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Chatterbox, Poems by Lynn Houston
Chatterbox is a unique collection in that poet Lynn Marie Houston has taken texts written by Steven Pinker and has chiseled out of them, through the practice of erasure, highly experimental poems whose meanings and themes deviate from the original context of Pinker's work in order to comment on gender relations, the natural world, colonialism, creativity, and other contemporary issues. Here you will find the associative "skittery" poetry that Tony Hoagland has claimed is "imaginatively frolicsome." In Chatterbox, Houston gives free rein to her imagination, working within the constraints provided by the sequence of Pinker's words in order to offer lucid contemplations on relevant political topics. Every one of these poems could function as a writing prompt.
"Lynn Marie Houston's Chatterbox is a bright reminder of the ways that words lead us to language, but also the ways that we reduce language to words (for better and worse). These fleet, disjunctive, and pleasingly weird erasures of the words of cognitive scientist/linguist Stephen Pinker demonstrate just how hardy and various the word is in relation to the world and how inspiring one is to the other. The difference between the word word and the word world is but a single letter. The difference between the word and the world is the conundrum of poetry-the grandest, most marvelous difference there is."-Matt Hart
"Lynn Marie Houston has written an audacious collection of cut-up poems for our cut-up world, a world where 'A star of David, smiley face, and Mercedes-Benz / flip positions for your convenience.' There's a surprise around every line break. The poems in Chatterbox bring in, it seems, all of the fragments of our cut-up world, and it's a wide and wild perspective that rearranges all that strangeness to be even stranger and still, somehow, make a greater sense. Suddenly, every frame in the museum presents a new painting."-Jeff Mock
Lynn Marie Houston holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University and an MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She is the founding editor of Five Oaks Press and the author of three other books of poetry: The Clever Dream of Man (Aldrich Press), Unguarded (Heartland Review Press), and The Mauled Keeper (Main Street Rag). For more information about the journals and contests that publish her work, please visit: www.lynnmhouston.com
ISBN: 978-1625492517, 114 pages, $19.00