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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."ContentsPreambleI. Process"Head Notes, Heart Notes, Base Notes"Screens: An Alchemical ScrapbookII. Poetics"Subversive Pleasures"Of Formal, Free, and Fractal Verse: Singing the Body EclecticFractal Amplifications: Writing in Three DimensionsIII. Powers"The Only Kangaroo among the Beauty"Unordinary Passions: Margaret Cavendish, the Duchess of NewcastleHer Moment of Brocade: The Reconstruction of Emily DickinsonIV. Praxis"Seed Ink"To Organize a WaterfallV. Penchants"A Canon for Infidels"Three Poets in Pursuit of AmericaThe State of the ArtMain Thingsri0VI. Premises"The Tongue as a Muscle"A Poetry of Inconvenient Knowledge
Alice Fulton is the author of the poetry collections "Sensual Math," "Powers of Congress," "Palladium," and "Dance Script With Electric Ballerina." She has received several major honors, including MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and is currently Professor of English at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.