Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Following the 26-year poetic odyssey of her long poem Drafts, Rachel Blau DuPlessis invites readers, with DAYS AND WORKS, to embark with her on not just one but a plurality of voyages. In 2014, drawing on a 1914 translation of Hesiod's Works and Days appearing at the beginning of World War I, DuPlessis began to write, bent on dealing—as did Hesiod—with the insoluble oddity of being in the world and in our time. Both works are built of evocative awe and practical "life" advice, in which conflicting sensations of the textures of historical time, personal time, cosmological time all fold together, in all their contradictions and vectors of stimuli—desired and painful. DuPlessis's work, with rips of feeling, newspaper clippings, and senses of historical fate, represents the oddity of all these registers involving us in different emotional twists. How can so many opposite things and washes of multiple emotions occupy the same daily space? Are these movements through the highly saturated consciousness of modern life "a lexicon? A listing, a relocation?" DuPlessis answers in both form and language—with a sense of the generative and constant "between" in this work expanding the everyday into a mini-encyclopedic poem on an intimate scale. The text offers an evocative political poetics including feminist, eco- poetical and anti-war thinking. It is an intense and generous book.
A 2002 Pew Fellow in the Arts, and a recipient of poetry fellowships from Djerassi and The Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio), Rachel Blau DuPlessis is the author of the critically acclaimed long poem Drafts (1986-2012) in 114 cantos. DAYS AND WORKS is one of her "interstitial" books, a group that includes INTERSTICES (Subpress, 2014), Graphic Novella (Xexoxial Editions, 2015), the collage-poem Numbers (forthcoming from Materialist Press), and Eurydics (forthcoming from Further Other Book Works). DuPlessis has written a trilogy of critical essays on gender and poetics: The Pink Guitar, Blue Studios and Purple Passages, and several other critical books, as well as editing The Selected Letters of George Oppen (1990). She has embarked on a 21st-century long poem, called Traces.Author City: PHILADELPHIA, PA USA