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An information-age critique of information and process, this poetry trilogy treats such interrelated themes as identity and authority and strategies beyond Dadaist appropriation and postmodern ventriloquism. Catherine Daly’s constructed a reader’s playground by vatic, cathartic rapine of canonical texts including the “Amoretti” of Edmund Spenser, the Greek Anthology, and the Norton Anthology of English Literature; religious women’s dictation, testimony, and writing; wireless communication, slide shows, truth tables, and Boolean algebra; high culture sculpture and junk culture celebrities and plots. Included in the three sections of DaDaDa is hagiography of interior decorators and fashion designers, OuLiPonian manipulations of anonymous medieval prayers about the passion, a “woman’s epic” poem based on the writings of Marguerite Porete which erases, creative etymology, quotes from female country and western lyricists, and instructions for making a Palm Pilot vibrate, all ultimately examining truth, freedom, art, craft, and other ideas. Daly rewrites as reading, as performance, as decoding, recoding, and encoding. This post-language poetry is devoted to sound play and pleasure. It is religious poetry underpinned by fervid atheism, literary criticism as heresy, confessional verse biography, serious poetry riddled with cheap puns.
‘Cavernous and electric, DaDaDa unfolds as a hypnotically twisted love tome investigating the r/elation between language systems and the erotics of communication. Plotting the truncated lives of letters, as mistresses, matrices, vessels, vials, viols, vile induces, indices, Catherine Daly’s passionate tripartite tour de force rages with linguistic virtuosity as a “cross-stitched sampler” of contemporary culture, “hot sync simulacra,” literary heresies.’ —Adeena Karasick
‘Seldom is such a commodious pathway opened with a first book. It is, as its author says, “Huge toroid / experiments.” She’s right about that; look up “toroid.” Catherine Daly is the “epideictic girl” of her verse’s universe. Any book that places Georgia O’Keefe in the same neighborhood with Ann Corio has a thing or two to tell us about telling, about “deep regional feeling,” about aboutness.’ —Aldon L. Nielsen