Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988-2008

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 ...

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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.

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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)

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872864740
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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.

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