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Fuck You-Aloha-I Love You
Juliana Spahr

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2001 • 96 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6525-9

"An understated, careful examination of the individual in the troubled nexus of the law, community, culture, and, centrally, language . . . continues [Spahr's] search for the verbal means to realize others without resort to an identity-based voice. She succeeds brilliantly with 'a younger man, an older man, and a woman,' one of four long sequences here . . . [the] tension between the black heart of anger and faith in community makes this a distinct, ambitious book of poems." —Publishers Weekly

This book of "documentary poetics" is by an important up and coming female experimentalist.

Juliana Spahr uses details to explore Hawai'i's politics of location and her own place in it as an outsider: a hard-core show where the singer shouts out "fuck you-aloha-I love you" over and over; the pidgin word 'da kine;' native Hawaiian rights to gathering; Palolo stream; the similarities and differences between hotel rooms and conference rooms; and acrobats at a Las Vegas-style floor show in Waikiki. Spahr is attentive to specifics and she draws from documentary poetics in these five interconnected poems that move between lyricism, rhythmic repetition, and explanatory prose. Conceptually provocative and yet moving at the same time, Fuck You-Aloha-I Love You demands reading and re-reading.

Reviews / Endorsements:

“The more I read through Spahr’s work, the more interested I am in reading further, and deeper…”Rob McLennan, Rob McLennan’s blog

"Juliana Spahr's method bears some comparison to that of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It is premised on a daringly aggressive ambivalence, one that is obvious in the goodbye-hello message of the book's title but becomes far more complicated as the poems' sequences query feature after feature of the author's cultural locale. The works are of necessity skeptical in tone, but they are also deeply emotional; they are about engagement. They give an account of confrontations but stand as gestures of acknowledgment. This is one of the most emotionally intelligent books I have read in a long time. The works are profound."—Lyn Hejinian, author of The Language of Inquiry

From the Book:

This position is difficult.
. . .

And yet we place all our hope in
this touching.

As touching, gathering, happen
in the most difficult places at the
most difficult times.

-- from "Switching"

JULIANA SPAHR is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Hawai'i in Honolulu, and editor of the journal Chain. She is also the author of Response (1996), winner of the National Poetry Series Award and Reading Anarchies: Radical Experimentalism in Twentieth-Century American Literature (1999).

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:14:42 -0500