“Heather Nagami’s first book of poetry, HOSTILE, is written as though literature, and perhaps language, must begin again. It finds its way as it goes, as it finds out what poetry can be. That it does so with grace, power, and amazing courage, is obvious with every word encountered, every step around the parameters of what is possible”–Charles Alexander.
Hardly ever has found language, appropriated discourse, sounded more closely attuned to what Ms. Niedecker once referred to as the ‘condensery’ of poetry–not Reznikoff’s TESTIMONY, nor the early novels of Kathy Acker. Nagami is listening for all the elements in the language. What strikes me as a reader is the degree to which these texts remain true to their source materials while demonstrating a total commitment to the traditional effects of poetry–concision, a foregrounding of the formal elements of poetry, even a goofball elegance that has much to do with the New York School’s commitment to wit.