Miraculum Monstrum (Red Hen Press)
Miraculum Monstrum is a hybrid narrative about fictitious female artist Tristia Vogel, who experiences a radical physical transformation, beginning with the excrescence of apparent wings. Though her affliction is possibly an anomalous mutation resulting from worldwide ecological upheaval, the bird/woman is co-opted by a religious cult and written as the central figure of their scriptural text. Miraculum Monstrum contains fragmentary verse, scraps of lore, cult propaganda, curatorial commentary and images in a catalog for an exhibit of Vogel's visual artifacts and writings that chronicle this speculative history.
Praise for Miraculum Monstrum
"Enter in: here is that familiar moment when someone on the sidewalk, someone we maybe call schizophrenic, or deranged, yells out to her (our?) demons, or to eternity, to just leave her the fuck alone, and for once you hear it, and for once you agree, and wonder what would happen if everyone yelled out what they really felt, and why don't they, and what's lost in the silence. Enter: here is sadness and resistance and wings--a life (re)created, pieced together from the fragments we all become."--Nick Flynn, author of The Reenactments
"Miraculum Monstrum by Kathline Carr is a remarkably inventive, audacious debut collection that unfolds as poems, stories, fragments, drawings, paintings, mixed media pieces, and quotes to document and illustrate the life of Tristia Vogel, a visual artist who transforms dramatically and traumatically into a bird, and becomes an unintentional prophet. . . . This book is a unique and brilliant contribution to contemporary dystopic literature."--Jan Conn, author of Tomorrow's Bright White Light
"Kathline Carr's Miraculum Monstrum joins ranks with Gabriel García Márquez's story 'A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings' and Remedios Varo's painting Creation of the Birds, among other significant works, in an artistic (oracular) tradition that invokes the artist-figure as bird, art-making as flight. The poetic voice and sheer inventiveness of this book as a response to our current environmental crisis is breathtaking. Its deft word-play tangles like filigree amid the heaviness of sickness. Miraculum Monstrum's architecture, in its interplay of word and image, post-apocalyptic Ovidian myth, documentary fiction, feminist magical realism, taxonomy, and sensuousness, is a tour de force of hybrid poetics."--Shira Dentz, author of door of thin skins
"A visionary's warning, a topographical map of the mind, a manual of survival in the face of apocalyptic odds. Kathline Carr's imagined curatorial chronicle of Tristia Vogel?s metamorphosis is devastating--and transcendent."--Jane Denitz Smith, playwright
"In Miraculum Monstrum, Kathline Carr chronicles the story of Tristia Vogel, an early twenty-first century painter who suffers a mutation that begins with a bony, feather-like protrusion from her scapula. Her condition defies diagnosis, and eventually brings her to full bird-body transformation, persecution and adoration, disaster and the joy of flight. Carr reaches far down and back into our deepest shared stories, of messianic hopes, apocalyptic-climactic disaster, and body-wracking metamorphosis, to move human imagination itself forward toward its own evolution and possible survival. Readers, like the pilgrims who flock to Tristia, will be leveled by a strange kindred impossible beauty in these pages which piece the story together with poems, pieces of Tristia's art, and all manner of records and responses to the story of her life. Miraculum Monstrum is truly visionary, an act of the imagination of mythic scope."--Diane Gilliam, author of Dreadful Wind & Rain
As Burning Leaves (Red Hen Press)
Gabriel will be reading from As Burning Leaves and from an in-progress hybrid work Entry for Exits, a book of interlocking prose poems with a floating essay. This new manuscript looks at trauma, trans* embodiment(s) and strategies for resilience and healing.
As Burning Leaves offers spaciousness and breath. Both homesick and sick of home, it chronicles a landscape of longing scored with traces of film, contemporary art, and song. Vivid and vital, Jesiolowski's queer insight lends a critical voice to the fleeting: 'wind moves the leaves across the water / they do not gather / do not cling.' A brave and elegant debut.
Praise for As Burning Leaves
[W]hat if there is no ghost realm? asks Gabriel Jesiolowski in the quietly arresting, steadily confident As Burning Leaves. But what if a ghost realm does in fact exist, and we are the ghosts both haunting and haunted who wander those causeways between/fucking & nothingness that lie in the wake of betrayal, violation, abandonment? These poems speak from and into that very realm, sifting memory's restless evidence in a quest for answers to what leads / / devotion / astray. Add to this a harder quest, for belief itself, the belief that somehow, the body ceases grieving. These poems are at once the enactment and the proof of belief's healing power. They stir; they shine. Carl Phillips, author of The Rest of Love, finalist for the National Book Award
The geography of the body changes; its landmarks temporary; its border shifting, in Gabriel Jesiolowski's As Burning Leaves, a cartography of new forms, new ways of being. These poems constitute a healing atlas, a journey of utmost compassion, marked by both formal elegance and artful eloquence. What a remarkable book; it will astonish and enchant you. D. A. Powell, author of Lunch and A Guide for Boys
What Gabriel Jesiolowski is up to in their life their installation art and their photography and their writing too is built from a push and pull between a politics of accumulation that is full of abandoning and giving away. It makes sense then to think of As Burning Leaves as a sort of writing that takes a life and ties many parts of it together with a thin string to make a beautiful package. This is in many ways a book of love poems. But what it loves is all sorts of things, everything from bark to humans to folk songs to steam and smoke. It is a work that is quiet and a work that is attentive and one that is resonant with care and grace. Juliana Spahr, author of This Connection of Everyone With Lungs
From wordless, our bodies. From nameless, our memories. An image, a yearning every landscape, and certain people. The gesture, the wingspan, in quiet, and all across the page. Each scratch and smudge accrues the diary of As Burning Leaves, Gabriel Jesiolowski s wonderful, haunting, elementally human presence! Ralph Angel, author of Neither World, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets
Kathline Carr is a visual artist and writer living in North Adams, Massachusetts. She has exhibited her work in New York City, New England, and Canada, and her writing and art appear in various publications and online at www.kathlinecarr.com.
Gabriel Jesiolowski works in a research-based practice that uses text, land, the body, installation, print, and film. They were a 2016 MacDowell writing fellow and have shown their work at The Alice Gallery, Flux Factory and Dumbo Arts Center. Their debut collection of poetry, As Burning Leaves, won the Benjamin Saltman Award. Their current work deals with accumulation and distribution, trauma/healing, and civic projects that tangle justice with beauty. New writing is out from Volt, Territory & Milkweed Zine. They live and work in Los Angeles.