By Lily Iona MacKenzie
($18.95, (7” X 10”) Paperback, 150 pages)
All This by Lily Iona Mackenzie is a wonderful book of poetry ranging from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the experimental.
Many poets have influenced me over the years, from William Carlos Williams’ attention to the line to Wallace Stevens’ lush language and imagination to Marianne Moore’s use of collage. Other poetry traditions have also crept into my work. My time in San Francisco State’s Creative Writing Program introduced me to poetry outside the mainstream, opening up another line of inquiry with the poem. Michael Palmer, Aaron Shurin, Leslie Scalapino, and many others, have been my teachers.
I’ve titled this collection All This because the poems range from the conventional lyric/narrative that captures an intense moment of emotion, an epiphany glimpsed briefly out of the corner of the eye, to the more experimental. Some of my poetry uses intertextuality, language from other works, to explore meaning, perception, and layers of experience. Other poems play with language, letting it lead into unexpected places, exploring new terrain.
In a few, placement on the page conveys the feel of musical notation and phrasing, the page a theatre where the interaction of language makes meaning rather than recreates a remembered event. At times, I treat words as paint and the sheet of paper as an expressionistic canvas. When writing, I try to surprise myself, letting go of my usual expectations for a poem and entering into—hopefully—new ways of perceiving and feeling.
I believe experimental and traditional poems are part of a continuum, and I want this collection to reflect my investigation of what is possible in poetry: All This