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Umber is a collection of excavations, a harking back to past lives that now only exist as sentences. In these six poems, that give a body to the phantoms of public histories as well as those of intimate memories, Owen Vince offers us a language for “climbing out of wounds.”
Nadia de Vries
Ten years ago I began writing a book, or part of one. It was meandering and, without a shadow of a doubt, extremely bad. Sometimes you make things precisely in order to delete them. Sometimes, things are coming eternally into existence. Obviously—or, obvious to me—I deleted the file, and then pretty much forgot about it.
I would later attempt to rebuild that book—incompletely, from memory. That was a partial revival. This is a third attempt at its reconstruction. A fudge-drunk + compressed history of 1930s Russia and the show trials and the arrests of artists that defined those years; an account of what computer-aided memory loss does to us, &c our histories; + a survey of the sucking melancholia that drove the first attempt, and the lightness that shaped each later attempt, and the fragile inaccessibility of our own memories, which are called memories for a reason, i guess. Each text corresponds, incorrectly, and inaccurately, to a location or place or event in the original version. These are, unavoidably written through my own experiences between, roughly, 2013 and now. That’s all I can remember.
– Owen Vince