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Spinning Jenny - 2007

  • Issue Number: Number 10
  • Published Date: 2007
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

“Imagination has a heavy appetite / for destruction. Whose red weather / gathers names, makes do / with the least momentous stuff.” Ashley McWater’s poem, “Defending,” sums up Spinning Jenny’s editorial vision: imagination as destruction in the sense of destroying expectations, shattering tired patterns, un-doing traditional formulas, un-making the routine and predictable, and creating something new. Like Joyelle McSweeney’s “translations” of the Aeneid Book II. Like Adam Golaski’s “On Beaujolais Nouveau Day,” which, if you’ve ever had a newly minted bottle of the stuff, you’ll know is written from authentic experience. Like the bite-sized poems of Gillian Parrish, so briefly devastating (“The pigeon I carry between my lungs / Pearl welter, my winter yard. / And cupboards unclosed. / We wait and wait.”). Like excerpts from Tina Cane’s “The Fifth Thought,” which made me want very much to know about the first four. Like Suzanne Fischer’s spare lyricism (“where did the sun go in your mouth?”). Like Stephanie Anderson’s surreal sleeplessness in “Letter from Insomniacs.” Like Wayne Hogan’s odd and oddly satisfying black and white drawings, which I can’t seem to stop looking at with their bold, familiar objects in unfamiliar poses. Less inventive, no less affecting, is new work from Henry Israeli. He may not destroy old notions of what poetry could or should be, but he’ll break your heart nonetheless.

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Review Posted on September 21, 2008

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