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“Inquiring, irreverent, reverent, enraptured, Dora Malech is that rare thing, the magician technician, and she has written a book in which a sudden segue in poetry takes place – from Hopkins to the present.”
—Mary Ruefle, author of Dunce
“Malech is ferociously alert to the unconscious absurdity and desire in idiomatic speech, its mortifying blend of self-effacement and self-betrayal. The closer one stares at the dizzying, ultra-fluent surfaces of these poems, the more their grave ambiguities emerge.”
—Mark Levine, author of Travels with Marco
“Reader beware: you are handling a book as dangerous as it is delicious. Dora Malech’s passionate constraint—her fervor, her discipline, and her devotion—is exemplary and can be contagious. This collection is one of a kind.”
—Stephen Yenser, author of Stone Fruit
Soundings is Dora Malech’s latest anthology of poems written in the last decade and appearing for the first time in a single volume. It includes works from her previously published books, Shore Ordered Ocean, Say So, and Stet.
About Shore Ordered Ocean:
By turns playful and serious, the poems in Dora Malech's Shore Ordered Ocean revel in the inherent tensions and pleasures of sense, sound and syntax, reveal the resonance in the offhand utterance, seek the unexpected in aphorism and cliché, and tap into the paradoxical freedom of formality. This is an extraordinary collection of highly idiosyncratic poems which explores place, politics, the body, love, art, and more. It is bound together by an urgent, physical and beguiling relationship with language itself.
About Say So:
The poems in Say So are at once rigorously formal and wildly experimental. Human utterance—be it prayer or plea or pun or turn of phrase or epithet—is one of Say So's primary pistons; poetic tradition—rhyme, meter, form, rhetoric—is another; the beauty and betrayals of the body, or bodies—echoed in the beauty and betrayal of language itself—is a third. Together, these forces provide the pressure that makes Say So move and brings these poems to life.
In Stet, poet Dora Malech takes constraint as her catalyst and subject, exploring what it means to make or break a vow, to create art out of a life in flux, to reckon with the body’s bounds, and to arrive at a place where one might bear and care for another life. Tapping the inventive possibilities of constrained forms, particularly the revealing limitations of the anagram, Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language.