The Poetry Project Newsletter previews Neighbour Procedure

The Poetry Project Newsletter ran an advance review of Rachel Zolf's highly anticipated new collection, Neighbour Procedure, in their February/March 2010 issue.

Below is an excerpt from the review by Thom Donovan:

'Rachel Zolf's second full-length book*, Neighbour Procedure, unsentimentally reconnoiters in perhaps the most loaded socio-political conflict of our time: that of Israelis and Palestinians. By doing so, Zolf advances a poetics that reaches deep into a radical Jewish tradition of exploring ethics and politics in tandem, and that seeks to deepen a readership's senses of responsibility in relation to the conflict ...

'... Using source texts as raw material, Zolf chips away at language, articulating ideas and "mad affects" inchoate within her materials. Zolf is overwhelmingly successful in this mode, whereof she remains remarkably faithful to her affective content – an achievement appropriative poetries too often fall short on ...

'... In her notes to Neighbour Procedure, Zolf calls her experience of writing the book "the progress of [her] unknowing". By foregrounding her own epistemological non-mastery – unknowing – Zolf calls upon her reader to also attend to the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and correlate them with other genealogies of force of which everyone is culpable and complicit. Such a recognition is hard won through a dynamic assemblage of lyrical, documentary, and appropriative poetic forms and techniques. Zolf's Neighbour Procedure is a bold challenge both to those who would claim poetry cannot be socially or politically invaluable and to a world that by and large does not believe responsibility can be taken for civil rights beyond national borders.'

*Neighbour Procedure is actually Zolf's fourth full-length book.

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