RAE ARMANTROUT - CONFLATION

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Featuring poems written over the past 15 years, some of them from her recently published collection Partly: New and Selected Poems 2001-2015 (Wesleyan, 2016) and some of them previously unpublished, Rae Armantrout’s Conflation interrogates the difference between texture and tactile; thing unspoken versus thing unseen. The world largely exists in the interstices and Rae Armantrout’s poetry makes that clear. As she elucidates on “Scumble,” the 15th poem on  Conflation:

What if I were turned on by seemingly innocent words

such as “scumble,” “pinky,” or “extrapolate?”

What if I maneuvered conversation in the hope that

others would pronounce these words?

Perhaps the excitement would come from the way the

other person touched them lightly and carelessly with

his tongue.

What if “of” were such a hot button?

“Scumble of bushes.”

What if there were a hidden pleasure

in calling one thing

by another’s name?

A Rae Armantrout poem is a space where no word is safe from speculation. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for her 2009 collection Versed, Armantrout is the poet for the Twitterified 21st century and Conflation allows its listener to lapse and bathe in her voice’s nuanced measure.

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Featuring poems written over the past 15 years, some of them from her recently published collection Partly: New and Selected Poems 2001-2015 (Wesleyan, 2016) and some of them previously unpublished, Rae Armantrout's Conflation interrogates the difference between texture and tactile; thing unspoken versus thing unseen. The world largely exists in the interstices and Rae Armantrout’s poetry -previously awarded the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award - makes that clear.

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