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Seth Abramson
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Seth Abramson is a poet, editor, attorney, and journalist in Madison, Wisconsin.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Abramson is the author of five collections of poetry, including Thievery (University of Akron Press, 2013), winner of the 2012 Akron Poetry Prize, and Northerners (Western Michigan University Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose. Currently a doctoral student at University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is also Series Co-Editor for Best American Experimental Writing, whose second edition will be published by Wesleyan University Press in 2015.

From 2001 to 2007, he was an attorney for the New Hampshire Public Defender.

Entries by Seth Abramson

The Controversial Philosophy Behind Franco's The Interview

(2) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 10:22 AM

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Many people awoke this morning (December 18th) stunned to discover that not only had North Korea been "centrally involved" in hackers threatening a "9/11-style attack" on U.S. soil in protest of the James Franco film The Interview, but in fact Sony...

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4 More Reasons Wisconsin Should Make the College Football Playoff

(43) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 12:32 PM

A couple days ago, I posted an argument for the Wisconsin Badgers making the inaugural College Football Playoff if they beat Ohio State on Saturday. The article drew a wide readership and many strong responses, a majority of which were along the lines of, "Wisconsin has no place...

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6 Reasons Wisconsin Should Make the College Football Playoff

(63) Comments | Posted November 30, 2014 | 5:24 PM

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On November 26th, the nation's highest-profile pollster -- Nate Silver of the New York Times -- gave ten teams a better chance of making the inaugural College Football Playoff than University of Wisconsin. Of course, it's really just seven teams; the...

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This Three-Word Poem By Jesse Damiani Just Changed Everything

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 3:57 PM

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Several days ago, I received permission from colleague and poet Jesse Damiani to republish his extraordinary poem "Knock Knock" on Ink Node, a publishing platform for literary artists. I asked to republish the poem because I was struck by both its...

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Can the Trolling of Media Outlets Revitalize American Poetry?

(0) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 2:00 PM

Earlier this year, Vice ran the following headline above a story on the operation of creative minds: "Liars and Cheaters Make Better Art." The story linked to a study showing that "creative people are generally more dishonest than uncreative people." Whatever one thinks of either the Vice headline...

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Metamodernism: The Basics III

(1) Comments | Posted October 19, 2014 | 11:04 PM

{NB: Below is the third part of a multi-part essay; the first part can be found here, and the second part can be found here. This essay was written in response to a call by Timothy Green, editor of the literary magazine Rattle, for literary metamodernists,...

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Metamodernism: The Basics II

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 3:22 PM

{NB: Below is the second part of a multi-part essay; the first part can be found here. This essay was written in response to a call by Timothy Green, editor of the literary magazine Rattle, for literary metamodernists, and this author in particular, to be clearer about what...

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Metamodernism: The Basics

(1) Comments | Posted October 12, 2014 | 3:42 PM

{NB: The below was written in response to a call by Timothy Green, editor of the literary magazine Rattle, for literary metamodernists, and this author in particular, to be clearer about what metamodernism means and intends.}

We live in a time in which we feel very isolated....

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The State of Risk in PoMo Verse (Part 2)

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 11:06 AM

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{NB: Part 1 of this essay can be found here.}

We can analogize the cyclical nature of the three eternal cultural paradigms (modernism, postmodernism, and metamodernism) to a mountain climber climbing a mountain comprising a series of ledges. Because we're speaking...

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The State of Risk in PoMo Verse

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 1:02 PM

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In Cheap Signaling -- a serious and important study of poetic diction in the avant-garde -- Daniel Tiffany posits a revolutionary poetics without positing, too, a paradigm shift away from postmodernism. The result is an imagined coterie of poets and an...

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The Metamodernist Manifesto: After Postmodernism (Part V)

(1) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 5:37 PM

{Below is the fifth and final part of the second in a series of articles exploring a sphere of thought within metamodernism known as "transcendent metamodernism." Other spheres of thought within metamodernism include The New Sincerity, metamodern dada, "oscillatory" metamodernism, and a neo-Marxist metamodernism...

