Russo, Linda

Linda Russo - Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way


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Linda Russo - Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way

Published April 2015. Paperback, 72pp, 9x6ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848613935 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
We draw sustenance and identity from our landscapes. What presences are we in this biome – what are we amidst and among? Seeking an answer, Linda Russo sets her feet down in and around the Palouse, a region known for vast undulating wheat fields. Poetic inquiries – seeing with the “worn-out angry eyes” of the last Columbia River Pygmy rabbit, sonic countermapping, re-imagining histories and geographies, writing on-site with squirrels and terns and flickers – are combined to closely read space as, in the words of cultural landscape historian J.B. Jackson, a “field of perpetual conflict.” The result is a document that helps rescale our thinking about 21st century inhabitance.
What readers have to say:
“This poetry sings brightly for the ultra-local, itself a collection and dispersion of sympathies, grasped at earth magnitude. I admire Russo’s yard work, as attuned to the ‘workaday’ as to the squawk of unidentified bird calls, for its self-awareness, humor, and sense of beauty. It’s strong yet supple writing: poetry for what’s underfoot, in any weather. ” — Jonathan Skinner, author of Birds of Tift and Political Cactus Poem and editor of ecopoetics.
“As a sensitive study of living systems, Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way demonstrates receptivity and attuned openness in astounding, replenishing ways. Russo takes into consideration the complex local ecosystems in which she lives—a local and historical inquiry that involves bodies and languages—a surging bio-semiotics of human-animal relation. Various modes of presencing and thinking are engaged within this capacious document in an effort to thrive within cultivated, regulated, domesticated and also occasionally almost wild domains—together with the diverse organisms that share these domains and make their meanings known.” — Brenda Iijima, author of If Not Metamorphic and editor of The Eco-Language Reader.
“Linda Russo has written an exceptional bioregional text—one that re-seeds landscapes with a re-fashioned language of “interspecies inhabitance.” Testing “the analytic capacity of sentient poetry,” Russo encourages us to live simultaneously lightly, and with deeper roots. This is exactly what I’d hoped the meeting of poetry and ecology would give us.” — Stephen Collis, author of The Commons and On the Materials (Winner of the Dorothy Livesay Prize)
Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way beautifully and cunningly includes information, embedding in a rather understated fashion Russo’s version of radical political commitment. That tidbit about the radish, who knew? But that moment is typical of what this entire book does: state paratactically the uncompromising diction of those whose lives are deeply attended to their physical environments. It seems to me a terrific possibility that poetry makes happen.” — Brandon Brown, author of Top 40 and The Persians by Aeschylus

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