By Rachel Zucker
Publication month: February 2023
ISBN# 9781950268702 (6x8.25, 256pp, paperback)
In her first book of critical non-fiction, The Poetics of Wrongness, poet Rachel Zucker explores wrongness as a foundational orientation of opposition and provocation. Devastating in their revelations, yet hopeful in their commitment to perseverance, these lecture-essays of protest and reckoning resist the notion of being wrong as a stopping point on the road to being right, and insist on wrongness as an analytical lens and way of reading, writing, and living that might create openness, connection, humility, and engagement. Expanded from lectures presented for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series in 2016, Zucker’s deft dismantling of outdated paradigms of motherhood, aesthetics, feminism, poetics, and politics feel prescient in their urgent destabilization of post-war thinking. In her four essay-lectures (and an appendix of selected, earlier prose), Zucker calls Sharon Olds, Bernadette Mayer, Emily Dickinson, Adrienne Rich, Alice Notley, Natalie Diaz, Allen Ginsberg, Marina Abramović, and Audre Lorde—among others—into the conversation. This book marks a turning point in Zucker’s significant body of work, documenting her embrace of the multivocality of interview in her podcasting, and resisting the univocality of the lecture as a form of wrongness in and of itself.
Rachel Zucker is the author of The Poetics of Wrongness (Wave Books, forthcoming 2023), Soundmachine (Wave Books, 2019), The Pedestrians (Wave Books, 2014), and Museum of Accidents (Wave Books, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Zucker is an adjunct professor at NYU and other places. In 2016 she was a Bagley Wright Lecturer and wrote and delivered a series of talks on poetry, photography, confessionalism, motherhood, and the ethics of representing real people in art. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship in 2012, a Sustainable Arts Fellowship in 2016, and residencies from The MacDowell Colony and the Vermont Studio Center in 2018. Zucker is mother to three sons and lives in Washington Heights, NY and Scarborough, ME.
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