Seed Catalog :: Welcome OS Class of 2020!

A whole new crop of projects from incredible creators and organizations.

[seed catalog]

We’re not even halfway through our first official “cohort” year here at the Operating System, with our organism continuing to evolve in ever new and exciting ways, and we’re already brimming with anticipation for everything next year has in store! It was a true joy to see so many OS creators in Portland during the AWP conference, many meeting each other for the first time but already feeling deeply connected through this growing community-network! We can’t wait to keep facilitating more and more collaborations and connections over the years to come.

There’s been a lot of changes here at the OS, and there will be many more announcements and community conversations to come, but today is particularly exciting because I get to be the bearer of the most incredible sort of news — announcing some truly exceptional projects to the OS catalog, created by some truly exceptional people. As our mission gets increasingly clarified, it turns out, the folks who are really aligned with what we seek to create, be, and make space for in the world make their way here with more and more intention — which humbles me and inspires more than ever my commitment to keep the OS queer, weird, and radical, true to its roots.

As we noted last year: there’s always room for growth at the OS, and we’re leaving room in our catalog for some in-conversation performance volumes and collaborative partnership projects (as well as our now monthly digital chapbook series, and some other to be announced special OS editions), so, stay tuned.

BUT NOW! without further ado: your 2020 Operating System cohort!

[Catalog list below followed by full descriptions, bios, and more info. Stay tuned for discounted pre-order information coming soon!]


en el entre / in the between: Selected Antena Writings — Antena Aire (Jen Hofer & John Pluecker)
Institution is a Verb: a Panoply Performance Lab Compendium  Esther Neff (PPL founder), Ayana Evans, Tsedaye Makonnen, Elizabeth Lamb, eds.
A PRIORI: R&D [Intelligence]  from the APRIORI lab team (Margaretha Haughwout, Elæ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson], Efrén Cruz Cortés, Gabe Schaffzin, Suzanne Husky
Híkurí [Peyote] — José Vincente Anaya (tr. Joshua Pollock)
Acid Western — Robert Balun
Si la Musique Doit Mourir [If Music Were To Die] — Tahar Bekri (tr. Amira Rammah)
HOAX — Joey de Jesus
RoseSunWater — Angel Dominguez
Bloodletting — Joseph Han
Zugunruhe — Kelly Martínez-Grandal (tr. Margaret Randall)
Intergalactic Travels: poems from a Fugitive Alien — Alan Pelaez Lopez
Poetry Machines: Letters for a Near Future — Margaret Rhee
Palabras más, palabras menos [Words more or less] — Sara Uribe (tr. Toshiya Kamei)

en el entre / in the between: Selected Antena Writings — Antena Aire (Jen Hofer & John Pluecker)

AntenaMóvil, Grand Central Art Center
Where does one person’s language end and another’s begin? Where does language live in our bodies? What is radical listening? What do we hear when we practice it, and how does it spark us to communicate differently? What does cross-language activist practice have to learn from experiments in poetic expression? Where might writing processes contribute to and be informed by social justice organizing efforts across language, race, nationality, immigration status, and other kinds of patently false yet perilously real borders? During the first ten years of their collaborative practice, Antena Aire founders Jen Hofer and John Pluecker have co-created manifestos, how-to guides, performances scores and improvised poems, translations, and essays — working from their home cities of Los Angeles and Houston respectively — which for the first time are collected here in one volume.

Antena Aire (initially known as Antena) is a language justice and language experimentation collaborative founded in 2010 by Jen Hofer and John Pluecker. Antena Aire activates links between social justice work and artistic practice by exploring how critical views on language can help us to reimagine and rearticulate the worlds we inhabit. Antena Aire has exhibited, published, performed, organized, advocated, translated, curated, interpreted, and/or instigated with numerous groups and institutions in the U.S. and across the Americas. Antena Aire publishes bilingual chapbooks and pamphlets through our Libros Antena Books imprint, and collaborates with Ugly Duckling Presse on the Señal Series of Latin American literature in translation. Antena Aire works in conjunction with two sister collectives dedicated to local language justice advocacy and organizing, Antena Houston and Antena Los Ángeles.


Institution is a Verb: a Panoply Performance Lab Compendium — Esther Neff (PPL founder), Ayana Evans, Tsedaye Makonnen, Elizabeth Lamb, eds.

