Hartwick College Assistant Professor of English Bradley J. Fest

Hartwick’s Fest Authors Book of Poetry

September 27, 2017

Hartwick College Assistant Professor of English Bradley J. Fest has published a new book of poetry, “The Shape of Things” (Salò Press).

Fest says the poems in this new work both describe the shape of things in the overdeveloped world, and endeavor to challenge the widespread feeling that the imagination has been foreclosed in the 21st century.

“My first book, ‘The Rocking Chair’ (Blue Sketch, 2015), was an experimental long poem with lots of footnotes and endnotes that threw readers around its pages somewhat haphazardly,” Fest said. “This made for an experience unlike what one normally expects from a collection of poetry. When starting a new project, however, I began to feel that the previous book’s persistent experimentation made its engagement with the social and political world somewhat oblique or unclear, and over the past few years I have increasingly begun to focus on how poetry can allow us to think about and comment upon present realities in ways importantly different from other forms of expression.”

The collection’s ultimate entry is an eponymous 28-page manifesto titled “The Shape of Things II.” “This poem is assembled from and gestures toward a number of competing and incompatible discursive registers—pop and hardcore music, science fiction, black metal theory, contemporary philosophy, digital studies, and some of the more nihilistic recent strains of thought found in the ecological humanities,” he says.

The poems in “The Shape of Things” “were motivated by, on the one hand, an attempt to write poems that were more recognizable as discrete, self-contained works, and, on the other, from a rather urgent need to more directly and explicitly say something about the darker realities of life in the overdeveloped world,” Fest added.

Along with two volumes of poetry, Fest’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Empty Mirror, Epigraph Magazine, Grain, Masque & Spectacle, PLINTH, The Offbeat, TXTOBJX, Small Po[r]tions, and Verse. He has also written a number of essays on contemporary literature and culture, which have appeared in boundary 2, The b2o Review, Critical Quarterly, Critique, “David Foster Wallace and ‘The Long Thing’” (Bloomsbury, 2014), First Person Scholar, “Scale in Literature and Culture” (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2017), “The Silence of Fallout” (Cambridge Scholars, 2013), Studies in the Novel, and Wide Screen.

For more information on Fest’s work, visit his blog, The Hyperarchival Parallax.

“The Shape of Things” can be ordered directly through Salò Press here (customers within the United Kingdom can place orders here).

For more information on the book, contact Fest at 607-431-4921 or festb@hartwick.edu.