Out of Context 1601121 Cover.jpg


Redaction is always a collaborative project, or perhaps a parasitic one. Item B would not exist without item A. In redaction, the original text, the first author, does most of the heavy lifting, or at minimum creates the context and possibility for the redactor. Of the many kinds of literary redaction, the most common has the redactor comb an entire book, article, or chapter, and the redactor carefully picks what words and passages to include. In the intuitive method, the redactor selects books from a range of emotional stances or by some other criteria before the blackout process is applied. William Burroughs popularized the random approach, in which pages of books are cut into individual words and placed in a new order. In Out of Context, John Gosslee does something at once new and yet deeply rooted in this tradition.

To better explore his relationship with the works that form the current poetry world around him, Gosslee decided to select numerous books by contemporary poets and redact poems from each book – why not? Gosslee points out, It’s just poetry, after all, no living organisms are harmed in the process of poeming – The rules: the same number of poems from each book; redaction on the second read; one pass, no revisions. Press Otherwise’s edition is only a selection of the 333 poems Gosslee eventaully blacked out.

28.00 40.00
Add To Cart

This title can also be ordered through Small Press Distribution.


"In censorship, language is taken out of context. Gosslee’s "blackouts" expose the tension between censorship and language reclamation for the disempowered individual. John Gosslee adapts the ritual of mark making for the text based portion of the Out of Context collection. Starting with a contemporary poem as the canvas, Gosslee reads it once, then administers a form of automatic writing where marks are made to omit specific words. By redacting or censoring part of the poem’s original text, the remaining language is reclaimed and takes a new shape free of the original writer's intention. Gosslee felt it was important to credit the original writer’s works to illustrate the line drawn between the copies of work he redacted and the original author’s intent. In Gosslee’s Out of Context, the work explores dimensions of censorship as experienced by the censor, but doesn’t take away from the original work itself. His motivations for each author are complex and varied, but clear."  continue reading Zises' interview with Goslee here

-White Hot Magazine



John Gosslee edits PANK, Fjords Review and directs C&R Press. Project notes here.