what's a book?

This email is about my first book, G. I’m writing it because the publisher, Futurepoem, has generously offered a discount to subscribers of this newsletter. So, you can go here and enter the code EMMALEA at checkout to get 20% off. I also recommend browsing their whole site because their books are wonderful.

All through my twenties, I worked on the book that became G and much of the time, I didn’t know I was writing it. Then I did know I was writing it. I wrote it mostly in Pennsylvania and then in Brooklyn, oftentimes at one particular coffee shop in Bed-Stuy. I was lucky to have a conversation with the brilliant Ariel Yelen in BOMB Magazine when it first came out, and she describes it better than I can. It’s also kind of a funny convo. There is also this brilliant review from Katherine Coldiron and this from the amazing Lyric Hunter.

Spinoza famously said that we don’t yet know what a body can do. I think the same is true for a book. One of the best things it can do is bring people together in conversation, new ideas taking flight from certain pages. In G, I tried to test what language as material can do. A major theme of G is enlivened matter, ways of considering our environments differently: how we exchange information in/with them, how we mind the ground and how the ground minds us.

The ground and figure are ever-reversing in G, where the enviro-enchanment changes/charges the wor(l)d. It also tracks a relationship and how a relationship is more and less than the two subjects involved. The relationship is also what’s between them, what holds them and how. This type of relationship doesn’t just exist between people. I think it exists between us and our books, as well. It reminds me of what Mary Reufle once wrote, that someone reading a book is “a sign of order in the world.”

Thank you for reading. The code EMMALEA will be good through July 1st.