by Kristin Sanders
$16.00 | May 2017
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A CUNTRY girl chases her American dream the wrong direction, from California to Tennessee, and reveals how she is simultaneously made, turned on and damaged by the heteronormative wreckage on display in country music lyrics and porn. In these wall-to-wall poems about voyeurism, sexuality and consent in the Internet age, Kristin Sanders “look[s] back at a man / looking back at the woman” and also back, directly, into the gaze of the gaping reader, putting on display for us the conundrums and complexities around how the feminine self “learn[s] young how to man the automatic grief machine.” CUNTRY is a burning ring of fire. Fall into it.
–Arielle Greenberg, Locally Made Panties and Slice
Sanders writes pornographic poetry with a twang. Like the best genitals, it drawls, drools, hollers, and hides. If Anne Carson’s cunt sang, it would weep duets at the moon with this book.
–Myriam Gurba, Dahlia Season and Painting Their Portraits in Winter
In Cuntry, Sanders exfoliates the porn moments of her life through critical (yet unsolved) reflections of her collision (and collusion) with porn culture. From an initial bedazzlement to a steady deflation of it, Sanders has found a clear bandwidth with which to have a telling of it, all the while scrupulously avoiding the pitfalls of overt titillation, or worse, a studied coyness. These deft meditations are amplified by splicing in dozens of ingeniously ludic, détourned country song lyrics that re-scramble the increasingly fixed coordinates of Porn’s Progress. The result is a brave, risky project that will embolden many of the less brave among us who’ve buckled at such open public testimony. We can, I’m sure, be a bunch more Cuntry now.
CUNTRY is an elegant excavation of Sanders’s twinned obsession with pornography and country music. Effortlessly slipping between poetry, memoir, and music criticism, Sanders disrobes the country song of the 90’s and uses it as a lens to expose our culture’s sanitized images of femininity. CUNTRY not only skewers the objectifying nature of pop culture but also explores the pleasures of objectification, of “lingering in the gaze.” It is a story about how the very desires that make us also undo us. Which is to say, it is a story about failure. Also: singing. The necessity of talking back to the song, the book, or the film because, as Sanders reminds us, “the desire of the cunt is always left out except where I write it in.”
–Elizabeth Hall, I Have Devoted My Life To The Clitoris
About the Author
Kristin Sanders is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Orthorexia (Dancing Girl Press 2011), and This is a map of their watching me, a finalist in the 2015 BOAAT Chapbook Competition. She has taught at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; Loyola University, New Orleans; Belmont University; and Louisiana State University. She is currently a poetry editor for the New Orleans Review and a contributing writer at Weird Sister. CUNTRY was a finalist for the 2015 National Poetry Series.