DISCOUNT on all PREPUB ORDERS for July Westhale’s deliciously subversive Via Negativa now through end of April
Pub date: June 15, 2020
July Westhale is a shapeshifting poet of desire and violence, grief and forgiveness, trauma and loss transformed by resilience. After her gorgeous debut Trailer Trash explored the intricacies of class and gender, Via Negativa deftly weaves the sensual with the spiritual, reckoning with a religious inheritance and a powerful faith in pleasure, engaging in bold lyric conversation with the divine. These deliciously subversive poems range from California fires to church pews with equal parts grace and swagger, always charged with eroticism, rooted in the body, showing us again and again “the wildness of ourselves.” Via Negativa left me breathless.
D I A N A W H I T N EY
Here are July Westhale’s new poems: where death smells like “waterlogged Pall Malls”; where a “freshly laundered” pickup truck idles outside the window; where a ravished young woman tramps to the kitchen in her “birthday body,” opens “the vault of the refrigerator” and rests her head on “the cool rationale of a cantaloupe.” These poems are dizzying, erotic, fiercely intelligent, and, in the best ways, many-minded. Via Negativa is a book by one of our finest young poets, fully present in the world, attuned to the dark mysteries of language and insight. K E V I N P R U F E R
July Westhale is the real deal. I can feel her alive inside the poems, there is an experience wielded that I thoroughly trust. And the poems are so fresh and exciting that one leads to the next! I’m a FAN! C A C O N R A D
I love the surprise of these meditations on creation – how joy rises up inside “flesh-failings;” how desire continually creates a “a vow of silence but a throat of song.” This is the deity I’ve wanted to know: one of “plural-silence.” And how thankful I am to have found July Westhale’s Via Negativa, a fellow seeker, in language I love: “all/engorged, all surrendering.” I am ever grateful to her for creating the queer-poem-church we’ve needed inside a “sentence small, eternal, hushed.” T C T O L B E R T
July Westhale remains a poet of the highest order, and Via Negativa is an exquisite, spellbinding achievement.
D I R I Y E O S M A N
Download the press release.