One Word: Contemporary Writers on the Words They Love or Loathe

Edited by Molly McQuade, Sarabande, $16.95 paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-932511-85-7
This sublime anthology is poetry for people who don't read poems, collecting 66 essays, short stories, and memoirs in which seasoned writers and novices expound, meditate, or riff on a single word. The words range from the familiar (forget by Mimi Schwartz, crash by Dan Moyer) to the obscure (darb by Erin McGraw [1920s slang for an excellent person or thing], umunnem by Kelechi Okere [an Igbo term for all one's blood relatives], from the short (a by Joel Brouwer takes up eight pages) to the long (floccinaucinihilipification by Siobhan Gordon [it means nothing]. Thylias Moss's disquisition on fork and related words itself forks in many directions. Jason Iwen detects capitalist ideology in interesting, which first appeared in 1711 in an economic context. Poets are almost half of the contributors, but they also include critics, translators, academics, and novelists. These marvelous little pieces of writing highlight not so much the words themselves as what words do, how they exist as themselves but also as the carriers of meanings, which shift and branch into many paths real and metaphoric, juicy with sound. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
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