Publisher: Commune Editions
Released: July 21, 2015
That Winter the Wolf Came is written for this era of global struggle. It finds its ferment at the intersection of ecological and economic catastrophe. Its feminist and celebratory energy is fueled by street protests and their shattered windows. Amid oil spills and austerity measures and shore birds and a child holding its mother’s hand and hissing teargas canisters, it reminds us exactly what we must fight to defend with a wild ferocity, and what we’re up against.
"In her poems, love does not resist the world beyond; love lets it in. Politics demands feeling rather than denuding it." —Los Angeles Review of Books
"Geography, economics, ecology, hydrology, local and international history; repetition, flat limited diction, lengthy chant; intersections of incompatible discourses, such as a field biologist’s checklist plus memoir, medical record plus ode, incantation plus site report: Spahr draws on these resources and procedures to make poems that feel like bizarre, careful essays, and essays that feel like sad, extended poems." —The Nation
"...a work of crisp wit, bizarre conjunctions and ultimately enduring moral authority." —Publisher’s Weekly
It was Non-Revolution. Or it was me. Or it was Non-Revolution and me. I was unsure what it really was. Maybe it was my thoughts. My thoughts at one minute about Non-Revolution. About the smell of Non-Revolution. Sweat, urine, sage, pot, rotting food, hay, all mixed together. Perhaps about Non-Revolution’s body. I am sure I am not the only one who has thought it exceptional, but I am also just as sure that by the standards of bodies, Non-Revolution’s is fine but not exceptional. That is the point. That is why Non-Revolution is called Non-Revolution, why they have revolution as a possibility in their name but it is a modified and thus negated possibility so as to suggest they are possibly neither good nor fucked. Still something about Non-Revolution’s smell and body had gotten into me.
Juliana Spahr is a writer of literature, a literary critic, a shaper of literary communities through editing, and a relentless collaborator. In addition to editing Commune Editions, she edits the book series Chain Links with Jena Osman and the collectively funded Subpress with nineteen other people. With David Buuck she wrote Army of Lovers (City Lights, 2014). She has edited with Stephanie Young A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machinegun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011), with Joan Retallack Poetry & Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2006), and with Claudia Rankine American Women Poets
Commune Editions began with Bay Area friendships formed in struggle. The people committed to poetry and the people committed to militant political antagonism came to be more and more entangled, turned out to be the same people. This felt transformative to us, strange and beautiful. A provisionally new strain of poetry has begun to emerge from this entanglement with communist and anarchist organizing, theorizing, and struggle.This work inspires us. Because there was no existing venue attuned to these changes, we decided to start one. We hope to publish poetry for reading and writing explicitly against the given world, always aware that it begins inside that world—and to put this work in dialogue with poetries from other countries and from other historical moments, times and places where the politicization of poetry and the participation of poets in uprisings large and small was and remains a convention. Poems are no replacement for concrete forms of political action. But poetry can be a companion to these activities, as the “Riot Dog” of Athens was a companion in streets. A dog, too, might start barking when the cops are about to kick down your door. Perhaps that’s it, for now, what we’re doing, what is to be done, with poetry. Some barking. Some letting you know that the cops are at the door. They’ve been there for a while.