DuPlessis, Rachel: Selected Poems 1980-2020

DuPlessis, Rachel: Selected Poems 1980-2020

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Chax Press, paperback

Publication Date: September 1, 2022

Publisher Marketing: Selected Poems of groundbreaking visionary poet, a career's innovation.

Rachel Blau DuPlessis is a poet, critic and collagist who has written extensively on gender, poetry, and poetics, along with other social locations in texts. As a SELECTED POEMS 1980-2020, this volume from CHAX Press is a career survey of stylistic and thematic scope. Her work in poetry is centered by the multi-volume long poem Drafts, 114 cantos (1986-2012), whose range and intensities move from the cosmological to the granular, from joy to historical trauma. Her newest critical book Essay on the Poem(University of Alabama Press, 2023) schematizes the purposes and poetics of long modes.

DuPlessis's SELECTED POEMS is a generous collection including early work rewriting the lyric through serial poems to a comprehensive selection from her long poem Drafts. The book includes work from Traces, with Days up to 2020, including a selection of one of her collage poems.

True to their name [Drafts], the poems accent provisionality, risk, the absence of guarantee, delving into words and word parts with a heteroglossic verve that seems vengeance at times. With recourse to an astonishing range of techniques and material devices, formal concern as inclination and qualm, these poems register, lament, react to and wrestle with erosions on multiple fronts--psychic, social, historical, somatic.... They affirm and negate the toll history takes on letter and spirit, affirming and negating and navigating a way between.--Nathaniel Mackey, Chancellors' Reading List

These new books [from Traces, with Days] remain true to the sense of loss that haunted DuPlessis's generation and still haunts us--lost people or 'the disappeared' and, increasingly, the lost species climate change brings. I have focused on the politically engaged and materially embodied nature of DuPlessis's recent works here, and how they speak to our 'catapulted' contemporary state. I have looked back at how they move on from and connect with her previous serial poems and her deep classical, Jewish, and modernist roots, and considered her restless search for new-old forms that can mirror the complexity of our 'Human Universe.'--Harriet Tarlo, Chicago Review

Throughout her distinguished career, Rachel Blau DuPlessis has explored hybridity in its many forms, working at the interstices of modern/postmodern, sacred/secular, long poem/lyric, text/image.--Paul Jaussen

Poetry. Art. Women's Studies. Hybrid.