Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ron Silliman reviews Rae Armantrout's Custom (above/ground, 2012)

American poet, critic and blogger Ron Silliman was good enough to write a short review of Rae Armantrout's Custom (above/ground, 2012). Not a surprise he favours her work, since he did the introduction to her selected poems, Veil (a title I'd highly recommend along with everything else Armantrout has published).

Here's Silliman's review, lifted from a larger post (see the original here):

Rae Armantrout | Custom | above/ground | 2012
Lyn Hejinian | The Book of a Thousand Eyes | Omnidawn | 2012

It will be no surprise that Hejinian & Armantrout are two of my favorite writers. Both poets have long, important relationships with small presses. While Armantrout has published mostly with Wesleyan in recent years, Custom, from rob mclennan’s stellar micropress in Ottawa is a reminder that Armantrout’s roots are not in the academy. Although being with Wesleyan enabled Armantrout to collect the Pulitzer, the sameness of Wesleyan’s books, year to year, author to author, serves none of their writers very well. I can assure you that these poems will look tonier, but not any better, when they appear in Just Saying in ought-13. Hejinian on the other hand has published only one collection of essays with a university press, none with trade houses, 36 volumes with independent presses, including self-publishing several via her own Tuumba Press. Eyes is Hejinian’s masterpiece, a series of literary interventions that invoke the great Russian novels of the 19th & early 20th centuries. I never want it to end. & I hope Omnidawn sells copies of this book forever.

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