Double Agent by Michelle Chan Brown


149 in stock


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Winner of the 2011 First Book Award for Poetry,
selected by Bhanu Kapil

Double Agent reveals the author’s pet obsession: the comforts and dangers of community. While the poems rove across a range of territories—embassies, subdivisions, cottages, islands, compounds real and imagined—what emerges is a concern with borders, how they materialize in the personal and the political as well as their relationship to physical and psychological security. A secondary question is how the poetic self can move, sometimes queasily, sometimes bombastically, always uncertainly, through them.


6 x 9,” 80 pgs, perfect bound


Price: $14

Artifacts, an animal presence, and 1970s dance fashion combine in this beautiful and strange book, towards a narrative of girlhood set in a briny suburb. (“The sea colonized us.”) Thus, in these poems, everything is wet. Everything is both detritus and lucid foam. The body: “a girlish shard.” In this vivid, near-submerged or dream-like world, I paid particular attention to the  ways in which containment and incompetence were worked out by the writer, both as values and behaviors. These poems fell into my eyes. Chan Brown sets a strict boundary–“Don’t wait”–only to assess its transgression: “Come quickly.” Go. Come back. Stay. Double Agent is a flip-book of the very best kind. Bhanu Kapil

Click here to read an Interview by Lisa Levine.

Michelle Chan Brown

Michelle Chan Brown was born in London and grew up all over Eastern Europe. Her wrok has appeared or is forthcoming inWitness, Syamore Review, The Missouri Review, Tampa Review,Gertrude, The Concher, textsound, and others. She has a chapbook, The Clever Decoys, from LATR Editions. She earned her BA and MFA at the University of Michigan and lives in Washington, DC. She is…

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