||LYRIC SEXOLOGY VOL. 1
by Trish Salah
Written between lyric and language poetries, and exploring the transgender fantasies encoded in feminist, autobiographical, anthropological and psychoanalytic archives, Lyric Sexology Vol. 1 could be your book.
Drawing upon Freud’s interpretation of the memoirs of the jurist Daniel Paul Schreber, alongside gender theories, polemics and case studies dating from the end of the 20th century to beginning of the 21st, Trish Salah samples and remixes the clinic and the club, dystopia and draughty apartments, re-presenting an emergent transgender subject in all (or at least some) of her/hir/his/their messy contrariness and queerly multiple biomythographies. One might even call this composite a syncretic strategy for building a conceptual, poetic world in a single volume. But, inevitably, more is left out than in. Salah revels in the conflicts of undermining specialization: "i need to take a shower. i’m troubled by / increasingly distorted fanfictions, psychotic or melancholy, / with the loss of canon." Nevertheless her text shimmies its way through the regulatory regimes of race, class and genre by always bringing us back to glib reality: "we all need haircuts though." Roof is proud to publish this revelatory manuscript.
Do you have a poet whose every poem you want to read? If not then follow me in wanting a thousand more Trish Salah poems! “Hunger and its competence, I tried to pitch, against the body politic,” writes this genius poet of our time! Never before have I experienced such a seemingly contradictory sensation of unfamiliar affinity. We are always some new place, brink of new awareness in a Trish Salah poem, but with a newness we know we can only hope for in the hands of the best poets.
- CA Conrad
Trish Salah’s Lyric Sexology does the powerful work of unmooring gender from its rigid tethers and imbues it with multi-framed sight and tight, raw desire. In this way her book tells the origin of one’s self while asking, in a way akin to the African American slave narrative, when is birth? Salah reimagines ancient tropes and energizes the possibility for poetry as epistemology.
- Dawn Lundy Martin
In Lyric Sexology, Trish Salah takes on the impossible, urgent task of speaking as Tiresias, one who is "not any of those things you have words for." Salah’s words unmask and address the semantic frameworks they imply, the misery- and meaning-making myths of patriarchy, colonialism, capitalism, and gender. Exposing the raw nerves and nervous rawness of concepts we use to define ourselves and one another, Lyric Sexology points to a world in which we may grow into the full measure of our humanity by realizing we aren’t, and never were, “things we have words for.”
- Joy Ladin
Trish Salah is the author of Wanting in Arabic, a Lamda Literary Award finalist, now in its second printing. Her work is widely anthologized and is co-editor of the 2014 special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly on cultural production. She is assistant profession of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg.
Publication date: April 2014