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Poetry

A Window That Can Neither Open nor Close

Poems, Plots, Chance
Preorder now for August!

An intimate and kaleidoscopic entry in the Multiverse series that excavates survival, storytelling, and coming to terms with an unruly mind.
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An intimate and kaleidoscopic entry in the Multiverse series that excavates survival, storytelling, and coming to terms with an unruly mind.

In A Window That Can Neither Open nor Close, the stakes of writing are also the stakes of living. “Though I no longer wanted to die,” writes Lauren Russell, “our first years together were not easy … because I also did not want to live.” From this enigmatic in-between, Russell dives into multitudes: cats and questions; compulsion and devotion; narrative and diagnosis; language and loneliness; scrupulosity and stasis; suicidality and love.

Resisting the neurotypical expectation to choose any one answer arising from her explorations, she invites readers to engage: a pop quiz, a twelve-sided die, an abecedarian confession, a box of mirrors, several idiosyncratic diagnostic tools, and a suite of obsidian waiting rooms. Holding binaries in suspense, Russell seamlessly unfolds and enfolds the various operations of language, moving through forms with the restless brilliance of an architect turned ethicist turned collagist turned origamist. And everything, it seems, finds some way to turn back into poetry.

From psychological evaluation to clickbait, Russell transforms the world’s furious search for explanations into open inquiry. “How flat is the silence in your pocket?” she asks. “Is the inside of a wish an ossuary?” “Do questions stick you to the wall of sociability?” “Did I say I am making my own bestiary?” “What kind of cascade is this?” In a book dedicated to knowing, to not-knowing, and to its readers, Russell pulls back the curtain and invites us in.

Keywords
autism; diagnosis; obsessive compulsive disorder; Asperger’s; scrupulosity; neurodivergence; neurodiversity; love poetry; experimental poetry; interactive poetry; African-American poetry; cats; intimacy; quarantine; COVID-19; contamination; isolation
ISBN
9781571315670
Publish Date
Pages
96
Dimensions
8.5 × 5.5 × 0.25 in
Weight
7 oz
Author

Lauren Russell

Lauren Russell is the author of A Window That Can Neither Open nor Close; Descent, winner of the Poetry Society of America’s 2021 Anna Rabinowitz Award; and What’s Hanging on the Hush.