Wherewithal by Adam DeGraff

“In the eary 90’s hordes of gifted young experimental writers met and gathered in the San Francisco Bay Area to participate in a few years of making work that, were I more given to hyperbole, I would term a veritable galvanic, miraculous, reinvention of poetry! And Adam DeGraff, then a Berkeley grad student, was among the principal players. Hard to believe, but this volume of selected poems is his very first book. It’s been long in the making, yet will please fans old and new, overflowing as it does with linguistic and musical invention, and an elliptical, hard-earned wisdom. Reading the poems of Wherewithal one can’t help realizing that all those years ago DeGraff started writing for tomorrow, a moment that’s almost upon us now; he has prepared us for eventuality, for event, not for beauty alone, but for tears as well.”— Kevin Killian Adam DeGraff is a poet, musician, teacher and author of All This Will Become Dust In Just Three Minutes, from We Have A Fax Machine Press, and from Shark Books. Wherewithal is his first full-length book and collects work written between 1994 and...

Kingsize by Mette Moestrup

Complex, original, and hard-hitting poetry collection. . . . This is political poetry at the uppermost level. —Peter Stein Larsen Moestrup again distinguishes herself as our sharpest (post) feminist poet (are there any others?). . . . The attitude in Kingsize is raw and political; her poisonous, glittering, lyrical nail polish makes several fresh assaults on Danish immigration policies. . . . Her anger is classy. Verse as sheer sublime weapon. —Lars Bukdahl For some time now Mette Moestrup, one of Scandinavia’s most important contemporary writers, has been writing an edgy poetry about the body, about being a mother and a lover in Denmark. She is renowned for love verse as uninhibited as it is feminist, and her provocative, mischievous, sexy poetry also happens to be headily intellectual and full of references to anything and everything, from Batman to Rilke. Moestrup holds true to form with this wildly interwoven collection full of word play and formal avant-garde experiments, kitchensinkfuls of references, recurring themes of ethnicity and sexuality, war and violence, sustained motifs, mythical female figures on a sensation-seeking TV talk show. But all of this, and much more, with an unease, an edginess, a vulnerability as political controversies and racism repeatedly appear to question what at first seems playful. It is a work that delights then challenges the delight. Kingsize is Mette Moestrup’s third and most acclaimed book. It won the Danish Montana Literature Prize for innovative writing....

Slide Rule by Jen Hofer

From Publishers Weekly If “our dear librarian is a devious machine” then “by force of needle not need but able/ do i explain myself,” in Jen Hofer’s debut Slide Rule. Hofer, who has edited an anthology of poetry by Mexican women due next year from the University of Pittsburgh, splits her time between Los Angeles and Mexico City, which may explain how parts of this “vivacious mismatch enclave missive” came to be. Divided into five parts, including two titled “The Denotative Sky” and one titled “Holocaust” (“There is an art museum./ There is a water pipe./ There is no weathervane.”), the book takes readers on a lexically intensive tour of “strategies to make the skeletal stick still.” Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. About the Author Jen Hofer’s books include Lip Wolf, a translation of lobo de labio by Laura Solorzano (Action Books, 2007), Sexopurosexoveloz and Septiembre, a translation of books two and three of Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2007), The Route, an epistolary and poetic collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos, 2008), and a book-length series of anti-war-poem-manifestos, titled One (Palm Press, 2008). She lives in Los Angeles, where she is a member of the Little Fakers collective which creates and produces Sunset Chronicles, a neighborhood-based serial episodic drama populated entirely by hand-made marionettes inhabiting lost, abandoned and ghost spaces in Los...

Interstices by Rachel Blau DuPlessis

For those of us who fell in love with the putative end of DuPlessis’s lifework, Drafts—‘Volta! Volta!’—it’s a serious pleasure to discover that it has indeed taken a turn, the serial poem plumbing its manifold interstices for a way to ‘unbegin,’ and in so doing discovering new ‘ways of exceeding itself / and of losing itself / in strings of letters.’ INTERSTICES, however, also begins the work of turning back to look upon a life spent in letters, and what I love most about this brave, witty book is that it’s ultimately about being—in time, in language, in relation—a condition by nature contingent, partial, and mortal. ‘Not to so easy to answer what it’s like to be in time,’ it admits, ‘counting up / the little bits of self and / understanding.’ But what makes this book so miraculous and wise is that its ledgers and letters account for the thrill of the imagination and desire alive in language even while the writing mind knows how the ultimate sentence ends. ‘Let us meet it where we stand,’ these poems declare, and ‘enter the darkness mindfully.’ The great gift of this book is that it makes such high hopes seem possible. —Brian Teare   See Rachel Blau DuPlessis reading “Letter 8” from Interstices at the Kelly Writers House here.   In her first book since the conclusion of Drafts (Surge: 96-114), Rachel Blau DuPlessis has shaken language out, “dismantled it,” and then reconstructed it. Interstices is writing and reading between the lines but formally is epistolary (a series of letters to friends, real or imagined, alive or dead) and is also about “keeping books”...

Walking Among Them by Max Winter

“Max Winter’s poems are full of the permission of comedy and the precision of laughter. He is urbane, witty, and a New York poet, though that appellation doesn’t capture his eccentric grace, or his way of slipping to the center of another world by anaphora. He is one head of the perennially new generation of surrealists, infra-sub-realists, visceral as John Ashbery; what matters to both is drawing of the body, exploration of a mind. Such play is a foretaste of Heaven.” —David Shapiro   Read a poem from Walking Among Them that appeared here in Verse Daily.   Max Winter’s first book, The Pictures, was published by Tarpaulin Sky Press in 2007. He has published reviews in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. He is one of the poetry editors of Fence Magazine, and he co-edits the press Solid Objects.   Follow Max Winter on Twitter: @maxwinter37...