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Subject

“The poems in this collection are interested in making the elusive palpable, or, as Mullen writes in the poem ‘Assembly,’ with putting ‘a pressure on the actual to reveal (betray, both senses) its meaning.’ And she never shies away from the difficulty surrounding this endeavor.... ”

--Julie Reid


"The obsessive force of this poetry, ruptured by caesura and stanza, is remarkable. Despite the considerable intellectual torque, the poems, concerned always with identity, the borders of the I and the Here, are quite funny in passages. The drama of this work is gripping, convulsive, and intense."
--Forrest Gander


“To write today in English means using an idiom that is hegemonic, ‘globalized,’ no longer national. Vacated. A human, though, is necessarily sited, and here we find Mullen’s Subject. Its movement open to both “(gone) and suture,” it grasps an anxiety in American speech too often covered over by Americans, though it’s visible in the world. To cite Agamben” ‘the ethical subject is a subject that bears witness to a desubjectification.’ Mullen’s ‘subject’ is not one of triumphalism; it articulates the ‘no-one,’ the ‘not-even-who’ that generates being’s fiber, its viscosity, presence. In Mullen, ‘Belonging to a body / To itself unrecognizable’ is followed by ‘Open the doors. Here.’ Her ‘here’ is poetry that American English needs.”
--Erin Moure