The acclaimed poet, memoirist, and essayist Maureen N. McLane here charts a new path into vital genre-bending territories. Not a novel, not a memoir, not a lyric, Mz N: the serial: A Poem-in-Episodes offers something else—“life . . . a continual allegory” (to invoke Keats): a life intense, episodic, female, sexual, philosophical, romantic, analytic. Tracking the growth of one poet’s mind, switchbacking its way through American English, Mz N toggles between story and song. This is a poetry both “furious / & alive.”
Alive to the lash of love, the longueurs of adolescence, the limits of identity, Mz N: the serial: A Poem-in-Episodes is a bravura experiment in life-writing—an assaying, a testing, a transforming, an honoring of the tentative and the torqued. What is it to be contemporary, to be “one / among other ones” in a “cracking world”? How does a body vibrate into being? How is a mind made out of other minds? Seizing the queer realities of any life, Mz N explores how one is surprised, seduced, and struck into speech, thought, song, silence. “Then, what is life?” cried Shelley. So too Mz N.