Friday, September 27, 2013

new from above/ground press: Rituals, by Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout



In this now ancient ritual
a succession of young women

are saucy,

which is to say they name
common objects and relations

as if they had mastered them
but shouldn’t.

Each receives false approbation.


As Xmas sells winter
to its prisoners.

As warmth
feels like love;

and love is warmth
only more capricious.

Fingers uncurl.

Organs expand
and rise

toward a surface
that must never

be broken.
published in Ottawa by above/ground press
September 2013
a/g subscribers receive a complimentary copy

Just Saying, Rae Armantrout’s most recent book of poems, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2013. Versed (Wesleyan, 2009) received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award. Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007) was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times. Other recent books include Money Shot (Wesleyan, 2011), Collected Prose (Singing Horse, 2007), Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004), The Pretext (Green Integer, 2001), and Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). Her poems have been included in anthologies such as The Best of the Best American Poetry: 1988-2012 (2013), The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry (2013), The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine (Chicago, 2012), American Hybrid (Norton, 2009), American Women Poets in the 21 Century: Where Language Meets the Lyric Traditionist (Wesleyan, 2002), The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford, 2006) and The Best American Poetry of 1988, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012. Armantrout received an award in poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2007 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. She is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, San Diego. Writing in Poetry magazine, Ange Mlinko has said, “I would trade the bulk of contemporary anecdotal free verse for more incisive, chilling poetry like Armantrout’s.”

This is Armantrout’s second above/ground press publication, after the chapbook Custom (2012).

[Rae Armantrout reads in Ottawa on October 3, 2013 with Ron Silliman, as part of the A B Series]

To order, send cheques (add $1 for postage; outside Canada, add $2) to: rob mclennan, 2423 Alta Vista Drive, Ottawa ON K1H 7M9 [NEW ADDRESS!] or paypal at

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