The notion of exchange circulates throughout Kristi Maxwell’s superlative second collection of poetry, Hush Sessions. In a series of utterly unique poetic experiences, things transform or transfer: superstition becomes science, and bodies become texts to read. In addition, family mythologies become sites of substitution and a borderland where irrationality and rationalization touch. Kristi Maxwell’s poetry reminds us that words, like objects, do not exist in a singular state, and their multiplicity is activated through perception: “a veil during/ the trying on rather than the pride of/ the dress.” As Fanny Howe says, Maxwell’s poems “have pure, ephemeral lines that suggest much thought about time and utterance, yet they float free without any need for explanation.”
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