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[Review Essay] The Agonist single work   essay  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 [Review Essay] The Agonist
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'Shastra Deo’s almost preternaturally-accomplished début collection, The Agonist, winner of the 2016 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, displays the detailed delight of a masochistic forensic scientist poring over a copy of Gray’s Anatomy to find exactly which muscle, tendon, or ligament is causing their exquisite ache. Indeed, each of the three sequences that make up the cohesive collection is preceded by an illustration from this tome: vivisections of the heart and lungs, the hand, and the throat and mouth. Deo devotes her work to blood, bone, organ, and flesh, at times homing in on the reader’s carotid artery with vampiric precision; at others staking the reader’s heart as she takes on the converse role of Van Helsing. Although Deo’s work is not confessional, peopled as it is with a number of spectral speakers, the title may be read as eponymous: the agonist is the poet herself. “Agonist” means, variously, a muscle which contracts in order to move a part of the body directly, the protagonist of a literary work, and a person devoted to the study of agony.'  (Introduction)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon StylusLit no. 3 March 2018 13362753 2018 periodical issue

    'Welcome to the 1st anniversary of StylusLit. In this issue, I interview Canadian poet, Christian Bök, who gives us a view into the experimental and conceptual. Don’t forget to read his visual poem, “We Are Rats Who Build the Labrinyth From Which We Plan to Escape”. As well, I interview Australian poet and poetry editor of Island, Sarah Holland-Batt, who tells us her views on writing, editing and publishing poetry.' (Rosanna Licari Editorial introduction)

Last amended 16 Mar 2018 05:10:49 [Review Essay] The Agonistsmall AustLit logo StylusLit
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