The words exhilarating, powerful, generous, daring, and enchanting have been used to describe Alice Fulton's poetry. In Sensual Math, her broad-ranging intelligence continues to surprise and electrify. Drenched with the beauties of perception and language, with syntactical stretch and give, Sensual Math embraces areas often excluded from poetry. Drawing upon science, myth, popular culture, feminist theory, and autobiography, Alice Fulton creates an entrancing and important postmodern poetics. In the sequence called "My Last TV Campaign," an advertising executive tries to apply the successful imitative strategies of nature to a context of consumerism. By reimagining the myth of Daphne and Apollo, another sequence dismantles attitudes surrounding rape and the ancient association of woman with nature and man with culture. Daphne becomes a composite of Amelia Earhart, Annie Oakley, Emily Dickinson, and Marianne Moore. A major work by a poet who has been called breathtakingly fluent, blessedly unpredictable, "Sensual Math" figures the world as a blend of Zen and Elvis, calculus and honey. The final triumph is that poems so profound can be so profoundly engaging.
Alice Fulton's honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Fulton is the Ann S. Bowers Professor of English at Cornell University and lives in Ithaca, New York.