An elaborate collection of poems that culminate in a meditation on the possibility of a native and feminine language,
Loose Sugar is an alchemical manuscript disguised as a collection of poems, or vice versa. Either way, the primal materials of which this book is comprised -- love, sex, adolescence, space-time, depression, post-colonialism, and sugar -- are movingly and mysteriously transmuted: not into gold, but into a poet's philosopher's stone, in which language marries life.
Structurally virtuosic, elaborate without being ornate, Loose Sugar is spun into series within series: each of the five sections has a dual heading (such as "space / time" or "time / work") in which the terms are neither in collision nor collusion, but in conversation. It's elemental sweet talk, and is Brenda Hillman's most experimental work to date, culminating in a meditation on the possibility of a native -- and feminine -- language.
Reviews / Endorsements:
“Time in Brenda Hillman’s poetry resembles loose sugar ground from the cane of Brazil, a vivid detail of her Brazilian childhood. It sifts through the ‘deep noticing’ of the poet as she matures in California. Memories (real or imagined) are gathered into highly ‘scenic’ poetics. I admire the way Hillman attaches a plumage (or energy) to her nude expressive details. I see Loose Sugar as part of the anatomy of the rare bird of ‘autobiographical’ experimentation.”—Barbara Guest
BRENDA HILLMAN teaches writing at St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA. Her other books, all published by Wesleyan, include Cascadia (2001), Death Tractates (1992), Bright Existence (1992), and Fortress (1989).
Click here for author's website.