Books

deadfalls and snares
Samantha Giles

Under current conditions of militarization and state sponsored torture, deadfalls and snares stands among our moment’s bravest and most necessary works of poetry. Beyond comfortable notions of complicity and witness, Samantha Giles’ writing transforms our desire to see into an ability to parse—like a sentient grammarian—the relations between subject and object, torturer and tortured, as they fuse with our interiors. In other words, “it’s us in / what already happened / in the way that it shifts / in its visibility / it’s us.” Reading these poems while guided by conventions of collective spectatorship, we catch ourselves perversely trying to refamiliarize what Giles has so successfully defamiliarized, and in doing so, the double bind of our ethical conundrum becomes acutely perceptible.

    — Rob Halpern

deadfalls and snares is not your boring Conceptual claptrap. Here, forms mess up the frame with the stink of me, you, we, the little rabbit; contested shifters hard on the scent of truth and evil’s banal, horrific, unfaithful reproductions. Fully exposed structures grind against skinned English as a means to jab back at unintelligible imperial invasions. Slick little fingers face erect language of the of the of the known complicity. What remains from white white white-gash fleshing is a call, a clutch, a clench. Palm the heft.
    — Rachel Zolf



Mayakovsky wrote, “Poetry is at its very root tendentious.” Well, okay. Even still, there is a gap between THE FEAR OF BEING FRIGHTENED and BEING FRIGHTENED that only certain poets can close. It’s a particular wedge of empathy to make a palpable fear for our mortality. Few poets get us there, hand us over to ourselves like Samantha Giles does. This new book, deadfalls and snares really is a trap where the reader is helpless to do anything but see our ruin our torture our inescapable and very complicit gun to the head. Blink and it still reads as wrenching as it feels. Samantha Giles has given us the book we have been reading everywhere voraciously to find. Here it is. Here you are, give yourself a read, a poet has found you.

    — CA Conrad

About the Author
Samantha Giles grew up in an industrial section of Santa Monica, California and currently lives in the flatlands of Oakland, CA. She is a graduate of the School of Social Work at San Francisco State and holds an MFA from Mills College where she
 was managing editor of 580 Split. She is the author of hurdis addo (Displaced Press, 2011). Since 2009, she has been the Director of Small Press Traffic.

Reviews and Links
Boston Review Microreview: Deadfall & Snares
Winner of CA Conrads Sexiest Poem Award 2013
Listen to a recording of the release party at Berl's Poetry Book Shop in Brooklyn
Judith Goldman on Deadfalls & Snares in Drunken Boat

 

 


Fall 2014

89 pages, 6 × 8 inches
Paperback Poetry
978-0996002509
Teaching Guide

$16 U.S.
View Buy

Fall 2014

89 pages, 6 × 8 inches
Paperback Poetry
978-0996002509
Teaching Guide

$16 U.S.
View Buy

Under current conditions of militarization and state sponsored torture, deadfalls and snares stands among our moment’s bravest and most necessary works of poetry. Beyond comfortable notions of complicity and witness, Samantha Giles’ writing transforms our desire to see into an ability to parse—like a sentient grammarian—the relations between subject and object, torturer and tortured, as they fuse with our interiors. In other words, “it’s us in / what already happened / in the way that it shifts / in its visibility / it’s us.” Reading these poems while guided by conventions of collective spectatorship, we catch ourselves perversely trying to refamiliarize what Giles has so successfully defamiliarized, and in doing so, the double bind of our ethical conundrum becomes acutely perceptible.

    — Rob Halpern

deadfalls and snares is not your boring Conceptual claptrap. Here, forms mess up the frame with the stink of me, you, we, the little rabbit; contested shifters hard on the scent of truth and evil’s banal, horrific, unfaithful reproductions. Fully exposed structures grind against skinned English as a means to jab back at unintelligible imperial invasions. Slick little fingers face erect language of the of the of the known complicity. What remains from white white white-gash fleshing is a call, a clutch, a clench. Palm the heft.
    — Rachel Zolf



Mayakovsky wrote, “Poetry is at its very root tendentious.” Well, okay. Even still, there is a gap between THE FEAR OF BEING FRIGHTENED and BEING FRIGHTENED that only certain poets can close. It’s a particular wedge of empathy to make a palpable fear for our mortality. Few poets get us there, hand us over to ourselves like Samantha Giles does. This new book, deadfalls and snares really is a trap where the reader is helpless to do anything but see our ruin our torture our inescapable and very complicit gun to the head. Blink and it still reads as wrenching as it feels. Samantha Giles has given us the book we have been reading everywhere voraciously to find. Here it is. Here you are, give yourself a read, a poet has found you.

    — CA Conrad

About the Author
Samantha Giles grew up in an industrial section of Santa Monica, California and currently lives in the flatlands of Oakland, CA. She is a graduate of the School of Social Work at San Francisco State and holds an MFA from Mills College where she
 was managing editor of 580 Split. She is the author of hurdis addo (Displaced Press, 2011). Since 2009, she has been the Director of Small Press Traffic.

Reviews and Links
Boston Review Microreview: Deadfall & Snares
Winner of CA Conrads Sexiest Poem Award 2013
Listen to a recording of the release party at Berl's Poetry Book Shop in Brooklyn
Judith Goldman on Deadfalls & Snares in Drunken Boat