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RAG
Julie Carr




Omnidawn
2014 • 136 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Poetry - American / Poetry - Women Authors

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-890650-93-3



Carr’s language is at once immediate and mysterious, “Present tense owns such pure confidence on the porch.” She juxtaposes impressionistic prose passages and sparse single lines, layering and accumulating a catalogue of energies.—Publishers Weekly

At once civil lyric and lament crying beyond civility, spiraling with kinetic intensity, a 21st century feminist book-length aria

The question of civic lyric—the possibility of a politics of mourning—runs through this book-length aria-errancy-eros. All vectors of “rag” are at work: polemic political journal, syncopated turn-of-century song, menstrual blood, burial shroud, complaint, insult, a wiping cloth, the barest semblance of clothes, the slang word for woman. The energy running beneath this rag is human violence and sexual force erupting through fragments of film, fairy tale, news, novels: a father on fire, stranger in tears, prisoner who believes he’s a dog, women dressed in food, women refusing to eat, a body with no face, or a face with no skin. RAG spirals forward, picking up recurrent language, its narratives troubled by stutter, broken by what can’t be told.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Carr details the experience of primarily female characters through the lens: “A woman might be a kind of postproduction medium, or a filter through which the desires of the ground are felt” (42). But it may be that Carr’s ultimate concern is a more genderless subjectivity, the constructedness of all those faces. As goes the imagined monologue of one of the actors from the director’s perspective, “consider my identity, she might say” (59). With this statement—hypothetical, projected, filtered—Carr invites her readership to consider the extent of anyone’s agency in a socially proscribed reality.”—Benjamin Landry, The Rumpus

"Rag, Julie Carr’s fifth book of poetry, is a streaming collection of untitled prose and poem segments. Lines, images, and fragments circulate, alternately recalling and anticipating their reappearance in longer passages. In this continual flux and flow, the book takes on the form and force of a body. But it is not a body in the sense of “a body of work,” which implies the presence of a remote authorial intelligence controlling an accumulation of matter. Rag belies these traces of the dualist schism between mind and body, beginning with the way its streaming elements seem to grow into each other, achieving in their combination a living intelligence. Rag, in this sense, is an organism, composed of multiple interacting systems—sensing, reacting, circulating, digesting, rejecting, signaling."—Karinne Keithley Syers, Boston Review

“Carr forfeits a cohesive self to see the larger strictures—such as gender, race, narrative, and memory—inside which a self is structured.”—Vouched Books

“The central concern of Rag is violence against women and girls as it surfaces in film, fairy tale, daily life, the news. Against that, I wanted to record intimacies of all kinds…as a response, maybe an answer, to such threat.”—
Poetry Society of America

“Rag is a prophetic howl in the wilderness of modernity, a book of accusations and self-recriminations as ancient as human culpability and guilt.”—Tyrone Williams, On Spec

“This book is a wonder—‘Static on the whip of the day’—revealing the fissures and fixtures between the personal and the national."—Eleni Sikelianos, The Loving Detail of the Living & the Dead

“Brilliant, shardy, delicate and steel-strong, these bloodlines pierce the reader.”—Maria Damon, Dark End Of The Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry



JULIE CARR is the author of four books of poetry, including 100 Notes on Violence (Sawtooth Prize) and Sarah—Of Fragments and Lines (National Poetry Series). Her critical work Surface Tension: Ruptural Time and the Poetics of Desire in Late Victorian Poetry was published in 2013. She lives in Denver, teaches at University of Colorado, Boulder and is Co-publisher of Counterpath Press.



Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:30:02 -0500