Friday, July 23, 2010

Kent Johnson’s A Question Mark Above the Sun

Announcing, out of Richard Owens’s terrific Punch Press, Kent Johnson’s forthcoming book, A Question Mark Above the Sun: Documents on the Mystery Surrounding a Famous Poem “by” Frank O’Hara. Some few of its possibly dangerous documents originally appear’d here at Isola di Rifiuti.
“Kent Johnson’s basic claims about Kenneth Koch’s relation to “A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island” are completely fascinating—and at least convincing enough to make me take seriously the element of doubt he introduces about the poem. Without taking sides, I find the gaps and questions worth thinking about . . . And I find the idea of Koch having done something as extreme and inventive as what Johnson suggests to be quite enthralling, even if the hypothesis turns out to be wrong.”

—Lytle Shaw, author of Frank O’Hara: The Poetics of Coterie (University of Iowa Press, 2006)


I.               Introduction: A Case for Reasonable Doubt

II.             Corroded by Symbolysme: An Unfinished Novella
1.       The First Ring
2.       The Garden of Pembroke
3.       In the Wunderkammer
4.       The Bloody Plum Tree

III.           Appendix
1.       Tape-essay
2.       Letter to Tony Towle
3.       Correspondence from David Shapiro
4.       Notes on an O’Hara Document
A Question Mark Above the Sun, roughly 140 pages in length, is to be print’d in a limit’d edition of 100 copies, at $20 ($30 overseas). Subscribe here.