How Like Foreign Objects

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Alexis Orgera’s poems perpetually, vitally involve the reconceiving and reenacting of the means of intimacy even as they say again and again, I can no longer be myself.  These are love poems between strangers who may for a moment celebrate and endure recognition; their voice is arch, angelic and at odds with itself, mercurial in its metaphoric riches, captivating in improvisational zeal, beautiful, and impossible not to love. —Dean Young

“Like foreign objects, Orgera’s poems cannot be easily pinned down: they retort, morph, disarm and shimmy, arcing through us like searchlights, as they illumine both fissures in language and in bodies. From doppelgangers to occult investigators, animalia to marginalia, telegrams to psychic readings, her poems pulse with displacement and transfigurement. Focal points are the “Illuminator” and “Dress” series as these accentuate the book’s lightning storm quality, a disquieting dazzle. Although Orgera writes, “He buried his head between her legs/to make her sing. But there was no song/in her,” she leaves this reader flared with longing and music. —Simone Muench

How Like Foreign Objects is an impressive first book by a promising poet. One hopes that it is only the beginning of a rich and prolific career. Orgera fearlessly heeds Ezra Pound’s call to “make it new.” As some, including Dana Levin, have pointed out, Pound’s imperative has led too many young poets to embrace a façade of originality while failing to generate anything of substance. Orgera’s willingness to pursue the new, however, has enabled her to generate poetry that is profound, engaging, and sincere.  —Ploughshares[read full review here]

In Alexis Orgera’s stunning debut collection, the most commonplace items—such as ‘pint-sized titanics,’ ‘plastic jewelry,’ and ‘bowls of steamy chowder’—become a point of entry to compelling philosophical questions: How do we derive meaning from experience?  Why do we construct elaborate narratives in order to make sense of the chaos that surrounds us?  Is there beauty to be found in disorder, pandemonium?  As Orgera poses possible answers to these questions, her collection offers readers a graceful synthesis of style and content, in which formal decisions illuminate and complicate the text itself. —Drunken Boat[read full review here]

This is how we fall in love, Orgera and her reader, the crafting of her language putting notes in our hair, making noise beautiful, pairing us with her as she pairs everyday objects with unexpected movement. The foreign object is both our reading and her language, each a new substance in a complex game. —Pank Magazine

I lunge for these poems as they scuttle past, oh the beauty in movement, here then there, then zoom down the hill like a wicked cyclist, because whether I dig each poem or not, these poems are happening, something is changing, someone is loving, hurting, shuffling and this book reminds me: WE JUST NEED TO TRY. —Vouched Books

Dust Jacket

Winner of the 2013 Elizabeth P. Braddock Prize for Poetry

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"Dust Jacket's prose poems, if that is what they are!, are zany, frightening, exhilarating, brilliant. They operate in a landscape where a little girl is 'the secret cousin of lava fields,' in a journey where the 'drive itself creates the most beautiful syntax, the sunset – amber – is a reflection of the sentences you speak on your way down.' Misadventures and the wildly discomfiting desires we suffer and live by inform every electrifying page. Alexis Orgera is an original, one of our most exciting new poets."—Gail Mazur

"In Dust Jacket, Alexis Orgera sits down in the middle of the earth, and watches it revolve around her and all of us—any way the wind blows, sunny Alexis! Then she writes some sentences, and the world becomes a series of lush and fitful paragraphs ascending the ragged mountains, receding into the distance, peeling back the surfaces and skins of consciousness, and going deep into the hum of our uncommonest human fire. These prose poems almost burn themselves up as you read them, lighting your way through the dust-covered darkness."—Matt Hart