Her Scant State by Barbara Tomash
Apogee Press, March 2023
In Her Scant State, Barbara Tomash’s brilliant reworking of Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady, the continuity and causality of the nineteenth-century novel are transformed into the isolate flecks of twenty-first-century poetry. Through excision and refashioning, Tomash has uncovered the troubling, luminous strands within the text, and provided a revelatory and radical new experience of her protagonist, Isabel. If the novelist built a world that is stable, the poet unveils a world that is fluid or broken or shifting and shimmering, in which the language has its own story to tell. When that language is set free in the poem, placed in dialogue with silence, what do we find in Her Scant State? America, men, marriage, money: the familiar detritus of our capitalism. And also a breathtaking lyricism, alive inside every word of this powerful poem.
To discover more great books from small, independent, and university presses, visit the NewPages Guide to Publishers as well as the New Books category on our blog. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date!