Stepping over the bland terrain of liberal cosmopolitanism and into the estranged interstice of liminality and hybridity, Emma Gomis’s sonic poetry moves the reader into kinship with the X we cannot quite grasp and only do so in its playful, traced emergence. Gomis's poetry brings two languages, Catalan and English, into clandestine simultaneity, a dwelling that is as touching and personal as it is transformative and yearning. X here might fulfil the rhetoric of chiasmus in the same breath that it denies fixity with its openness and experiment. For me, these poems made Catalan, a language I do not speak or hear spoken often, feel strangely familiar in a way that does not require knowing per se but rather a sensory acknowledgement, the gift of lilting cadence that warps the light.
- Azad Ashim Sharma
It bears repeating that deftly translingual writing such as this pivots away from monolingual dominance and as such is insistently not just the work of loss but of recalcitrance, linguistically kicking out with the heels. Emma Gomis’s X is letter, is address, is cipher, is repetition, is sonic haunting. It creates a collision of senses, an ‘uncanny score’ that ‘sketch[es] a canopy’ over these poems, over us, making us ‘swerve’, 'fold over', 'care'. X’s inventory, its residue, sneaks itself into our aural or oneiric imaginary, and then slips out, squeezes through the gap created between tongue and palate in various degrees of friction and release.
- Sophie Seita
About the author
Emma Gomis is a Catalan American essayist, poet, editor and translator. She is the cofounder of Manifold Press. Her texts have been published in Denver Quarterly, The Brooklyn Rail, Entropy, Asymptote, and Vice Magazine among others and her chapbook Canxona is forthcoming from b l u s h lit. She was selected by Patricia Spears Jones as The Poetry Project’s 2020 Brannan Poetry Prize winner. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Poetics from Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where she was also the Anne Waldman Fellowship recipient and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in criticism and culture at the University of Cambridge.