from the Open Poetics series published by Litmus Press

by Joan Retallack

This online edition of Memnoir, along with two earlier iterations and a translation, includes contextual resources curated by the author with the help of erica kaufman, Omar Berrada, and the Litmus editorial team. This digital edition also features a downloadable PDF of the primary text for those who would simply like to read it as originally printed, make a hard copy, or have access to the book offline.


Memnoir is a poetic labyrinth created out of curiosity and dread. Scene of the precarious equilibrium formed when a myth-filled present tense encounters long hidden truths. Truths that endure in memories inflected by film noir, family noir, playground noir, classical noir, racial noir. . . . composed with Retallack's redemptive asymmetries of gravitas and humor. A reader enters Memnoir, beginning with the vaudevillian repartee of Mem and Noir, continuing on with Curiosity as guide to encounters with Eurydice, Cervantes, Ovid, "God & AIDS . . . & Elephants & Castles & pop goes the weasel on the way home from school." (Snippets of science, philosophy and music intersect along the way.) Pages later, you will exit this puzzle with an odd set of instructions that (be warned) may or may not change your life.


// Scroll down page to explore other Memnoir editions and reader resources //


The Post-Apollo Press Edition, 2004


The Post-Apollo Press Edition, 2004