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Apostrophe is "a strange, sublime book"

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Apostrophe is "a strange, sublime book"

Harriet, a blog from The Poetry Foundation, has posted three year-end booklists. On Monday Harriet posted “Poetry Foundation staff picks,” on Tuesday they posted “recommendations from Poetry magazine contributors,” and today they listed “a range of selections from...current Harriet bloggers.” Award-winning poet and Harriet blogger Christian Bök chose Apostrophe by Bill Kennedy and Darren Wershler-Henry (ECW Press, 2006) as his poetry pick:

Apostrophe is a strange, sublime book that grows out of a very smart, very funny poem (originally written by Bill Kennedy in 1993) — a poem that consists of a few hundred non sequiturs, all of which begin with the phrase "You are…." The poem catalogues a series of utterances addressed in the second-person, doing so, as if to enumerate the potential responses of a witty deity, forever obliged to answer the existential questioning of some poet who keeps asking: "What am I?" The poem almost suggests that the trope of the "apostrophe" has become synonymous with the lyric voice, addressing the reader in a manner that both speaks to and speaks for such a second-person addressee, claiming the pronoun "You" as a poetic cipher for all the potential dialogues of a self speaking to itself.

Be sure to check Harriet tomorrow for the final list. To read more about Apostrophe, visit the ECW Press website.

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