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Women in Public
by Elaine Kahn


Overview - "Elaine Kahn's poems touch me somewhere deep."-- Kim Gordon

In Women in Public , the debut full-length collection by poet/musician Elaine Kahn, personal philosophies and collective admissions are put through the corporeal grinder, harnessing the sensual as a medium for the cerebral in order to negotiate the "feminine condition" of being simultaneously othered and consumed.  Read more...


 
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More About Women in Public by Elaine Kahn
 
 
 
Overview
"Elaine Kahn's poems touch me somewhere deep."--Kim Gordon

In Women in Public, the debut full-length collection by poet/musician Elaine Kahn, personal philosophies and collective admissions are put through the corporeal grinder, harnessing the sensual as a medium for the cerebral in order to negotiate the "feminine condition" of being simultaneously othered and consumed. By turns seductive and self-deprecating, Women in Public navigates a world where the erotics of the body and mind do battle against the constructs that would demean and define them, using lyric, fragment, humor, and repetition to create a space flexible enough to hold the many contradictions of reality. Where expectations and desires can be piled too easily upon the body, Kahn digs in her heels, writing in attempt to liberate physical form from society's confines.

Praise for Women in Public

"'Do you think that you are greater than a mom?' This is an intensely honest, honestly intense poetry. Humorous, carnal, accusatory, celebratory--Women in Public tells me to get lost so I do. When I find myself later, I'm re-reading Women in Public."--Rod Smith

"In these exhilarating poems, Elaine Kahn shoots from the groin, championing a ferociousness that rages against asperity while playfully seducing the reader to misbehave. Hers is a realm where oceans beat against genitals, and Hannah Wilke warms the earth. I don't want to let go of Women in Public for I want its boldness all to myself."--Dodie Bellamy

About the Author:

Musician, poet, artist, Elaine Kahn was born in Evanston, Illinois and is currently based in Oakland, California. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a BA from California College of the Arts. Kahn is the author of three poetry chapbooks, A Voluptuous Dream During an Eclipse (2012), Customer (2010), and Radiant Bottle Caps (2008), and is a contributor to Art Papers. Her music project, Horsebladder, has toured widely throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is also co-founder of the feminist puppet troop P. Splash Collective and managing editor of the small press Flowers & Cream.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780872866812
  • ISBN-10: 0872866815
  • Publisher: City Lights Books
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 101
  • Dimensions: 6.9 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 pounds

Series: City Lights Spotlight #1

Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - General
Books > Poetry > Women Authors

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-05-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

Kahn's precise and attentive debut full-length collection probes at notions of femininity with a sharp dagger, her terse but assertive stanzas carrying an understated conviction. "Listen, I'm not political, I am distracted," she proclaims, though her focused language will convince readers of her intelligence and savvy. Kahn examines and attempts to understand womanhood, relationships, and the abjection surrounding both. Deeply personal, her poems exude a careful intimacy. "Every observation is perverse," she writes, "So kiss me/ like you're eating/ soft serve/ from a cone." Despite her constant self-examination, Kahn's curiosity and doubts remain: "I have seen a million/ pictures of my face/ and still/ I have no idea." In this outward radiation one finds sensations of simultaneous self-disgust and self-fascination. "I make myself into a line," she exclaims, before finding "The horror of myself/ and the meanness of myself./ The black boxes of my body / floating just above the earth." This sense of disembodiment and self-removal permeates the collection: "I call out from the water perfectly/ oh hello glossolalia my God." Kahn's poems emulate both the microscope and telescope, looking at once inward and outward in succinctly speaking to and about womanhood. (Apr.)

 
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