PUBLIC DOMAIN by Monica de la Torre

Public Domain.jpg
Public Domain.jpg

PUBLIC DOMAIN by Monica de la Torre


104 Pages

Publisher: Roof Books
Purchase includes: EPUB, MOBI & PDF

Read reviews on Amazon & Goodreads

Public Domain arrives from Mexico with the ambition to be a personal anthology.Public Domain's constantly shifting formats remind one that experimentation is driven by glee at noticing how malleable the world can be. In pieces that range from introductions at a fictive poetry reading to a poem titled "Letters Are What’s in a Name," de la Torre takes us on a bilingual romp through the opportunities for form to reveal how society works. In one piece she writes a series of letters addressed by an orphan to her biological mother, Mónica de la Torre, who might be a transsexual model, a scientist who studies “the properties of fried and baked tortilla chips,” or the member of a high school varsity team. Get the picture! 

"PUBLIC DOMAIN is First Rate, worthy of Rerereading and Full-Tilt Gesamkunstwerke Treatment, and, rest assured, will never rest. Which is to say: the interplay of text/orality, theory/playfulness, concrete/lyric appearing in every form imaginable/heretofore unimagined, adds up to the most adventurous Conceptual Mystery Poem I have ever read/performed. I cannot imagine poetry without her."—Bob Holman.

"In her hilarious, deeply cynical second book, de la Torre (Talk Shows) interrogates language public and private, often directly inviting the reader to participate in parsing authenticity from bullshit: read into a microphone making all p's pop is the instruction at the top of one p-heavy text. Born in Mexico and reared equally on the high and pop-culture of Latin America and the U.S., de la Torre is especially indebted to the Language poets and the New York contemporary art scene (she is the senior editor of Bomb magazine). These six poems and sequences co-opt various kinds of discourse—the list (Lists are what you write when you're feeling eager), the sales presentation (Our patented Emergency Restraint Chair... will restrain a combative or self-destructive person who needs to be interrogated or force fed...), even e-mail (believe it or not, my name is also Monica de la Torre)—to show how these forms are misused or can be recontextualized to make new meaning in an age when language has been deeply debased. All the while, de la Torre's own mischievous voice, interspersed, reminds us that even when cynicism is the only logical response, there are still reasons to believe: This piece might not seem transformed enough to you, but I intend it to be transformative for me."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Mónica de la Torre writes about art and culture for publications in Mexico and the U.S. and is the author of the poetry books PUBLIC DOMAIN, TALK SHOWS, and Acúfenos. She is co-author of the artist book Appendices, Illustrations & Notes, available on, and co-editor of the anthology REVERSIBLE MONUMENTS: CONTEMPORARY MEXICAN POETRY with Michael Wiegers. She translated the books Poems by Gerardo Deniz and MAUVE SEA-ORCHIDS by Lila Zemborain. She is senior editor at BOMB Magazine and lives in Brooklyn.

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