Friday, March 6, 2020

new from above/ground press: A General History of the Air, by J.R. Carpenter

A General History of the Air
J. R. Carpenter

what we understand by the air

              that thin, fluid, diaphanous body
       in which we breathe
       wherein we move

the constant and permanent ingredients of the air

       that numberless multitude of vapours
                                                           of exceedingly minute parts
       innumerable particles         of what we call light
       elastic particles like springs of watches
                                              slender wires
                                              curled hairs of wool
                                              thin shavings of wood

the destruction, generation, and absorption of the air

       necessary to the well-being
                                 the very being
                                                 being a body
       not withstanding the difficulties
       I desire to be understood in a familiar sense

of the moisture and dryness of the air

       a body is dry
       a quality near of kin
       a privation
       may occasion
       a change of texture
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
for the author’s appearance in Ottawa

at the 10th annual VERSeFest, March 24-29, 2020
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian-born UK-based artist, writer, and practice-led researcher working across performance, print, and digital media. She is a fellow of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. Her pioneering works of digital literature have been presented in museums, galleries, and festivals around the world. Her digital poem The Gathering Cloud won the New Media Writing Prize 2016. Her poetry collection An Ocean of Static (Penned in the Margins) was highly commended by the Forward Prizes 2018. Her next collection, This is a Picture of Wind, is forthcoming from Longbarrow Press in April 2020.

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; in US, add $2; outside North America, add $5) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9. E-transfer or PayPal at at rob_mclennan (at) or the PayPal button at

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