Institution is a Verb is a compendium of community-contributed texts, scores, notes, and documentation culminating and indexing 7 years of collaboration, para-capitalist research, and performative institution during Panoply Performance Laboratory’s operations as a laboratory site at 104 Meserole Street in Brooklyn, NY.
Gathering texts, documentation, scores, notes, and recollections from the community of performance makers, witnesses, and others who actualized PPL’s operation as a lab site at 104 Meserole Street 2012–2018, this project echoes, recognizes, and critically reflects upon (p)articular performances, forms of gathering, collective ideation procedures, and (for)bearances of witness practiced across the site, its situations, and multiplicit envisaging processes. To presence, to difference, to practical, performative resilience, descriptions of what was seen, how some felt, what one did and why are dedicated in documentary formats. In context, for history, in substantiation of the value of each other, PPL (in lab iteration) culminates 7 years of collaboration, para-capitalist research, and performative institution (institution as a verb).

Panoply Performance Laboratory (PPL) is a flexible performance collective, experimental philosophy thinktank, and organizational entity working through hybrid “life art” forms of social assembly, mobilization, theatricality, musicality, and materialization that often combine multiple disciplines and modes. PPL’s “operas of operations,” performance art works, installations, and social projects have been realized in theaters, galleries, museums, parking lots, at Walgreens and gas stations, through “relational march” tours across the USA, and in convergence with conferences, books, tours, exhibitions, and collaborations with other organizations. PPL founder Esther Neff is also the instigator of the Brooklyn International Performance Art Foundation and organizes the platform PERFORMANCY FORUM. PPL is currently working as a part of MARSH (Materializing & Activating Radical Social Habitus) in St. Louis, MO, and working on two new operas (entitled DROSOPHILIA and PROTAGONY). www.panoplylab.org IG: @panoplylab


A PRIORI: R&D [Intelligence]  from the APRIORI lab team: Margaretha Haughwout, Elæ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson], Efrén Cruz Cortés, Gabe Schaffzin, Suzanne Husky

APRIORI is a research and development group whose mission is to track emerging revolutionary alliances between plants and machines. Our research suggests that this alliance has a history reaching back to at least the 1500s. We use our research to try to understand more deeply the ‘nature’ of intelligence, and how the differences between communication and resource exchange are collapsing. The future of humanity is not at stake, but racist capitalist heteropatriarchy is. Understanding the shifts in, and connections between, nonhuman (both silicon and carbon) labor and lifeways requires long term, interdisciplinary effort. This compendium collects several years of R&D across disciplines from team members and invited guests as well as open source field work templates for further community engagement. More at http://www.weareapriori.net/

Híkurí [Peyote] — José Vincente Anaya (tr. Joshua Pollock)

Híkuri (Peyote) is Mexican Infrarealist José Vicente Anaya’s cult-classic poem. Influenced by his participation in a series of peyote ceremonies in his native Chihuahua, Anaya charts a transformative journey inwards, towards a psychedelic convergence of inside/outside, male/female, past/present, self/other. Incorporating Rarámuri language and traversing territory associated with ecopoetics, ethnopoetics, modernism, and infrarealism, Híkuri (Peyote) presents a utopian alternative to EuroAmerican colonial modernity — a reclamation of autonomy and poetic nomadism. **Find an excerpt of this exciting new translation at Asymptote Journal**

José Vicente Anaya (Villa Coronado, Chihuahua, 1947) is a Mexican poet, essayist, translator, editor, and journalist. He was founder and co-director of the poetry journal Alforja from 1997 to 2008. In 1980 he won the Plural prize in poetry. In 1981 he was awarded the INBA-FONAPAS poetry grant. In 1989 he received the Tomás Valles Literature Prize. In 2000 he was named Writer Emeritus by the Chihuahuan Institute of Culture and CONACULTA. He has published more than 25 books. His poetry has been translated into English, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Joshua Pollock is a translator and poet. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Vestiges, Jubilat, Chicago Review, and others. He lives in a constant struggle against the mechanisms of attrition and destruction.


Acid Western — Robert Balun

The poems in Acid Western can be seen as dispatches from the architectures of the terrain of the hyperobjects one finds themselves inside of in the 21st century, in which the social and political structures moved through on a daily basis are occurring (scaling, nesting + accumulation, incompletion, ephemerality, and oscillation are recurring features of the collection).
Time and space are also important features of these poems, both thematically, as well as formally in their composition. The notes that become the poems are written over a long period of time, and arranged into the sequences here. The idea is to capture a sense of the time, space, distance, multiplicity, and complexity of the daily mundane; intersecting, looping, reiterating through this and these spaces within large and varied timescapes, in an effort to describe a sense of scale and an unfolding of interconnected events and entities.

