Barely Composed

Alice Fulton. Norton, $25.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-393-24488-5
Fulton (Cascade Experiment), 2011 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature Winner, graces her readers with an artful collection after 10 years of anticipation. The book's title, like the rest of the poet's work, is nuanced and playfully misleading. Fulton's verse employs a sophisticated, polytonal approach toward seeming spontaneous, mixing disruptions and fractures like paints to create a version of authentic experience. Maintaining a "bareness" that feels genuine, Fulton can still toss the idiom "no bigs" into a poem that begins "I know I cannot tell it all forever and so I want to tell it." She offers her thoughts on masculine Modernism's conflicted relationship with tradition in her poem " ‘Make It New,' " insisting upon an immediate language for an immediate existence: "I find it helpful to imagine writing in a blizzard with every inscription/ designed to prevent snow crystals from drifting in." While Fulton may express jealousy towards the straightforwardness of "bees drowsing in their blossoms/ drunk on mouthfeel [because] for them, there is no distance/ between the necessary and the good," her composing these complex, textured songs is "the opposite of making love to drudgery." Readers will agree. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 96 pages - 978-0-393-24489-2
Paperback - 112 pages - 978-0-393-35283-2
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