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Author: Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Publisher: Subpress (2014)

For those of us who fell in love with the putative end of DuPlessis’s lifework, Drafts—‘Volta! Volta!’—it’s a serious pleasure to discover that it has indeed taken a turn, the serial poem plumbing its manifold interstices for a way to ‘unbegin,’ and in so doing discovering new ‘ways of exceeding itself / and of losing itself / in strings of letters.’ INTERSTICES, however, also begins the work of turning back to look upon a life spent in letters, and what I love most about this brave, witty book is that it’s ultimately about being—in time, in language, in relation—a condition by nature contingent, partial, and mortal. ‘Not to so easy to answer what it’s like to be in time,’ it admits, ‘counting up / the little bits of self and / understanding.’ But what makes this book so miraculous and wise is that its ledgers and letters account for the thrill of the imagination and desire alive in language even while the writing mind knows how the ultimate sentence ends. ‘Let us meet it where we stand,’ these poems declare, and ‘enter the darkness mindfully.’ The great gift of this book is that it makes such high hopes seem possible.

Brian Teare