Annihilated TimeFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889226128 | paperback / softback

$29.95 | 304 pages | Pub. Date: 2009 | Edition # 1
6.00 W × 9.00 H × 0.75 D inches
Non-Fiction | Backlist | Bisac: LIT014000
ISBN 13: 9780889226128 | Rights: WORLD

Annihilated Time
Poetry and Other Politics
By Jeff Derksen

Reading against the grain of global ideological flows, Derksen demonstrates how borders, identities, national literatures, urban territories, built space and the spaces of culture and politics have not simply been eroded by globalization, but how the traditional identity-determined scales of culture are being re-imagined as contested spaces for dynamic communities of discourse.

Apologists for the current global American imperialism ironically characterize it as a civilizing force generously brought to the world by a presumed American exceptionalism to empire. In their view, it is an extension of a neoliberal economic developmentalism, imagined as non-ideological and anti-authoritarian (“democratic”) and as the highest cultural form of capitalism.

Poetry, that under-achieving commodity, that “greeny flower,” has not been exempt from the increased glare of what is now the new state cultural watchdog. An early public controversy—generating vitriolic discourse—was the long poem “Somebody Blew Up America,” by Amiri Baraka, then poet laureate for the state of New Jersey. Jeff Derksen spins this controversial issue (and many others) around the pivot of September 11, 2001. To read these works in the cultural and social context that led to them being criminalized or erased, we can look to how 9/11 provided an historical occasion for a reconfiguration of the role of culture in the nation state.

In this collection of essays, Derksen explores the ways in which seemingly minor forms of culture—poetry, visual art, and critical practices—encounter what he calls “the long present neoliberal moment” of the imperialist agenda of globalization. The title inverts Marx’s famous view (central to critical geography) that “the problem of space” has been overcome: that capitalism annihilates space with time. Today, literary, cultural and geographical readings emphasize our lived experience of space and contest the representations of a globalized environment that capital and its ideological software, neoliberalism, promote.

“Just as Charles Olson turned to geographer Carl Sauer to pry open the field of ­contemporary poetry and poetics in the previous century, Jeff Derksen here brilliantly ­relates poetry (‘that underachieving commodity’) to ­architecture, and explores the ­uneven development of contested urban territories in the work of Marxist geographers. Derksen’s incisive critiques of the lengthy spectre of neoliberalism that is haunting our globe seek to create not only new readers of poetry but new forms of and spaces for a re-scaled, re-envisioned, and re-invigorated cultural citizenship. Annihilated Time ­deserves to be read as it was written: boldly and widely.”
—Mark Nowak, editor of XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, author of Coal Mountain Elementary

By Jeff Derksen

Jeff Derksen’s poetry and critical writing on art, urbanism and text have been published in Europe and North America. He collaborates on visual art and research projects (focusing on urban issues) with the research collective Urban Subjects. Derksen’s Down Time won the 1991 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award at the BC Book Prizes.

Read more about Jeff Derksen


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news | 2010-07-23
How High Is the City, How Deep Is Our Love

…about Fillip. Jeff Derksen is also the author of Annihilated Time. …