Frank Smith is a French radio producer, nonfiction writer, and the author of multiple books of post-poetry including the recent collections Guantanamo (Seuil, 2010), États de faits (L’Attente Editions, 2013), and Gaza, d’ici-là (Al Dante Editions, 2013). He has worked as a producer for France Culture since 1999 where he codirected L’Atelier de création radiophonique for ten years. He also heads the book/CD collection “ZagZig” (original creations by Laurie Anderson, Jonas Mekas, Christian Marclay, Lee Ranaldo, Dennis Cooper, Vanessa Place, etc.), that he founded with Dis Voir, a publishing house, and has contributed to L’Impossible/L’autre journal (led by Michel Butel). 

He is also a filmmaker. His next projects include Le Film des questions, a book (Plaine Page Editions, 2014), and a film to be presented at Centre Pompidou, Festival Hors Pistes, january 2015. He is currently preparing the launch of the BIP/Bureau of Poetic investigation.

The film Of Questions : In March 2009, a man murdered ten people before ending his own life, on a journey from Kinston to Geneva, Alabama. Frank Smith interrogates this disarming event by questioning the relationship between fact, narrative, image and language. He revisits at the road travelled that day using Google Earth, trying to make sense of the path of a serial killer, and combines the screening of the film with a live reading of his book. 

 

Books:

Pas, based on photographs by Anne-Marie Filaire, published by Créaphis, 1998

Je pense à toi, published by Olbia, 2002, second edition published by Cygne, 2004

Le cas de le dire, published by Créaphis, 2008

Dans Los Angeles, published by Le Bleu du ciel, 2009

Guantanamo, published by Seuil, 2010

Gaza, d'ici-là, Al Dante, 2013

Etats de faits, L'Attente, 2013

Guantanamo, translated by Vanessa Place, Les Figues Press (Los Angeles), (scheduled July 2014) 

 

Smith's stance toward the documents he employs in his writing; his overdetermined and relationship with the archive, the political ramifications of his documentary practice will form the center of a poetical attention. Can literature use historical documents without deforming and betraying them? Can one remember a lived experience without using one's imagination? Can fiction restore or even redeem the past? Smith's writing responds to these questions with a fundamental ethical question of its own that will be a chief concern: can literature and art provide a form of restitution for the suffering and injustice of history ?

 

 

Guantanamo

Frank Smith

Vanessa Place

 

Introduction : Marks Sanders

Praise : Avital Ronell

 

Book of the year 2014 (The Huffington Post)

 

LES FIGUES PRESS

 

Translated by Vanessa Place
Prose | $17.00
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-53-0
Binding: Softcover, Perfect

 

In Guantanamo, Frank Smith appropriates the language of interrogation minutes from Guantanamo Bay, shaping the questions and answers into a literary world that is as faceless and compelling as the interrogations themselves. Now translated into English by Vanessa Place, Smith’s work is beautiful and unsettling, transcending and confounding the categories of law and poetry, of innocence and guilt, of translation and interpretation.

 

Praise for Guantanamo:

“A composition with a strange status, which lays a finger on the heart of the links between humanity, justice and language.”

—Blandine Sorbe


Named for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation 

 

Isle de Jean Charles, to be published by Galerie Legrand, May 2014

Eureka, Dasein, May 2014

Le Film des questions, Plaine Page, May 2014

Surplis, Argol / Ecole Estienne, January 2015

Fonctions Bartleby, May 2015

Isle de Jean Charles (Louisiane), L'Attente, June 2015