Thursday, March 23, 2023

G U E S T #26 : Introduction : Adam Katz



I had the idea for Partial Zine thinking about Emerson’s aphorism “Thinking is a partial act,” which he does not mean as a compliment toward thinking.  Partial as both biased and not whole.

I had been working on a theory of poetry’s basic formal unit as the unit of content, and thus poetic forms as “content-structures” (see the last piece in this collection for example which we merely experience as sound structures.

So it seemed to me that thinking, even in Emerson’s own theory of poetry, was, as the process of content, therefore the process leading to poetic form, so its partiality was good, especially as it does not matter if the poet is wrong, such as in their metaphysics, if we define poetry’s end tautologically, to be poetry, rather than evaluating poetry on the basis of some other field’s value system, such as philosophical inquiry.

For Partial Zine I was interested in poems that foregrounded this thinking character of perhaps all poetry.  I wanted to show poems whose only polish derived from their content, as well as pages from poets’ notebooks, and emails with poets, as the thing in its purest form.

This would make Partial Zine a sourcebook of the kinds of thinking that structure poetry, that its readers could use to keep the flame burning.  I said that special consideration would be given to submissions based in some way on pieces in previous issues.

A number of factors eventually led me to put the project on hold, after I connected with, edited, and published many poets who I consider to be among the best working.  rob kindly invited me to curate the material that was starting to be Partial Zine 4 for G U E S T.  I hope it will be clear how at once self-evident and open ended the basic conception is.





Adam Katz is a poet-scholar, fiction writer, English instructor, and editor living on Gitxsan territory in northwest BC.


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issue twenty-six : guest-edited by Adam Katz

NOW AVAILABLE: G U E S T #26 edited by Adam Katz published as part of above/ground press’ thirtieth anniversary see here for Adam Katz’ intr...