Douglas A. Martin's Acker Featured on Lithub

Kathy Acker
Douglas A. Martin's Acker Featured on Lithub

LitHub published a memorializing piece on Kathy Acker's deathversary "The Births and Deaths of Kathy Acker: How a Literary Icon Remixed Identity Again & Again" that features an excerpt of Douglas A Martin's Acker

"It was while I was still living in Athens, Georgia in the 90s and attempting to teach myself how to be a poet that I saw my first books by Kathy Acker, prominently displayed in a place called Stovepipe, a storefront to the side of a coffee house where I worked. I was amused by a reference to Poirot in the beginning pages of The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec by Henri Toulouse Lautrec in the volume Portrait of an Eye, but I understood there was much there beyond that I did not understand. I found it easy too to dismiss the marketing, the mimics of rips to the covers, the pouty face, the words of description like “post-modern” I was not schooled in a way to be impressed by. I sought out what was in the University of Georgia library (Literal Madness, featuring a slew of Shakespeare appropriations and redeployments) and was even more confused.

Some time later, after a particularly rough breakup, I was on my way to the movies with time to kill, hours, and nothing to read. A friend had Blood and Guts in High School in his bag, and I wanted to be closer to him. So I entered the books, and this time, they echoed inside me, resonating with my own inability to make sense of things, to move forward, to let particular feelings go. I read one book and began the next, and the next, continuing on until I had gone through them all, at least once, in a period of about three months. Shortly after I finished her book of essays, Bodies of Work, I heard she was dying and then she did. I had decided I would try to write something, because there was little that I felt was being done in the spirit of her work, little about whom she might have been and whom she had been to me; this was the first time I understood the meaning of losing a writer."  

Thank you Douglas A Martin for your powerful work on Kathy Acker!