Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008

Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008

by Norma Cole
     
 

The inaugural volume in the new Spotlight poetry series, Where Shadows Will selects from twenty years of innovative poetry by writer, painter, and translator Norma Cole. Cole has been a fixture of the Bay Area scene since 1977, writing melodic and experimental poetry whose shadow-haunted landscapes embody an exploration of the relationship between language,

Overview

The inaugural volume in the new Spotlight poetry series, Where Shadows Will selects from twenty years of innovative poetry by writer, painter, and translator Norma Cole. Cole has been a fixture of the Bay Area scene since 1977, writing melodic and experimental poetry whose shadow-haunted landscapes embody an exploration of the relationship between language, self, and world. Cole was a member of the circle of poets around Robert Duncan and a fellow traveler of the language poets. Drawing on long out-of-print volumes and recent books—such as her acclaimed Spinoza in Her Youth (2002)—Where Shadows Will confirms Cole’s place as a major avant-garde poet and a leading voice among contemporary women writers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

For the inaugural volume in its new Spotlight series, a sequel to City Lights' famous Pocket Poets line (in which Ginsberg's Howl first appeared), the publisher has chosen this retrospective collection by San Francisco poet Cole. A disciple of Robert Duncan, Cole casts her short poems in jagged verse and prose blocks, by turns abstract ("Imaginations law hits frames"), surreal ("Bark grew up over their faces") and painterly in a manner that will be familiar to fans of Barbara Guest: "This is the image of effort." Other pieces work more like disjunctive fables: one such prose poem describes how "A little of life simply escapes from a shallow dish." Cole is far better known on the West Coast and in experimental poetry circles than anywhere else; in fact, her work is surprisingly accessible given its avant garde origins and ambitions-beautiful phrases and lines leap off the page ("Then his/ signature will have taken place," reads one poem)-and this concise gathering of poems from her 15 small press books should bring Cole much deserved attention. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Brooklyn Rail
For me, a fluid lyricism is the glue in these ever-morphing, syntactically scintillating fountains: 'all clipped together the fog cool dogeared it spotted with sparkles of light its heels.' . . . We are freed from narrative and delivered to the telling where 'something blinked back.' The work is heroic an 'epic without story.' Above all, 'the poem is a toy' and Cole, an ideal playmate. Abandon despair all ye who enter here. 'Verily, kiddo.'
—Jeffrey Cyphers Wright
Midwest Book Review
Some poets have a wide library of works, and you'll miss the brightest gems unless you look really closely. 'Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008' takes the best of Norma Cole's work from over twenty years, and places it all in one collection as part of City Lights' Spotlight series. An excellent collection to start the series with, 'Where Shadows Will' is a poetry reader's delight.
—James A. Cox
Molossus
Cole's verse ranges vastly in form and subject, with a large selection of prose poems. Her dialogue with contemporary French poetry is especially evident . . . Even with a half-hearted listen, it's easy to tell that Cole's poetry is different. 'Where Shadows Will' offers only the beginning of an introduction, a whetting of the palate.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780872864740
Publisher:
City Lights Books
Publication date:
05/01/2009
Pages:
120
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.30(d)

What People are saying about this

David Lau
"Compatriot of a whole generation of French poets whose names are legion--Roubard, Hocquard, Claude-Royet, Collobert--Norma Cole is one of contemporary poetry's quintessential radicals; such a thing is thought beyond these shores. That her new book, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008 (City Lights books, 2009), confirms this beyond doubt. It seems a document of the intense skirmishes at the beginning of time, when tone was utterly impersonal, maximally capacious....Always political (seldom yet knowingly politicized, as in "'I Saw Shells...'") in its refusal to yield to the demands of a more strident poetics, her work is of a paradoxically pleasant and thoroughgoing antinomian difficulty. It hasn't given up on any ground gained."--(David Lau, Lana Turner)

Meet the Author

Norma Cole is a poet, painter, and translator. Her recent books include Do the Monkey, Spinoza in Her Youth, and NATURAL LIGHT. Her translations include Danielle Collobert's Journals, Fouad Gabriel Naffah's The Spirit God and the Properties of Nitrogen, and Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France. Born in Canada, Cole has lived in San Francisco since 1977.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >