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Lynn Xu

And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight

And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight

  • Part protest against reality, part metaphysical reckoning, part internationale for the world-historical surrealist insurgency, and part arte povera for the wretched of the earth, Lynn Xu’s book-length poem, And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight, holds fast to our fragile utopias. Under the auspice of birth and the contingency of this beginning, time opens: Ecstatic, melancholy, and defiant, the voices of the poem flicker between life and death, gorgeous and gruesome, visionary and intimate.

  • In And Those Ashen Heaps, Xu’s second collection, time is the stage on which the drama of coming-into-life occurs. The book begins at ‘a windbreak of gum trees / et cetera / the edge of time / et cetera’ in which the hour itself is redacted: ‘at ***** in the afternoon’. This nameless, numberless hour precedes a structured and embodied experience of time comprised of black-printed pages in short phrases of one to six English words, subtitled in Chinese. So strict a sequence slows the reader’s eye, making the book a landscape across which language moves as deliberately as the hands of a clock.
    Sylee Gore,The Oxford Review of Books

    Lynn Xu’s second book of poetry, And Those Ashen Heaps That Cantilevered Vase of Moonlight, reads like the Book of Revelation. The first word of that text is apokalypsis, meaning “unveiling” or “revelation,” and Xu’s poetry feels like a report from the end of time...
    Angelo Mao,The Adroit Journal

    It’s beautiful, and there’s something in the tension between the ash and the light that sticks out, but it refuses any immediately comprehensible, narrative, aspect. This quality is underscored by the black-and-white images which punctuate the book. They are indeterminate, perhaps of an eye or a person laying down; they are like a still from a Warhol film, only pixelated, as if the still were captured from a zoomed-in internet source. But it is not a still, whether from the internet or otherwise; it is not a static installation. Instead, the book is that strangest of all contemporary poetic endeavors, the opposite of the dominant, distilled lyric moment: a progression. A journey.
    S. Brook Corfman, The Rumpus

  • Born in Shanghai, China, Lynn Xu is the author of the full-length collection Debts & Lessons (Omnidawn, 2013) and the chapbooks June (Corollary Press, 2006) and Tournesol (Compline, 2021). She has performed cross-disciplinary works at the Guggenheim Museum, The Renaissance Society, Rising Tide Projects, and 300 S. Kelly Street. She teaches at Columbia University, coedits Canarium Books, and lives with her family in New York City and Marfa, Texas.

Softcover publication Date: April 5, 2022
Hardcover publication month: July, 2022

ISBN# 9781950268542 (6.5x9, 200pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781950268559 (6.5x9, 200pp, limited edition hardcover)

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