Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip
Verses, essays, confessions, reports, translations, drafts, treatises, laments and utopias, 1995–2007. Collected by Elisa Sampedrin.
Lisa Robertson writes poems that mine the past – its ideas, its personages, its syntax – to construct a lexicon of the future. Her poems both court and cuckold subjectivity by unmasking its fundament of sex and hesitancy, the coil of doubt in its certitude. Reading her laments and utopias, we realize that language – whiplike – casts ahead of itself a fortuitous form. The form brims here pleasurably with dogs, movie stars, broths, painting’s detritus, Latin and pillage. Erudite and startling, the poems in Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip, occasional works written over the past fifteen years, turn vestige into architecture, chagrin into resplendence. In them, we recognize our grand, saddened century.
Poet and essayist Lisa Robertson has held residencies at the California College of the Arts, Cambridge University; University of California, Berkeley; UC San Diego; and American University of Paris. Her books include Cinema of the Present, Debbie: An Epic (nominated for the Governor General's Award in Canada), The Men, The Weather, R's Boat (poetry) and Occasional Works and Seven Walks from the Office for Soft Architecture (essays). Lisa Robertson's Magenta Soul Whip (Coach House) was named one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010, and was longlisted for the 2011 Warwick Prize for Writing. She currently lives in France.