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The Metamodernist Manifesto: After Postmodernism (Part IV)

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 3:34 PM

{Below is Part IV of the second in a series of articles exploring a sphere of thought within metamodernism known as "transcendent metamodernism." Other spheres of thought within metamodernism include The New Sincerity, metamodern dada, "oscillatory" metamodernism, and a neo-Marxist metamodernism invested in discussions...

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The Metamodernist Manifesto: After Postmodernism (Part III)

(1) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 5:40 PM

{Below is Part III of the second in a series of articles exploring a sphere of thought within metamodernism known as "transcendent metamodernism." Other spheres of thought within metamodernism include The New Sincerity, metamodern dada, "oscillatory" metamodernism, and a neo-Marxist metamodernism invested in discussions of how late capitalism produced the...

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The Metamodernist Manifesto: After Postmodernism (Part II)

(1) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 11:01 AM

{Below is Part II of the second in a series of articles exploring the basic principles of a sphere of thought within metamodernism, "transcendent metamodernism." Other spheres of thought under the general heading of this cultural paradigm include The New Sincerity, metamodern dada, "oscillatory" metamodernism, and a neo-Marxist metamodernism invested...

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The Metamodernist Manifesto: After Postmodernism (Part I)

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 5:01 PM

{Below is Part I of the second in a series of articles exploring the basic principles of a sphere of thought within metamodernism, "transcendent metamodernism." Other spheres of thought under the general heading of this cultural paradigm include The New Sincerity, "oscillatory" metamodernism, and a neo-Marxist metamodernism invested in discussions...

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The Metamodernist Manifesto: The Rebirth of the Author

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 3:31 PM

For all its talk of the "death of the author" (Barthes) and the "iterability of the written mark" (Derrida), postmodernism still conceives of authorship as a physicalized gesture suspended in a single, discrete space-time continuum. Self-described "authors," in this view, habitually generate texts with intended recipients, and then invariably die...

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The Metamodern Intervention (II)

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 5:46 PM

{NB: Part I of this article can be found here. The below section is excerpted and reprinted with the permission of Aart Naaktgeboren, Catholic University of Utrecht, as well as Eeuw: Cultur in de Nederlanden in interdisciplinair perspectief. Internal citations omitted. Copyright 2012.}

While no more reducible to...

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The Metamodern Intervention

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2014 | 10:23 AM

{NB: Excerpted and reprinted with permission from Eeuw: Cultuur in de Nederlanden in interdisciplinair perspectief; internal citations omitted.}

Aart Naaktgeboren [Catholic University of Utrecht], "The Metamodern Intervention" (2012).

One of the many utilities of postmodernity has been its tendency to remind us that subject position never does not matter....

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The Last Words of Mass Murderer Elliot Rodger Remixed Into Poetry

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2014 | 6:34 AM

Can hateful words be turned against themselves and become, instead, a vehicle for amity and compassion? The poem recited in the video above, and transcribed below, seeks to answer that question. A remix of the last words of Elliot Rodger, it uses every word Rodger spoke in his final YouTube video, and no more. (For those who don't wish to view Rodger's video, a transcript of it is here.)

A note below the YouTube video linked to above reads as follows:

The aim of this metamodern poem is to turn on their heads those words of hatred Elliot Rodger left behind him as he exited this world. A remix of the words Rodger used in his final YouTube video, the poem uses each and every word Rodger spoke in that hateful oration--and no more. The author condemns in the strongest terms both the words and the actions of Elliot Rodger; the aim here is to rescue language from a perversion of language, not to glorify an individual whose actions were incontrovertibly evil. Please note that this poem is an address to, not an address from, Elliot Rodger.
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  • Last Words for Elliot Rodger

    Life has attracted me, life has denied me; forced me to give, forced me to take; spoiled me, tried me, hit me; desired me like a girlfriend, treated me like a sex crime. I will never give up. I will never be stuck inside life. I deserve better than that. I deny the annihilation of years. Of years' revenge against me. They are going; I have been.

