For the Ride

For the Ride

Regular price $20.00 $0.00 Unit price per

Author: Alice Notley

Publisher: Penguin Poets (2020)

Alice Notley has become one of the most highly regarded figures in American poetry, a master of the visionary mode acclaimed for genre-bending, book-length poems of great ambition and adventurousness. Her newest book, For the Ride, is another such work. The protagonist, "One," is suddenly within the glyph, whose walls project scenes One can enter, and One does so. Other beings begin to materialize, and it seems like they (and One) are all survivors of a global disaster. They board a ship to flee to another dimension; they decide what they must save on this Ark are words, and they gather together as many as are deemed fit to save. They "sail" and meanwhile begin to change the language they are speaking, before disembarking at an abandoned future city.

“With its mess of divergent voices, picture-poems, and eccentric locutions, For the Ride is baffling, beautiful, and always fascinatingly Notley . . . It’s refreshing to read poetry so dedicated to its own ends . . . as long as conformity threatens, Notley will continue to push against it, or perhaps simply beyond it. Her work warns of the ways in which our civilization and its conventional stories have failed us, but it’s also a reminder that the endless resources of language remain for those who have a little nerve.”

–The New Yorker

For the Ride is both challenging and rewarding, punctuating a remarkably long and quietly rebellious poetic career with an ellipsis of sorts, as it gestures to what has come before it, while also erasing or replacing it . . . [Notley’s poetry] leaves the reader not with a sense of discovery but of setting out on a search which each work refuses to end . . . The fact that the book is published at this particular historical moment means it will always remind us that, at best, we are ‘not some parts’, as the global dimensions of the pandemic highlight both human interconnectedness, and the ache of separation.” 

The Times Literary Supplement 

“Alice Notley is a disobedient medium: the dead speak through her and she speaks back. Sometimes she’s a poet of intimate address, sometimes of epic sweep. Notley’s formal experiments allow us to make contact with poetry’s originary and anarchic force.”

–Ben Lerner