The Center for the Humanities

Kathy Acker: Homage to Leroi Jones & Other Early Works

Editor: Gabrielle Kappes
68 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding

Homage to Leroi Jones & Other Early Works presents the unpublished “exercises,” correspondence, and diary excerpts from underground feminist writer Kathy Acker. From her archived papers, spanning the years 1971-1974, are four collections of “exercises” or prose-poem-word-plays, drawn from dream journals that trace Acker’s political, aesthetic, and methodological lineage to Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka. The selected correspondence from Acker to poet and theorist Alan Sondheim documents their emergent personal and professional relationship and the creative birth of their video art project Blue Tapes. It is is accompanied by one Acker’s earliest extant pieces: a 1971 diary from the time she worked at a Times Square strip club. These early experiments are what Acker calls her “attempt to map at that time my total present consciousness.” The selection provides a raw, explicit, and intimate gaze into Acker’s creative process.

Author Biography:

KATHY ACKER was born in New York City in 1947. Hailed as an underground punk queen and coveted cult icon, she was a novelist, essayist, and performance artist. Influenced by the avant-garde and conceptualist art movements, Acker’s post-modern and experimental works include I Dreamt I Was a Nymphomaniac: Imagining (1974), Blood and Guts in High School (1984), Don Quixote: Which Was a Dream (1986), Empire of the Senseless(1988), In Memoriam to Identity (1990), and My Mother: Demonology (1994). Acker died in Tijuana, Mexico in 1997.

Selected Archives:

  • Duke M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, Durham, NC

Editors

Collected in: ResistanceFeminist Practice & Writing