First Readings

First reading of Rae Armantrout's 'Spin' (2)

Katie Price

Katie Price’s short essay on Rae Armantrout’s “Spin” is the second of five first readings of that poem we will publish in this new series. Jennifer Ashton’s was the first. The series page can be found here. — Brian Reed, Craig Dworkin, and Al Filreis

First reading of Rae Armantrout's 'Spin' (1)

Jennifer Ashton

Jennifer Ashton, Rae Armantrout

We are pleased to publish the first of five first readings of Rae Armantrout’s poem “Spin,” collected in Money Shot (Wesleyan, 2011). The text of the poem appears below. It happens that Armantrout’s PennSound page includes a recording of her performing the poem: here is that recording. Jennifer Ashton teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of From Modernism to Postmodernism: American Poetry and Theory in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, 2005) and edited The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry since 1945 (Cambridge, 2013). Her most recent article, “Poetry and the Price of Milk,” on the politics of contemporary poetry, can be found on, where she is a founding member of the board. She is currently at work on a new book, “Labor and the Lyric.” — Brian Reed, Craig Dworkin, and Al Filreis

First reading of Sophia Le Fraga's 'W8ING 4' (5)

Emily Harnett

Emily Harnett (left) & Sophia Le Fraga

The main conceit of “W8ing 4” is that I, as a viewer, occupying the same perspective as Soph’s iPhone interlocutor, am forced to be uncool. I’m forced, in other words, into the subject position of an uncomfortable teen girl. This is not a stretch. I am no longer a teen, but I am still a girl, and young enough for coolness to be a quality of immediate concern.