#TPQ5

#TPQ5: HEATHER SWEENEY

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Having dwelled in the desert of New Mexico since 1974, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s environment inhabits her work which is laden with varying habitats of entropy, ephemeral material, multitudes and layers.The collection Hello, The Roses (New Directions, 2013) is no different; it glimmers with “filaments of light,” meshing into a network, a living mandala, with experiences that “loosen” on the page “into probability.”

Heather Derr-Smith’s – Tongue Screw (Spark Wheel Press, 2016)

This book astounds as a collage of memory, recovery, trauma, and resurrection. At times it is eerily quiet as a “Pool of snowmelt glitter” and in other moments we are met with veiled violence, because sometimes “God comes walking, swinging his purse of broken teeth.”

Will Alexander – Compression & Purity (City Lights, 2011)

This book transcends the third dimension where a “telepathic moon” and “poetic spurs” form and coalesce. These poems keep good company with the likes of Surrealists such as Artaud and Breton, but yet they are distinct futuristic containers that pulse with their own aura.

My Life – Lyn Hejinian

My Life by Lyn Hejinian is autobiographical prose poetry with roots in the Language school of poetics. Ephemeral and revelatory, it resists traditional narrative and invites interpretation. It is more concerned with the experience moments: “Life is hopelessly/frayed, all loose ends. A pansy suddenly, a web, a trail/remarkably’s a snail’s.”

Royals – Cedar Sigo

Cedar Sigo’s fourth book, Royals (Wave Books, 2017) delves into a self-reflexive investigation of what American poetry means, its impact, its complexities and its contradictions. Much of the work here is catalyzed by his relationship to and with other poets: “I strung a torn taffeta gown/up and down John Wieners.” We are offered frames, portraits, soundscapes, and silhouettes that continue to haunt and float long after reading.


Heather Sweeney lives in San Diego where she teaches writing and yoga.  Her work appears or is forthcoming in La VagueThe HungerBad PonyWhite StagBombay GinSummer StockShanti, and dusie

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