Object Permanence


Product Details

$17.00  $15.81
Ornithopter Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.21 inches | 0.3 pounds
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About the Author

Michelle Gil-Montero is a poet and translator of Latin American poetry, hybrid-genre writing, and criticism. She has been awarded fellowships from the NEA and Howard Foundation, as well as a Fulbright US Scholar's Grant to Argentina and a PEN/Heim Translation Prize. She is the author of ATTACHED HOUSES (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2019) and Object Permanence (Ornithopter Press). Her translations include EDINBURGH NOTEBOOK (Action Books, 2021) and THE ANNUNCIATION (Action Books, 2019). She is Professor of English at Saint Vincent College, where she directs the Minor in Literary Translation. She publishes contemporary Latin American poetry in translation at Eulalia Books.


"Poet and translator Michelle Gil-Montero's language, chiseled by acute observations of her intimate and liminal surroundings, is a dazzling constellation of what Roland Barthes calls "speckled with these sensitive points." These "so many points" poke and puncture our internalized rigidity and borders, giving us access to an alternative universe of tenderness as well as vulnerability. Gil-Montero is without doubt one of the rare, gifted and fierce poet-translators working today."
-- Don Mee Choi

"Where did these poems come from, I wonder as I read them, and what are they. They are confessional if spider legs dance profanely. They are domestic if a mother is ether. A wasp nest "chews down to a center room" they are architectural, then. And spare, like a scattering of rivets, or like hipbones. Michelle Gil-Montero turns words into objects, as did Niedecker and Stein, but the objects do witchy things. "Sequence" sequins up a naked spine, closing a sundress. Clouds "nudge nothing." An arm and a chin, cradling a violin, become a visual palindrome. This poet's voice is both ancient and intimate, mysteriously narrating how it is we all (as earthly creatures) live in searchlight and havoc, in stillness and floods and a fog that hugs us with "odd fondness." What is the quality of a gem-cutter that cuts just the right yellow topaz with just the right facets, and the jeweler that drops it just once, because she knows where and how, into just the right setting? That's Gil-Montero's quality of attention. Few poets writing now have it."
-- Joy Katz

"With their paradoxical co-embodiment of impulse and exactitude, Michelle Gil-Montero's lyrics remind me of Marosa Di Giorgio's work, and of a neuron's. Here poetics is physics: what's linked in a few syllables of sound and association can have at once dazzling and coruscating effects-- "close storms, braille music" --depending on the scale or closeness with which it is perceived. Thus the lyric's intimacy is both gorgeous and terrible, human fluency both a delicious and an unbearable double valence, an aptitude for being turned simultaneously both inside and out. As a multi-lingual poet and translator who has brought the most complex and lyric propositions into a reactive, dynamic English, Michelle Gil-Montero knows that virtuosity appears effortless because of the extreme pressure which fires it: it springs through a torqued synapse, puts the twist in the Mobius strip."
-- Joyelle McSweeney