From Publishers Weekly
These poems were written while I was thinking about my generation's relationship to quotation and collage, writes Stonecipher (The Reservoir
) in an introductory note. A child of the '70s, she came after Joseph Cornell but before DJ Danger Mouse, so the relationship is neither groundbreaking nor comfortable but instead fraught with ambiguity. Her thinking manifests itself in quotations—she calls them inlays—from writers like Franz Kafka and Susan Sontag, placed in the midst of original sequences of brief narrative prose poems. Through these samplings readers can follow Stonecipher's interest in juxtaposition and parataxis as it resonates from one poem to the next, though this is not what makes this book—Stonecipher's third—engaging. In fact, many of the quotations feel superficial, more like decals than an encoding. But Stonecipher's seductive sentences succeed in drawing readers in. Not unlike John Yau, who selected this book for the National Poetry Series, or Lydia Davis, there's a dreamy clarity to Stonecipher's best writing. Pity we who must corset our mental splendor into the whalebone of grammar, she writes in Inlay 4 (Susan Sontag), which laces us up so tight we have to remove a rib to breathe. (Sept.)
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About the Author
Donna Stonecipher, the author of two previous poetry collections, The Reservoir and Souvenir de Constantinople, also translates poetry and prose from French and German. She grew up in Seattle and Tehran and has lived in New York, Paris, Prague, Iowa City, and Berlin. She is currently studying in Athens, Georgia, and lives part-time in Seattle and Berlin.