sucking on words

Director: Simon Morris

Critical commentary: Bruce Andrews, Barbara Cole, Robert Fitterman

Film, Lighting and Sound: Fiona Biggiero, Jarrod Fowler, Jerome Harmann-Hardeman.

Film editor: Christine Morris

Original musical score: Rob Lavers

Price £19.95+pp
Year 2007
Edition 500
Duration 59 mins
Box Case; colour offset printed sleeve and 12pp inlay; colour offset printed disc face
Format DVD

sucking on words is a documentary film that features interviews with, and extensive performances by, the American poet Kenneth Goldsmith. It also features critical commentary on his intense and ground-breaking conceptualist practice from three of North America’s leading voices on avant-garde poetics. Shot on location in New York in 2007, the lively conversations featured in sucking on words are an ideal introduction to Goldsmith’s witty and provocative works, which are already regarded as hallmarks of 21st-century literature. The film showcases readings from some of his notorious books: No.111 (found phrases ending in the ‘r’ rhyme and filtered alphabetically by syllable count); Soliloquy (a transcription of every word Goldsmith spoke for a week); Day (a retyping of one day’s New York Times newspaper); Traffic (one day’s worth of hourly radio traffic bulletins); and The Weather (one year’s worth of radio weather bulletins).

With many hats on at once – as a poet, as Founding Editor of UBUweb, as the host of a weekly experimental sound show on WFMU radio etc. – Goldsmith offers a punchy defence of the literary concerns and modes that have come to be gathered under the label ‘conceptual poetry’, and the techno-social context that has made those concerns and modes evermore pressing and dynamic. Included with the film is a 12-page inlay, featuring an edited version of Goldsmith’s blog for The Poetry Foundation, in which all of these lines of thought are pulled into a nigh-manifesto statement.

sucking on words was premiered at: The British Library (London, October 2007); Shandy Hall (Coxwold, October 2007); and The Oslo Poetry Festival (Oslo, November 2007).

sucking on words DVD

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