Illocality (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Though the poems may be short, this is a deep collection with a vast scope. If you have avoided contemporary poetry due to its seeming impenetrability and difficulty, this is a fantastic choice to reconnect. There's no tricky language; just readable poems that make you focus on the possibility of a pre-linguistic consciousness. It is a distillation of language that shows, through close observation, how the world discloses itself to us through perception in partnership with language. The pointillist images show the magnificence of what is, and as you read and re-read, the lines will echo in your mind. Consciousness, the senses and language create each other, and the world and all then evanesce: "the mind set aside."

— Andy

Description


"I find it refreshing and somehow also sobering to observe the way Massey sticks so closely to the perceptual world. Like William Carlos Williams, he challenges us to see the value in putting things in words."--Rae Armantrout, American Poet

Joseph Massey composed Illocality in his first year in western Massachusetts. Massey's austere landscapes channel the quiet shock, euphoria, and introspection that come with reorientation to place. His language fights apathy with grace and sensitivity. Here are poems with their eyes on seasons, plants, sunlight, and animals, all the while looking for stability and the language to describe it.

From "Parse":

The speed
at which sleep's
fogged dialogue withers

into the present
noun-scape

This rift valley

A volley of
seasonal beacons

Joseph Massey is the author of Areas of Fog (Shearsman Books, 2009), At the Point (Shearsman Books, 2011), To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014), as well as thirteen chapbooks and various limited-edition broadsides and folios. His work has also appeared in many journals and magazines, including The Nation, A Public Space, American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, Verse, Western Humanities Review, Quarterly West; and in the anthologies Visiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams (University of Iowa Press, 2011), Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013) and Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin, 2015).

About the Author


Joseph Massey is the author of Areas of Fog (Shearsman Books, 2009), At the Point (Shearsman Books, 2011), To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014) and Illocality (Wave Books, 2015) as well as thirteen chapbooks and various limited-edition broadsides and folios. His work has also appeared in many journals and magazines, including The Nation, A Public Space, American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, Verse, Western Humanities Review, Quarterly West; and in the anthologies Visiting Dr. Williams: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of William Carlos Williams (University of Iowa Press, 2011), Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W.W. Norton & Company, 2013) and Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin, 2015).
Product Details
ISBN: 9781940696157
ISBN-10: 1940696151
Publisher: Wave Books
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Pages: 120
Language: English