Articles - December 2018

Filter, impose, trespass (PoemTalk #131)

Rachel Zolf, 'Human Resources'

From left: Jeff T. Johnson, Whitney Trettien, Amy Paeth in the Wexler Studio of the Kelly Writers House.

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Jeff T. Johnson, Whitney Trettien, and Amy Paeth joined Al Filreis to discuss a passage (pp. 73–79) from Rachel Zolf’s Human Resources (Coach House, 2007). Human Resources offers a critique of corporate language as inimical to poetic language, yes — and yet Rachel Zolf strongly undoes any such easy distinction. The work insists on the reality of nonsubjective language, managing to coerce this aspect of meaning up to the writing surface so that we can no longer repress its inhumanity even as we inevitably find ourselves seeking the poetry in it.