SONGS & BALLADS, available from SPD and also directly from Prelude Books
Ryoko Sekiguchi’s ADAGIO MA NON TROPPO (translated from the French), available from SPD and also directly from Les Figues Press
Frédéric Neyrat’s ATOPIAS: MANIFESTO FOR A RADICAL EXISTENTIALISM (translated from the French by Walt Hunter & Lindsay Turner), available from Fordham University Press, here
some words on SONGS & BALLADS:
Lindsay Turner’s ravishing Songs & Ballads takes account of colors, architectures, skies, and the many ways the world is speculatively used and re-used for short-term ends. When to refrain? Refrain now, hold back from harm now, hold on to the world now and now, these elegiac, mysteriously worldy poems sing.
—Catherine Wagner
The sunlight was prettier for its uneven distribution,” observes Lindsay Turner, alerting us to the collectivist imperative subtending perception itself. “Oh share it, share it.” Songs & Ballads re-imagines historical poetics—“what’s the ragged quatrain’s job?”—as a critique of our unsustainable political economies. Employing recursive forms from the Medieval ballad to Modernism’s differential repetitions, Turner’s contemporary stanzas in meditation remediate “a range of arrangements / demanding attention” for the continuous present. Whether it be “the pentagons of space in the chainlink” or “what the animals we saw never knew,” we find, in this work, a world on the verge: “all systems go and some places broken.”
—Srikanth Reddy
Witty, mordant, despairing, yet peculiarly refreshing poems: Lindsay Turner has done the thing few can do—she has made lyric critical; she makes thought sing. “Tuesday and I want an image/of the ecological condition/these raindrops just aren’t normal.” These are incantations of and against a seeping duress—with weird skies, ugly offices, bank holidays, ominous weather, bad feelings and wrong life. Her antennae quiver in this mood of disaster, as her poems become a “keeper of our collective distress.” Songs, ballads, ditties, fractured meditations: these poems offer a countermeasure, a countersong against the modern regime of blighting calculation. With their beguiling and wrong-footing music, these poems keep time and keep our time; they are insistent, seductive, surprising. The ocean, love, a day’s measure: are they “nothing to us”? Are we “good for nothing”? Keenly intelligent poems of dispossession and divestiture, they crack a smart whip in their ludic and paradoxically soulful deadpan. A spiky, neo-Brechtian spirit presides here as Turner puts sensuous form to work and play, her pulses a form of pierced, jagged beauty. “But who will hold and count these pieces?/What’s the ragged quatrain’s job?” “All systems go and what did you think was happening”: Turner holds this question, and the heart, open. Here is “a darker ethics,” and a darker compelling poetics.
—Maureen N. McLane