Danielle Vogel is a poet, lyric essayist, and installation artist whose work explores the bonds between language and presence, between a reader and a writer, and how a book as an extended archit4ecture of a body might serve as a site of radical transformation. She is the author of Edges of Fray (Wesleyan, 2019) and Between Grammars (Noemi, 2015). Her installations, or “public ceremonies for language,” have been mostly recently exhibited at RISD Museum, MICA, The University of Arizona’ s Poetry center, and Abecedarian Gallery. She teaches at Wesleyan University and makes her home in New England with the artist Renee Gladman.
The Way a Line Hallucinates its Own Linearity
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Danielle Vogel’s newest collection creates a latticework for repair—the repairing of past trauma, the calling-into-presence of a dissociated self—but does so while keeping the material of this net of thinking in a fragmented, diaphanous state glowing in the space between the poem and essay. Across three sections of “displacements,” “miniatures,” and “volume,” Vogel initiates readers into the séance of the book; she asks the reader to hold vigil for the most crucial phase of its composition, which can only happen when the reader and she meet at the site of the page, within a “new, interrupted unity.” In The Way a Line Hallucinates its Own Linearity, accord—writing with, reading with—is always a verb, always kinetic, alchemical, and alive. “It only takes one letter on the page,” Vogel writes, “and we are already inside one another’s lungs.” To consent to walk through these spaces is to give up that part of you that wishes to remain anonymous and un-entrained. You will be grateful that you did.
In Danielle Vogel’s heartbreakingly gorgeous The Way a Line Hallucinates Its Own Linearity, she digs underneath the skin of the body, language, and the book to scratch toward a haunting absence. To tend to and hold that absence—to stroke it—requires Vogel’s patient yet urgent series of utterances. A vibrational pull that won’t let us go results: a crackling cry in the ache of night, a sensate break into other sphere, a lit passion, a new blues. Yes to these poems’ redemptive resilience—their fracture and their blur. Yes, yes, yes. I am reminded of why we need poetry.—Dawn Lundy Martin, author of Good Stock Strange Blood
How does language reside in our bodies? In the stunning second volume of her trilogy, Danielle Vogel vivifies the ineffable qualities of language and writing in our bodies. Language has great affective power, even at the scale where “all letters are occupied by touch,” and these three long poems perform a reparative interrogation whose premise might be situated in her lucid observation that “We hold language and language holds us.” Vogel is doing semiotic soulwork here, excavating memory to tell us how we are bound by even the silences between the paragraphs we imprint onto art and the world. After reading this collection, you won’t be able to use language without reckoning how it extends your body into a vast network of connection and sound.—Carmen Gimenez Smith, author of Be Recorder