From Publishers Weekly
In the grassroots tradition of her "satin sisters" Thulani Davis and Ntozake Shange, Hagedorn's latest book collects work written during her Bay Area sojourn in the early '70s (poems first published by Kenneth Rexroth to whom the book is dedicated) all the way to post-Septmeber 11 entries in her "New York Diary." Along the way, we encounter texts written for the page as well as the stage, the boundaries between verse and prose often traversed and blurred. As a Filipina-American, Hagedorn reminds us from the start that "There is a border/ One cannot cross/ Although the guards are not visible." Such rallying cries seem to come right out of the feminist politics of an Adrienne Rich, but add to that the street-smart culture of the Tenderloin and the riffs of North Beach jazz and you get some hauntingly jaunty rhythms: "born from the mouth of a tree/ the lullaby of joe loco/ and mongo/ turquoise eye/ the lullaby of patti labelle/ and the bluebells / flowers of her smile." While the collection is uneven, read as a sort of artistic diary (rather than a set of highly polished art objects) it is often quite moving, taking readers through the turns of a restless mind, "a fighter/ who confronts/ destiny."
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Filipino American writer and performance artist Hagedorn, who was nominated for the National Book Award for her first novel, Dogeaters ( LJ 4/1/90), here offers early poems (1968-72); poetry and a short story from her first published work, Dangerous Music (Momos, 1975); poetry and prose originally published in 1981 as Pet Food & Tropical Apparitions; and new, previously unpublished material written between 1982 and 1992, including several "performance texts." Hagedorn's major theme is the disillusionment of the immigrant, who is seduced by a superficial and violent American society. Laden with allusions to 1960s popular culture, Hagedorn's early work evokes that era, but her themes of isolation, exile, the drug-ridden violence of city life, and the emptiness of the American dream remain relevant. Her newer work is less penetrable, and the performance texts (such as "Vulva Operetta") do not resonate in written form as they may when presented orally. Although only about 35 pages are new, the other material is no longer in print. Recommended for contemporary literature collections. --Ellen Finnie Duranceau, MIT Lib.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.