Synopses & Reviews
In her third collection of poems, Claudia Rankine creates a profoundly daring, ingeniously experimental examination of pregnancy, childbirth, and artistic expression. Liv, an expectant mother, and her husband, Erland, are at an impasse from her reluctance to bring new life into a bewildering world. The couple's journey is charted through conversations, dreams, memories, and meditations, expanding and exploding the emotive capabilities of language and form. A text like no other, it crosses genres, combining verse, prose, and dialogue to achieve an unparalleled understanding of creation and existence.
is inexhaustibly complex, varied, and difficultand as fearlessly and even grimly inventive and searching as one can conceive any book of poems as being. It instantly joins the few contemporary works . . . whose gravity is synonymous with the passion and integrity of their intelligence." Calvin Bedient, Verse
"To read her work is to be drawn deep into a thought's unfolding, into the eerie landscape of a dream; the dislocation one feels is tempered by the assurance of the writing, the deftness of Rankines experiments with words and ideas." Indiana Review
"I am awestruck. Quite simply, I have never read anything like Plot. Its stupendous intelligence . . . marks it as a masterpiece." Mary Gordon
"Plot moves as in a picaresque novel, in which the body schemes and frightens, accompanied by Claudia Rankines instinct for poetic surprise." Barbara Guest
"A startling and eloquent exploration of states in, about, and around maternity. . . . This is an unsettling poetry of the body wrestling itself in the making of thought." Charles Bernstein
Her third collection of poetry, Claudia Rankine's Plot is original and enchanting, and the language, as in her acclaimed The End of the Alphabet, never ceases to startle and confront. Plot is a postmodern dialogue about pregnancy and childbirth. Liv, the expectant mother, and her husband, Erland, find themselves propelled into one of our most basic plots -- boy loves girl, girl gets pregnant. Liv's respect for life, however, makes her reluctant to bring a new life into the world. The couple's electrifying journey is charted through dreams, conversations, and reflections. A text like no other, it crosses genres, existing at times in poetry, at times in dialogue and prose, in order to arrive at new life and baby Ersatz. This stunning, avant-garde performance enacts what it means to be human, and to invest in humanity.
About the Author
Claudia Rankine is the author of five books of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and teaches at Pomona College.