Akant, Sara Deniz: Babette
Babette by Sara Deniz Akant (Rescue Press, paperback)
Publication Date: November 1, 2015
Publisher Marketing: Sara Deniz Akant's BABETTE, selected by Maggie Nelson for Rescue Press' Black Box Poetry Prize, mixes motor-thrum with incantation, promising to "make no pattern / known again." Perpetually on the move, BABETTE's populous—from Penny "turned into a toy" to the always absent, always there "gohst in the glare"—are machines of the living, at once spectre, shell, meat, and instrument. Uneasy in their habits, these poems transition between spaces "not made for inhabitants," sifting through manor walls as easily as fog banks. BABETTE is subversive, menacing, infectious. "There are hazards to Babette."
"Let me tell you some things about BABETTE. It doesn't sound like anything else. Each page feels perfect. Each page brings an unheralded pleasure. It is a deeply weird, expert emissary from a world already fully formed."—Maggie Nelson
"With its collapsed, secret scale and disarmingly milky climate, BABETTE beguiles. The poems read like the residue of some opaque and possibly lethal substances, swirling in a sweating, leaded glass. A nervous, deliciously suspect book."—Joyelle McSweeney
"Ghost at the edge of seeing, 'what is left when light abandoned.' These apparitions of BABETTE are not simply poems but strains, as the eye strains toward vision, as the voice strains toward song. Sara Deniz Akant is a visually and sonically arresting poet, pushing the limits of the knowable range of the imagination. 'I'm the beast that wrote the note.' The note that lingered in air."—D.A. Powell