Flavorwire Required Reading: The Sienese Shredder


Art. Design. Literature. Poetry. Music. Culture. These are the elements artists Brice Brown and Trevor Winkfield promise to deliver in the latest edition of their genre-defying anthology, The Sienese Shredder, and those of us lucky enough to have scored a copy before its official release can confirm they have succeeded. With nearly 300 pages of poetry, prose, prints and paintings, the latest Sienese Shredder is not intended to be a quick read — rather, something to page over in your pajamas while enjoying a nice (read: $15 bottle) Malbec.

This volume is likely to occupy a permanent spot on your bedside table in the coming months, and if you have not yet had a chance to peruse the first two editions, well… you’ll be busy for awhile. Shredder fans can pre-order volume three online, or you can pick up a copy at the launch party tonight at the Kitchen, where we’ll be toasting Brown and Winkfield. In the meantime, after the jump a preview of the visual delights in store.

Tim Davis, Rainbow Bread, 2008

Marsden Hartley, Sustained Comedy, 1939

XIX. Sir Willoughby Peddinghoe, Bart. grateful for all blessings, caused this Monument to be raised to the memory of his honourable consort Dame Margery Peddinghoe the eleventh daughter of Benjamin Wrigglesworth Treadaway, Esq. of Duckinfield—Major in the county of Salop, sometime his Majesties Attorney General for the province of Mary-Land.

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.

My wife talked rather loud, I needs must say, She blew her speaking trumpet all the day, And then at night, O Christ! how she did snore; Bassoons and sackbuts never grunted more; My Ear-drum now I fairly hope to save, She’s still at last—no snoring in the grave. – From William Beckford’s Epitaphs, page 144

Spicer is known to many as an erudite poet, with a knowledge of Latin, German, Spanish, French, Old Norse, and Old English, but he is also one of our great poets of heartache and abjection. Although he could be foul-mouthed and cranky, and was certainly alcoholic, he may also be characterized as a late devotional poet who wrote from a mix of doubt, irreverence, and belief. He delighted in organizing and presiding over “Blabbermouth Night” at his favorite local bar, an event at which poets were encouraged to speak in tongues or to babble and were judged on the duration and invention of their noises. He was deeply committed to the depth and authenticity of sound. He worked for years on a linguistic project that mapped slight changes in vowel sounds from town to town in northern California, a project that would profoundly inform his later poetry, in particular Language and Book of Magazine Verse. He hosted Harry Smith on the first radio show devoted to folk music at KPFA in the late 40s, where he also troubled the folk movement’s quest for the authentic by presenting his own fake versions of songs he claimed his friends had just heard down on the pier. – from Peter Gizzi’s Jack Spicer, Bruce Conner and the Art of the Assemblage, page 128

Sutherland’s richly impastoed, brilliantly colored paintings and works on paper of the 1930s and ’40s are visual metaphors for survival. They contain fierce renderings of forms found in nature that have successfully battled the elements, though just barely. These pictures of contorted roots, thorn trees and ravaged coastlines are quite unlike anything produced in Britain at the time. Similar in impact to Henry Moore’s contribution to sculpture, Sutherland’s achievement in painting was unrivaled in Britain during this period. – From David Ebony’s Natural Fortitude: Graham Sutherland in Britain, page 157