Dimensions:8in x 5 x 0.22 in | 0 lb
Page Count:96 pages
Excitement Tax uses a series of tonally various prose sonnets to trace the deeply uneasy relationship of a grown-up person and his imaginary friend, Walter Weaselbird. The pair crash through thickets of erudition in search of candy. Often they find candy.
JOHN EMIL VINCENT is a Montreal-based poet, editor, and archivist. He's taught literature, queer theory, and poetry writing at Concordia and Queen's in Canada and at Wesleyan, Haverford, and University of Miami in the US. He and his partner, Luis Loya Garcia, emigrated to Montreal in 2010 to get married and escape anti-immigrant laws and sentiment in the US. Vincent earned his BA in Religion and Literary Studies (French) from Williams College where he worked with Louise Glück. We went on to earn an MFA from Warren Wilson College (in North Carolina) where he worked with Heather McHugh and Larry Levis among others. Toward the end of his MFA he started his PhD in English across the state at Duke University where he studied under Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Michael Moon. He was among the earliest cohort to graduate specializing in Queer Theory. While at Duke he published an essay on Swinburne and whipping in Eve's collection Novel Gazing and co-authored an article on Latinamericanism and My Own Private Idaho with Josè Estaban Muñoz. He recently earned his Masters Degree in Library Science (Archives) from Simmons College (in Boston). He has worked doing preservation work for John Ashbery in his home in Hudson, New York, and has worked helping organize James Tate's papers and books after his recent death. He served as Editor-at-Large for the Massachusetts Review, where he edited a double 'especially queer issue' packed with queer literary luminaries and a special issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UMass-Amherst Program for Poets and Writers. He's served as poetry editor for the now-defunct Swink magazine and issue editor for tinywords (a web-based haiku journal). He has published poems in jubilat, Denver Quarterly, BlazeVOX, Slope, Spork, failbetter, Drunkenboat, and many other journals. A number of his poems appeared in an anthology of new gay poets, entitled This New Breed, edited by Rudy Kikel (Windstorm Creative 2003). He recently published a chapbook Cheshirization-- containing 9 poems from 'Excitement Tax' with Factory Hollow Press.
In Excitement Tax, John Emil Vincent has written a collection of prose poems with complex skeletons, each phrase connected to its context. He manages tone shifts precisely. Poems follow through on such premises as inventing an instrument inspired by my daycare choir, that sort of presses, almost steps on, children, dialogue between Walter Wimple Weaselbird (one of the books characters) and Socrates, and a child who never wanted to rehear a single story. King Midass Idiot Brother takes King Midas out of his fairy tale and imagines him doing a kind of alt-comedy routine in which hed pose as the suicides of famous writers and the audience would guess how. But a familiar reality creeps in, the narrator notes that relevance is a bitch, and King Midas must do a bit about Carver instead of Chekhov. Even in such fantastic ideation, we can be dulled down, taxed. This poem ends with an invitation that carries throughout: Behold the life of the mind. Tess Liem, Montreal Review of Books, Spring 201
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