Robert Balun is an adjunct at The City College of New York, where he teaches creative writing and composition. His poems are forthcoming from Reality Beach and Powder Keg Magazine. Recent work appears in TAGVVERK, Tammy, Prelude, Barrow Street, Poor Claudia, Apogee, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others.


Si la Musique Doit Mourir [If Music Were To Die] — Tahar Bekri (tr. Amira Rammah)

Published in 2006, If music were to die was written primarily as a response to censorship, as is referred to in the first page of the collection. Yet the cycles offer more than a condemnation of censorship. They are an open invitation for a dialogue beyond national borders and religious dogmas. They in fact constitute a poetic discourse overtly anchored in a non-ideological ethical project, which readily embraces vulnerability as a necessity for spiritual growth and authentic enlightenment.
As is the case with many Maghrebian authors, living abroad seems to have offered Tahar Bekri the space in which he could both expose and explore the freedom to appreciate the universality of human experience in its multi-faceted dimensions. His voice is that of the universal poet who, in search of profound truths, creates a poetics with a utopic vision that reclaims its power and possibility of being.
To understand the broad context of his poetic project, one may refer to “Le devoir de beauté” (The duty for beauty), in which Bekri writes on poetry and the task of the poet. According to him, poetry is first and foremost a quest for truths. It can be as complex as human beings. It is visionary and untamed in spirit, an extraordinary human adventure, both passionate and compassionate, led by and leading to more imagination. As a poet, he writes about his task to defend the will to life and necessity for beauty in the face of violence, wars, selfishness and fanatic movements and tendencies.
In the opening page of If music were to die, Bekri alludes to the decree of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005 to ban western music on Iranian televisions and public radios. He does so only to move later beyond actual spatial and temporal contexts and embrace the universal. Bekri’s If music were to die does actually incite the reader to rethink issues from an ethical perspective in the form of questions addressed to an assumed persona in many instances throughout the poems almost in each cycle. Elegiac in tone, many of these poems indeed seem to bespeak of and speak for vulnerability by the very poetic performance of mourning. This very writerly performance of ‘dirges’ by the poet is meant to lead towards a rethinking of the cause and result of mourning.

Tahar Bekri is a Tunisian poet and writer born in 1951. He writes in both French and Arabic and his poetry has been translated into several languages. He has published over 20 books of poetry, essays and art criticism.

Amira Rammah is a translator and poet who graduated from the MFA in the Literary Translation Program at the University of Iowa. She translates from Arabic and French and is currently a visiting instructor in the French and Italian department at the University of Iowa.


HOAX — Joey de Jesus

HOAX is a conceptual body of poetry, a tome of disparate but interwoven lyric fragments, sigils, concrete poems, incantations, evocations, objects etc… HOAX, in theory, includes NOCT: The Threshold of Madness (The Atlas Review, 2019), a poetic chronicle of identity-disrepair erased of a popular how-to guide in “black magic.” The piece forms a series incantations centered on anti-queer, anti-black formulations in the source text and features vectorized sample of over two-hundred pages of encoded erasure.
HOAX / SPELLS contains a collection prayer poems and minor evocations toward survival, including several blessings of the implements one might turn to in ritual practice as regular life and several rota-poems. VANTABLACK is a 20-page, at-times prose-blocked, meditation on lived experiences with ghostly matters, dream divination, trauma, imprisonment and the justice system. MATERIA is a collection of ekphrastic poems based off Japanese animator and illustrator Yoshitaka Amano’s Tarot Deck. Several poems have been reimagined off the page and laser-cut onto suede leather performance scrolls.
HOAX / SCROLL is a scroll of vectorized hand-drawn rota-poems and incantations from and formed of MATERIA. The scroll contains rota-poems and incantations used in and measures several feet in length.
HOAX / DECK consists of a hundred and eight poems, each assigned to a star in the night sky based on cosmological arrangements approximated from several alternative mythical sources and mystical sources involving the number one hundred and eight. Each star is a face, is a sense of essence one assumes.
HOAX / MAP is a large-scale rota-poem of a hundred and eight sigil-poems arranged in alignment with the night sky. It may be used to configure the reading of HOAX / DECK and each poem in “Materia” in tandem with the positions of the celestial objects relative to how we perceive them on earth.

