:: Article

Stockpiling the Avant-garde: John M. Bennett

By David F. Hoenigman.

For decades John M. Bennett has been producing and collecting modern avant-garde, experimental and/or unclassifiable literature in the belief that future generations will one day reap the rewards of his efforts.

It is important to collect these writers because, as has been the case over and over in the history of literature, the best and most innovative writing, the writing that advances the art and that in the future becomes the classic and defining work of a period, is almost always the work of outsiders.

– Dr. John M. Bennett, Curator of the Avant Writing Collection at Ohio State University

David F. Hoenigman visited Dr. Bennett at his Columbus, Ohio home and conducted this video interview on September 11th, 2009. The footage also features a reading of ‘HUMO LETRADO’ and other selected works.

Part two.

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE
John M. Bennett
has published over 300 books and chapbooks of poetry and other materials. Among the most recent are rOlling COMBers (Potes & Poets Press), MAILER LEAVES HAM (Pantograph Press), LOOSE WATCH (Invisible Press), CHAC PROSTIBULARIO (with Ivan Arguelles; Pavement Saw Press), HISTORIETAS ALFABETICAS (Luna Bisonte Prods), PUBLIC CUBE (Luna Bisonte Prods), THE PEEL (Anabasis Press), GLUE (xPress(ed)), LAP GUN CUT (with F. A. Nettelbeck; Luna Bisonte Prods), INSTRUCTION BOOK (Luna Bisonte Prods), la M al (Blue Lion Books), CANTAR DEL HUFF (Luna Bisonte Prods), SOUND DIRT (with Jim Leftwich; Luna Bisonte Prods), BACKWORDS (Blue Lion Books), NOS (Redfox Press), D RAIN B LOOM (with Scott Helmes; xPress(ed)), CHANGDENTS (Offerta Speciale), L ENTES (Blue Lion Books), NOS (Redfoxpress), SPITTING DDREAMS (Blue Lion Books), ONDA (with Tom Cassidy; Luna Bisonte Prods), 30 DIALOGOS SONOROS (with Martín Gubbins; Luna Bisonte Prods), BANGING THE STONE (WITH Jim Leftwich; Luna Bisonte Prods), FASTER NIH (Luna Bisonte Prods), and RREVES (Editions du Silence). He has published, exhibited and performed his word art worldwide in thousands of publications and venues. He was editor and publisher of LOST AND FOUND TIMES (1975-2005), and is Curator of the Avant Writing Collection at The Ohio State University Libraries. Richard Kostelanetz has called him “the seminal American poet of my generation”. His work, publications, and papers are collected in several major institutions, including Washington University (St. Louis), SUNY Buffalo, The Ohio State University, The Museum of Modern Art, and other major libraries. His PhD (UCLA 1970) is in Latin American Literature.

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
David F. Hoenigman
was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but has lived in Tokyo, Japan since 1998. He is the author of the novel Burn Your Belongings and the organizer of the bimonthly PAINT YOUR TEETH event held in Tokyo, a celebration of experimental music, literature and dance. He is currently working on his second novel, Squeal For Joy.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, October 1st, 2009.