Poetry. Art. California Interest. Suzanne Stein's NEW SUTRAS is an epic poem in Technicolor for the social media age. Written via Twitter over the course of 2008-2016--corresponding with the US presidency of Barack Obama, as well as Stein's employment at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art--this eighty-page poem charts a line of flight from institutional torpor dictated by overwork, media saturation, and a city at the heart of economic crisis.
"Suzanne Stein has a rare gift for transforming dystopian surplus into pleasure. Equal parts insightful, humorous, lovably cliché, and wise, this book-length poem is full of juxtapositions that will estrange you from everyday life. Its speaker wanders through the 21st century like an extraterrestrial taxonomist uninvested in making taxonomy very official; 'this is a log-on / unreportable light maroon' and 'doesn't this look like an unemployment?' the speaker marvels, pivoting just as soon into the opposite, and gladly giving way to incoming thoughts that softly obliterate any attempt at conclusion. In this sense Stein weaves the Buddhist sense of 'stream' and the stream of social media, choosing awe without forfeiting negativity. This I consider to be praise of the highest order: Stein's poem will keep you company."--Liz Kinnamon
"Suzanne Stein's NEW SUTRAS is a page turner. It is a pleasure to think of what it could mean to define one's situation as 'a rhubarb' or 'a circumnavigation, ' more straightforward but not less meaningful to think of it as 'a brutality' or, as later, worryingly, 'a turncoat.' The text is serious, hilarious, lyric, and plain. Along the way there is yoga and history. There are aphorisms, admonitions, questions, politics, and poetics. One feels understood in a way that is loving but a bit scary. What remains is the desire to read, write, and be in the world of this book where such work and pleasures are possible, despite jobs, life, and the vicissitudes. Poem-wise, it just doesn't get better than that."--Laura Moriarty
About the Author
Suzanne Stein, born in Los Angeles, 1968, poet, writer, performer. She is the author of NEW SUTRAS (Dogpark Collective), The Kim Game (Area Sneaks), TOUT VA BIEN (Displaced) and, in collaboration with Steve Benson, DO YOUR OWN DAMN LAUNDRY (GaussPDF). After thirty years living and working in the Bay Area, she resides now in San Diego, California.