The Market Wonders
Briante shows how market forces influence art and war,
parenting and poetry, making our most banal transactions
and our most transcendent relations.
A financial crisis can be a crisis of story-telling and representation. Begun at the start of the Great Recession, the poems in The Market Wonders use a series of procedural, documentary, and lyric strategies. A center piece of the book is a series of poems inspired by recording the closing the number of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and using that number as muse, plugging it into search engines to find texts to influence the creation of a dated poem. In the end, astrology, numerology, dreams, folks tales, the Tarot, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average all become source texts for the poems in The Market Wonders in their quest to document a life in times of financial boom and bust, flash crashes and endless war, big data accumulation and collective resistance. The market never distributes resources or assigns values equally. The Market Wonders attempts to highlight some of the market’s violent calculations.
Praise for The Market Wonders
"Susan Briante has imagined a remarkable poetics for our post-Occupy lives. Intimate yet public, The Market Wonders creates nothing short of a new linguistic bridge between revelation and awe.”
"This is poetry that is only the richer for how it weaves the economics that shape our daily lives into it. This is one of the most beautiful and moving books I have read in recent years.”
"The Market Wonders is a devastating meditation on value and love and economy, a book that asks its readers to pay careful heed of the markets’ inescapable trespass into our interior lives. This book is not just stunning, it’s also important, a clarion call.”
—Carmen Giménez Smith
Ari Banas on On the Seawall
“Part of this book’s dazzling accomplishment is in Briante’s rendering of the market as both figure and ground, and as simultaneous subject, object, and formal structure. The market is in the ticker tape running along the bottom of the page, anchoring and destabilizing, linking poem to poem, intimate domestic scene to public life, the image of a black walnut tree to the Dow industrial average. … The market intrudes upon and is inseparable from feeling, thought, practice—it wonders about worth, and, this book argues, is worth wondering about. In writing about economics, because there is no part of our lives that capital does not touch, Briante is also able to write about everything. ‘Can I feel these numbers in my hands / like Whitman at the rail of a ferry?’ Briante wonders. I think I can.” Read here.
Richard Silberg on Poetry Flash
“ECO-POETICS, REFERRING TO the growing body of work addressed to our fevered planet—as opposed to the perennial 'nature poetry'—is probably a twenty-first century term. But recently I've been noting another kind of eco-poetry, writing that chews over, not the ecology but the economy. … in this money/corporate/commodity vein the richest (let's intend the pun) new book I've seen is Susan Briante's The Market Wonders.” Read here.
Adam Clay at The Kenyon Review
I find myself in the summer months looking toward a large pile of poetry collections published before and during April each year. A book I found myself drawn to immediately was Susan Briante’s The Market Wonders, a book that seamlessly blends grief, domesticity, and the stock market. Trust me: this book is masterful at every turn: “the lesson of the nest is improvisation.”