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100 Notes on Violence
Julie Carr
Omnidawn, 2022
Back in print, Carr’s powerful poems seek out and face violence and its counterforces.

Julie Carr obsessively researches instances of intimate terrorism, looking everywhere from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson to lists of phobias and weapon-store catalogs. She searches for what can be learned from the statistics, the statements by and about rapists and killers, the websites of hate groups, and the capacity for cruelty that lies within all of us. 100 Notes on Violence is a diary, a document, and a dream log of the violence that grips America and devastates so many. But Carr also offers a layered and lyric tribute to violence’s counterforces: love, commonality, and care. Her unflinching “notes” provoke our minds and burrow into our emotions, leading us to confront our fears and our own complicity.

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Active Romanticism
The Radical Impulse in Nineteenth-Century and Contemporary Poetic Practice
Edited by Julie Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson
University of Alabama Press, 2015
A collection of essays highlighting the pervasive, yet often unacknowledged, role of Romantic poetry and poetics on modern and contemporary innovative poetry

Literary history generally locates the primary movement toward poetic innovation in twentieth-century modernism, an impulse carried out against a supposedly enervated “late-Romantic” poetry of the nineteenth century. The original essays in Active Romanticism challenge this interpretation by tracing the fundamental continuities between Romanticism’s poetic and political radicalism and the experimental movements in poetry from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
According to editors July Carr and Jeffrey C. Robinson, “active romanticism” is a poetic response, direct or indirect, to pressing social issues and an attempt to redress forms of ideological repression; at its core, “active romanticism” champions democratic pluralism and confronts ideologies that suppress the evidence of pluralism. “Poetry fetter’d, fetters the human race,” declared poet William Blake at the beginning of the nineteenth century. No other statement from the era of the French Revolution marks with such terseness the challenge for poetry to participate in the liberation of human society from forms of inequality and invisibility. No other statement insists so vividly that a poetic event pushing for social progress demands the unfettering of traditional, customary poetic form and language.
Bringing together work by well-known writers and critics, ranging from scholarly studies to poets’ testimonials, Active Romanticism shows Romantic poetry not to be the sclerotic corpse against which the avant-garde reacted but rather the wellspring from which it flowed.
Offering a fundamental rethinking of the history of modern poetry, Carr and Robinson have grouped together in this collection a variety of essays that confirm the existence of Romanticism as an ongoing mode of poetic production that is innovative and dynamic, a continuation of the nineteenth-century Romantic tradition, and a form that reacts and renews itself at any given moment of perceived social crisis.

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Julie Carr
Omnidawn, 2014
The question of civic lyric—the possibility of a politics of mourning—runs through this book-length aria-errancy-eros. All vectors of “rag” are at work: polemic political journal, syncopated turn-of-century song, menstrual blood, burial shroud, complaint, insult, a wiping cloth, the barest semblance of clothes, the slang word for woman. The energy running beneath this rag is human violence and sexual force erupting through fragments of film, fairy tale, news, novels: a father on fire, stranger in tears, prisoner who believes he’s a dog, women dressed in food, women refusing to eat, a body with no face, or a face with no skin. RAG spirals forward, picking up recurrent language, its narratives troubled by stutter, broken by what can’t be told.

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Real Life
An Installation
Julie Carr
Omnidawn, 2018
In a book rich with formal variety and lyric intensity, Carr takes up economic inequality, gendered violence, losses both personal and national, and the crisis of the body within all of these forces. Real Life: An Installation is a terrifying book, but one that keeps us close as it moves through the disruptions and eruptions of the real.

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Someone Shot My Book
Julie Carr
University of Michigan Press, 2018
Approaching the practices of reading and writing from a feminist perspective, Julie Carr asks vital ethical questions about the role of poetry—and of art in general—in a violent culture. She addresses issues such as the art of listening, the body and the avant-garde, gun violence, police brutality, reading and protest, and feminist responses to war in essays that are lucid, inventive, and informed by a life lived with poetry. Essays on poets Lorine Niedecker, Jean Valentine, Anne Carson, Lyn Hejinian, and Lisa Robertson detail some of the political, emotional, and spiritual work of these forerunners. A former dancer, Carr also takes up question of text, dance, performance, and race in an essay on the work of choreographer, writer, and visual artist Ralph Lemon and poet Fred Moten.

Carr’s essays push past familiar boundaries between the personal/confessional and experimental/conceptual strains in American poetry. Pressing philosophical inquiries into the nature of gender, motherhood, fear, the body, and violence up against readings of twentieth- and twenty-first-century poets, she asks us to consider the political and affective work of poetry in a range of contexts. Carr reports on her own practices, examining her concerns for research and narrative against her investment in lyric, as well as her history as a dancer and her work as curator and publisher. Carr’s breadth of inquiry moves well beyond the page, yet remains grounded in languages possibilities.

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Julie Carr
Omnidawn, 2024
Tender lyric poetry dedicated to two of the poet’s most influential late teachers.
Julie Carr’s deeply intimate collection, Underscore, is dedicated to two of Carr’s foundational teachers, the dancer Nancy Stark Smith and the poet Jean Valentine, both of whom died in 2020. Elegiac, tender, and at times erotic or bitter, these poems explore the passions of friendship and love for the living as well as the dead. Carr’s lyric poetry expresses the intricate many-layered relationships between individuals who are constantly shifting in their roles with one another. She considers otherness and nature while remaining deeply invested in human relationships and exploring the conflict of maintaining one’s own interiority amid a life whose backdrop is human suffering.
Reaching toward the “ghost companions in the thicket” and to the beloveds who still “pulse with activity,” Underscore’s sonically intricate poems express a longing for dynamic forces of intra-action, a sense of expanded encounter, and what Stark Smith called “overlapping kinespheres.”

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