Joey De Jesus is the author of NOCT: The Threshold of Madness (The Atlas Review, 2019) and co-author of Writing Voice into the Archive (UC Berkeley Center for Race & Gender, 2019) alongside Sade LaNay, organized and edited by Jennifer Tamayo. Joey edits poetry for Apogee Journal, received the 2017 NYFA/NYSCA Fellowship in Poetry and lives in Queens, New York. Poems have appeared in Assaracus, Barrow Street, Beloit Poetry Journal, Bettering American Poetry, Brooklyn Rail, Brooklyn Magazine, Devil’s Lake, Guernica, the Academy of American Poets’ POEM-A-DAY feature and elsewhere. Poems have been performed and/or installed in Artists Space, The New Museum, Basilica Hudson and elsewhere.


RoseSunWater — Angel Dominguez

Rose Sun Water is a Phenomenological travelogue that lives out atonement, eulogy, and mourning place, within the Somnambulist’s notebook. RSW picks up where Black Lavender Milk left off, journeying from Los Angeles to the Yucatan Peninsula, sleep-walking through time and space in search of a recuperation of ancestry, dreams, and a sense of home.
foto : Hannah Kezema

Angel Dominguez is a Latinx poet and artist of Yucatec Mayan descent, born in Hollywood, and raised in Van Nuys, CA by his immigrant family. He’s the author of Desgraciado (Econo Textual Objects, 2017), and Black Lavender Milk (Timeless Infinite Light, 2015). His work can be found in Brooklyn Magazine, Dreginald, Entropy, Queen Mobs, The Tiny, The Wanderer, and elsewhere in print or on the internet. Rose Sun Water (The Operating System, 2020) is his second book.


Bloodletting — Joseph Han

Bloodletting, weaving personal and public histories, examines the geopolitics of Korea through memoir and writing about the DMZ and diaspora.
Want more? Find links to much of Joseph’s work online across many publications, here.

Joseph Han is a queer Korean writer born in Seoul, South Korea. He is the author of Uncrossable: Stories (YesYes Books, forthcoming in March 2020), as well as a poetry collection, Bloodletting (The Operating System, forthcoming 2020). His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in Joyland Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Little Fiction, wildness, and Entropy. A 2019 Pushcart nominee, he has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa. He tweets (@hanjoseph).


Zugunruhe — Kelly Martínez-Grandal (tr. Margaret Randall)

Zugunruhe (a German word used in ethology to describe migration anxiety in animals) was born from a specific image: cemeteries in Miami, where migrants are not buried in their own soil, their own land. This particular face of exile became a book built as a journey: it travels from the voices of people who escaped the war, totalitarian regimes and all sorts of political conflicts to the voices of those who died and now rest in a foreign country.
But it is also a book about the author´s journey, about her double migration. The cities where she lived, her own personal Miami, the death of her father were the materials to compose a bricolage in which memory and identity become diluted. It is mostly a question about migration itself, not only as border crossing but as life as a constant process of arrivals and departures.

Kelly Martinez-Grandal (Cuba, 1980). Poet, essayist, editor and curator of photography. In 1993 her family left their home in Cuba for a new life in Venezuela. There she was awarded a Bachelor Degree in Art History from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), where she subsequently completed the Master Degree Program in Comparative Literature. Her time at UCV was not limited to her years as student. Upon her graduation, Martinez-Grandal was invited to join the Faculty at the School of Arts.

After the escalation of the political crisis in Venezuela, she found herself forced to migrate to Miami, in 2014. Currently, she is part of the Board of Directors of Funcionarte, a non-profit organization aimed to educate on gender violence through literature and arts as a means to empower survivors of domestic violence.

Most recently, in 2017 she published Medulla Oblongata (CAAW Ediciones), her first poetry collection. Her work has been included in many anthologies, being the most important 100 mujeres contra la violencia de género (Fudavag Editores, 2014) and Aquí [Ellas] en Miami, Katakana Editores, 2018. Last year she also coordinated and edited Todas las mujeres (fulanas y menganas), a collaboration between Funcionarte Corp and CAAW Ediciones.

Margaret Randall (translator; New York, 1936) is a poet, essayist, oral historian, translator, photographer and social activist.


