Books

Near, At
Jennifer Soong

About Near, At

Near, At follows the inherent strangeness of one’s consciousness as it observes and comes into contact with the physical world. A sustained exploration of language, capitalism, gender, and nature, Near, At traverses and measures the movement of silence against the movement of thought and its pauses. Divided into five parts, each with its own form, and followed by a series of ongoing love poems called MY CHRISTOPHER POEMS, this debut collection is slow to assume but quick to adjust. Rooted in both the traditional and the experimental, it asks just how little of ourselves we can be.


Praise for Near, At

Jennifer Soong’s collection displays her nuanced understanding of how the philosophical-treatise-as-poem can birth an emotional and embodied intelligence, placing her in a line of affinity with contemporary writers such as Lyn Hejinian, Lisa Robertson and Anne Boyer. Simultaneously, Soong accomplishes something utterly unexpected in 2019: she casts a harpoon into the New England landscape poem ­– long linked to the genteel, the male, the WASP – and brings it vibrant and expansive into the twenty-first century. Certain poetry collections are written to be “of the moment,” but a collection such as Near, At is written to give pace to those moments, with each carefully placed word a further step taken by the poet and reader together. Come near, these poems tell us, and we feel we’ll arrive at exactly the time and place we need to be.  
—Mia You

This, a most welcome & brilliant first book, knows the rich yolk of poetry & the as malleable as breathtaking yoke of form, “a crave for new mathematics”. The opening makes clear the necessary labor of the poet-augur: “How little we rest. How much we demand / from the daily murders passing…”  The demands of poetry are indeed that stark — & Jennifer Soong knows her responsibility, i.e. she knows how to sharpen her “ability to respond” (to quote Robert Duncan) with care, accuracy, & insight, able as she is to read even the tracings of trapped vapor trails clinging to the roof of her coffee lid. In these poems “the mind is a guest,” though the bodies of reader & writer are never simply at rest, but dance on the rhythms of a language (or, better, languages) that keep teaching us new steps.
—Pierre Joris

It’s a pleasure to be a guest in Jennifer Soong’s good mind—these poems welcome me, though my being there is occasioned by an urgency, a need to attend to shared fears and singular predicaments.  Best are the “My Christopher Poems,” love lyrics recognizable as such—what else could they be?—and yet uniquely tender:  weird, wired records of affection, that daily fever. 
—Graham Foust

Reading Near, At is an experience like walking through centuries in a single day. You sense your surroundings like a ghost, giving no consideration to borders. The materials and perceptions that distinguish a person from a thing or a country collapse entirely. Reading Jennifer Soong’s poetry is a rapturous, discombobulating affair. But the impression you’re left with is anything but ephemeral. Her language is morally precise. Her observational power is lofty. This book demonstrates a physicist’s logic, like texting a friend to say you’re “at” your destination, when in actuality you are near, but in actual actuality you will be there, at the agreed-upon place, by the time they reach you. 
—Monica McClure

About the Author

Jennifer Soong was born in central New Jersey in the nineties. Her writing has appeared in Social Text, Berfrois, Prelude Magazine, DIAGRAM, and Fanzine, among other places, and been translated into Spanish. She holds a B.A. in English and Visual Studies from Harvard College and is currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, where she works on poetry and forgetting. She is the poetry editor at art/lit journal Nat. Brut. Near, At is her first book.

 


Spring 2019

Available for Pre-order
TBD pages, 6 × 8 inches 
Paperback Poetry
ISBN TBD

$18 U.S.
View Buy

Spring 2019

Available for Pre-order
TBD pages, 6 × 8 inches 
Paperback Poetry
ISBN TBD

$18 U.S.
View Buy

About Near, At

Near, At follows the inherent strangeness of one’s consciousness as it observes and comes into contact with the physical world. A sustained exploration of language, capitalism, gender, and nature, Near, At traverses and measures the movement of silence against the movement of thought and its pauses. Divided into five parts, each with its own form, and followed by a series of ongoing love poems called MY CHRISTOPHER POEMS, this debut collection is slow to assume but quick to adjust. Rooted in both the traditional and the experimental, it asks just how little of ourselves we can be.


Praise for Near, At

Jennifer Soong’s collection displays her nuanced understanding of how the philosophical-treatise-as-poem can birth an emotional and embodied intelligence, placing her in a line of affinity with contemporary writers such as Lyn Hejinian, Lisa Robertson and Anne Boyer. Simultaneously, Soong accomplishes something utterly unexpected in 2019: she casts a harpoon into the New England landscape poem ­– long linked to the genteel, the male, the WASP – and brings it vibrant and expansive into the twenty-first century. Certain poetry collections are written to be “of the moment,” but a collection such as Near, At is written to give pace to those moments, with each carefully placed word a further step taken by the poet and reader together. Come near, these poems tell us, and we feel we’ll arrive at exactly the time and place we need to be.  
—Mia You

This, a most welcome & brilliant first book, knows the rich yolk of poetry & the as malleable as breathtaking yoke of form, “a crave for new mathematics”. The opening makes clear the necessary labor of the poet-augur: “How little we rest. How much we demand / from the daily murders passing…”  The demands of poetry are indeed that stark — & Jennifer Soong knows her responsibility, i.e. she knows how to sharpen her “ability to respond” (to quote Robert Duncan) with care, accuracy, & insight, able as she is to read even the tracings of trapped vapor trails clinging to the roof of her coffee lid. In these poems “the mind is a guest,” though the bodies of reader & writer are never simply at rest, but dance on the rhythms of a language (or, better, languages) that keep teaching us new steps.
—Pierre Joris

It’s a pleasure to be a guest in Jennifer Soong’s good mind—these poems welcome me, though my being there is occasioned by an urgency, a need to attend to shared fears and singular predicaments.  Best are the “My Christopher Poems,” love lyrics recognizable as such—what else could they be?—and yet uniquely tender:  weird, wired records of affection, that daily fever. 
—Graham Foust

Reading Near, At is an experience like walking through centuries in a single day. You sense your surroundings like a ghost, giving no consideration to borders. The materials and perceptions that distinguish a person from a thing or a country collapse entirely. Reading Jennifer Soong’s poetry is a rapturous, discombobulating affair. But the impression you’re left with is anything but ephemeral. Her language is morally precise. Her observational power is lofty. This book demonstrates a physicist’s logic, like texting a friend to say you’re “at” your destination, when in actuality you are near, but in actual actuality you will be there, at the agreed-upon place, by the time they reach you. 
—Monica McClure

About the Author

Jennifer Soong was born in central New Jersey in the nineties. Her writing has appeared in Social Text, Berfrois, Prelude Magazine, DIAGRAM, and Fanzine, among other places, and been translated into Spanish. She holds a B.A. in English and Visual Studies from Harvard College and is currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton University, where she works on poetry and forgetting. She is the poetry editor at art/lit journal Nat. Brut. Near, At is her first book.