Unlikely Books joyously releases the new, full-color poetic collaboration between j/j hastain and Marthe Reed, pleth!
Featuring cover images by MOO | Monika Mori and Michael Kalish, pleth is a literary call-and-response. It begins with j/j hastain's "poem-cells," full-color visual collages of images and words that act as short poems. To each of j/j's cells, Marthe Reed wrote a textual response, creating a dialogue of alternative gender and sexuality between two literary masters.
pleth was released at Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Café in Boulder, Colorado. Watch j/j and Marthe perform from pleth at that event, or watch j/j perform from pleth at &UNLIKELY, our group show at the Mercury Café in Denver, Colorado.
What people are saying about pleth:
"There are complex nuances in both hastain's and Reed's work, fragmented glimpses of post-apocalyptic wounds, of a desperate last grasp at the tattered shreds of a brave new world's disavowed humanity, but both hastain and Reed offer, above all else, a sense of beauty."
—Deb Hoag, editor of Women Writing the Weird
"pleth is both dream field and rock field. But it's also a reaching for some elusive essense. Indeed, 'we are the different guests / tossed' and rightfully so. In this book, the reader is 'tossed' into a pit of language and longing, and that makes the search for our humanness all the more humane. And all the more mysterious."
—Lawrence Welsh, author of Begging for Vultures, New and Selected Poems 1994-2009
"How might a pastoral eclogue performed upon 'yet to be assembled violins' by cyborg swains, each in a 'flesh-suit / -self rousing,' go down? Just like pleth—swain song-cum-interface-cum-'poemic' of j/j hastain's poem-cell collages and Marthe Reed's ekphrastic responses. And what should rollick and keen inside pleth's locus amoenus (alias, 'twilight's green penumbra')? ('lunar mare,' 'cybernetic dyad,' 'burlesque monk,' 'effeminate gorgon,' 'poised swans / that upon closer inspection / have had their heads / sewn on.' Yes! Elastic, outraged and rueful, the poetry of pleth dements, brilliantly, lyric convention."
—Carolyn Hembree, author of Skinny