The book blurbs have manifested themselves, and it is good.Such fantastic words from fantastic and admirable poets and people:
As a child, my mother taught me to zigzag Z to avoid getting eaten by an alligator. Mary Biddinger and Jay Robinson employ this technique here: in the clever curve of C around the subject, in the sharp switchback tack of Z for zealous. They commit to wordplay revolution, erasing origins, replacing narrative with wit, sound, and imagery so surprising it feels, by poem’s end, perfectly natural: the thing that waited, haunting, in the swamp. I don’t know how else to explain The Czar, whose unexpected becomes so expectant with meaning. This is a brilliant collection/collaboration.
–Carol Guess, author of Doll Studies: Forensics
This exquisite, feature-length project is the comic jam. But it’s no joke. You can thank Mary Biddinger and Jay Robinson later. For now, arm yourself with a few questions: What rules does this Czar follow? Which ones does he break? And just how many ways can you fold a Czar in the first place? Are you ready? The Czar demands your participation. Enter the parlor!
–Matthew Guenette, author of American Busboy
This book is not a book, it’s treatise on empire, a manifest destiny, a pack of wild peasants outside the gate, a mesmerizing tour d’effluvia in its Czar not Czar, throne not throne, overthrown mistresses, Lady Czar is no Czarina, cappuccino foam isn’t foam, revolution was a hoax, naming and renaming, unlearned cursive, unheard flute solo, empire under construction, not New York, not Sacramento, non-tabloids, non-violent non-women. Biddinger and Robinson rebuild our world and take it away piece by piece to show the conviviality of our destruction.
–Elizabeth Colen, author of They Could No Longer Contain Themselves