This second collection by Wendy Xu develops her lyricism--a seraphic, extractive poetics--in the serenely personalized landscape of Brooklyn.
Wendy Xu articulates the whole world by freezing it all at once, looking closely at its parts, and zeroing in on the one image or phrase or feeling that makes the day seem possibly beautiful under all the scaffolding, sirens, and other natural (analog and online) interruptions that make up daily living. About her work, the poet James Tate wrote, "Wendy Xu breaks all the old rules that have never done us any favors anyway." Phrasis was selected by Hoa Nguyen for The Ottoline Prize. Previous winners include Harmony Holiday, Chelsey Minnis, and Ariana Reines.
From "Some People"
I had a theory, it flung its scent over
every shadow surface. One human apartment, one
comes to a loud boil in the morning. If they found
me oblique then I am doing this for my bluer
augmented self now. Fear of the unannounced
colloquial war, or, I liked it when the sullen man said
just leave your name. The restaurant
was crowded. The news was death watches
were available, I felt devoted to my new angel
of losing time. ...
Wendy Xu is author of the full-length collection You Are Not Dead, and several chapbooks, including Naturalism. Xu is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation as well as the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry (selected by D.A. Powell). She lives in New York City, teaches writing at CUNY, and serves as Poetry Editor for Hyperallergic.