From Publishers Weekly
In her fifth collection, Strickland (V: WaveSon.nets
) continues her investigatory hypertext antics, challenging readers with poem sequences refracted through conceptual use of the page and expansive reading of social and scientific histories. These poems swell with allusion and quotation, capturing the paradox of our contemporary moment's clipped attention span and obsession with information. We find Lot's wife and Patti Smith on facing pages; "the Half-Life
game engines" in close proximity to Desert Shield; and the 32-page "Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot," an enigmatic pairing of characters and their pun-filled adventures ("Sand panned speed. Languid was she. Oh seeming fast, fine foil for/ de... lay"). Strickland's poems have an impressive sonic range, from the quotidian and subdued ("who can open/ who can/ hold it/ constant/ quiet") to the unbridled ("a disaster a pilaster and a jailmeister play/ pool.littlegreen willytadpoles//jasper"). Occasionally, Strickland's copious notes are more intriguing than the poems' elaborate structural elements; this is due in part, no doubt, to Strickland's attempt to squeeze work originally designed to take advantage of the bells and whistles of the computer screen into the confines of the page, a problem the accompanying CD, with digital versions of two of the book's sequences, attempts to solve. (Sept.)
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"Stephanie Strickland is one of contemporary poetry's polymaths: her poetry displays an astonishing command of scientific knowledge--for instance Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem--technical know-how, especially in the realm of electronic poetics, and unusual verbal virtuosity. The pièce de résistance in Zone : Zero is the interactive generative Flash poem 'slippingglimpse,' in which text and video, made by using motion capture coding, combine so as to create a genuinely new and distinctive eco-poetry. Readers/viewers will find themselves totally mesmerized." --Marjorie Perloff
" '. . . mystic immersion / enabled / smite embedding / enabled,' writes Stephanie Strickland as she launches us into the mysteries of her interior castle, her Zone : Zero. With her extraordinary ear, her crackerjack sense of timing, her genius for structure and her exquisitely dry wit (as in the delicious vaudeville routines of her 'Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot'), Strickland can lead us down these high stone stairs, through these neurodigital pathways and never lose us, even into her castle keep. And when we find ourselves there, what fierce playfulness awaits us, and what startling pleasures, pleasures indivisible from the victories they embody: "And Colette took up this / bread, which was black, / and spat back at Lord Death / the red /pomegranate drops.' " --Rachel Loden