ALL NIGHTMARE INTRODUCTIONS 2011-2012 by Josef Kaplan
All Nightmare collects Josef Kaplan's "introductions," written to be performed as prefatory remarks for the two seasons of New York’s Segue Reading Series that he curated in 2011 and 2012. These hyperbolic readings of 14 writers (among them Chris Kraus, Anne Boyer, Harmony Holiday, and Trisha Low) travesty acceptable norms, both social and critical, of what can be said in the context of the “poetry reading,” and therefore in the context of the public spaces of poetry. Kaplan treats the introduction as an Oulipian, procedural form, both honoring and disfiguring his subjects’ writing through acrobatic feats of code switching, and manic, paranoid interpretations of Marxist, Freudian, and even Satanic criticism. Not simply a farcical verbal performance, Kaplan's analytic distortions remain relevant to contemporary dialogues on poetics, and challenge readers of poetry to engage and examine their expectations for its consumption.