When Nate Hoks and Nikki Flores started their press, Convulsive Editions, they solicited work from me and selected my chapbook manuscript, Selections from The World Book, to be among the first they published.
Convulsive Editions published my first chapbook, Selections from The World Book. The title card on all the books is letter-pressed and the first 50 copies of the very limited run were hand-bound. It's a gorgeous book.
This literary press prides itself in creating well-designed, letter-pressed, printed matter that features “lyrical writing that quakes and rattles”——work that honors of the final sentence of André Breton’s surrealist novel, Nadja:
"Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all.”
The poems in Selections from The World Book were inspired by an incomplete and outdated set of World Book Encyclopedias, published in 1947.
Convulsive Editions’ editor and publisher, Nate Hoks, explains:
Faced with disparate entries on the pages of the encyclopedia, Hardy captures the vibration that happens in the variance: English sparrows and engraving, for example, or Dinwiddie, diphtheria and Diogenes. The content is collaged—with a nod to “the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella"—and a revised reference book is created.
Working in obsessive five-line stanzas, these poems wrestle with information——sometimes factual, sometimes outdated——in an attempt to make sense of history both personal and global. Hardy's language splits itself between the inner and outer worlds as these restless poems attempt to find a home amid the world’s deceptive sense of order and form. “I am real / and not real. I am of two minds,” one poem declares, registering the boundaries that Hardy’s work dances so nimbly between.
Ryan Winet, of The Offending Adam, describes the “Folklore” section in this World Book series as an exploration of
“... the geology of our collective consciousness. God and Satan, Adam and Eve [and Lillith], Cain and the moon: these subjects are both ancient and immediate, typical and individual… As Hardy's pagination suggests, such searches are ultimately futile: to desire is to already invite calamity.
Hardy's tome——itself derived from encyclopedia entries——identifies the lines where such cataclysms have left layers of irradiated dust. The Bible that protects against a bullet might save a life or start a war. A child's cut nails might tempt it to become a thief.
Hardy's recreation of an encyclopedia us readers cannot read ourselves is Borgesian, a book that expands like language into the four corners of the earth, into stars, into spheres of Heaven and Hell. Wherever we look, we find desire and transgression; whichever page we open, we find upon its pages the desires that have been and the desires that will be, marked like scars of celestial bombardment.”
More words that have been used to describe my work: cubistic, intricate, surprising, imaginative. My music was recently compared to Emily Dickinson’s, my style to Wallace Stevens. One reviewer said, “Studying [Dina's] poems is like examining the intricacies of a moth’s wing under a magnifying glass;” another said I create Rimbaudian spaces.