Trembling Pillow Press

Tag Archive: Pop culture critiques


CUNTRY front cover

CUNTRY front cover

by Kristin Sanders

$16.00 | May 2017

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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.
–Rodrigo Toscano

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 SandersKristin 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.






Natural Subjects

Natural Subjectsby Divya Victor

$16.00 | November 2014

Also available on Amazon and SPD

Winner of the 2014 Bob Kaufman Book Prize
Selected by Anselm Berrigan

“May I see your passport, please?” What are you a citizen of? What subject to? Are you natural or naturalized? What have you sworn to and will you tell true? Divya Victor, true to form in wit and poetic acuteness, has made a book about nations, nationality, and their notions by showing documents, facts, fictional and real heroines, instructions for assembly, and lyric lists that makes readers acknowledge their own disassembly, distribution, and/ or dispersal in an on-going diaspora. This acute work by Victor teases civic ideologies in all their motley, pervasive constructions by writing from multiple subjectivities and engineering defiance, struggles with agency, language play, appropriated commentaries, and revelations of loss. A multi-faceted book of high interest.
Rachel Blau DuPlessis, author of Drafts

A mandala of homeland motifs and constellations that are numbered but not named bursts, at the start of Divya Victor’s strangely painful and real new book, to reveal: talons, attempts, a “pose.”  These initiating frames take us through a naturalization process – from the gathering of biometric data to the duplex-pomegranate-linoleum reverie of the pledge ceremony itself.   Questions of “exit” and “enunciation” accrue a “blunt hum” as the book progresses.  Lit from within by an “opal glass shade” or the “violent and excited” intake.  Yet never clarified.  Here, for example, is Dimple Kapadia, taking the stage like late onset “logopoeia.”  Are you a “great scholar”?  Are you a “lover”?  Did you make your home in the trampled lot behind the Edison IKEA?  Did you “maybe write things”? Victor has written a book that is both heart-breaking and a brilliant, effervescent and dark joke.
Bhanu Kapil, author of Schizophrene. 

Divya Victor’s Natural Subjects, a tough-minded, audaciously structured, & subtly open-ended poem, closes in on the naturalization process by locating the small but bureaucratically nebulous frame of the passport photo and opening up the multi-layered points of stress and dislocated violence that frame marks. But that only gets at a little bit of what Natural Subjects does. I register things like an offhand cubist tonality, a witty examination of scale, a spin of the frame to let character-versions of Eliza Doolittle, Hedda Gabbler, and fräulein Maria in, and the shaping of poetic material that comes from many sources without leaning on them. Nothing is telegraphed. The book keeps opening each time I pass through.
Anselm Berrigan, author of Notes from Irrelevance

About the Author

Diyva VictorDivya Victor is the author of Things To Do With Your Mouth(Les Figues, 2014), Natural Subjects (Trembling Pillow, 2014), and Unsub (Insert/Blanc, 2015). She is also author of the Partial series (Troll Thread), Punch (2011), Goodbye John! On John Baldessari (2012), and Swift Taxidermies (2014), all from Gauss PDF; and the chapbook Hellocasts by Charles Reznikoff by Divya Victor by Vanessa Place (2011). She divides her time between the United States and Singapore, where she is Assistant Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Nanyang Technological University.

Felix Bernstein reviews Divya Victor’s Natural Subjects at Jacket2.
BookThug selects Natural Subjects for its 2015 Summer Reading List.

Other Books by this Author:

Things to Do with Your Mouth, Les Figues Press, 2014
UNSUB, Insert Blanc Press, 2015

I Love This American Way of Life

I Love this American Way of Lifeby Brett Evans

$16.00 | April 2013

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With deliciously suggestive illustrations and daring pop-ups, pull-tabs and action mechanics, I Love This American Way of Life is guaranteed to rustle your bustle, pop your cork, and fog over your monocle.
— Joel Dailey

Brett Evans poems make me feel dirty/clean. He takes the entire subjective world that we want to un-see, opens a view to the squalor that we want to overlook, and re-upholsters it with gilded coats. I Love This American Way of Life is like shuffling a deck of cards and then pulling out the Ace over and over again. Each one a new lyric, an unapologetic delve into the psyche of our Americanness, our otherness, and full of fortune love. Evans brings the solution to light in each poem–a temporary in your face, that falls away into the crushing beauty of Americana.
— Mariana Ruiz

When he’s in a thrifty mood, Evans’ poems bob and weave like featherweight skeletons, dealing first round rabbit punch knockouts. When he stretches out a bit, the images roll at you in waves, and it’s as much fun leaning into them as Proactol letting them tumble you.
When you meet Brett, you think, “I’d like to read this guy’s poems.” When you read his poems, you think, “I’d like to meet this guy.”
— Lou Thevenot

Equal parts amusing and useless.
— Rob Cambre

About the Author

Brett EvansBrett Evans’ work has been featured in the anthologies The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry, Another South:Experimental Writing in the South, and Poets for Living Waters. It also appears in the biography Ernie K-Doe: the R & B Emperor of New Orleans. He is a regular contributor to One, Fell Swoop, Lungfull!, and unarmed magazines. Other books of the author include Slosh Models, Ready-to-Eat Individual(with Frank Sherlock), and After School Session, as well as the chapbooks Ways to Use Lanceand Pisa Can. He is a founding member of the carnival microkrewe ‘tit-Rəx, New Orleans’ only shoebox parade, for which his “schwa solution” extracted the krewe from legal wrangles with Rex, the king of carnival. He is also a member of the bands Skin Verb and Splinter Group. He lives on the lee of the Bayou St. John levee in New Orleans, LA.

Other Books by Brett Evans:
After School Session, Subpress, 2002
Ready-To- Eat Individual (with Frank Sherlock), Lavender Ink, 2008
T. Rex Parade (with Christopher Shipman) Lavender Ink, 2015  

Photo credit: Jonathan Traviesa