The reviews section of The Poetry Project Newsletter is back from summer break and persists, even if only as a preface, in endeavoring to serve as a space for writing with writing, never solitary. Here we present three writings with writing: Carrie Lorig on Ella Longpre’s How To Keep You Alive, Timothy Otte on Alexis Pope’s That Which Comes After, and Rahsaan Mahadeo on Jasmine Gibson and Madison Van Oort’s Time Theft: A Love Story.
I say writing with to indicate that, for some time, we’ve been trying to set aside some time where we can be together and alongside, even if we’re quiet as a low hum and/or with appositional noise. Huddled, we hunker down and get to work with one another against Work, whether in the humidity and heat or the paradoxical dryness of snowy broken circumscriptions. We write because we read and vice versa in our versed vices.
Poetry can be one such recording, an instrument and its echo, that beckons us toward unknowing what we thought we thought. I mean to say that it can loosen and listen. In its shaking, we may be taken up to a closer consideration and living-with if we choose to attend. Just because we’re late doesn’t mean we didn’t arrive.
Some final selected variations from our contributors as another introduction. Carrie Lorig says, in her writing: “the book fucked me up.” Devoting our lives to this mess is our mass, our last time being lost in the crowd. Timothy Otte says that the reader may slow down and linger. Loitering with the pages, to permit a precision by wandering. Rahsaan Mahadeo says to bear an enduring love for insurgent workers everywhere. How might this love for and with insurgent workers look and sound? How has it already been sounded? Trust you to be around for that, for us. We will. Out on the porch as the August sun puts itself out. Epistle to everybody, whoever wants to meet. Repeating that there’s always another already existing alternative to and before the evil in plain sight.
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– John Rufo