Author: Megan Kaminski
Publisher: Noemi Press (2015)
Deep City renders the city and the body as architectures in crisis. The poems explore the city and suburbs as container and contents of collective memory and investigate how space shapes the body/ how we create space. They examine language and identity in the pathology of late capitalism, with its unaffordable housing, healthcare, and educational systems, exploitive labor practices, and continuous violence on its citizens. Deep City captures city as site for these myriad interactions, locating the body in space in relation to people, animals, architectures, and technologies. The city also becomes site to explore the self in relation to its urban exteriority, working to question the limits of the construction of self and subjectivity. Riffing on themes of urban decay, suburban housing developments, and the works of Julia Kristeva, Young Jeezy, and Honoré de Balzac, Deep City explores what happens when narrated identity becomes both essential and unbearable.
"There are no cities, no cities to love" proclaim Sleater-Kinney on their latest LP, but I guess they can be forgiven for not anticipating Megan Kaminski's new book of poetry Deep City, a collection so attuned to the pleasures of sound and perception that one can't help loving its intricate architecture. Kaminski has a wonderful sense of the line as unit, and a finely calibrated sense of how words hang together in sound."
"It's coincidence that my reading of Megan Kaminski's Deep City overlaps with what would have been the 110th birthday of the renowned chronicler of cities, Jane Jacobs. Often criticized by the establishment of urban planning for her lack of formal education in the field, Jacobs fundamentally changed the way we think about the urban experience by refusing to view cities as separate from their inhabitants. This central understanding of the city as not totally inanimate, not totally human, but some kind of hybrid, runs throughout Kaminski's Deep City, a book that dwells deeply in the urban landscape."
"Expanding upon the hybridized structures of late modernist long poems such as George Oppen's 'Of Being Numerous' and Guest's 'The Countess of Minneapolis', Kaminski creates a form that engages with questions of temporality, unfolding as it does over the time it takes to read a sequence in its entirety, while also focusing on the momentary nature of the short lyric."