Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. Attempts to control the mouths of "speaking women"—17th century witches, 19th century hysterics—have taken many forms, both physical and metaphorical. In THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR MOUTH, Divya Victor repeats, recants, and relentlessly echoes a textual meeting place for the psychic and corporeal implications of this "fear of women with excessive powers of speech and discourse," creating a cacophonous movement towards the feminist purpose of poetics. Culling language from texts as diverse as nursery rhymes and contemporary pediatric health websites, the biblical Song of Solomon and Freud's "Analysis of a Case of Hysteria," Victor confronts this long history of the "silenced mouth." Section by section, appropriated word by appropriated word, Victor relishes in the buccal opening, its capacity for words and discourse, addressing Nietzsche's claim that the world "lives on itself: its excrements are its nourishment." These words will "eat you alive, digest you, leave you scattered." Or, as CA Conrad states in his afterword, these reutterances will ultimately "liberate" us "one cough at a time. The mouth in, the mouth out, mouths training mouths around the always-imperfect O."
Sueyeun Juliette Lee @ The Constant Critic
Divya Victor is the author of KITH (Fence Books/ Book Thug), a book of verse, prose memoir, lyric essay and visual objects; NATURAL SUBJECTS (Trembling Pillow, Winner of the Bob Kaufman Award), UNSUB (Insert Blanc), and THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR MOUTH (Les Figues). Her chapbooks include Semblance and Hellocasts by Charles Reznikoff by Divya Victor by Vanessa Place. Her criticism and commentary have appeared in Journal of Commonwealth & Postcolonial Studies, Jacket2, and The Poetry Foundation's Harriet. Her work has been collected in numerous venues, including, more recently, the New Museum's The Animated Reader, Crux: Journal of Conceptual Writing, The Best American Experimental Writing, and boundary2. Her poetry has been translated into French and Czech. She has been a Mark Diamond Research Fellow at the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Riverrun Fellow at the Archive for New Poetry at University of California San Diego, and a Writer in Residence at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibit (L.A.C.E.). Her work has been performed and installed at Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Los Angeles, The National Gallery of Singapore, the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibit (L.A.C.E.) and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Divya Victor is Assistant Professor of Poetry and Writing at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.Author City: BUFFALO, NY USA