Jacket2 magazine is an online poetry and poetics magazine that publishes articles, reviews, interviews, commentaries, podcasts, and reissued archival material. The magazine is the new, interactive incarnation of Jacket magazine, the poetry and poetics magazine created and run by poet John Tranter in 1997. Kelly Writers House faculty director Al Filreis is the publisher and Kelly Writers House director Jessica Lowenthal is the associate publisher. The magazine is edited by Julia Bloch and Michael S. Hennessey. New material is added daily.
From Jacket to Jacket2
In 2010, poet John Tranter and Professor Al Filreis released a joint statement in which they announced that Tranter, the founder of Jacket magazine, would be retiring from his "intense every-single-day involvement" with Jacket. As described in the statement, Jacket, an online poetry and poetics magazine which put out a total of 40 issues from 1997-2010, moved to the servers of the University of Pennsylvania and remerged as Jacket2. Jacket2, launched in 2011 and hosted by the Kelly Writers House and PennSound, preserves the original Jacket content and additionally provides features such as extensive commentaries and podcasts that the original Jacket did not. Instead of releasing content as issues, the new magazine provides content when it is ready, and new material is added daily.
Jacket2 publishes content about poetry and poetics in a variety of different forms, including articles, reviews, interviews, features, commentaries, podcasts, and reissues. All issues of Jacket are also available through the magazine's website.
Jacket2 publishes full length articles analyzing poets, poetry and poetics. Poets and critics such as Thom Donovan, Steve Bradbury, Ron Silliman, Erica Kaufman and dozens more have contributed articles to the magazine since its 2011 launch. Articles examine subjects as diverse as the role of the internet in new Chinese poetry (Steve Bradbury's "Have net, will travel, The new face of Chinese poetry"), the poet Hannah Weiner's later work (Marta L. Werner's "The landscape of Hannah Weiner's late work, The Book of Revelations"), and freedom and the "absence of political agenda" in contemporary Brazilian poetry (Farnoosh Fathi's "New Brazilian poets"). Articles also appear as part of larger features, such as "Poetry in 1960, a Symposium," "Hannah Weiner's 'The Book of Revelations'", "New Brazilian Poets," "Pacific Poetries", and "Discourses on Vocality," where multiple writers focus on individual topics within the larger featured theme. Articles in Jacket2 differ from articles in print or other online poetry magazines in that they utilize material made available for free from archives such as PennSound, a vast recorded poetry archive and close collaborator to Jacket2, the Electronic Poetry Center website and Jacket2's own archive of Jacket magazine issues.
Jacket2's reviews section publishes full-length critical reviews, commentaries and analyses of poetry collections, poems, poets, writing poetry and writing about poetry. The reviews themselves are not traditional critiques, but are rather further engagements with the work or event at hand, analyzing not only craftsmanship and form, but also issues of context, philosophy, representation, others' commentaries, humor, and more. Subjects analyzed in the reviews section are diverse, encompassing Steven Toissant's exploration of Catholicism and heresy in Fanny Howe's Emergence, Nico Alvarado's description and analysis of the "gustatory" quality of poems in Michael Gizzi's 2009 poetry collection, New Depths of Deadpan, Chris Funkhouser's preface and reflections on writing a book about electronic poetry and the Electronic Poetry Festival, and Candice Amich's analysis of canonization and translation in The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, to name a few. Jacket2's online platform allows reviews to link to the items under review when appropriate and furthermore to make use of and include items from PennSound's vast archive of recorded poetry and poetry related discussions and conversations. Jaime Roble's review of Elizabeth Robinson's The Orphan & its Revelations, for example, includes a PennSound recording of Robinson reading from The Orphan & its Revelations on Leonard Schwartz's Cross Cultural Poetics radio program. Similarly, Kristen Gallagher's analysis of Tan Lin's "Seven Controlled Variables" provides a link within the review to a recording of a conversation Lin had with Charles Bernstein on Bernstein's Close Listening program, available on PennSound. The intermixing of recordings, links, and visual content is indicative of Jacket2's interactive quality. All reviews are freely available in full on the Jacket2 website.
