Poetry

Newest Release:

Smear (BlazeVOX, 2021)

Description: Smear is a collection of visual poems based on the tweets ex-president Trump and the inaugural addresses of US presidents.

Praise for Smear:

  • Rachel Blau Duplessis, author of Poetic Realism: Working with strong page-making skills in modes of visual and procedural poetry, Andrew Brenza’s serious work comments on the tearing up and uneasy reconfiguring of languages in our historical moment. He creatively transforms inaugural addresses of all U.S. Presidents: imploded, exploded, spun to whirlpool, in a “jagged maw” or “transforming into a broken vapor.” At the end, “Acts of Domestic Terror” balls letters up into dark cells, crossing allegory and image, creating posters of anxious commentary in distinctive graphic art.
  • Kristine Snodgrass: Guided by intuition (looking at the final product, how is this possible?), Andrew Brenza’s work implodes and tumbles with gorgeous black holes and visual fields in the tradition of visual poetics. SMEAR deftly combines the disabled rhetoric of a new American fascism (Trump’s Twitter) with refrains construed and constructed from past inaugural addresses. Reading this on the day of the inauguration of the new president confirms to me that Brenza has tapped into a collective psyche of exhaustion and confusion, melded into the salience of visual art which Brenza defines as “collapsed”, “layered”, and “cynical prognostications”—some of the most striking and gorgeous concrete poems I have seen. We ask, what is the type-face without the original semantic construction? How much does Brenza control the eye from entering any meaning? I think this work, unlike much I have seen lately, is poly and para, unfurling and bearing with, not for, the reader.
  • Orchid Tierney, author of Ocean PlasticAndrew Brenza is an inventive visual architect of the English language. His collection Smear brings to the fore a literal and figurative smudging of classification and sharply smashes the received assumptions of the naturalness of American political rhetoric. Whether it is in the manipulations of inaugural presidential speeches or the anagrammatic torqueing of Trumpian tweets, these visual poems mobilize the materiality of linguistic resistance and wit. I love the transmutability of his poetic language and the entrancing forms he generates. This collection is a bold delight!

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Spool (Unsoilicted Press, 2021)

Description: Andrew Brenza’s Spool is a reckoning of our diminished natural world through the register of a disjointed, smeared, and unraveling poetics. Consisting of a series of breathless lyrical and concrete poems, Spool strives to represent both nature’s beauty as well as the tragedy of its destruction, a destruction which is, ultimately, the destruction of ourselves. But the book does not descend entirely into hopelessness, for the author’s unique approaches to poetic expression suggest an alternative way that humanity might imagine its place in the world, a way that fundamentally incorporates and enacts humanity’s vital connection to nature.

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Books:

automatic souls

Automatic Souls (Timglaset Editions, 2020)

Description:

With two quotes from John Cage (“Nothing more than nothing can be said.”) and Samuel Beckett (“I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”) as starting points Andrew Brenza has created a narrative sequence of visual poems that “reveal the hidden tragedies in our typefaces” (derek beaulieu). Composed entirely from the Bauhaus font Automatic Souls is populated by sad, mechanistic creatures, trapped in a “weaponized meat machine” (Michael Sikkema). Below and sometimes embedded in the visuals is text, captions that suggest “an expression of the delusion of meaning.”

From Brenza’s afterword: “The characters in this world did not ask for their predicaments. They did not ask for the nature of their compositions. Yet they respond to those predicaments given the nature of their compositions. This is how it goes in the half-light of a fading free will.”

Automatic Souls is a chilling reminder of the predicament of the soul as we enter the 2020s.

Perfect bound, A5 format, 72 pages, colour cover, black & white inside. Edition limited to 99 copies.

Reviews:

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Alphabeticon & Other Poems (Redfoxpress, 2020)

Description:

Visual poetry, A6 format – 44 pages – laser printing. Thread and quarter cloth binding.

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Album, in Concrete

Album, in Concrete (Alien Buddha Press, 2019)

Description:

Album, in Concrete is a book of visual poems that explores possible visual representations of melody in specific keys/letters. It is loosely constrained by the number of octaves available on a standard piano keyboard.

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Gossamer Lid

Gossamer Lid (Trembling Pillow Press, 2016)

Preview this book

Davy Knittle reviews Gossamer Lid in American Microreviews

Praise for Gossamer Lid:

“Define the constellations. Fly to them on wings that, though so-named, are much more solid than gossamer. Add commentary to & on—sometimes directly relevant, sometimes provoked or stimulated by, sometimes tablet wor(l)dplay, sometimes the ranting of a wordsmith howling at the moons that there weren’t enough words in the language & he’s sometimes had to make more up. Gossamer Lid is both a gnostic gospel for the 21st century & an alchemist or chiromancer’s journal. The entire is a book of poetry that is wide-ranging, brilliantly integrated, oft-times demanding in the reading of it. But well worth that reading. & you’ll never see the night sky in the same way again.” — Mark Young

“The poet Paul Celan changed his German when it sought to eradicate him. In parallel, Andrew Brenza constructs tongue-twisting portmanteaus and neologisms because English refuses to register the environmental eradication (the ‘horrorscope’) to come. Gossamer Lid asks us to approach the earth from a new angle. Concrete poetry meets the poetics of hard science in this necessary constellation of ‘striploss sunbliss.'” — Jena Osman

“Andrew Brenza’s gift splays gossamer and gusto via aptly architected and sonically potent language that recasts its role into a fundament that morphs beyond what was thought possible. I am stunned by the exquisite recreation of what syllables can do together, what visual dimensions resonate far beyond page-bound depictions of their own miraculous being. This is poetry that confronts the curious reality of how small our species is with the largest picture that we stretch to know. Concurrently, we discover an immensely robust life force in Brenza’s mind, defying all suspicion of our collective insignificance! Do not miss this book. It is extraordinary.” — Sheila E. Murphy

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Chapbooks:

Geometric Mantra (above/ground press, 2021)

Under a Digital Sky (Trainwreck Press, 2020)

poems in c

Poems in C (Viktlösheten Press, 2019)

Free PDF Version

Triptych of Andrews

A Triptych of Andrews (The Blasted Tree, 2019)

Bitter Almonds & Mown Grass

Bitter Almonds & Mown Grass (Shirt Pocket Press, 2018)

waterlight

waterlight (Simulacrum Press, 2018)

an excerpt from Alphabeticon

an excerpt from Alphabeticon (No Press, 2018)

8 Constellations

8 Constellations (Beard of Bees, 2017)

And Then

And Then (Grey Book Press, 2016)

21 skies

21 Skies (Shirt Pocket Press, 2015)


Journals and Magazines: