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  • Peter Clarke

Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe



A few years ago, I launched a book series called Fair-Minded Fraud and Forgery in affiliation with my literary journal, Jokes Review. The purpose of the series is to publish short nonfiction books that revitalize esoteric art or philosophy movements.


To kick off the series, I wrote a book called Apocryphal Pataphysics, which dusts off the "science" of pataphysics and makes it relevant to the modern day. I worked with Jokes Review's fiction editor Mark Dwyer and illustrator Jack Roberts to bring the book to life. Although I wrote and published the book quickly and sort of on a whim, it's probably my favorite thing I've ever written.


Now, I'm excited to share with the world our second book in the series: Hugo Ball and the Fate of the Universe: Adventures in Sound Poetry by Lane Chasek.


We've published Lane twice in Jokes Review, and I've always loved his highly creative style. So when he came to us with a book proposal about the history of sound poetry, I knew right away this was something we'd want to publish in our book series.


In each chapter, Lane starts with a clever, unexpected theme or anecdote, which he uses as a jumping-off point to explore some element of sound poetry. His book includes a wild cast of characters, such as Hugo Ball, Scatman John, Ella Fitzgerald, a medium, and religious fanatics speaking in tongues.


But the book isn't just a history of sound poetry. It's also a reflection on the creative process and offers a personal narrative about the struggles of a poet in the modern world.


The book is currently available in print and on Kindle. Check it out!



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