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Hell Figures
E. Tracy Grinnell

2016 • 160 pp. 6 x 9"

$16.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-47-2

“Every naming becomes a complex failure of communication, but one that allows us a glimpse of an otherwise impossible presence in the interstices of her quickly passing images.” —Cole Swensen

This series of formally experimental poems explores subjectivity in contemporary wartime and environmental crises via Greek histories

Hell Figures ventures into the fragmented mythical and literary histories of Helen of Troy, Sappho, Cassandra, Antigone, and others by way of our current condition of perpetual war, violence, and environmental destruction. Grinnell employs the transliteration of musical forms, such as the fugue and humoresque, and homophonic translation as methods of giving form and voice to obscured, inaudible, illegible, unintelligible, and omitted subject positions

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Joined by the specters of Helen of Troy, Sappho, and Cassandra, Grinnell roams "the terroir, of amnesia," in her accomplished collection. In one sense, these prominent women of classical literature are the eponymous "figures," but they have been ventriloquized through patriarchal narratives, authors, scholars, and millennia of literary transmission, so figuration constitutes these characters while also stripping them of subjecthood. It is from this critical tension between representation and effacement that Grinnell's sparse yet richly nuanced poems emerge.” —Publishers Weekly

From the Book:

Cassandra: / I know that I am mad, / but Mother, dearest, now, for this one time / I do not rave.

E. TRACY GRINNELL is the author of three books of poetry, including Helen: A Fugue. Grinnell’s poetry has been translated into French, Serbian, and Portuguese. She currently teaches in the MFA Writing Program at Pratt Institute and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the founding editor and director of Litmus Press.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:33:46 -0500