    Hate is wretched; retribution, hedonistic. Not everyone experiences affection, and loneliness is torturous, but unfulfilled desires are not an injustice. To endure utter loneliness, then rejection, then obnoxious brutes is a mercy because it is, finally, life. Existence. Humanity, in its puberty.

    Isla Vista: Such lives I see there! An alpha-male slut at the University of California-Santa Barbara! The very hottest live show! (Sexual!) Two happy blond girls at the fair! (The two of you, by yourselves!) Will Rodger, eight and too popular! A house for slaughtering! (If you enter, will you be rejected?) A single guy! (Hi, single person!) Virgin girls! Those girls who advance towards themselves, only to turn upon those selves! A better me! The will to wait for exactly what I deserve!

    Sorority girls do not punish you; you punish you.

    In college, I had it in my power to destroy a sorority house. To reduce it like a god. And it was unworthy of me. I'm a gentleman! (Not sexually active, but no one and nothing is perfect.) Girls have never been attracted to me -- and rightfully so -- but, I love girls. I'm attracted to them still. So much.

    Can sex be fun? Yes. Yet if you think of the species as disgusting and depraved, you'll see sex as a crime. (God made animals; God annihilated animals. Is that a crime? Can the mouse know pleasure? Loneliness? What of you? Can you know pleasure? True pleasure? Do you deserve to be annihilated for that?)

    I looked down. (All have had to.)

    I looked up. (All have had to.)

    I looked into me. (All have to.)

    One, two, three, into the well!

    And in the well: For, against; up, down; these, these instead; why, because; would, actually; in, through; more, half; would, have; exacting, other; all of it, all of you; to, for; on, after; they, your; this, there; my, their; these, those; I, you. Hate, slaughter, and retribution; hate, slaughter, and retribution. They throw you, you throw them.

    If I make time for this, I will never have blond girls come on to me every time I go out. I will never deserve it. (Do I ever? Since when?)

    I have my will.

    All those who have rejected me, and all those who've loved me, suffer. In life, all suffer. Superior, inferior -- all pay for living. You. Me. Popular college kids. All girls. All men. A fair life? I don't see it in any video. Not in 22 years have I.



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  • Elliot, you slay me.

    And I love you.

    For you gave you. All of you.

    Every you.

    You. You. You. You. You. You. You. You. You. You.

    All of you.

    I gave, too.

    And mountains. And rivers. And animals. Long streets. Every single girl. Every single man. (Even obnoxious men!)

    I love this day. And tomorrow. And living. And scum. And blood and such. And all I've ever wanted, and all I've ever not wanted. All kids. All girls. All great men. All men. All skulls of men.

    All have wanted affection. All have wanted adoration. All have. You have.

    But you can never be forgiven now.

    To the last day of humanity, you will never have kissed a girl. To the last day, you will be a virgin. You will rot for years on years. Rot in an old truth: that time will give you exactly what you deserve.



  •                                                                       •



  • All see you, now.

    Compared to you, they've been just.

    They join one another: still, supreme.

    I am here. (You waited a while; so will I.)

    All things stop at "I."

    "I have my will."

    I.

    "I showed my will. I treated you to it. I have been it. I am it."

    I. I.

    "I am that which I have been. I am all of it. All of that. All the while. Every while. I am I, and of I."

    Of. Of. Of.

    Of Of.

    Of.



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    First Anthology of Metamodern Literature Hits U.S. Bookshelves

    (0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2014 | 10:14 PM

    Contemporary Poetry Reviews #29

    Each edition of this contemporary poetry review series selects one or more poetry collections published in the last ten years to recommend to its readership. These collections are selected from a pool of more than two thousand supplied and already-held contemporary poetry books....

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