James Harms reviews 'New and Selected Poems' by Gig Ryan

New and Selected Poems

by Gig Ryan

Giramondo, $26.95 pb, 244 pp, 9781920882662

Gig Ryan is something of a postmodern classicist, deftly balancing John Ashbery’s slippery indeterminacy and Anne Carson’s lyric innovation. She is also a complete original. It is difficult to think of another poet who has more consistently and resolutely fashioned beauty from flat, broken English. Book after book, Ryan has given herself the demanding task of working without the net of conventional syntax and sentence structure while refusing to eschew meaning. In other words, she wants it both ways: the political resistance of denatured language and the stinging precision of socially engaged satire. How she manages to achieve both is the story of this book.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

James Harms

James Harms

James Harms is the author of eight books of poetry, including What to Borrow, What to Steal (2011), and Comet Scar (2012). He is a Professor of English at West Virginia University, where he was the founding director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.