The second installment of the City Lights Spotlight poetry series, Free Cell is the latest collection from Anselm Berrigan, one of the most significant American poets under 40. Consisting of two experimental suites—”Have a Good One” and “To Hell with Sleep”—connected by the central poem “Let Us Sample Protection Together,” Free Cell is Berrigan’s most ambitious work to date, a spiritual autobiography wrapped in an exploration of form. His work combines the freneticism of his New York environment with oblique humor, political angst, and a reflective, lyrical interrogation of his own subjectivity: “For my part it’s/ been an honor/ to be at someone’s/ service, though doing/ so has diminished/ my expiration date/ and my astral self-/ projection has already/ fled in bitter tears/ having used up even addiction.”
The first installment of our new Spotlight poetry series, Where Shadows Will selects from twenty years of innovative writing by Bay Area poet, translator, and visual artist Norma Cole. Beginning with her earliest collection, Mace Hill Remap (1988), and taking us up through her recent NATURAL LIGHT (2008), Where Shadows Will is a comprehensive overview of Cole’s melodic and experimental poetry, whose shadow-haunted landscapes embody a theory-informed exploration of the relationship between language, self, and world. By turns severe and exuberant, Where Shadows Will confirms Cole’s place as a major avant-garde poet and a leading voice among contemporary innovative women writers.