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2010 Books Noted
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Books Noted
Ander Monson, The Available World

 

Sarabande Books, 2010

Stephen Burt writes that Ander Monson's poems "celebrate defiant excess." The poems in his second book of poetry encompass the material dross of 21st century life and larger questions about abundance and availability. Though the formal performance and associative leaps in The Available World may mirror the randomness of machine-generated content or the instant gratification of digitized experience (and, at times, such devices are certainly at play) the heart of the poems lies in the method of making meaning. Monson often probes meaning through linguistic turns. From "Slow Dance with Icarus":

We could be levers or lovers in some
Mechanism
, I mouth into his sliver
of an ear. I don't know what I mean by this.

Many of the poems in The Available World take the form of sermons, which often capture a collective generational voice. Monson writes, in "Sermon, Now Encrypted," "Let us find our way back to what light there is for us remaining."


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Initially appeared in American Poet, fall 2010, issue 39.
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