Devil’s Lake

Sarah M. Sala. Tolsun, $17 trade paper (88p) ISBN 978-1-948800-37-2
Sala considers questions of identity, sexuality, and violence in her innovative debut. Though gracefully unified by their themes, the poems implement a variety of forms, including lyric strophes, tercets, erasures, and hybrid prose. As Sala juxtaposes different styles and rhetorical modes, these arresting shifts convey the book’s narrative of “otherness.” As the speaker observes: “I control the boundaries of my form, and yet, when divine, the self permeates the physical world.” In “On My Back,” the speaker considers that “So much depends upon the landscape/ before its wildness leeches away,” reflecting on and amplifying the sense of “wildness” evoked by the book’s experimentations with form. Elsewhere, Sala calls attention to the prevalence of violence in modern life (with an emphasis on gunmen in classrooms, nightclubs, and communities), suggesting that such problems inevitably begin in language. In these pages, Sala provides a space to imagine a future world that might amend its ills and break with tradition. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/10/2020
Release date: 08/01/2020
Genre: Poetry
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