Essay | $10 ($7 direct from UDP)
Saddle-stitched. 30 pp, 5.5 x 8 in.
Publication Date: 2008
Distribution: SPD; Available in the UK through Inpress (http://www.inpressbooks.co.uk)
Asked to write a paper on alternative forms of memoir for the 2007 Modern Language Association conference, Bellamy wrote an admiring analysis of "Everyday Barf," the essay that concludes Eileen Myles's recent poetry collection Sorry Tree. Bellamy's talk, "MLA Barf," became a rousing defense of the "barf" as a literary form. Here "MLA Barf" is joined by its sequel, "CCA Barf," delivered as a lecture at the California College of the Arts some months later. Together the two talks celebrate Eileen Myles—especially her genius for bringing the body into writing—as well as the conceptual practices of two British visual artists, Tariq Alvi and Bridget Riley. In addition, Barf Manifesto, like The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, is an intimate account of a long, sometimes tortured, but enduring friendship between two female writers.
In the words of critic Ramsey Scott, "Bellamy asks us: how can sloppiness become an intellectual stance, a methodology with its own aesthetic and political priorities? How might a permeable editorial screen that allows for error, parataxis, and the non sequitur serve as the basis for a hybrid kind of writing that is at once critical and autobiographical, factual and fictional? What does it mean to insist upon the disorderly as a means of cultural critique and political engagement?"
from Barf Manifesto:
Passion in writing or art—or in a lover—can make you overlook a lot of flaws. Passion is underrated. I think we should all produce work with the urgency of outsider artists, panting and jerking off to our kinky private obsessions. Sophistication is conformist, deadening. Let's get rid of it.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Dodie Bellamy has written a novel, The Letters of Mina Harker (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004); a collection of fiction, memoirs, and essays, Pink Steam (Suspect Thoughts, 2004); an epistolary collaboration on AIDS with the late Sam D’Allesandro, Real (Talisman House, 1994); and a cross-genre collection of pedagogical essays and fictions, Academonia (Krupskaya, 2006). Her book Cunt-Ups (Tender Buttons, 2002), a radical feminist revision of the "cut-up" pioneered by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, won the 2002 Firecracker Alternative Book Award for Poetry. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The Village Voice, The San Francisco Chronicle, Bookforum, Out/Look, Nest, and the San Diego Reader as well as numerous literary journals and web sites. In January, 2006, she curated an installation of Kathy Acker’s clothes for White Columns, New York’s oldest alternative art space. She lives in San Francisco with her partner Kevin Killian and three cats, Ted, Sylvia, and Quincy. With Kevin, she has edited over 150 issues of the literary/art zine Mirage #4/Period(ical) She is currently writer in residence at California College of the Arts.