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FRÉDÉRIC FORTE
Minute-Operas

translated from the French
by Daniel Levin Becker, Ian Monk, Michelle Noteboom, and Jean-Jacques Poucel
Poetry, 136 pages, offset, smyth-sewn
ISBN 978-1-936194-18-6
original paperback $14

Frédéric Forte’s Minute-Operas are poems “staged” on the page. A simple vertical line of 3 inches separates what Forte calls the stage and the wings. The poet explores the potential of this form with multiple typographic games, calling on different registers of the language, different poetic techniques and, in the second part of the book, by “fixating as minute-operas” 55 existing poetic forms (come out of various poetic traditions or more recently invented by Oulipo, the famous French “Workshop for potential literature.”)

The poems of Minute-Operas also constitute, in their cryptic way, a journal of the poet’s life during the period of composition (2001-2002): his love life, the loss of his father…

It was shortly after the publication of this book, in 2005, that Frédéric Forte was elected a member of the Oulipo.

“A book as intriguing (by its staging of typographic variations) as it is invigorating (in its micro-narratives).”
—Emmanuel Laugier, Le Matricule des Anges n°67 (octobre 2005)

“Extraordinary inventiveness…funny, original, brilliant”
—Jean-Michel Espitallier, Caisse à Outils: Un panorama de la poésie française aujourd’hui (Pocket, 2006)

Frédéric Forte was born in Toulouse, France, in 1973, and is a member opf the Oulipo since 2005. The most recent of his seventeen poetry collections are Une collecte (Théâtre Typographique, 2009), Re- (Nous, 2012) and 33 sonnets plats (Éditions de l'Attente, 2012).

He has translated into French the American poet Michelle Noteboom and, with Bénédicte Vilgrain, the German poet and Oulipian Oskar Pastior. He lives in Paris, where (among other things) he runs the blog poète-public.

In English: Seven String Quartets has appeared from La Presse fall 2014.