Art of Perpetuation

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Art of Perpetuation
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Vivid explorations of cryogenics, lion baiting, iDollators, dodo birds, SpaceX, and more populate The Art of Perpetuation, a poignant new collection of lyric essays from Alison Powell that troubles the boundaries between human and animal, living and dead, man and woman, adult and child. These nine whip-smart essays juxtapose personal narrative-memories of the author's childhood growing up in southern Indiana and experiences as a mother of two-with scientific, historical, and cultural narrative. Throughout the collection, Powell seeks to unearth, to peel back, to lay bare: "To pry something out of someone, the meat of a walnut from its enamel-like shell, is an excavation-to uncover a lie, an infidelity." Dizzying, fragmentary, and provocative, Powell's lyrical investigations dig in deep, coming up for air only to expose the meaningless of naming in a world obsessed with self-perpetuation. "To say a poem is like a body is to say one's self is a machine. To say a body is erasable is to say extinction is a temperate clicking.... And like that, with one hand on the glass and one gloved hand inside the mouth of the woolly rhino, you have done it."

Publication Date: 
October 1, 2020