Jacket2 publishes transcriptions of interviews and conversations with and between poets and poetry scholars. The transcriptions often include text, photos, recordings and/or illustrations of the poem, project or topic at hand, incorporated into the Jacket2 website in a way that pushes the reader of the transcript from a passive position of simply reading as if he/she were listening to the interview or conversation, to an active position in which the reader interacts and engages with the subject. One of the conversations included in the magazine, between Caroline Bergvall and Susan Rudy, for example, focuses at one point on Bergvall's "work with language graphically on the page and across pages, and also visually and spatially when on a site or on walls". A photo of one of Bergvall's written pieces, Alyson Sings, directly follows that moment in the conversation, working to not only give the reader an example of Bergvall's work, but also to illustrate Bergvall's "graphical" and "visual" work with language. Much of the accompanying material worked into transcriptions of interviews comes from archives such as PennSound and Jacket2's archive of Jacket magazine issues. "Renunciation", a conversation with Ben Lerner and Aaron Kunin transcribed in the magazine, links to similar conversations with Lerner and Kunin respectively in Jacket magazine issues 40 and 37. Some of the material published in the interviews section is archival, such as Al Filreis's 2000 conversation with Robert Creeley about William Carlos Williams (a video and sound recording of which are both included), and the text of a rare interview with Caetano Veloso from 1979. Some of the participants or providers of archival interviews and conversations have since died.
Features are a central aspect of Jacket2. Different writers from a range of academic and stylistic backgrounds and in different stages of their careers write individual pieces related to a single topic, such as "Poetry in 1960," "New Brazilian Poets", or "Pacific Poetries," giving the topic not only depth and breadth, but also giving the reader a greater appreciation of the importance of the topic itself. Jacket2's internet publishing allows for the production and publication of Features, which also include audio and video recordings from the PennSound archive (as in the "Poetry in 1960: a Symposium" feature), original translations and original poems (as in the Pacific Poetries feature), and PDF downloads of transcriptions and photos (such as a PDF version of an image of an edition of Hannah Weiner's "The Book of Revelations" in a feature about Weiner's work). The diverse backgrounds of the multiple authors of a single feature help to create not only a greater analysis of a chosen features topic, but furthermore create an unusual, cohesive form of scholarship in which alternative and classical forms of analysis and academic scholarship work in tandem. Features published by the magazine furthermore differ in form from each other. The "New Brazilian Poets" feature, for example, includes an analysis of contemporary Brazilian poetry by Farnoosh Fathi, as well as poems by poets discussed in the analysis, Angelica Freitas, Leonardo Gandolfi, and Ismar Tirelli Neto. "Poetry in 1960: a Symposium," instead combines analysis of different poems from the 60's by 20 different writers, and the "Hannah Weiner's 'The Book of Revelation'" feature combines analysis with multiple different transcripts and appendices to Weiner's work. All features can be found on the Jacket2 page and include tables of contents.
Jacket2 Commentaries are brief reporting and analyses by recurring commentators on topics within poetry and poetics, ranging from reports from poetry scenes, such as Stephanie Young's commentaries on events in the San Francisco Bay area poetry scene, conversations and interviews with writers such as Allison Cobb (by Jules Boykoff and Kaia Sand), and archival commentaries from Jacket magazine issues. Commentators serve as correspondents or documentarians of a chosen topic, issue, and or place, and their comments are meant to be archival and discursive. Archival documents and recordings are additionally represented within the commentaries section, including recordings and videos from the PennSound archive, such as a video of Joanna Drucker at the Kelly Writers House, and commentaries from Jacket2's Jacket magazine archive, such as a commentary by Richard Caddel and Peter Quartermain on British & Irish poetry since 1970 that originally appeared in a 1998 Jacket magazine issue.
Jacket2 hosts both its own podcast series, Into the Field, produced and hosted by Steven McLaughlin, and those from the PoemTalk series, a collaboration of the Kelly Writers House, PennSound and the Poetry Foundation. McLaughlin, the host and producer of Into the Field, spoke with poet Benjamin Friedlander in the poet's home for the inaugural Into the Field podcast. Friedlander read original poems and also discussed his experience living in San Francisco and Buffalo, respective hubs of experimental poetry in the 1980s and 1990s. McLaughlin has also discussed "geography and work" in the poetry of Sina Queryas, the work of Tao Lin within Tao Lin's bedroom, as well as the complications of being a "professional poet" with poet Andrew Zawacki. Into the Field podcasts provide a mix of poetry reading and discussion. Episodes, photos and brief synopses of episodes are available on the Jacket2 website.
Jacket2 hosts online reissues of poetry and poetics journals in either browsable or downloadable PDF form. As of May, 2011, Jacket2 provides an online archive of Alcheringa, an ethnopoetics journal published by Dennis Tedlock and Jerome Rothenberg through Boston University from 1970-1980. Alcheringa is a joint project of ethnopoetics.com, PennSound, and Jacket2. Through the online platform of Jacket2, the reissues section allows archival work to be viewed and used by a much larger audience than the original publishers could have imagined, and further presents the work in searchable form, taking the original printed material into an interactive form .