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Camp Marmalade
Wayne Koestenbaum

2018 • 400 pp. 5 x 7 1/2"
Poetry / Poetry - LGBT

$18.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-77-9

“Koestenbaum’s reflexivity is uncanny and gathers pathos from the very task of writing, which for him is tantamount to assembling a self. As Foucault put it, being gay 'is not... [continued in Reviews below]”—Felix Bernstein, Bookforum

Part two of an autobiographical trance trilogy: intimate experiments in queer documentary and improvisatory poetics

Camp Marmalade takes the freedoms of trance utterance—unfettered verbal association, explicit auto-ethnography, erotic bricolage—and applies a more stringent sense of time-as-emergency to this liberation-oriented poetic method. Part diary, part collage, part textbook for a new School of Impulse, Camp Marmalade assembles a perverse and giddy cultural archive, a Ferris wheel of aphorisms, depicting a queer body amidst a dizzying flow of sensations, dreams, and sex-and-death distillations—whether sugary, fruity, bitter, expired, or freshly jarred.

“Like an impossible love child from a late-night, drunken three-way between Joan Didion, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag, Wayne Koestenbaum inherited all their stylistic wonder and laser-beam smarts, but with the added point-blank jolt of sex.”—Bruce Hainley, Bidoun

Reviews / Endorsements

“Koestenbaum’s reflexivity is uncanny and gathers pathos from the very task of writing, which for him is tantamount to assembling a self. As Foucault put it, being gay 'is not to identify with the psychological traits and the visible masks of the homosexual, but to try to define and develop a way of life.' This book presents a hallucinatory glimmer of what that life might be without granting precedence to any single method.”—Felix Bernstein, Bookforum

Camp Marmalade affirms the crucial incompleteness that compels an artist to persist in experimentation. Beneath the cultivated glaze of an esthete is a hot mess of creativity, a hormonal jumpiness. The remembered children and burping infants in Camp Marmalade’s dreamscapes give permission for poet and reader to begin again. Just where the memories end, in the present, new words are given fresh paint.”—Christopher Wood, Full Stop

“Koestenbaum, who is also a musician and a visual artist, is here sliding between different artistic media to find or forge a different, spontaneous gesture of motion, inhabiting his painter-self at times to draw upon and re-draw the orality of poetry into a haptic unveiling, a tactile action that insists upon—and requires—the repetition of strokes, the muscle memory of touch; so much like applying makeup; so much like self-presentation as an action-in-process with an indeterminate end. The point, or one of them, is to keep going.”—Chris Campanioni, The Brooklyn Rail

WAYNE KOESTENBAUM is a poet and cultural critic. His recent books include Notes on Glaze, The Pink Trance Notebooks, My 1980s & Other Essays, and Humiliation. He lives in New York City.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:53:18 -0500