In her long-anticipated fourth collection, The Engineers, Katy Lederer draws on the newfangled languages of reproductive technology, genetic engineering, and global warming to ask the age-old questions: What is “the self”? What is “the other”? How to reproduce “one’s self”? In poems that are both lyrical and playfully autobiographical, Lederer imagines form as a kind of genetics, synthesizing lines out of a rigorous constraint. Things can go wrong. The body—or poem—malfunctions, evacuating crucial parts of itself (miscarriage), or growing too aggressively or quickly (cancer). The body—or poem—attacks or even eats itself (autoimmune dysfunction; autophagy). Written almost entirely in the choral “we,” the poems move among the perspectives of the bewildered parent, the unborn child, and the inscrutable God who looks down upon the human world. In a post-Roe landscape, the poems complicate and ultimately refashion our pre-conceived notions of the self—and of life. Radical, uncanny, and stunningly original, The Engineers takes us on a journey to a place we’ve never been, but that is hauntingly familiar.Read more
Katy Lederer is the author of three previous books of poetry and a memoir. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in the American Poetry Review, the Boston Review, and the Paris Review, among many other publications. She has also reported on energy and climate change for n+1, the New York Times, and the New Yorker online. A recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell, she has taught poetry workshops and climate change writing at Columbia University, Fordham University, Barnard College, and the New School.
“A meditation on longing, love, and heart-break as they manifest in lyric form.”Read more
“A fully-realized lyrical examination of different forms of commerce—financial, emotional, physical and amatory.”Read more
“How several members of a complex but promising family stumble their way toward lives of lucrative desperation, set against the bright lights and forlorn glamour of the gaming tables.”Read more
“Probing, pondering, and deeply honest—these poems inhabit the space of questions and resonate in the cavern of possibility.”Read more
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