Monday, April 14, 2014

WHAT IS YOUR FRAGMENT VIII: Afton Wilky responds

What is YOUR fragment? Poets explain this technique as it appears in their books (see the original questions HERE and an elaboration on my reflections HERE). Responses 1-6 have been supplied by (click names to see their posts): Lisa Pasold, Marthe Reed, George Vance, rob mclennan, j/j hastain, and  Michael Ruby. Afton Wilky responds below.

Afton Wilky is a multi-disciplinary artist—writing, sound, digital media and book arts. She is the author of Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea (Flim Forum Press, 2014--image at left is from this book) and her work is in or forthcoming from journals such as BlackWarrior Review, LITMag, Siren, TAB, EOAGH, textsound, Word for/Word, and Jacket2. She also participated in the Lex-ICON blog project for the conference on treating text as image and image as text in June 2012--see her work for that conference HERE. She is the Managing Editor of The Volta. Her website and blog are at

Afton Wilky's Fragment:

For me, the fragment emerges out of their being too much. Too much to hear, see, on the page, in the world. For example, in a crowded room where many conversations are taking place, my ears pick up the sound of all these conversations, but I can only follow the thread of one at a time. I perceive everything outside of my focus as static noise.
          However, this is not to say that my focus remains fixed on one thread. And it’s the shifting of my attention which produces a sort of fragment. One of the beauties of this type fragment, which occurs out of overlap, is the spontaneous significance that can emerge at points of juxtaposition.  

In performing pieces from my recent book, Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea, I use multi-track audio in order to generate several threads of my own voice. Because I’m reading into previously recorded audio, the element of improvisation makes each performance unique; the result of listening, timing and recognition. Thus, the performance becomes a way of re-seeing the text. For someone in the audience, what they hear is shaped by particularities of their attention as they respond to and move through their experience.
extract of Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea

PS from Jen Dick: Afton wilky has been working on a series of video essays for her second book project, Circa. This includes one in particular related to this topic re: part three (ellipses) which hopefully will go public with the publication of this book. Keep your eyes peeled for this in the future!

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