by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
2015. 8.5x11, 120 pages
ISBN-10: 1-936687-23-2 | ISBN-13: 978-1-936687-23-7
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"Rachel Blau DuPlessis' new book is a new book, marking the space between the unprecedented arc and projection of her Drafts and the other side of poetry that is formed by that beautiful and entirely singular plurality while also giving us something much more than a little novel to hold with our eyes and ears and hands. Her grafted novella marks a long practice of collage, of overheard overlay of seen and said, of handed "seying," of saving, of remaining in order to care for what remains. Graphic Novella is gorgeous evidence of numerous life and its "layered differentia." As ever, DuPlessis sets the edge, to work, in motion. I wonder where we'll get to go from here!"
"In GRAPHIC NOVELLA, Rachel Blau Duplessis goes further than any poet in working with how the brain actually thinks, borrows language as scraps, does not then read them from left to right but upwards or sideways, using language as pictures, words as cartilege, pictures as linguistic ligaments and sinews. And she works always in and through a compelling modesty: it is a novella, not a novel; it is a little theatre, not the internet. It is the street and sign and tree and head. Blau Duplessis, in this latest form and affect, finds a new way to reflect, to let language think us, stare back at its reader, blink. The book is sustenance, a survival manual "acknowledging unpresentable facts," "so naked it was empathy." As she says early on, “this whole book is a detective story on how to write.""
"This is not your grandfather's Graphic Novel, with cartoon-like panels telling a dark Victorian or Gothic story; it's more in the tradition of Artist's Books, a bright, vigorous and sparkling genre that Rachel Blau DuPlessis has made her own for thirty years now, with her series of Drafts books since 1985: from "Tabula Rosa" to "Surge" (Drafts 96 to 114). This wonderful creation steps off the edge of poetry into the breathless fresh air of outer space. As Rachel writes, "So go with the quirky bits and shifts; invite the visitations; make syllables talismans". "
Patrick Pritchett reviews Graphic Novella
Frank Davey reviews Graphic Novella