definitions uprising

by melissa christine goodrum

96 Pages, 7 x 10

Library of Congress Control Number:  2013952378

ISBN:  978-1-935520-78-8

Publication Date:  11/01/2013

Press Release


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For melissa christine goodrum, definitions are acts of subversive re-definings and un-definings, in lines which forcibly penetrate surfaces, sing and swiftly cross multiple layers of text/geography through a turbulent and politically aware dialogue. Her composition coils around spaces between language and thought, word and page, ink and print in spatial movements of three. The final ascension lifts the reader to an innovative/jazz-like understanding and invites alternating systems of seeing—multiple sensory actions of rising—uprising—"from death" or "from bed" or "from sitting" or "of a woman after confinement"—"against authority or for [a] common purpose"(OED uprising defs. 1, 2a, b, c & 7).


definitions uprising, by melissa christine goodrum, is a rebellion, not against meaning, but rather for multiple meanings and singings of the embodied word. These singular poems of astonishing range, create a palpable energy on the page. They are by turns mythic and shocking.

—Brenda Coultas

Who or what is Warm lichen? I know she's not in the kitchen, where the kitchen is the nape of your neck. I know that somehow and sometimes the poet goodrum addresses this being, and I find myself drawn into conversation. That's how it goes, racing cross the desert on a pinto, view ever-changing at a gallop. It's not a thirst—it's a national plague. The Poem breaks up, refashions itself, slings itself over the landscape. melissa goodrum, she is everywhere, inviting you to keep up, make tracks, get right with history. Joyce and John and Jimmy and the lion. And of course Alice. They are all here, and now you can add your name to the list—this Poem (gosh, is this book a single poem after all?) reaches out, encloses you, embraces you. A confident, smashing debut.

—Bob Holman

definitions uprising is the "eye-siren" synesthesia of dream as language, the body as words flickering along interstices of sight rhymes and "bonked unrealities," images repetitively askew and unsettled, not only "noun-sense" or "impersonal construction" but the fully sensual lyric reverie (or as often nightmare) of an "eye-Syren" who, thankfully, "[hasn't] learned/ there/ is no dictionary" of the unconscious, and so draws us into her imagination of one.

—Michael Whalen