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MASQUE by Syd Zolf

MASQUE by Syd Zolf

Publication Date: 2004
85 pages
8 x 10 inches
Trade paperback
ISBN 9781551281032

Trade Paperback
(In stock)
SKU: N/A Categories: , ,

A polyphonic assemblage of fragments, MASQUE engages media constructs and the flesh in methodically built layers painstakingly stripped away. A cast of characters interrogates Author, Performer and Audience—public and private personae revealing traces of veiled knowledge. The narrative lines coil inward: tautening. Just when it seems too much, the traces perform a type of reparation: held cumulatively, then released, again and again.

Praise for Masque:

“Rachel Zolf’s MASQUE is a fabulous antidote to the high moralism of the tediously common family-implosion narrative. I’d call this gem-like layered book space poetry, where text shatters the page and the speaking subject, the bits of received family wisdom—and wisdom’s progenitors—exploding in black and grey like the Tower in the Tarot deck. MASQUE hides a greater promise of love and communication than any teleological narrative long poem. Original, intelligent, and courageous.” —Gail Scott

“MASQUE is an unnerving text, part polemic, part cri de coeur: the scattered lines, the violently interrupted voices, whispering, shouting, jostling one another, the traumatic past and reflective present painfully and inextricably bound together, add up to a charged battle for new relational and iterative ground. Here is where a formidable history of trauma gets turned around, in a woman’s fierce, playful standoff with it, transformed by her rage and love.” —Di Brandt

“Calling MASQUE a straightforward bildungsroman would be like calling Nicole Brossard’s Mauve Desert a travel book. MASQUE is a rich and layered confection as informed by linguistic playfulness as it is by the confessional. Zolf proves that there are ways to write about the familiar and the familial that handily defeat both terms.” —R.M. Vaughan

About the Author

Syd (formerly Rachel) Zolf has published six books of poetry, including three with Coach House Books: Janey’s Arcadia (2014), Neighbour Procedure (2010), and Human Resources (2007); and a selected poetry, Social Poesis, with Wilfrid Laurier University Press (2019). Their theoretical text, No One’s Witness: A Monstrous Poetics (Duke UP, 2021) was a finalist for the 2022 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism, presented by the Poetry Foundation. Honors also include a 2018 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and finalist for several other prizes, including two Lambda Literary Awards. Zolf’s poetry and essays have been widely published in journals and anthologies worldwide and translated into French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Art films Zolf has written and/or directed have screened at venues such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam and White Cube Bermondsey. They have received over thirty poetry, video, creative nonfiction, and academic research grants and fellowships from institutions including the Leeway Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Zolf holds an MFA in poetry and a PhD in philosophy and is an Artist in Residence at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania. Their literary papers are housed at York University Archives and Simon Fraser University Special Collections.