White Stockings (White Hole Press, 2016)
Available on Lulu.com.
White Stockings creates a world where mythical Baltic female snipers come to life, growing the reader’s understanding of the history of Baltics and dramatizing the life of brave fighters forced to use violence to defend themselves and their countrymen from Russian aggression.
SPINY RETINAS is an epic poem, or if you prefer, a narrative poem, or perhaps still if you prefer, a “hybrid text piece” that was compiled slowly over the course of the last six years (2006–2012). Perhaps you do not prefer. I love you just the same.
It was constructed using automatic writing technique and addresses and/or speaks to war, politics, and religion (stereotypes and cultural myths explored through use of military and theological hierarchical titles); rape culture, gender roles, and sexism; and pop culture in general.
The following books, films, and/or television shows were used as reference points to create SPINY RETINAS:
- I Dream of Jeanie episodes,
- John Ashbery’s Girls on the Run,
- David Lynch’s Lost Highway,
- Jennifer Chambers Lynch’s Boxing Helena, and
- Richard Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America.
This piece was created using aleatoric method/approach and poetic language was used carelessly, unabashedly, often with such extreme force the author found herself shaking simultaneously with utter pleasure and despair. It was a freeing exercise, like running around nude in a random suburban neighborhood at 2 a.m. with a clear squirt gun or picking the first cucumber of the season or even hanging upside down on the monkey bars.
Professional Poetry (White Hole Press, 2013)
Available on Amazon.
“The ‘trysts’ of Lina Vitkauskas’ book are shot through with ‘neon’—that is, they are saturated with chemicals, textures, atmosphere, and media. According to this synthetic cosmology, ‘In an affair/arms laugh,/they become sheer.’ That is to say, they—arms, bodies, weapons, trysts—become both medium and adjective, both see-through and material. As in Antonioni’s great films, the body is clothes and the clothes are part of the visual atmosphere. A dress moves through a toxic landscape, or a ‘toxic love.’ The ‘trysts’ are movies, fantasies, art. Vitkauskas is ‘surreal, primitive, impressionist, whatever.’ ”
—Johannes Göransson, The Sugar Book (Tarpaulin Sky, 2015) + co-editor, Action Books & Action, Yes
“If film is linear, the ultimate time-based medium, during which we are supposed to listen and watch attentively, passively, Lina Ramona Vitkauskas’ poems in A Neon Tryst talk back. These poems create simultaneity, layers, and distillations toward new narrative logics like ‘Let’s laugh until panties.’ Vitkauskas is watching for the poem in the film, writing her own subtitles (deliciously peculiar subtitles) and in their irreverence they are expansive, wise, and sometimes very funny. Her playful gestures in the face of the tightly choreographed imprint of film create incidental and embodied new texts, and this may very well be a feminist enterprise in its daring, toppling film’s male gaze with ‘I have to half you.’ So if Bergman or narrative expectation of any stripe ever presses on you with too much force, don’t worry! Take A Neon Tryst in hand, ‘Be frothy/and rascally’ and soon you may delight in talking back to the screen everywhere, perhaps adding, with a shrug: ‘I can’t stand chalets.’ ”
—Jill Magi, LABOR (Nightboat Books, 2013)
“You’ve discovered/invented a unique new kind of mode in the cinepoem genre — bravo…your method in writing the ‘film ekphrastics’ is unique, innovative, and I’ve never read of anyone else doing it before you…”
— Bill Knott
“It’s a book of codes and lost histories, grainy film stock and the harder-to-catch frequencies, and there’s a Pynchon-esque bend to the work overall, a sense that the images of these films are being translated into other tongues, maybe even languages we don’t speak ourselves, languages that might not exist. There’s a gap between the hour and the meaning.”
—James Pate, author of The Fassbinder Diaries
“Vitkauskas receives a late-night hum, works like an interloper, transmuting the film world into her pristine hint of wink and back row auditorium smack. There is something in these poems that at times feels smarter than the films they invoke. And that’s a good thing.”
