Writing about the fundamental mechanics of language and narrative is kinda like trying to chop down a tree, with another tree. Gladman comes closer than any other writer I've read at pulling off this impossible feat. Plans for Sentences is complex, challenging, & strangely beautiful and there are phrases that will make every writer sigh.
These sentences--they--will begin having already been sentences somewhere else, and this will mark their afterlife, and this will be their debut. So begins Renee Gladman's latest interdisciplinary project, Plans for Sentences. A tour de force of dizzying brilliance, Gladman's book blurs the distinctions between text and image, recognizing that drawing can be a form of writing, and vice versa: a generative act in which the two practices not only inform each other but propel each other into futures. In this radical way, drawing and writing become part of a limitless loop of energy, unearthing fertile possibilities for the ways we think about poetry. If Gladman ascribes to any particular type of poetics, here in Plans for Sentences, we are sure to find that it is robustly grounded in a poetics of infinite language.
About the Author
Renee Gladman is a writer and artist preoccupied with crossings, thresholds, and geographies as they play out at the intersections of poetry, prose, drawing and architecture. She is the author of thirteen published works, including Calamities, which won the 2017 CLMP Firecracker Award in nonfiction, and a cycle of novels about the city-state Ravicka and its inhabitants, the Ravickians--Event Factory (2010), The Ravickians (2011), Ana Patova Crosses a Bridge (2013) and Houses of Ravicka (2017)--as well as two collections of drawings, Prose Architectures (2017) and One Long Black Sentence, a series of white ink drawings on black paper, indexed by Fred Moten (2020). Recent essays and visual work have appeared in The Paris Review, Gulf Coast, Granta, Harper's, BOMB magazine, e-flux and n+1. She has been awarded fellowships, artist grants, and residencies from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Lannan Foundation, and KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), among others, and is the recipient of a 2021 Windham-Campbell prize in fiction. For more information, visit reneegladman.com.