Tupelo Quarterly

A new review of Sisyphusina (Pank Books, 2020), in Tupelo Quarterly!

Here’s an excerpt from “Sanctioned Poetries: A Review of Shira Dentz’s Sisyphusina“:

“The images in the book are relentless, both in the mental pictures they create, and in their sonics, like when Dentz writes in the poem “saidst” (a productive transposition of sadist, maybe):

kind of light makes all the difference. Stark lightning white lines in the light stripes on a

bee, be body a mast dragged against the snow rigor mortis legs rasping across the hard,      screams of the trapped.

This is beautiful writing, but more than that, it throws the rest of the book into high relief, displaying more vividly the resistant writer Dentz seems to be. The book might be read, then, as a reimagining not only of the female body and the historical and cultural expectations tied to it, but also of the beauty expectations tied to poems. Any hegemonic demand for coherence and beauty is exclusionary, and the poems throughout this book, in their expansiveness of both subject matter and page space, work to clear the way for that which has been excluded. I’m reminded now of a phrase so often heard: There are too many poets in the world. Maybe, but perhaps there are too few sanctioned poetries.”

Please read the full review here!

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