A complex and multifaceted reckoning with literary and cultural lineage, Mike Lala’s THE UNREAL CITY locates our moment, and reimagines what we might make of it, by subjecting the history of literature to a radical détournement.
“In The Unreal CityMike Lala struts through our contemporary wasteland—detritus of culture and commerce strewn everywhere, day’s minutiae grown Dionysiac, allusion rapt in a visionary elusiveness—with poems that outpace the difficult history they also confront.” —Dan Beachy-Quick
“Mike Lala paints with the brush of epochs. Evoking a dappled synesthesia of melodies and movements. Guiding us through the visceral vertigo of a human among humans standing at the site of a collective impasse, our manmade abyss. The Unreal Cityis giving renaissance. The kind that might lead to actual enlightenment.” —Marwa Helal
Prior praise for Mike Lala
“Poetry only in that it announces itself as such: this is performance, myth creation, and rally cry.” —Publishers Weekly
“A book that challenges and resists the vague accumulations of knowledge upon which regimes depend. A marvel of genre-straining performances.” —Joe Fritsch, The Fanzine
“Inventing, unnerving, and commanding...I can think of few collections more necessary or irreplaceable than this one.” —Julie Marie Wade, The Rumpus
“This is a remarkable first book—sprawling, generous, angry, delicate. Through borrowed language and staged dialogues, Exit Theater asks how individual experiences of violence combine with myth to create the collective present, where we peer out from the ‘gun cabinet.’ Lala's book tears open the velvet cushioning.” —Catherine Wagner
Mike Lala is the author of a previous collection, Exit Theater, which won the Colorado Prize for Poetry in 2016, as well as several chapbooks and performances. He grew up in the western United States and Tokyo, and lives in New York.
Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA