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Debut poetry collection by Anthony Sutton, PARTICLES OF A STRANGER LIGHT, employs a wide array of approaches and forms to obsessively dissect issues of memory, identity, culture, and history.
A memoir. A horror movie. A descent into hell. Anthony Sutton's debut poetry collection, PARTICLES OF A STRANGER LIGHT, employs a wide array of approaches and forms to obsessively dissect issues of memory, identity, culture, and history. Circling around the trauma of a single night, these poems reach into the void to reclaim what has been lost.
“Anthony Sutton’s debut book is haunted by the old, existential question no one has yet been able to answer satisfactorily: Who or what am I? Rimbaud proclaimed, Je est un autre or I is another. Sutton updates Rimbaud with wry postmodern panache. In one poem, his I is a ‘Mixed White/Filipino Poet’ who ‘Interrogates the Basic Notion of ‘Passing’ and then Accepts Being Read as a Latinx Woman.’ In others, he is the zombie who has lost his identity after being ‘roofied.’ He is also the person who knows ‘if I had a god to pray to // it would be the light fixture / in the jail cell I spent most / of a day in.’ All I know is that I want to keep reading and rereading these lovely, strange, wise, and wise-cracking selves that Sutton invents for himself in Particles of a Stranger Light. This virtuoso book passes like a Category 5 hurricane through our conscious-ness and, if you let it, will rearrange who you are.” —Donald Platt, author of Swansdown
“‘I wanted to finish the conversation,’ Anthony Sutton begins—and we lean in to listen. Because it’s wonderfully weird here. I mean, how often do you find ‘C’mon and Show Me Something Newer than even Dante’ listed three times in the Table of Contents, and each uniquely each? (And then the gracious, grateful owning-up later, the title—times three—is from Bernadette Mayer’s poem ‘Sonnet.’) Plus in this mix: ‘A Small God Carrying Endless Light.’ Amen. Which is to say: speaking of prayer, these poems godlessly slip and keep crossing a river to figure out, to understand. So this remarkable dream-worthy first book of poems rolls on, offering an imaginative real world that upends, sings, surprises and also somehow delights and unravels. Somehow because is there a way to explain the sweet overwrought ‘lightning bugs whisper electricity in the trees’ or ‘someone else hands around / a box-wine from Kroger’ patched up in a book with Icarus famously falling to water (‘I actually don’t like Auden’ blurted out pages hence) until it’s the lost boy—or maybe Sutton—saying ‘Words are not a sea. / They’re a river. / They have direction.’ I’d agree with this poet that ‘Keats concurred.’ Keats, whose ghost is everywhere here.” —Marianne Boruch, author of Bestiary Dark
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. LGBTQ+ Studies.
Anthony Sutton resides on former Akokiksas, Atakapa, Karankawa, and Sana land (currently named Houston, Texas), as an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor fellow at the University of Houston's Creative Writing and Literature PhD program and teaches in the community for Grackle and Grackle. A recipient of a United States of Writing grant from Poets and Writers, Anthony's poetry and criticism has appeared in guesthouse, Gulf Coast, Grist, The Journal, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, Oversound, Quarter After Eight, Southern Indiana Review, Zone 3, and elsewhere.