Poetry News

Brittany Billmeyer-Finn's Slabs Reviewed at Deluge

By Harriet Staff
Brittany Billmeyer-Finn, Slabs, cover

In Deluge, Issue Nine (Fall 2017), Erica Ammann reviews Brittany Billmeyer-Finn'Slabs, a book described by her publisher, Timeless, Infinite Light, as a "meditation on self care, sexuality, and identity through a dis/embodied subject in the water, the home, and in the streets." Ammann goes further: "She excavates shards of memory, spaces of suppressed consciousness and isolated creativity, and reconjures them in the present. When Billmeyer-Finn writes, 'the enactment of a mark,' she reveals this process of reclamation." More:

In Uses of the Erotic, Audre Lorde conceptualizes the erotic as a guttural repository of power to be realized. The erotic—a means of both inter and intrapersonal communication and consciousness—functions as a modality for individual and collective agencies to emerge. She describes it as an emanating force from which, “the sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding.” Analogous to Lorde’s conception of the erotic, Slabs exerts queer sexuality as a means of healing, knowledge, and power. Her expression of queer identity, or rather the negation or refusal of socially-imposed identity, asserts queer intimacy as a mode of propulsive and dynamic energy. Billmeyer-Finn reshapes identity from a point of tension towards one of interaction.
From her analysis of identity, a thread of political movement emerges, one that seeks to construct identity in a wholly different form, one that cannot be commodified or manipulated. Billmeyer-Finn refuses the violence of hegemonic identity discourses which mark the body as fixed or static. Her language initiates the possibility of intersection to emerge, a type of constellation, which never essentializes or reduces queer women to a homogenous categorization, but rather sees difference as a productive and creative socio-political force. She writes, “when this identifier draws a blank reiterates a/hierarchy engulfs a refusal.” This actively builds a dialogue in which art, poetics, and theory converge in an impetus towards horizontality.  
Billmeyer-Finn’s notion of the erotic is articulated in both tactile and theoretical registers. The theoretical is not removed from materiality, but coexists with it . . .

Find the full review at Deluge.


Originally Published: August 22nd, 2017