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Rachel Blau DuPlessis

Surge: Drafts 96-114

Surge: Drafts 96-114


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A surge into twenty-first century poetry and poetics, a book of passionate poetic energies and odic verve, Surge is the provocative, open-ended ending to DuPlessis's twenty-six year long poem project, Drafts. This work exemplifies a tertium quid, transcending poetic schools and critical binaries with its fusions of intellection and emotion, with its reassessments of Dante, Eliot, Duchamp, with its witty genre experimentation, with its strands of eco-poetics, feminist analysis, conceptual torques, and unstinting poetic commitment. The book contains a contemporary mirror of The Waste Land, a striking political-emotional reflection on divided cities, an investigation of gender in a work of poet's theater, a ballad on science and reality, an index, a canzone and--over all--a scintillating texture of meditation in which the analytic lyric is intensified by the refractions of gloss.

Praise for this Book

‘Imagine one last invocation in this epoch for a poetics with the capacity to sustain social tensions while generating linguistic fluidities, a poetics that sharpens ideological paradoxes while splaying an abundance of concrete agencies; a poetry, that texturizes thought while troubling comprehension, that nimbly ranges across known affects while giving legs to fugitive affects; a poetry, that invites (and ignites) destructive impulses towards revolt while venturing the cool present need for civic definition; a poetics whose classicism is postmodernism, whose modernism is street-speak baroque, whose arch-romantic pivot-point is constructivism; a poetics that doesn’t cop to hasty aesthetic boundary agreements, nor refuses a glove slap challenge of emerging genres; a poetry, that neither secretly envies vatic energy nor openly disavows spontaneous combustions of the vatic. It is this syncretistic passion for threading social criticality with linguistic sonic virtuosity that makes Blau DuPlessis’ poetics a luminous beacon for poets of the future. The Drafts—all six volumes—have arrived. Now, another beautifully rare, serious frolic begins: The Reader!’ —Rodrigo Toscano

‘Refined. Crass. Messy. Thin. Fast. Folded. Sky-oriented. Melodic. Homonymical. Witnessing the witnesses. Quotidian. Sweet. Freudian: Anti-freudian. Geometrical. Anatomical. Alphabetical. Pedagogical. Music for dying. Propelling. Adoring. Ego-maligning. IT-IF-Y-ing. Opening. Work to dwell in, where the impossible is scaled, where a lush and directed vibrancy is formed by way of the detritus and jewels of all the layers of time and contemporaneity in which we live, a work in which Rachel Blau DuPlessis avails us readers, but does not contain us readers, to everything of matter. Drafts is a life's work that cannot but live forever.’ —Rachel Levitsky

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