolving around power, fetish, porn, media, violence, translation, punishment, performance, and aesthetics. Taking its title from a Jean Genet play of the same name, it’s kind of like a novelization of a movie about the production of a play based on Abu Ghraib, though with way more starlets and cocaine and semen…. [B]eautifully startling and fucked and funny and tender and sad and putrid and glitter-covered all at once.”
Writes Hardy: “The narrative of [Göransson’s Haute Surveillance] is itinerant, slippery. It unwinds, confused by voices, rhythms, and accents, ‘interlingual puns’, ‘auto-translations’ and ‘automutilations’ that befuddle the desire for a secure semantics. It is at once a prose poem, a ‘novel dedicated to the homos and the awkward perfumists’, a biography of its author, an ‘autobiography of a foreigner’, ‘a fashion show dedicated to a riot’, a film script and a theoretical text…. ‘This is the first lesson in haute surveillance: Always write like you’re a teenage virgin. Always reach for the gun.'”
“Imagine that you are on a secret journey through the life of Jean Genet, through the shifting framework of a character made by Johannes Göransson,” writes Carter, who imagines no small number of scenarios for readers of Haute Surveillance (TSky Press, 2013), in a review that’s worth reading as a thing unto itself. “You are a teenage virgin,” Carter continues, a few sentences later, “the marriage of pornography and Art, which will, in the long run (as many Woody Allen movies suggest) turn you into a Dictator.”
Göransson’s book-length poem, writes Chen, “combines all these meanings of pure, fake, authentic, corrupt, synthetic. The poem is an evil Leaves of Grass — not a welcoming cosmic paean to all American citizens, but a nihilistic porno where the pure and the fake copulate with a sordid glory. By real, Göransson means: children burning in bombed buildings, the bodies of foreigners, sperm and blood, traumatized soldiers strangling their wives. By fake, he means: film sets, stunt doubles, poetry. You can see this combo in how he depicts America: America is not an emancipatory pluralistic haven, but an atavistic theater of war, brutally real and, as Baudrillard has written, as simulated as a video game.”
Writes Grefe: “I was a mute foreigner, unpredictable as outsider. One who knows how to screw a fork. There are areas in Tokyo, in Seoul, in Beijing where foreigners are allowed to be foreign, allowed to tongue foreign, act foreign: needles, erotics, vomit. These are the areas where we grind chains in underground cabarets, McDonalds drunk with military officers, a man who said, ‘as an American, it is my duty to protect you.'”
At Bookslut, Lorian Long reviews Johannes Goransson’s *entrance to a colonial pageant*: “Despite the tiny size of Colonial Pageant, it contains a gore so massive you will either shower or move the book to the other side of the bedroom upon opening its cover….Body parts, body styles. Genitalia as fashion, as construct, as exploit. Göransson takes Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity and blasts it with skin-made dynamite. He creates such a mess of appendages, desires, and impulses that the taglines of Queer Theory or Gender Studies seem antiquated compared to the blurring of binaries to be found in this work. It is a new thing. Göransson has managed to produce a discomfiting, filthy, hilarious, and ecstatic piece of literature that is cocked and ready.”
Johannes Göransson’s *entrance to a colonial pageant* is reviewed by Robert Kloss at Red Fez: “One of those rare literary achievements, a work so new and brilliant and strange that a reviewer initially fumbles for any possible comparisons and antecedents to make sense of the text in-question…. With no true literary antecedent as preparation, the accumulating horror of Göransson’s prose onslaughts overwhelm with their ruthless beauty, to remarkable and lasting effect.”
Thanks to Tim Yelvington, whose insights abound. Here’s an excerpt: In her book Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest, feminist…
At 3:AM Magazine, SJ Fowler conducts a brief but excellent interview with Johannes Göransson, with an emphasis on translation. “When you bring translations into the discussion,” says Goransson, “people tend to get suspicious: How do we know that the poem is good in the original? That it’s a “faithful” translation? That we’re not being fooled? How can we master all this excess? You can’t of course. And that’s the beauty of it.”
At PANK Magazine, Joseph Michael Owens reviews Johannes Göransson’s *entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2011): “[entrance] “demands its reader to engage it on a close sentence-to-sentence level and rewards the reader with some truly spectacular prose. Prose that, page after page, begins to infect the reader, begins to parasite the reader as host, parasite the host’s inner child … before immolating the host, the reader.”
Fence poet and Capo of the Racine Public Library system, Nick Demske, reviews Johannes Goransson’s *entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2011): “For all its ugliness—all its child predators and body dysmorphia, its castrations, its Ronald Reagans, its hate crimes and artists and anorexia, everything—Entrance is the dubious gift of the diagnosis we’ve been too afraid to confront on our own.”
At HTML Giant, Blake Butler interviews Johannes Göransson, author of *entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2011): “I don’t think of art as separate from the world, nature etc. Nor am I interested in art which claims to be part of the world; art that claims to not be art. I am interested in art that is invested in its own Art-ness – with all of its crass devices and costumes, all of its kitschy metaphors and pageantry, all of its infected toys. On the other hand I’m not interested in creating a kind of refined space of contemplative art either, I don’t want art as an escape. I suppose in all of these what I object to is a kind of stability, a kind of space that art depicts or documents or provides. I’m more interested in art as violence, art as a haunting, as a spirit photograph, as what Aase Berg calls a ‘deformation zone’ or what Joyelle has called ‘necropastoral’.” (JG)
A feel-good story about Louisiana State University student James Bellard, who was arrested after writing a “quite disturbing” poem inspired by Tarpaulin Sky Press author Johannes Göransson. “I was in Tureaud hall walking towards my last class of the day,” writes Bellard, “when a man walked up behind me and said in a voice like my high-school teacher that had always stood by the school entrance and inspected everyone’s uniforms, ‘Excuse me sir!’ I turned around to see what he wanted (faintly annoyed by the association), then I saw the badge clipped to his belt. ‘Put your hands on the wall!’ he commanded.”
At HTML Giant, Ryan Downey reviews Johannes Goransson’s *entrance to a colonial pageant in which we all begin to intricate* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2011): “A hybrid form somewhere between or among the categories of poetry, prose, essay, theatre production, and instruction manual…. A relationship to an Artaudian Theatre of Cruelty…. Masks and intricate costumes aplenty…. Dresses made from looted items, prison-style clothes, black and polished bodies, cowboy costumes, skins charred from suicide bombings, heaps of dead horses, birds bursting from bodies, wounds, basketball jerseys on androgynous children, kissing faces and murder victims, exoskeletons, audience members in whiteface…. A pile up of sequined things and fleshy things. . . . The audience is often implicated. After all, torture and interrogation is not borne out of individual will and action alone. . . . All aboard.”