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So What So That

Praise for Marjorie Welish: "[Welish] challenges 'prettiness' at an almost feverish pitch, working against a poem's anticipated flow even as she moves it along with jazzy verve." --Bookforum Welish uses the page--not as a surface upon which to buoy language, but as a core construction of the poem, in visual and kinetic relationship with text. One of our most challenging and rewarding poets, the pleasure is to simply marvel. From "Vamp ('avant pied')": In laughter you acquit the betwixt divided by half and half helped into the indecent parentheses brooding on reasoning, resonance--too much reverb lay in the epilogue
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Promotional Information

Endorsements (promised): Aaron Kunin, Brian Kim Stefans, Nathaniel MackeyEarly access copiesNational print, radio, and online campaignTargeted bookseller mailingExcerpts under consideration at BOMB, Boston Review, Paris Review, New YorkerAdvertising: BookforumPromotion at: BookExpo America, Winter Institute, AWP, Heartland Fall ForumPromotion on Coffee House Press e-newsletter, website, and social media channelsGiveaways on Twitter, Instagram & GoodreadsSimultaneous print and e-book release, with e-book ISBN to be included on all press materials, author and publisher websites, and whenever print ISBN is listedTargeted publicity to promote author's speaking engagements

About the Author

Marjorie Welish is the author of The Annotated "Here" and Selected Poems, Word Group, Isle of the Signatories, and In the Futurity Lounge / Asylum for Indeterminacy, all from Coffee House Press. Her honors include the George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard Fellowship from Brown University, the Judith E. Wilson Visiting Poetry Fellowship at Cambridge University, and two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has held a Senior Fulbright Fellowship, which has taken her to the University of Frankfurt and to the Edinburgh College of Art. She is now Madelon Leventhal Rand DistinguishedLecturer in Literature at Brooklyn College.


"PARAPHRASE, HERESY OF. This entry in an encyclopedia on poetics has something to say about poetic language that by definition keeps distant from scientific iteration. But So What So That proposes something else, and throughout are statements and citations as well as swerves from these, grafts and translations as well as swerves from these. Speech turns into writing, and writing turns into sprechstimme. Here are new paths for the mind; for the voice, possibilities that no one has heard paraphrase. So What So That extemporizes on the question: What is the same?"--Aaron Kunin "Marjorie Welish's So What So That is at once meditative and noisy, a charting of the obstinate continuum of consciousness and a scattergraph of words and phrases assembled--as in the music of one of her poem's subjects, Iannis Xenakis--stochastically, open to chance and never to be predicted. These poems are also synesthetic, throwing 'flatted fifths into the kiln,' which could suggest a 'fragmented' subject in postmodern parlance but, in fact, expresses the unique collusion of color, tone, and text--the distinctive klangfarbe--of Welish's sensibility. Finally, these poems are engaged--the ethics of art, politics, and language comprise the binding undertone--and though 'difficult' at first, So What So That is a tour of a mind enviably open to everything but 'negatively' (in Keats's sense) skirting conclusion."--Brian Kim Stefans

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