—August Evans, HTMLGIANT
“Vitkauskas’ poems possess the intricate peculiarity of honeycombs and Schiaparelli dresses, as she exquisitely fashions poems out of scientific particulars, cinematic references (‘they place the horse head in the bed’), and metaphors’ associative logic. ‘These girls are brave tailors in the blur of impossible femme,’ and like her own subject, Vitkauskas is fearless as she navigates, interrogates, and ultimately, dislocates conventional gender dynamics: ‘I rip the itch from gender.’ The dynamism, humor, and marvel of her poems recall the surrealist Joyce Mansour, conveying a similar tenor as they negotiate desire and disease, ardor and animosity, with beehive fervor. Be stung and sung in the ‘golden / drip science’ of her resplendent poems.”
—Simone Muench, Wolf Centos (Sarabande Books, 2014)
“Splendid, grotesque, violent, but always loving, Lina ramona Vitkauskas writes like a contemporary Marina Tsvetaeva through a landscape of the uncertain and surreal; the language is made from the nervousness and energy of every bee in the hive. Part “rotten aorta” and part “snapdragon wine”, the poems in HONEY IS A SHE form a buzzing network of inventive beauty.”
—Sandra Simonds, Ventura Highway in the Sunshine (Saturnalia, 2015)
“Plathian in her wry ecstasies, generous in her nods to poet-predecessors (among THE RANGE OF YOUR AMAZING NOTHING’s quietly lyrical poems is a five-line homage to Szymborska) and sensitive to the implications, often dangerous, and joys, often overlooked, of postmodern discourse, Vitkauskas’ debut collection is a veritable treasure-trove of sonic intensity issued from a sleuth-like intelligence.”
—Virginia Konchan (The New Yorker, Best New Poets 2011, The Believer, & Boston Review)
“Inside these drunk, ridiculous, and belligerently interesting poems are pre-Aeneid rocket people, Sartre cowboys, and orgasms under trench coats. Vitkauskas uses savage invention, the hook of good fiction, and the everyday and insane in poem after poem that go headlong over the edge. But—all the everything aside—something is at stake and you will laugh and you will be disturbed and you will be seized into an entirely new galaxy of poetry.”
—Fred Sasaki, Poetry
“It is strange to occupy the world of Lina ramona Vitkauskas’ poems, a world where beef takes nebulous forms, Jacques Derrida and Batman speculatively coincide, where cumin forms into fists, where W.H. Auden sets things on fire, while Sartre cowboys ride into a present tense that combines the Handmaid’s Tale with mad science with the meaningful meaningless dialogue of politics and propaganda. But while these poems are filled with wild images, they are also subtle in their devious shifts and proclamations. The dream capsules of amazing nothings of this book are, to paraphrase Wallace Stevens, both there and not there. These poems are fun, soothingly frantic, and optimistically generous.”
—Daniel Borzutzky, In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat Books, 2015)
“Lina ramona Vitkauskas’ poetry is richly textured and layered, a palimpsest pleasure. In THE RANGE OF YOUR AMAZING NOTHING, Ashbery and Superman, Lorca and Jacqueline Bisset, Nancy (the comic strip character) and Forrest Gander all coexist and inform her most amazing verse. While the bright surface of her poetry employs humor and kitsch, the dazzling underside confronts of intolerance and terrorism with a wise brilliance.”
—Denise Duhamel, Guest Editor of Best American Poetry 2013; author of ABBA the Poems with Amy Lemmon (Coconut Books, 2010)
“Lina ramona Vitkauskas writes a class of ‘found’ poetry that I will dub ‘found memory’ as she culls the rooms of the poems of the poets to whom she dedicates and finds word objects that make matter (see “Einstein’s Shoes”!) out of historical and spatial distance. Tender, defiant and fun, these poems are making it new.”
—Rachael Levitsky, founder and co-director of Belladonna*
“Shooting Dead Films with Poets is an improbable treasure. These fourteen poems call out to Cocteau and draw from the gamut spanning Georgic bees and a Chicago found to be antipodal to the Volga. Subtitles twine immaculately. They invoke a Cyrillic voyeur penning captions for a movie that knows its own Democracy. This is a run of great poems made by great lines, a sequence of gracious acts in which Vitkauskas drops names like Galileo dropped the orange.”
