JOYELLE MCSWEENEY TOXICAN AND ARACHNE (Corsair)
Formally brilliant, emotionally heartbreaking, and considerably terrifying, this is a stunning work from one of poetry's most versatile experimentalists - Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]
The power of McSweeney’s work cannot be separated from its association with forms of oracle and soothsaying, and so it is uncanny that it should arrive in the middle of a global pandemic… The kamikaze fantasy arises, like everything in this frightening and brilliant book, not from a pleasant “brainstorm” but from the animal reflexes of the “brainstem.” The defeat is total: a rout, a blowout. Now that the tables have been permanently turned, “the popsong plays” on “the toy turntable” in the nursery and also—you can hear the faint pun—“in eternity.”
How does the body gestate grief?
How does toxicity birth catastrophe?
TOXICON AND ARACHNE
Joyelle McSweeney is the author of eight genre-crossing books, from her debut volume The Red Bird which inaugurated the Fence Modern Poets Series in 2002 to her influential work of Decadent ecopoetics, The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults in 2015. She has written lyric prose, verse plays, Gothic tales and absurdist farces and is interested in hyperdiction, anachronism, and the uncanny prerogatives of Sound and Art, including the political force of non-compliance in all its manifestations. With Johannes Goransson, she founded the internationalist press Action Books and teaches at the MFA program at Notre Dame. She lives in South Bend, Indiana.