I’m a thirty-eight year old, straight, white, middle class, able-bodied, male, reader, writer, dad, husband, son, brother, professor, lover of all things experimental and avant-garde, lover of donuts and ice cream, lover of tacos, with excellent health insurance and retirement benefits. I’m an American who was born in Kansas but grew up in Wyoming. I hold a B.A. in Film, M.A. in English, M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and Ph.D. in Post-1900 American Literature & Culture. I’ve published two books, two chapbooks, and have written for various national and international publications.
Now that I’ve explained who I am (so you get a sense of where I’m coming from…maybe?) let me define my use of the word “essential” as: significant to my own critical and creative development. In terms of rationale for why I chose lists for my contribution: I love lists and love learning about stuff I hadn't heard of or experienced before. So in that spirit, I hope you find something new on here to enjoy!
Five Essential Books
Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein
A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari
In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
Dhalgren by Samuel Delany
Five Essential Albums
Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis
Kid A by Radiohead
Forever by Wu-Tang Clan
Set Yourself on Fire by Stars
Black Cascade by Wolves in the Throne Room
Five Essential Films
Two or Three Things I Know About Her by Jean-Luc Godard
I-Be Area by Ryan Trecartin
In Vanda’s Room by Pedro Costa
Bodysong by Simon Pummell
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles by Chantal Akerman
Five Essential Artworks
Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain"
Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans"
Yoko Ono's "Cut-Piece"
John Cage's "4'33"
Keith Jarrett's "1984 Tokyo Performance"
Five Essential Websites
Dennis Cooper’s DCs
Dina Kelberman’s I'm Google
Black Lives Matter
Many thanks for your contributions and for allowing me to join in the conversation.
Los Angeles, CA