Synopses & Reviews
At the door the wolves step
backwards into a box. My chained
father attempts to wing himself
with flame. His face hosts
a second face seared by the mental
hazards the wolves find stinky
and reject. Outskirting his heart,
mother dangles the sucked-out
pelts of her wild children. Love
hiss and sexy nightmare. Eros:
an indiscriminate register.
All the bones yarn up.
Sarah Fox co-imagines the Center for Visionary Poetics, and is a doula and teacher. She has won National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Minnesota State Arts Board grants and fellowships.
The First Flag
is a mystic alimentary, blood, bone, and pearl poeticsutterly engaging in its seductive conversational tone. But its an odd conversation as Fox periodically cries her brains out in ecstasy, disbelief, grief. Its a luminescent accomplishment, lush with decay, exploding with impossible meldings of stench and shimmer. By way of a powerful natal femininity she claws back the oral threads of her got-away story. I wanted to be right there when her words crowned. Her sentences deliver. Its not just that her language is a trip; she is really saying something you find you want to hear all the way down. And the footnotes are delightful.”
"[Fox] uses collage, footnotes and fragmentation to create poly-vocal works with both visual and textual elements. . . . These well-wrought images showcase Foxand#8217;s skill with rendering image and#151; a fundamental of poetry that she doesnand#8217;t subvert."and#151;Star Tribune
"The First Flag feels somehow so radical to me that I have difficulty finding language to describe it." and#151;Spoonriver
"The First Flag is an extremely complex and ambitious book, one that cuts through the dead-serious and#147;playfulnessand#8221; and studied poses of much other experimental poetry. It is a book fashioned from the quick and the dead, the raw and the cooked. In it, Sarah Fox has created something profoundly daring, unique, unsettling, and beautiful."and#151;Tarpaulin Sky Press
"An LJ and#147;poet to watch,and#8221; Fox returns in a pastiche of form, intelligence, experience, and imagination with verse and essays of experimental design. . . . Fox has a gift for grit, and sheand#8217;s not afraid to use it."and#151;Library Journal
"I read a ton of fantastic books, thanks to this review column. But still, it's rare that a book gets me so excited that my notes fill up pages and pages, and I simply can't wait to start reviewing . . . The First Flag did that for me."and#151;Hazel and Wren
"It has been a long time since I have been so excited about a book of poems the way I am for Sarah Fox's The First Flag. The poems are some of the most human-animal poems I have read, disarming and beautiful, scary because they are about us, honest and rough, intelligent and real."and#151;Tin House blog
and#147;The First Flag is a mystic alimentary, blood, bone, and pearl poeticsand#151;utterly engaging in its seductive conversational tone. But itand#8217;s an odd conversation as Fox periodically cries her brains out in ecstasy, disbelief, grief. Itand#8217;s a luminescent accomplishment, lush with decay, exploding with impossible meldings of stench and shimmer. By way of a powerful natal femininity she claws back the oral threads of her got-away story. I wanted to be right there when her words crowned. Her sentences deliver. Itand#8217;s not just that her language is a trip; she is really saying something you find you want to hear all the way down. And the footnotes are delightful.and#8221;
"Anyone interested in visionary poetics and/or documentary poetics and/or radical feminist phenomenology should give this book a read." and#151;The Volta Blog
"The masterpiece of this extraordinary collection is a hexagonal 36 poem cycle, and#145;Commaand#8217;. Sarah Fox envisions herself as a separation daemon in a birth theater. By exorcising the hordes and weevil casts of her uteral spectres and conceiving of the 'family romance' as mantic veins to be pumped, she achieves the denouement of becoming fully (not just physically) born. Birth as apocalyptic breakdown; the work? Imaginal punctuality.and#8221;and#151;Clayton Eshleman
and#147;Attention, human-born: and#145;THE WAR-TO-ETERNITY BLOWS LIKE BELUGA THROUGH MAN-HOLES ON and#145;THE BODY OF MOM.and#8217;and#8217; So announces Sarah Foxand#8217;s new grimoire-cum-war-manual, The First Flag. This book is not fearless, but, like Notleyand#8217;s Alette, it pushes through fear as it pushes through membranes of harm, violence, toxicity, ill-inheritance, silence and suppression to retrieve a kind of knowledge from the opposite side. Foxand#8217;s poetry is a disarming, potent striving after some as-yet-unparaphrasable element which might, eventually, be healing. So necessary is this battle-passage for the liberation of our desiccated moment that our new flag must bear a line of Foxand#8217;s poetry: and#145;FUCK THE PATROLMAN AT THE BORDER. At any border, within or without.and#8217;
"[Fox's poem 'COMMA'] marks the arrival of a strong new voice for our continuing poetry project."and#151;Jacket2
"Sarah Foxand#8217;s work is a force resisting a dysfunctional and still anti-woman medical industry."and#151;Drunken Boat
Affirmation, indictment, and essay, The First Flag
resists the confines an insidious patriarchy places on our bodies, sexualities, and selves.
About the Author
Sarah Fox co-imagines the Center for Visionary Poetics, serves as a doula, and is a teacher of poetry and creative writing. She contributes posts on feminism, mysticism, astrology, and poetics to the blog Montevidayo and has won grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board, among others. Coffee House Press published her debut collection, Because Why, in 2006.