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Read Juliana Spahr's introduction to Slowlier.

ISBN: 9780648511670

Ella O'Keefe

Held under an incorrect adverb, the slowness of this book is expressed as intransigent buffering and refusal of optimisation. A syrupy coherence runs through these poems; passing thoughts and bits of language stick to their surfaces. The book is shaped by a stubborn commitment to inclusive imprecision which seeks companionship with error and with the grit and offcuts we collect in the course of living.

Objects of the industrial world are beheld in their strangeness and excess. An awareness of the hands, machines and historic forces that produce our material realities directs these poems, along with the attempt to understand that objects arrive with afterlives and consequences.

Archive-shuffling was a useful model for writing, one that was connected to a desire to amplify minor histories and attend to the technologies of connection that wire, thread and beam us into the present. Voices drop out, a phrase is misremembered, the test pattern is the viewing event. If there’s static on the line it’s a happy bit of chance, an instructive interruption.

A go-slow is a pointed withdrawal of effort, as well as a chance to cultivate pleasure in slackness. Does a state of continued slowness become atrophy? Perhaps this explains the instances of breakage and depletion. The poems in Slowlier are propelled by the oscillation between an acquiescence which can only wryly index decline, and the desire to use the poem to scaffold and energise activities that kick against the logic of inevitability.

–Ella O'Keefe