Book Reviews Reviews

The Boss and Salvinia Molesta by Victoria Chang

Poetry seems a bit shied away from here. At least I feel that way from most of the folks I interact with regularly. So, since joining, I too have, without intention, let poetry sort of slip to the wayside in both my reading & writing life. But, poetry is my first love, and I’d like that to change.

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People have asked me for poetry recommendations here in the past, and I have plenty to give, so I plan to start doing more of that in the content I post. 🤓

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Speaking with @bookstheirwords about The Lonely City by Olivia Laing yesterday (which I’m reading for November), made me realize that I should re-read The Boss by Victoria Chang, one of my favorite contemporary poets, because she has a whole series of Edward Hopper poems in it, which I absolutely love.

Laing’s first section of TLC deals with Hopper, and I absolutely loved it. These poems speak to the same themes of loneliness that haunt Hopper’s work, and that is the subject of exploration in Laing’s book. I also really love ekphrasis in writing, and works that explore the intersections between literature and art.

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I was fortunate to be able to meet Victoria Chang in person when my favorite poetry professor in undergrad had her come speak to us in one of our workshops. It was an intimate classroom discussion (there were only about fifteen of us), and we sat in a circle while she read the poems we requested, and answered our questions about anything and everything. It was very cool.

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As I said in that brief thread chat yesterday, The Boss as a physical book itself is beautiful. It was published by McSweeny’s, and like most of the books they print, the printed material is an art object in itself.

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So, I’ll be reading this as a companion piece to The Lonely City this month, and also revisiting one of her older collections, Salvinia Molesta.

Both come highly recommended by me! 🖤✨

If any of you have any poetry recommendations you’ve been holding out on (especially newer collections), I would LOVE to hear them! I look forward to (hopefully) hearing some!

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