Poems | Broc Rossell | 2015
96 pgs

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* 2014 CSU Poetry Center First Book Competition, Editor’s Choice *

“While a distinctly meditative book of verse, [Festival]’s reflections are investigative rather than pedantic, raising questions, not providing answers, though still remaining emotionally relevant and connected to the external world… Rossell reads, compellingly, like the illegitimate child of Will Oldham and Don DeLillo circa White Noise, evoking grim intelligence and bemusement, a particularly American numbness, and an underlying, quiet watchfulness and fascination.”
—Adam Day, New Orleans Review

Praise for Festival

“'The glass of water / on the table is / what's possible,' observes Broc Rossell, 'a little / flood / of elegance, / a recital.' The same could be said of Festival itself. This is a book of defamiliarizations, a recital of phenomenological possibility aflood in its own formal elegance, like a glass of water made prismatic and strange. Threading through the Halloween parade of Aaron Cardella's spectral artwork, the speaker of this collection leads us 'From leaf to branch / From branch to figure / From figure to ground / From ground into darkness,' where the catabasis of perception both ends and begins. Follow this guide and you'll find yourself 'in the center of the word Now, / in the center of the letter O,' at the point-blank degree zero of poetry.”
—Srikanth Reddy

“A striking momentum drives this careful, meditative long poem in which the I strives to coincide with its body amid the rife overflow of the world. And it is that overflow, in all its vivid detail, that gives this work its deep wealth and visionary range. The attention to the world paid here, whether despairing, reminiscent, documentary, or jubilant, is always an act of applied love, a celebration of the passing present; every line rings with that commitment.”
—Cole Swensen

“I write in praise of Broc Rossell, who writes in his own praise: 'scrap wire, aging automaton, / wastrel bumblefuck.' A poet of praise with a tongue sharp enough to cut space. I take his celebration to be sincere, although his tone is subdued, even mournful at times, and the sweetness of the images is tempered by darkness, as in a fairy tale. Is he criticizing every wrong thing, as Dave Hickey once suggested, by 'praising it in the wrong way'? Or have the right things never been duly celebrated before?”
—Aaron Kunin

Broc Rossell is from California and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he teaches poetry writing, literature, and interdisciplinary courses in culture and theory for the English and Humanities departments at Simon Fraser University. His work has appeared in 1913, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Harvard Review, jubilat, iO, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Laurel Review, Volt, and other places.

Selected Reviews

Iowa Review

New Orleans Review