Ugly Duckling Presse


Christine Herzer

Spring 2018
Forthcoming"I always feel more respectful of the world when I’ve been reading this poet."
Orange is concerned with space-making. Orange contains declarations (“Poets are containers. Containers deserve respect”) and language-situations, including the hire of a professional lover to address money issues. Reading Orange might impact the way you experience words such as ‘fridge’, ‘fear‘, ‘toast’, and ‘handwash’. If Orange had a texture it would be soft. If you believe that feelings smell, Orange might be for you. Sometimes a color can hold a space that is otherwise shadowed/obscured/unknowable.Excerpt ˇ


There was still space inside the fridge. I don’t think my fears would have minded having company, but I couldn’t be sure. I didn’t want to risk contaminating my fears with a new fear. I wasn’t sure who the new fear belonged to, if it belonged to me, if the new fear qualified as fear. Does shame qualify as fear?  In my opinion, a fridge’s interior light, the combination of glass and plastic is too elegant a space to have to contain shame and other food items. With the exception of Nutella. Nutella emits light. Nutella is wasted inside a fridge.Close ˆ

About the Author

Christine Herzer
Christine Herzer is an artist, poet and teacher. Working across mediums (drawing, text, language-objects, installation, video, workshop), her practice employs accumulation and gestures of 'over-layering', 'covering up', 'erasing', 'interrupting/disrupting' and 'complicating', in order to address and process questions of invisibility + meaning (= love). Her writing has appeared in numerous literary journals and online publications, including Fence, The Offending Adam, The Volta, Blackbox Manifold, RealPoetik, Seymour Magazine, and 3:AM Magazine. She has taught Creative Writing in India at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune, and The National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, and has held a residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.

Advance Praise

Inviting us to live, in Orange, in the “crisis of desire,” where our actions and feelings startle us, where words cross boundaries to become our own while remaining strange, Christine Herzer suggests the possibility of showing compassion to fear, facing shame, and considering the costs of being perceived as deserving, for instance. What is the price of being provided for? What does a particular color mean? What do you remember? The encounter with Herzer’s willingness to upend the usual social sexual arrangements in favor of large, lyric and gorgeously posed questions gives experience a new intensity and depth: I always feel more respectful of the world when I’ve been reading this poet—I take less for granted, I realize (again) I am (only) a guest here. “Belonging is a matter of light,” writes Herzer—what I love about this work is the fierce, open and constantly reaffirmed willingness to go on in the dark, solitary, true to the interest in and difficulties of “space-making,” at once wildly imaginative and bravely honest.—Laura Mullen