click for book page at Litmus Press

Litmus Press, 2009

Cover artwork by Rosemarie Fiore

“The work here is social sculpture at its most intense: ciphering the din of public immediacy through the person of the disjointed subject only to feed out the information stream as a critique of participation, colored by the guilt of subjectivity.” —Michael Cross, “Social Character and Social Sculpture in Judith Goldman & Jennifer Scappettone,” in ON: Contemporary Practice

“The work in this wondrous first major book by Jennifer Scappettone has a phenomenal—an excitatory—presence, the presence of action, not thing. This book is a matrix of polytemporal energy, a linguistic carnival, ribald and resounding—’a most implicit maze.’ The syntactic cadences of the poetry carry enormous semantic content, distributing but also timing meaning, in ways akin to those that one finds in the late works of Henry James, for example, or in Robert Creeley’s writing. But the language of From Dame Quickly—the lexical and linguistic turns of logic and sediments of lore—is Scappettone’s own. It invents absolutely contemporary, 21st-century archaicisms appropriate to erotic play or to ripostes against unjust governance. Subversive puns, seductive sound plays abound; references spin. Lexical pop-ups obtrude—terms or phrases that jump into view from some part of the terrain that is familiarly known as ‘out of context’ but is in truth part of that all-context which is almost the entire human landscape. And that is the scope of this book—every place local and almost but never quite—this is an anti-totalizing project—entire. This is a vast and brilliant book.” — Lyn Hejinian