Talonbooks, Spring 2014

“Orbiting the writing of Gertrude Stein, these delicate, agile poems seduce readers away from representation and toward sound, texture, and absence. Here, a sentence is no longer a sentence, but “a word in pieces, plastered, faster,” which “crumbles” on the page into strange and luminous syntactical patterns that create new pathways for meaning.”



Pages Books on Kensington
McNally Robinson
Powell’s Books

Back Cover Copy

“At last, the long-awaited new collection from Natalie Simpson. In Thrum, Simpson deftly tugs at the ‘ragged edge of nuance,’ unravels language into a gorgeous heap. Though it is undone, it isn’t a mess: she finds the scraps that make elegant sense, holds all the slippery bits together with loose, precise stitches. Simpson shakes the word out until it thrums with energy, nearly spits static. The more time I spend with these poems, the more their rewards unfurl. A collection to keep close by, to remind that wonders are still being worked in the world.”
– Sachiko Murakami

“Natalie Simpson’s poetry arrives as a cacophonous roiling of sense, softly advocating we ‘Break out of our shall.’ In Thrum, she foregrounds the strangeness of the quotidian, mining headlines and contracts to reveal our grasping for mastery in language. She urges us to persevere against our self-imposed stricture, drawing words and phrases from the murk of their material and sounding them against each other until they shiver and crumble. Thrum introduces us to the stranger in ourselves.”
– Jason Christie

“The language of Thrum bears no burden of meaning. Its language is not about the word’s practical design, but its most subtle frequencies. It is seen and sounded. Simpson’s lines torque as she breaks down the borders between words. The reader participates in these unfamiliar lines, delights in the hum of these fluent heaps of fragments.Thrum is the utterance whose combinations order the reader to, as Wittgenstein would say, ‘stare and gape.’ Thrum is a solution for the problem of poetry.”
– Paul Zits