The Idea

The Transcendental Friend is a (quasi-)monthly web journal of poetry & poetics, literature, art & criticism, published by Morningred.

A place of cultivation of literary thought rather than a curation of contemporary literary works, the body of the Friend is composed of several regularly revolving parts or organs, including a "Critical Dictionary", "The Bestiary", "Mote", "Dialectic", "Idiosyncratica", "Report from the Field", "Project", "Review", "Rosetta", and "Schizmata". These parts will be published as books under the Transcendental Print imprint of Morningred.

The current issue of the journal is featured on the TF Home page. Past issues are catalogued on the Archives page.

The Work

TF has included work by Anonymous (Middle English); Anonymous (Zohar) (tr. David Rosenberg); Lindsay Ahl; Antonin Artaud (tr. Jonathan Skinner); Tim Atkins; Ana Belén López (tr. Jen Hofer); Anselm Berrigan; Aloysius Bertrand (tr. Irène Eulriet & Rob Guthrie); Règis Bonvicino (tr. Guy Bennet, Odile Cisneros, John Milton, Robert Creeley, Jennifer Sarah Frota, Dana Stevens, Michael Palmer); Mary Burger; David Cameron; Paul Celan (tr. Julian Semilian & Sanda Agalidi); Emilie Clark, Heather Ramsdell & Lytle Shaw; Jean Cocteau (tr. Kristen Prevallet); Jordan Davis; P. M. Deshong; Duncan Dobbelmann; Stacy Doris; Marcella Durand; Joe Eliott; Zhang Er (tr. Susan Schultz, Eleni Sikelianos, Zhang Er); Carmen Firan (tr. Andrei Codrescu, Julian Semilian & Sanda Agalidi, Isaiah Sheffer); Heather Fuller; Antanas Gailius (tr. Susan Bernofsky); Alan Gilbert; Jesse Glass; Matthais Goeritz (tr. Susan Bernofsky); Henry Gould; Durs Gruenbein (tr. Susan Bernofsky); Katrine Marie Guldager (tr. Anne Mette Lundtofte); Nikolai Gumilev (tr. Katharine Gilbert); Camille Guthrie; Haye Hinrichsen (tr. Peter Constantine); Xin Hong (tr. Denis Mair); Lisa Jarnot; Garrett Kalleberg; Mike Kelleher; Kevin Killian; Robert M. Larsen (ed. Garrett Kalleberg & E. Tage Larsen); Huon le Roi (tr. Laird Hunt); Katy Lederer; Andrew Levy; Ghrasim Luca (tr. Jonathan Skinner); Dan Machlin; Maria Maksimova (tr. Laura D. Weeks); Pattie McCarthy; Henri Michaux (tr. Laird Hunt); Comte de Montesquiou (tr. Jeffrey Jullich); Hoa Nguyen; Alice Notley; Kristen Prevallet; Heather Ramsdell; Heather Ramsdell & Garrett Kalleberg; Jaime Saenz (tr. Forrest Gander & Kent Johnson); Osvaldo Sanchez (tr. Roberto Tejada); Leonard Schwartz; Jonathan Skinner; Dale Smith; Cole Swenson; Yoko Tawada (tr. Susan Bernofsky); Tristan Tzara (tr. Julian Semilian & Sanda Agalidi); Manuel Ulacia (tr. Suzanne Jill Levine); Alexander Ulanov (tr. Alexander Ulanov & Michelle Murphy); Paul Van Ostaijen (tr. Duncan Dobbelmann); Kevin Varrone; Jo Ann Wasserman; Rebecca Wolff; Zhai Yongming (tr. Leonard Schwartz & Zhang Er).

The Subscribers

The Transcendental Friend has subscribers in Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, France, Iceland, India, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Yugoslavia, and the United States.

Corpus Delicti

Critical Dictionary
Edited by Garrett Kalleberg

A chance meeting of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetics and Bataille's dictionnaire critique et historique on the operating table of post-postmodernist literary renaissance, Coleridge & Kierkegaard attending.

The Bestiary
Edited by Laird Hunt

The odd combine of bestia and anthropo morphizing (perhaps presaging a possible or eventual: "bestanthropy"), each chapter of the Bestiary contains some contemporary writer's or writers' piece(s) about or including some animal(s). Often, a short quotation or comment will set itself up as a kind of anteroom in which we can stand to peer in (or out) at the proffered beast(s).


A sort of freeze fracture of critical thought in dialectical movement, or perhaps the instance of a tectonic shift in thought in a snapshot of dialectics at a standstill, Dialectic typically presents two or more texts in a kind of tension Hegel would have called magical.


Presentations of writing from some other distance of space or time. Or writing that has only come into its time within the present moment.

Edited by Heather Ramsdell

Inspired in part by the Spanish form of response-in-verse, mote y glosa [occasionally villancico or letra, says the Princeton book], and in part by the visible stratification of Talmudic form in which time is flattened and the argument exposed on one plane, Mote takes an existing text as a ground for layers of response by subsequent authors.


Work by an artist, anonymous or otherwise, sometimes in collaboration with a writer.

Edited by Garrett Kalleberg

Works that speak the body, the body as subject, otherwise "works that have in some way to do with the body" - but do it textually ("Our words will but increase [t]his ecstasy" - Marlowe).

Report from the Field
Edited by Leonard Schwartz

Translations of & commentary on contemporary work from around the world.

Edited by Daniel Machlin

Reviews that aspire to their own form - a condensation of writerly thought in response to a work, perhaps including the time-honored traditions of praise and/or blame, etc., but not necessarily.


Textual artifacts by individuals in moments of a lightness & lucidity so extreme that it twists into a kind of obdurate darkness. Were we to understand these texts, we would have the key to Literature.


Works written for multiple voices.

Garrett Kalleberg