Electric Arches

Eve L. Ewing. Haymarket, $16 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-1-60846-856-0
In this stunning debut, poet and sociologist Ewing brings to bear a variety of forms and mediums—including the prose poem, the lyric, mixed media collage, handwritten notes and ephemera, and the verse play—on set of related questions about the nature of art and politics. Ewing ponders what the “big fireworks” of the imagination make possible for social justice, asking how “the places we invent” can change the ways we negotiate a broken system in which the realities of a city block’s crumbling infrastructure and economic destitution can limit the potential of the individual and collective alike. As the book unfolds, Ewing further refines her lines of inquiry; her subtle, provocative exploration of the boundaries between self and world allows a striking and visionary topography to take shape. Midway through the collection, Ewing writes, “I mean I never met a dish of horseradish I didn’t like./ I mean you’re a twisted and ugly root/ and I’m the pungent, stinging firmness inside./ I mean I look so good.” In apprehending the world she clarifies her sense of self, its boundaries, and its possibilities. Throughout the collection, Ewing calls attention to her inner experience and the material conditions in which they formed, unearthing the small treasures that can foster greater change. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
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