Alcalá, Rosa

Rosa Alcala - Undocumentaries


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Rosa Alcala - Undocumentaries

Published 2010. Paperback, 8.5 x 5.5 ins, 88pp. £9.95
ISBN 9781848610729. [Download a PDF sampler from this book here.]

Rosa Alcalá, originally from Paterson, N.J., is a true daughter of W.C. Williams with a distinct, gutsy, and penetrating identity twining a public poeisis with her own luminous particulars. I know of no one else writing such poems that cut into and reenact the "plebeian" with such personal force, eloquence, and skill. "The syntax of worry rewrites cellular codes" she writes and then proceeds to investigate and expose the Industrial Age and its "genetic drifts". A worker is "fighting like a girl for gloves", a kind of child's cognitive dissonance documents improperly stored chemicals, "the deep sleep of field hands" stirs memory as does the more current and common "paycheck clean of union dues." Undocumentaries is Archive made Poetry. "Factory is both fact and act and/mere letters away from face/and story…" Alcalá's imagination and language disarmingly penetrate and extend these powerful devices and activating signals. The face we see is hers and our culture's own. I celebrate this book.' —Anne Waldman

'If poetic episodes can act as gauges of social role-playing and role-disruption, what might lie "outside" the roles "we" "inhabit?" What remains undocumented, but hardly silent? What are the sensed and projected traces of "identity" that are ideologically eviscerated, and minimally verifiable? Rosa Alcalá calls up a most magical theatre when exploring these quandaries. The tipping (flash) points she constructs continuously build up toward the (touched, handled, engaged) experiential moment, all the while resisting an object-status art. This is a poetics that's prologue + epilogue to incidence, and never the "it" itself.  Sweet tin on tawny brass, flesh-toned, radio-worthy.' —Rodrigo Toscano



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