Poetry. Women's Studies. A NUMBER OF STUNNING ATTACKS contributes to the ongoing association of fragmented forms and women's writing, yet the insistent repetitions and crystallized imagery produce something more coherent than a fragment and more dynamic than a single whole. Drawing on a line of innovative women's poetics in Canada, these poems recall the radical experiments of Lisa Robertson, Erín Moure, and Gail Scott. Intoxicated by disorientation, the reader will ask: Which city is this? Which woman is this? Which reader am I?
"In her amazing debut volume of poetry, Jessi MacEachern unfolds a panoply of encounters, some at points of intersection, others at moments of separation. They are uneasily situated in narratives, but who the subjects are is subject to interpretation. And to change. A NUMBER OF STUNNING ATTACKS is tantamount to a broad set of disorientations and disturbances, often unsettling and always generative, for both the poet and the reader. We might think of this as a poetry of the romantic distance that always lies between two people, a poetry of lyric impossibility. The thrill and anguish of that impossibility has captivated us for thousands of years. It is as ancient as the poetry of Sappho and as contemporary as the work contained in this book—a record of the perennial quest to let love be heard and to make love known."—Lyn Hejinian
"In these beautifully built up serial poems, Jessica MacEachern draws on the elongated language of a remoteness that is not caused by distance but by an obscured proximity. The depth of feeling created by that blockage is stretched into poetic events of dampened intensity that strain at the normal syntax of affect. This intensity—and its potential—is placed in the city, in differentiated and gendered bodies, in work, in the home, and in language. The hook of this book is that it creates the spaces in thought and perception that close distance."—Jeff Derksen
"Jessi MacEachern's first book of poetry strikes almost as a journal of the pronounced interiority all of us are living these days. A construction of sequences in which each passage on its own is a feast and lark, its poems unfold small mysteries that are dangerously calm, exploring intimate relations lived by women in the space of the house. In the rhythmic arborescence of precise lyric images, there are no totalities. Self-examining but never self-absorbed, MacEachern's poems are saucy and savvy; via a female gaze onto gender and spacings, they pulse with uneasy but hard-won life."—Erín Moure
"In her debut poetry collection Jessi MacEachern shows that for a woman to sing with lyric force is to try to express a thought before the inevitable interruption. How do women ever get anywhere? A NUMBER OF STUNNING ATTACKS is itself a stunning attack: a winnowing of language as precise as it is gleaming."—Sina Queyras
Jessi MacEachern lives in Montreal, QC, where she teaches English literature. Her research has been published in Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature canadienne and CanLit Across Media: Unarchiving the Literary Event. Her poetry has been published in various places, including Poetry Is Dead, Vallum, MuseMedusa, Canthius, PRISM, and CV2.Author City: MONTREAL, QC CAN