—Chuck Stebelton, The Platformist (The Cultural Society, 2012) + winner of 2005 Tougher Disguises Jack Spicer Award
LIT MAGS & JOURNALS
Berfrois (TBD, 2017), Resist Much, Obey Little Anthology (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017), Rain Taxi, VIDA, Vilnius Review, The Conversant, New City • Big Bridge • Cosmonauts Avenue • Ping Pong • Dusie (Canada) • Atticus Review (Boo’s Hollow) • POETBOOK • Spork • Coconut • Tarpaulin Sky • The Awl • Matter • Delirious Hem (Chick Flix Series, edited by Jennifer L. Knox) • Requited • DIAGRAM • TriQuarterly • The Chicago Review • The Toronto Quarterly • VLAK (Ed. Louis Armand, Edmund Berrigan) • The Prague Literary Review • Sharkforum (2006, 2010) • Van Gogh’s Ear (Paris) • White Fungus (Taiwan) • Paper Tiger (Australia) • The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century (Cracked Slab Books, 2007) • Another Chicago Magazine (#48) • RHINO • Delirious Hem (2011 Audio Advent Calendar, curated by Susanna Gardner, dusie Books) • Aufgabe • MiPoesias • Moria • In Posse Review Multi-Ethnic Anthology (Ed. Ilya Kaminsky) • Bridges – The Lithuanian-American Journal • Echolocation (University of Toronto) • Yalla (Montreal) • Rampike (Volume 14:1; University of Windsor) • after hours • Ariel • Balloon • Blossombones • Jet Fuel Review • Fifth Wednesday Journal • ink & ashes • ambulant • Anemone Sidecar • 5-Trope • Drunken Boat • Aught • Big Bridge • canwehaveourballback? • Cokefish • 3 A.M. • Hubris • JACK • La Petite Zine • LocusPoint • Melancholia’s Tremulous Dreadlocks • Mudlark • Newtopia • No Tell Motel, (1, 2, 3, 4) • The Onion Union • The Outlet • PFS Post • Seven Corners • Shampoo • Sidereality • Snow Monkey • Starfish • Unpleasant Event Schedule (Ed. Daniel Nester) • Tin Lustre Mobile • ZuZu’s Petals • UniVerse: A United Nations of Poetry (Translator) • Emergency Index (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012) – (photo/poem; a featured performer in HUMAN MICROPOEM, Occupy Chicago)
The Wisconsin Review, “Self-Preservation” • The Mississippi Review, “The Transaction is Complete” • Another Chicago Magazine (#48), “Accidental Spousal Murder” • Lituanus | The Lithuanian Quarterly, Volume 51:2, “Evil Spuds” • 3 A.M., “Hello. Two Hours. Her Knees. Lips and Jaws” • Del Sol Review (Editor’s Pick), “Self-Preservation” • MudRock Press (Featured Writer)
Report from the Field: White Stockings: A Poetic Study of Mythical Freedom Fighters, VIDA
Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction, “Big Loves: Mina Loy” (Ed. Hadara Bar-Nadav)
OmniVerse (Chicago Correspondent)
– April 2014 – Matter Monthly Reading
– January 2015 – Review of “Interzone”: A Chicago Humanities Festival Celebration of the Centennial of William S. Burroughs’ Death
Lituanus | The Lithuanian Quarterly, Volume 53:4
“A Review of Birds of the Baltic: An Ornithological Travelogue by E.J. Barnes (Drowned Town Press, 2005)”
Lituanus | The Lithuanian Quarterly, Volume 57:1
“A Review of My Voice Betrays Me by Vanda Juknaite, translated by Laima Sruoginis (Columbia University Press, 2007)”
Connotation Press | “A Review of Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You by Lea Graham (No Tell Books, 2011)”
Blurbs for Colleagues/Authors
A Step Inside by Denis Emorine, translated from French by Phillip John Usher (Červená Barva Press, 2006)
Counting Sheep Till Doomsday by Carlo Matos (BlazeVox, 2012)