Geographies of Identity: Narrative Forms, Feminist Futures (Punctum Books, 2021)
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Geographies of Identity: Narrative Forms, Feminist Futures explores identity and American culture through hybrid, prose work by women, and expands the strategies of cultural poetics practices into the study of innovative narrative writing. Informed by Judith Butler, Homi Bhabha, Harryette Mullen, Julia Kristeva, and others, this project further considers feminist identity politics, race, and ethnicity as cultural content in and through poetic, and non/narrative forms. The texts reflected on here explore literal and figurative landscapes, linguistic and cultural geographies, sexual borders, and spatial topographies. Ultimately, they offer non-prescriptive models that go beyond expectations for narrative forms, and create textual webs that reflect the diverse realities of multi-ethnic, multi-oriented, multi-linguistic cultural experiences.
Readings of Gertrude Stein’s A Geographical History of America, Renee Gladman’s Juice, Pamela Lu’s Pamela A Novel, Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, Juliana Spahr’s The Transformation, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee, Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, and Layli Long Soldier’s Whereas show how alternatively narrative modes of writing can expand access to representation, means of identification, and subjective agency, and point to horizons of possibility for new futures. These texts critique essentializing practices in which subjects are defined by specific identity categories, and offer complicated, contextualized, and historical understandings of identity formation through the textual weaving of form and content.
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Against a “secret nostalgic horror” that threatens our ability to be in the world (and our own lives) fully, Jill Darling deploys a subtle weave of repetition and revision that allows lyric innovation and cultural critique to work as one. This book brings into even sharper focus the poet’s astonishing ability to make the sensual texture of experience vivid as “a kind of counter logic” that aids (in part by exposing the contradictions in) our thinking and feeling. Where grief has sharpened insight (where “crows enter like lanterns”), the bullet wound opens as a “tunnel of flesh” which opens, further, into a subway that seems also to be a columbarium. These poems are deep voyages charting the betrayals and failures we need an account of, in order to honor “the exceptional ordinary” which nourishes and supports our sense of social justice. –Laura Mullen
In A Geography of Syntax Jill Darling insists on a symbiotic relationship between the human and non-human (and thus, crosses out the concept of “nature’) even as these points cannot foreclose the countervailing forces of industrialism, urbanity, and, in general, human culture. Yes, this is Romantic synesthesia, but the tools of the trade–simile (“these lines/ like flags of improvisation/ wrapped, in a record, surroundings/ resonating like a gift,”), metaphor (“photo reproductions, collage, behind glass/ contained by wooden parameters, who else can speak this,/ with or without the protection of glass”), metonym (“Particulates/ of a symphony (the one repeated/repeatable refrain)”), synecdoche (“In a space of salt and fog/ violet: a circuit relays individual blades”) and even pun (“The hysterical moment captures”)–are expertly handled. –Tyrone Williams
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From Solve For:
No more than subtext my/your own text under every word only words falling waiting characters wasting letters under your breath above my words over under (knowing something waits under forgets to take) on the opposite of wondering the opposite forgetting, a springboard, no, sill of the flower pot. Placing one letter after another placing one letter after another placing each side by side (cleverly you thought but not this quickly may I remind you) if the pace precedes (I am) each character drifting into singular space taking shape. Available for free download from BlazeVox Books
In Jill Darling’s beautiful small book — what is a book? — a green broken chair or a white wall might be what the speaker walks through, “moves according to,” in order to ask questions of a beloved no longer present. This is writing in the past-future tense, navigating a space of loss even as it records the details of a world unfolding, as in childhood, before her eyes and under the touch of her palm. –Bhanu Kapil
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Review by Michelle Naka Pierce
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Collected from contributors including Brenda Hillman, Eileen Tabios, and Christopher Cokinos, and together a monument to human responsiveness and invention, Counter-Desecration is a book of ecopoetics that compiles terms—borrowed, invented, recast—that help configure or elaborate human engagement with place. There are no analogous volumes in the field of ecocriticism and ecopoetics. The individual entries, each a sketch or a notion, through some ecopoetic lens—anti-colonialism, bioregionalism, ecological (im)balance, indigeneity, resource extraction, extinction, habitat loss, environmental justice, queerness, attentiveness, sustainability—focus and configure the emerging relations and effects of the Anthropocene. Each entry is a work of art concerned with contemporary poetics and environmental justice backed with sound observation and scholarship. Order from Amazon.
This international anthology crosses borders in many metaphorical senses. The edgy collection includes poetry by nearly 150 poets from six continents written in English, French, and Spanish.
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50% of all net sales receipts donated to Planned Parenthood. Order Here.
at the intersection of 3
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The First Steps are the Deepest
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Sex in the Library is an anthology of nine provocative, text-based performance pieces by members of the Writing for Performance class at Eastern Michigan University (Winter 2012). These texts represent an extensive range of textual and performance strategies examined and actualized over the course of the semester. The texts are captivating on the page: visually, linguistically, syntactically, and in terms of their performative, textual presentations. Each piece further points to its own dramatic realization off the page. From a musical score to an improvisational divination, the work included here is smart and dynamic, serious and hilarious, and of the caliber and genre-busting spirit of great Poets Theater work.
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