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Oil Spell
Claire Marie Stancek

2018 • 104 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Poetry - Women Authors / Poetry - Death, Grief, Loss

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-63243-055-7

“Canadian poet Stancek demonstrates a belief in the power of cacophony to raise consciousness in this complex, multifaceted second collection. . . . Stancek’s linguistic and conceptual derring-do make for a bracing, if challenging, experience.”
Publishers Weekly

Counter-conjurations that query whether poetry itself might be a violent entrance of language into the world

Oil Spell gathers many of today’s dark energies—US drone strikes, environmental disaster—and asks: what kind of tool is poetry to mirror these violences? Oil Spell animates diverse influences—Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals, environmental reports of extinction and endangerment, and the Pakistani government assessments of drone strikes. Oil Spell performs the ways in which narratives of loss and narratives of everyday joy curl into one another and mutually contaminate. The beauty that results is a troubled reflection, like a rainbow in a slick of oil.

Reviews / Endorsements

“A totally polyphonic book, even visually, that is, materials in overlapping voices being worked out on the page in such a way that you see/hear them in contrapuntal performance, you the reader also seeming to read each page whole or all at once. I call this art . . . really interesting art and can imagine further workings-out – musical or theatrical productions of it. Which is not to say that it is a score; it is itself and engages all one’s faculties: it really works.” —Alice Notley, author of Certain Magical Acts

“I trust and love Claire Marie Stancek’s braid of poetry and the occult, returning both to the strength of their origins when people understood and respected how they nurture one another.”—C. A. Conrad, author of While Standing in Line for Death

Claire Marie Stancek is also the author of MOUTHS (2017). With Daniel Benjamin, she co-edited Active Aesthetics: Contemporary Australian Poetry (2016). With Lyn Hejinian and Jane Gregory, she edits Nion Editions. She is currently completing a PhD in English at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches classes on literature and creative writing. Originally from outside Toronto, Ontario, she now lives in Berkeley, California.

Fri, 6 Jul 2018 14:03:22 -0500