Buy This Book

Poetry, visual art and scholarly anthology co-edited with Lara Glenum

Saturnalia, 2010
$20.00, 978-0-9818591-4-9
300 pp. 16 color illus. 6 x 8″

Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, burlesque poetics brings together eighteen poets of wide-ranging backgrounds, united in their ability to push the aesthetic envelope through radical, femme, Third Wave strategies, and pairs them with visual artists who do the same. At the turn of the millennium, we are witnessing the emergence of a vital—perhaps viral—new strain of female poetics: the “Gurlesque,” a term that describes writers who perform femininity in their poems in a campy or overtly mocking manner, risking the grotesque to shake the foundations of acceptable female behavior and language. Built from the bric-a-brac of girl culture, these works charm and repel: this work is fun, subversive, and important. Poets include Brenda Coultas, Brenda Shaughnessy, Cathy Park Hong, Matthea Harvey, and Sarah Vap.

“Here comes a juicy volley of some of the most obstreperous, ill-behaved, ill-advised, detrimental, dismantling, dismaying poems out there – and I do mean ‘out there.’ The double introduction signals right away that the Gurlesque is nothing as centralized or self-confirming as a ‘movement,’ but Glenum and Greenberg make a potent case for the persistence of resistance in all its distributed, multitudinous, mutant and deviating femme and/or female forms.” —Joyelle McSweeeney

“‘It is not a movement, or a camp or a clique.’ So writes Arielle Greenberg in her introduction to the phenomenon now to be known as ‘the Gurlesque.’ So what is it? Think theory in fishnets, think beyond camp, think cute with claws, Plath with humor, passivity without pathos, think pink with a gun. Gurlesque is a sensibility and a style, a walking panic attack, a threat and a promise. Don’t just read this book, ingest it, become it, perform it!” –Judith Jack Halberstam