Intergalactic Travels: poems from a Fugitive Alien — Alan Pelaez Lopez

Intergalactic Travels: poems from a Fugitive Alien is an account of living at the intersections of undocumentedness, queer feelings, Indigeneity, Black flesh, and PTSD. It pushes the boundaries of an “undocumented narrative.” The book refuses citizenship, as the poems and chaotic geographies formulate theories of fugitivity that speak to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and Indigenous dispossession as the root causes of my undocumented migration. In this refusal of citizenship, the book asks for a critical kinship that the law can never account for, and thus, Pelaez Lopez negotiates legal status for new imaginaries of care. The use of images, immigration forms, and blocks attempt to destabilize the genre’s desire for form, as the root of their oppression has been the material form of the Social Security Number, governmental ID, and the birth certificate.

Alan Pelaez Lopez is an Afro-Indigenous poet, collage, installation and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. Their work has been nominated for the “Pushcart Prize” and “Best of the Net,” and appears in POETRY Magazine, Everyday Feminism, Rewire News, Splinter News & elsewhere. Most recently, their work has been selected to appear in the Best American Experimental Writing.

Pelaez Lopez is living in California pursuing a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley and co-hosting Culture Fuck — a space for queer, trans and intersex artists of color– with Vanessa Rochelle Lewis. Pelaez Lopez is also the co-founder of the Arts and Humanities Initiative which serves as an incubation space that merges the worlds of academia, visual + literary art, and social movements at the Center for Race and Gender.

Follow them at @migrantscribble


Poetry Machines: Letters for a Near FutureMargaret Rhee

“A poem is a small (or large) machine made of words.” — William Carlos Williams
This collection of lyric essays asks a series of questions on poetry and the intersections of other forms of visual art such as cinema, video art, and new media. In particular, the collection ponders the Kimchi Poetry Machine, a tangible poetry jar the author created in 2014 with the hope of an embodied and feminist poetry digital future. From literary criticism of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, Teresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee, and Emily Dickinson’s “envelope” poems, to meditations on poetic films by Trinh Minh-Ha and Aneesh Chaganty, the collection explores how poetry is embodied within image and cinematic form. Exploring electronic literature, the collection meditates on e-literature, and how Black Twitter and how other forms of social media exemplify the pressing need for poetry. Grappling with the creation of a feminist poetry machine Poetry Machines: Letters for a Near Future explores the definition, stakes, and interventions of poetry in our digital age.

Margaret Rhee is the author of Love, Robot (The Operating System) named a 2017 Best Book of Poetry by Entropy Magazine, awarded a 2018 Elgin Award by the Science Fiction Poetry Association and the 2019 Book Prize in Poetry by the Asian American Studies Association. Her poetry chapbooks include Yellow and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love. As a new media artist, her project The Kimchi Poetry Machine is exhibited at the Electronic Literature Collection Volume III, and her social practice project From the Center on HIV/AIDS digital stories by incarcerated women is exhibiting in Metanoia: Transformation through AIDS Archive and Activism (LGBT Center, 2019) Currently, she is completing her monograph How We Became Human: Race, Robots, and the Asian American Body. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies. She is a College Fellow in Digital Practice in the English Department at Harvard University and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Study at SUNY Buffalo.


Palabras más, palabras menos [Words more or less] — Sara Uribe (tr. Toshiya Kamei)

Words More or Less is a bilingual edition of Palabras más palabras menos by Sara Uribe (b. 1978), one of the most important Mexican poets of her generation. Poems from this collection have appeared in numerous journals, including Eleven Eleven, Harpur Plate, The Journal, Shearsman, and So to Speak.

Born in Querétaro in 1978, Sara María Uribe Sánchez has lived in Tamaulipas since 1996. She graduated from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Tamaulipas with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy. Her poetry collections include Lo que no imaginas (2005), Palabras más palabras menos (2006), Nunca quise detener el tiempo (2008), Goliat (2009), and Antígona González (2012). Her poems have also appeared in English translation in numerous journals, including The Bitter Oleander, Gargoyle Magazine, Harpur Palate, The Journal, and So to Speak.

Toshiya Kamei holds an M.F.A. in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations include Liliana Blum’s The Curse of Eve and Other Stories (2008), Naoko Awa’s The Fox’s Window and Other Stories (2010), Espido Freire’s Irlanda (2011), and Selfa Chew’s Silent Herons (2012).


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