~Poetry~ | $17 ($15 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 136 pp
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
Read Press Release (PDF)
An experiential investigation of how we move through cultural landmarks and institutions, SLOT presents a lyrical and thinking response to official, landscaped memory. In the book, a person slips in and out of highly designed museums and memorials, looks for a mentor who is more than a tour guide, rebels during the official tour, and occasionally finds the lament she is looking for: in comparisons across history, in ambiguous photo sequences, and in poetry. The resulting text stages a quiet argument between the persistent urge to “slot” things—into narratives, frames, archives—and a clear view of what, by resisting, remains.
“A meditation on sites of public memory, Jill Magi’s SLOT powerfully critiques the commercialization of such sites. Must our grief be turned into manipulated spectacle? This long poem pushes against the grain and suggests alternative routes. Never didactic, it balances the desire for collective mourning with the need for private ruminations. Partial lyric views interweave with the writings of others, present only as citations in a rigorous and wide-ranging bibliography. SLOT is ‘an invitation to study.’ Take it up; it is work worth doing.” —Jena Osman
“SLOT pulls us through a beautiful yet harrowing poetic journey through the sediment of memory that has come to be called 9/11. By confronting the shock and desperation of violence on that achingly gorgeous autumn day, Jill Magi finds the words and images to allow us to re-member fragments of emotion and national identity that the act of memorializing has made us forget.” —Robin Kelley
“In SLOT, Jill Magi’s committed mis-hearing opens a place in personal language and public feeling for a necessarily secular memory. Why? The state naturalizes its myths and subjugations by suturing memory to identity; the result is the governable subject. Against all such planned diminishments, SLOT attends the immaterial voice as it emerges from bodies, buildings, documents, and other things that leak. This deeply historical writing erodes sutures and aggressions to compose a ‘street level belief’ that’s supple, pulsing, pitched for the complex present.” —Lisa Robertson
“Despite the wide-ranging thoughtful investigation of this collection, it is hard to ignore the bit of irony that exists in the fact that Magi’s desire to refuse ‘slotting’ events and grief results in a perfect-bound book, a container of these thoughts and questions that can easily be closed and put away in an open slot on a bookcase. Nonetheless, this is an important collection that is wise in its inquiry and wise in its refusal to reach resolution.”–Gina Myers, Coldfront
“…what a complex achievement: the feeling of the individual as she encounters public versions of history, the continual moments in which private memory encounters public memory—encounters and resists, questions, is subject to, is only one self in the face of larger (even grand, or grandiose) historical narratives and the real loss of the past.”–Hilary Plum, The Kenyon Review Blog
“Her fourth full collection, Slot addresses “landscaped memory” through Magi’s characteristic hybrid of image, poetry, and samplings of texts from a broad bibliography. Based in research of museum design, and memorialization, Slot’s narrator moves inside public landmarks dedicated to various disasters—9/11, slavery, Hiroshima, the Holocaust— and explores ways memorialization acts on conscience and memory, interrogating the urge to abstract, label, and catalogue suffering.”–Lisa Wells, the Rumpus
“Accompanied by photographs and prefatory, italicized poems in couplets, Magi’s prose units can feel like captions for as-yet-nonexistent installations, or like prompts to see history with new eyes. She does not set out to describe what she sees, but to react, in the condensed, suggestive language of poems”–Publishers Weekly
“In an age when anniversaries of horror pile atop commemorations of trauma, SLOT deftly re-shuffles the files in the industry of remembrance. Equal part research and field guide, this is also a wordsmith’s journey through the languages that turn experience into categories of shared sincerities. You couldn’t ask for better voice in your ear as you step between ghosts and skeletons.” —Radhika Subramaniam
For a limited edition, signed and numbered broadside by Jill Magi (15×11 inches, printed in an edition of 25) click here.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Jill Magi is the author of Cadastral Map (forthcoming, Shearsman), Torchwood (Shearsman), Threads (Futurepoem), as well as the chapbooks Die for love, furlough (In Edit Mode Press), Confidence and Autonomy (Ink Press), Poetry Barn Barn! (2nd Avenue), Cadastral Map (Portable Press), and numerous small, handmade books. Her essays have been anthologized in The Eco-Language Reader (Portable Press/Nightboat Books) and Letters to Poets (Saturnalia Books), and visual works have been exhibited at the Textile Arts Center, the Brooklyn Arts Council, apexart, and Pace University. In 2011, she was an artist-in-residence at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, and she was a writer-in-residence with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in 2006-07. Jill runs Sona Books, a chapbook press, and for her small press work she was recognized by Poets & Writers magazine as among the 50 most inspiring authors in 2010.