The Voice Without by Richard Capener


About the Author

Richard Capener’s releases are KL7 (The Red Ceilings, 2022),
Dance! The Statue Has Fallen! Now His Head is Beneath Our Feet!
(Broken Sleep Books, 2021) and, in collaboration with Imogen
Reid, Today is a Thursday (Overground Underground Books, 2022).
He edits Hem Press, and he is also Reviews Editor for Mercurius


Praise for the Author

Richard Capaner’s tactical tacit impenetrability points in the
direction of not a voice without but a voice with out. All is
encompassed here, including nothingness. To be with (the) out is to
undermine yourself, to debunk your undergirded tenets. Assembly
instructions have been destroyed here, or were there ever any? The
book eschews significance in favour of play with the architecture of
both words and pages. The former are parcelled rather than parsed,
the latter are sparsely sprinkled with stuttered spells and
onomatopoetics. To be clear, the kind of spell activated here is one
that problematizes rather than elucidates, or at least a reader’s drive
to glean explanation is questioned. The result, a suffice state in
reimagining simple acts: counting whistles, leaving notes, sleeping
laughs, awkwarding silences, resizing punctuations, mistranscribing
mouths, powering trees, and chairing stomachs.

Christof Migone, author of Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body.

Richard Capener’s The Voice Without pieces together language as
pieces of visi-vocal absence. The text opens and closes around itself
like a mouth, sequencing writing that is full with holes and builds
shapes as syntactic plugs on the page. The visual elements of the
work create spatial arrangements that spread language thin, either
through lists of sounds or blocks of texts where letter forms create
disarming and playful poetry.

Dr Nathan Walker, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at York St John, University.

The Voice Without invites you to guess at the processes that might lie
behind its corrupted outputs. The poet’s agency seems to have been
compromised by a technological and/or supernatural other that
causes the track to keep slipping. Yet these malfunctions sit
alongside poems that resemble either scores for or transcriptions of sound poetry performances that would test the limits of the vocal
apparatus. This coincidence of technological and embodied
processes reflects the poet’s deep engagement with sound poetry and experimental music, and the intersection between the two. That this has all been conveyed through the printed page demonstrates
Capener’s capacity for original linguistic play.

Sarah Dawson, author of expecting a different result.

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