Stephanie Young (Author)
DescriptionA book of unruly love poems about complicated sexuality, precarity, and kinship Working from the sticky interface of property and sex, Stephanie Young takes up the question of passing when narrow definitions of family on offer by the law and capitalist social relations leave out so much. With a cast of characters that includes lovers and exes, Troilus and Cressida, Van Morrison and the Grateful Dead, Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala, Pat Parker and Judy Grahn, the orca Tilikum and his captors, Pet Sounds is at once a book of confessional economics, music criticism disguised as poetry, and a complicated coming out story. These poems pulse with the pleasures and grief of making a home inside structures that don't fit--on land whose value climbs ever upward in the frenzy of speculation.
April 23, 2019
5.9 X 0.3 X 8.8 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author
Stephanie Young lives and works in Oakland. Her books of poetry and prose include It's No Good Everything's Bad, Ursula or University, Picture Palace, and Telling the Future Off. She edited the anthology Bay Poetics and with Juliana Spahr, A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism. Young is a member of the Krupskaya editorial collective and directs the graduate program in creative writing at Mills where she was also on the bargaining team for the first adjunct contract at the college.
"Stephanie's work is wonderful, a kind of loping swirl full of pop references, half of which I don't understand. But that doesn't matter because the knit is strong material yet loose, leaving lots of space, through which a sense of reality floats and stays with me. In an age of con and artifice, I want this."--Judy Grahn "From its first lines, Stephanie Young's Pet Sounds sets out to blur the artificial edges of heart and blood, economics and desire, basketball, adulthood, abuse, protest, music, endings, enemies, queerness, and captive orca whales. Sited in the betweenness that haunts middle age, middle income, mid-career and mid-relationship--when those positions feel discovered rather than planned and executed ('the path direct, had failed to keep it')--these are ultimately love poems, written from and to a human pair bond, a resilient one, one that lets the bullshit in and survives it, one where 'nothing fits' somehow fits; in some ways, then, they are about that most slippery, sparkling thing: happiness despite."--Anna Moschovakis "Pet Sounds is a long love poem written in and out of the collective of us. It truly has a surfing kind of energy, doesn't get bunched up for long, even pleasantly gets a little specific and gross, but bobs again. Invariably she deals sharp and close because Stephanie's seriously interested in a total ride through relationship and humanity, song, family and what else."--Eileen Myles "Dear Stephanie, Your book is beautiful. Out of middle-aged bewilderment you talk about what used to be called 'class' or what once was called 'politics' (right now, we are are not too sure of the words for these organizations of people), how life comes ultimately to be known by/through/as what we care for. It is the power of the nothingness between us - call it love, or love songs - that is the center of all sensation and its interpretation. 'I found myself again / climbing / through a dark wood, wellbutrin / there were no good choices / and they wouldn't answer my email'--indeed. Yet, the choices are made. How every choice is a burst of light, makes more light in the small places, which are, then, illuminated."--Simone White "Young's book is a book about the pain of witness / the pain of becoming a part of a system you can't help but believe in, despite the fact that you're watching it tear itself / and the bodies inside of it / to pieces. THE UNIVERSITY IS IN FLAMES. We all know this, I think, reading Young's book again, a couple of months later in my concrete adjunct office. The University that is in flames is also the University that gave many of us the power to understand what flames were in the first place. It gave many of us the ability to understand what power was and how we could see it for ourselves or as a subversive part of ourselves."--Carrie Lorig, Entropy Magazine "Young hovers and waits, worries and writes, enmeshed in a Bay Area poetry community that, to her, crackles with potential seismic energy she nevertheless fears may forever fail to unleash the earthquake that would justify its pressures and change the topography of power and privilege whose violence mars the utopia she can almost grasp."--Matt Longabucco, Jacket 2 "Stephanie Young's writing finds company with a small handful of poets practicing a form of institutional critique (of poetic institutions, as well as philanthropy, and university politics in her case). Her body is often the site of her critiques."--Noel Black, Hyperallergic