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Book Title

Feeling as a Foreign Language

The Good Strangeness of Poetry
Author 1
Alice Fulton
In Feeling as a Foreign Language, award-winning poet and critic Alice Fulton considers poetry's uncanny ability to access and recreate emotions so wayward they go unnamed. How does poetry create feeling? What are fractal poetics?

In a series of provocative, beautifully written essays concerning "the good strangeness of poetry," Fulton contemplates the intricacies of a rare genetic syndrome, the aesthetics of complexity theory, and the need for "cultural incorrectness." She also meditates on electronic, biological, and linguistic screens; falls in love with an outrageous 17th-century poet; argues for a Dickinsonian tradition in American letters; and calls for a courageous poetics of "inconvenient knowledge."

"These deeply satisfying essays turn issues of form and content inside out, refusing old dichotomies and familiar answers. Alice Fulton points toward just how rich and strange postmodern poetry really is, or might be: something perennially surprising, uncharted, an art as slippery, fresh, and difficult as American experience now. This engaging book will delight and challenge readers of poetry, but it also offers serious pleasure to anyone who loves language."—Mark Doty

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"Fractal, electric, Fulton lands the crackle of the thinking sensibility onto the page. Reading these essays, we see poetry in a new way, its flings and intuitions subject to a most exacting sort of calibration. Here is a book not just for poets, but for all thinking readers."—Sven Birkerts

About the Author

Alice  Fulton
Alice Fulton is the author of seven books of poetry, a fiction collection, and a work of criticism titled Feeling as a Foreign Language. She has received several major honors, including MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. She is currently the Ann S. Bowers Professor of English at Cornell University.
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