Dream Boat

Dream Boat

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Author: Shelley Feller

Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center (2020)

"'behold / this litmus of longing,' Shelley Feller begins in the linguistic triumph that is their foray into extending the conversation that Hart Crane began in the last century. With Dream Boat, Feller anatomizes, churns, palpitates, then spews onto the page a powerful exorcism of self-loathing that non-cishet, non-binary souls like them have been forced to imbibe and digest all their lives. Feller does what others have not dared. They literally turn upside down, inside out, even metaphorically flip off the gaze of those who come to the page for easy catharsis. Don't expect the sense-making that anesthetizes the pain and suffering you've come to want to see. That Feller's speakers refuse to be anything other than their fleshly, full-bodied selves is the genius of this debut. O how fortunate we are to hold in our hands such a wondrous, hope-filled work of art."

L. Lamar Wilson

"What a dream, to be 'sissy-cathected to death!' With generous helpings of cut-throat aplomb, Shelley Feller hacks up the hierophantic hairball of homo sapiens' compulsive language-ing and pokes it with the genius-stick until something falls out: ack. This book is a delirious conveyance to the viscid otherworld that coats the inside of this world's jeans. It's a sticky zipper, a gemmy hologram, and it's truly, truly, truly outrageous."

Joyelle McSweeney

"The brine of Shelley Feller's textual seas is teeming with emergent queer life, post life, and glorious, grotesque effulgence."

Tim Jones-Yelvington

"In Dream Boat, the sea is an 'open organ,' frothing with gender possibilities, some toxic, some giddy, but always endlessly recombining damaged pasts and rocking new hereafters. A 'chick-fil-a' pirate, Shelley Feller 'spake[s] sissy' into the entire Anglo-American poetic tradition with lavish oceanic sprays of emojis, taunts, schoolyard chants, pop songs, and campy lore. Sweet, nasty, tender, queer: this work is recklessly inventive. It's like nothing else. It's like the future."

–Vidhu Aggarwal