OTHERWISE OCCUPIED, by Sally Ann Murray
In this serious, often playful, sometimes outrageous volume, Murray draws inspiration from contemporary women’s experimental poetics. The collection recognises female writers’ equivocal relation to forms of the linguistic avant-garde such as L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, and brings embodiment and affective voicing back into the provocative equation. Yet, this is not a simple return to lyric intimacy. Murray inflects poetry’s familiar inner speech with the sounds and shapes of found materials and engaging cultural noise. In Otherwise Occupied, the seamlessness of the beautiful, expressive poem becomes otherwise under the innovative necessity of the page as an open field of multiple (mis)takes and (mis)givings. Here, a poem is a space of enactment, a process of thinking-writing and performative exploration: idea ↔ body, lyric ↔ language, innovative necessity ↔ enduring convention. And in the end: there is no subject outside language.
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