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I Love It Though
Alli Warren

2017 • 114 pp. 5 1/2 x 6 3/4"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-60-1

“With “one foot in the office the other lolling/ about the field,” Warren (Here Come the Warm Jets) probes at what “lies between/ want and need.” Amid the comforting concreteness... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly

Alli Warren’s I Love It Though looks hard at the material and affective world we’ve inherited, including the ordinariness of the sublime and the sublimity and transcendence of what’s most ordinary. This book makes meaning of our contemporary moment, both sharp and vulnerable, concrete and musical. These poems are committed to living in the present, delirious with outrage and hope for something better.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

With “one foot in the office the other lolling/ about the field,” Warren (Here Come the Warm Jets) probes at what “lies between/ want and need.” Amid the comforting concreteness of fact and the energetic forces of dream and instinct, Warren sings “of something that cannot speak/ its name though its signature is everywhere.” Her poems are lean and energetic—most do not exceed a page—but they can be slippery and bewildering in their tight-packed complexity...Warren directs her aptitude for rhyme and aural texture to conveying the shape and expression of human desire (“we have nothing/ between gasps/ of great need”), as well as the political structures that have evolved through these hungers: given the tendency of borders to “burst open under their/ propensity for feasting,” Warren encourages readers to “embrace your finitude/ as the end of accumulation.”—Publishers Weekly

“These poems invite the reader into an uncanny immersion within the quotidian—akin to tasting the sharpness of sky color or watching song penetrate office walls.”—Jamie Townsend, The Boston Review's Summer Reading List

“I began this response to Alli’s book on May 1, 2017, as May Day protests in Olympia, in Portland, and elsewhere are declared “riots” by police. I hear Alli claiming “every cop goes poof,” which reads like a declaration but can be no more than a wish voiced for all of us. And it occurs to me that if Alli’s book were a person, it would be out on the street in the midst of the protests–though it would probably not be the one beating the drums and leading the chanting. Rather, it would be brought a little to its knees by the persistence of forms in protest chants, and love, and meter. It would be standing under the Bank of America sign, watching and listening, sometimes “rooting / for him… rooting / for every tender thing / for my sister / and for you.” ” —Lauren Shufran, Entropy

“Beyond love itself, the book has a quiet name for this moment of poetic action that is neither a pastoral flight from the wrong life nor a demoralized acceptance of it: “kairos.” The Greek word for an opportune moment, a propitious time to act, appears twice in the volume. Off page it might mean using your Sunday to face off with neo-Nazis; on the page, it’s the moment of branching syntax interior to the title’s “though,” the parade of the old-new running through the book’s “ripe…hoard” of words, and the break at the right margin of a line where a wordless decision obtains, poised between nothing and everything: in a world where neither triumph nor defeat is imminent, 'how else could possibility emerge?'"—Geoffrey G. O'Brian, Lana Turner vol. 10

I Love It Though, Alli Warren’s follow-up to her collection Here Come the Warm Jets (winner of the 2014 Poetry Center Book Award), attempts to let the reader in on her awareness of the natural beauty in a rushing, busy world. Determined to recognize nature’s worth while the grand machines of this world operate around us, Warren provides us with poetry that proves that the smallest interactions with the ordinary world can bring a whisper of hope to those who simply want to adore Earth’s extraordinary offerings.”—Tay Marie Lorenzo, Fields Magazine

I Love It Though by Alli Warren despairs and delights in the contradictory riddles of this material world we've inherited. What is the answer to what we seek - something better; or what we desire - what is pleasurable? Warren finds sublimity in strands of affect and experience that cling to the ultimate unanswerable.”—SPD Handpicked

The speakers in this collection’s poetry are not so aimless as they are helpless in what they are able to affect and change around them. This world is 'unworlding' and becoming unrecognizable as the elements of time, space, and even bodies and objects seem to warp and melt into each other, all becoming amalgamations and hybrid. Warren’s book is a love song to the pre-apocalyptic children who dance anyway, simply because that is the way they have learned joy. The speakers have only known normal as it began to fray into the strange, and so have normalized it. Like myths of a previous culture, these speakers recognize that there is a disconnect of tradition and expectation, of 'propriety [turning] into property', and to use humor and the grotesque as channels of translation for these 'sentimental feelings'. A small book with a hefty punch to the gut is always my favorite.”

T.M. Lawson, Angel City Review

“In I Love It Though, growing authority and growing bewilderment appear to be out on a date, perhaps married, “the bottom / of the surface of the sound” never not in effect. Propelled by closely parsed internal commotion, the book is a great follow-up to Here Come the Warm Jets, itself a great follow-up to the earlier books that rightly put Alli Warren on the map as a poet to watch, be reckoned with, read and reread.”—Nathaniel Mackey

“Where were you when the very bird Alli Warren winged in upon opened its beak & began to speak? I was in Queens. My jaw dropped. Actually it was Alli ventriloquizing the bird, right there on my windowsill, with the pigeons in the airshaft. As I greedily thumb through the pages, honey seeps through the cracks, ‘one gape follows the next.’ ”—Julian Talamantez Brolaski

“The title of Alli Warren’s rich and various collection of new poems—I Love It Though—should alert readers to one of its prevailing moods, that of a skeptic’s affirmation. Being that of a skeptic, the affirmation comes with reservations. Alli Warren knows there are limits to the possibilities of any given day. She writes from the experiences of attuned observations, surveying the landscape with a hesitant but not unwilling participant’s attention to interplays of detail. She tracks ridge and crevice, inclination and fold; they belong to the topography of social landscapes and the bodies in them and also to the structures of her articulated thoughts. Days take place, abounding with forms. And thus it is that, with respect to affirmation, these poems begin with reservations. But they do not end there. If skeptical affirmation is one of this book’s moods, love is another. It is shaped out of the quicknesses of Warren’s attention, guiding her embrace of the specific given good and her grief over all that’s malevolent. This is a powerful and beautiful book, and the poems that comprise it should be read over and over again.”—Lyn Hejinian

From the Book:

Parades Go By

Raise your hand if
you've seen them
running in the field
without cleats

to launch a fleet
into the cold arms
of the sea at the mouth
of functionality

in the air above the sky
quarantined I watch
where ships set out
from this enclosure

to become pliant
in self-employment
with all the others
to hold her limp neck

where a wet hand
can never know
or the simplest thing
and swallowing

ALLI WARREN’s most recent publications include Don’t Go Home With Your Heart On and Here Come the Warm Jets, winner of the Poetry Center Book Award. She published Dreamboat magazine, cocurated the (New) Reading Series, and coedited the Poetic Labor Project. She has lived in the Bay Area since 2005.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:41:58 -0500