Using Alice Notley’s 1981 poem “The Prophet” as an intertextual launchpad, Sundial collects two long poems from Bay Area writer Alli Warren. “Personal Poem” was written on the precipice of her debut poetry book, Here Come the Warm Jets, and “Sundial” was written eight years later at the start of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Spanning eight years, these poems address a rapidly changing global world, and the daily experience of that world as reflected on a particular body and its writing practice. In a preface to the volume, Astrid Lorange notes that Sundial not only charts “the shift of a world between 2012 and 2020, but the shift of a poet as she consciously builds a poetics, and she sharpens her politics into a weapon.” Both poems follow Notley’s use of the 2nd person address to propulsively and compellingly express an embracing attention to social and political life, love and friendship, and localities both regional and global in a tone that is at once personal, critical, thoughtful, accessible, sharp, and musical.
Alli Warren is the author of Little Hill (City Lights Publishers, 2020), I Love It Though (Nightboat Books, 2017), and Here Come the Warm Jets (City Lights Publishers, 2013), as well as over ten chapbooks. Winner of the Poetry Center Book Award, and twice a finalist for the California Book Award, her writing has appeared in Harpers, Poetry, The Brooklyn Rail, and BOMB. Alli has lived and worked in the Bay Area since 2005.