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Lost & Found: The CUNY Document Initiative's is excited to announce a new collaborative partnership with Pinsapo Press presenting our first co-publication There Are No Ghosts, There Are Portraits, an exciting new book by Basil King, introduced by Ammiel Alcalay, and edited with an afterword by Öykü Tekten. From Ammiel Alcalay's introduction:

"[...] each of the texts included here — taking up figures as disparate as Billy the Kid, poets Samuel Greenberg and Isaac Rosenberg, painters Velazquez, van Dyke, Rubens, Soutine, Modigliani, Chagall, and so many others — seem to have been poured through Olson’s alembic, his “Special View of History,” as Basil punctiliously records and juxtaposes the facts “that matter,” so “fact can be fable again.” Like the vast visual and textural vocabulary of his paintings, Basil King’s latest textual landscapes portray worlds torqued into collision and relation, close to the bone and heart, close to our own felt ways of knowing. Work so condensed to its essential elements is all too rare, and the formal effect of these writings is overwhelming. Basil King’s There Are No Ghosts, There Are Portraits is a treasure that deserves both our attention and study."

Watch the video recording of Basil King's book launch reading:


Born in England before World War II, Basil King is a painter and a poet who has lived in Brooklyn since 1969. He attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina as a teenager and has been painting for the last six decades. He began to write in the 1980s and is now actively practicing both arts. His books include Identity (2000), Warp Spasm (2001), Mirage: A Poem in 22 Sections (2003), 77 Beasts/Basil King’s Beastiary (2007), Learning to Draw/A History (2011), and, most recently, The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand (2014). In 2010 he exhibited his visual art at Poets House in New York. He is also the subject and narrator of a 2012 film, Basil King: Mirage, by the artists Nicole Peyrafitte and Miles Joris-Peyrafitte. In November 2014 he narrated Black Mountain Songs, including a few of his poems, as part the BAM Next Wave Festival.