Stigmata Errata Etcetera

Bill Knott, Stigmata Errata Etcetera
Publisher: Saturnalia Books
2007, 65 pages, paperback, $16

bill knott's most recent collection fuses two worlds of creativity: poetry and visual art. The poems represent forty-nine of the book's sixty-five pages; the remaining pages, along with the book's cover, are composed of artist Star Black's dissonant and dreamlike collages.

Since his first book published in 1968, Knott has been associated with a contemporary, quasi-surrealist mode in American poetry, and Stigmata Errata Etcetera, with Black's collages and Knott's poems, exists near this type of dissociation. "The Mourner," for example, closes with "And often he lets his face rain / above his mouth, above his eyes, / his nose: lets it hover in the mist / of its ignorant verities." However, where other poets of this fashion have been criticized for a lack of formal gusto, Knott has often framed his work with dire attention paid to meter, stanza structure, and (gasp!) even rhyme. His efforts are no less evident in this book.

Stigmata Errata Etcetera exhibits the Knott we've come to expect: sharp-witted and bitter. Such is the case in "Novembernew," when Knott writes, "Scoldingly, the way a nurse / waves a thermometer at a corpse, / branches thrash above us." Throughout the book, a consistently caustic voice delivers each line.

Aside from Knott's abrasive tone, another Knott-ism is present: disdain and dismay regarding the poetic community. In "Commuter Skills Needed," Knott remarks, "I'm like a spaceship flooded with roadmaps: / The guidebooks that marked and led me here are / Archaic. All the ways they praise have lapsed." Here, Knott has again found himself apart from the same poetic body that helped shape him, and he's not afraid to voice his predicament.

In Stigmata Errata Etcetera, Knott is as incisive and trenchant as ever. Take the closing quatrain from "Snuffed" as an illustration: "Time, our sentence, is specific. / Memory, its syntax, vague. / The melt is where they meet- / inksoil syllables dribbling down a page." As long as Knott's words are in print, his readers will surely know where he stands both on and off the page.

-Trey Moody

Masthead


Executive Editor
Tom Grimes

Managing Editor
Jane Hawley

Co-Managing Editor
Reyes Ramirez

Poetry Editor
Jennifer Whalen

Fiction Editor
Stan Rivkin

Nonfiction Editor
Heather Lefebvre

Webmaster
Eric Blankenburg

Copy Editor
Sessa Kratz

Interviews Editor
Amanda Scott

Public Relations Manager
Samantha Tanner

Book Reviews Editor
Mallory Chesser

Blog Editor
Josh Lopez

Assistant Blog Editor
Alicia Salzmann

Readers
Sarah Howze
Dan Barton
Niko Kyriakou
Theresa Holden
Brandon Ricks
Casey Winters
Rachel Gray
Lawton Cook
Lauren Bull
Benjamin Seanor
James Deitz
Timothy Dailey
Maggie Ilersich
Stuart Gill
Katrina Goudey
Dorothy Lawrenson
Ram Hinojosa
Meg Griffitts
Jacob Massey
Paul Adams
Allison Myers
Phillip Mandel
John Edgar
Michaela Hansen
Shelby Newsom
Ashton Kamburoff
Graham Oliver

Faculty Advisor
Steve Wilson

Founding Editors
Michael Hart
Evelyn Lauer
Josh Magnuson
Toby Peterson
Michael Wolfe

Advisory Board
Katie Angermeier
Ben Engel
Evelyn Lauer
Herpreet Singh

ISSN#1936-7716

logo for the CLMP

All photos were taken at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, by Sameera Kapila and Herpreet Singh.

Website design by Sameera Kapila