My Common Heart, Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2011 (pdf)
A book about crowds.
Lauren Levin, from Lana Turner: “Anne Boyer’s tones of joyous, unruly affirmation remake the major key. With the affect of the crowd feeling its own life and power, these tones bring what our dominant hierarchies would call the marginal – “women and children mostly” – into view, and triumphantly so. As she says, ‘It is in no way impossible to be Walt Whitman, but truer and more precise, making my only home ‘the innocent question,’ like Giulietta Masina but listening to Democracy Now.'”
Dan Thomas Glass, from The Disinhibitor: “The book deals with the grandiose love of the commune invoked by the Occupations, and in particular the attempt to hold society as such—with all its impossibilities, insanities, brilliance, and horror, society as it exists in real encounters with real people in confrontations with cops, in attempts to build consensus—within the emotional space of a single heart. The turning of the poet’s heart inside-out. The making public of a privateness sort of, but really more the turning private the publicness of a square, a city, a movement, a moment. (I like the word turning here—from the Greek for ‘lathe’—for its implication of a repetitive cutting, the turning into shape of the one into the other.) How to publish the private heart, how to make a commons of it. The book burns with this project, and so with its moment of creation.”
Jim McCrary, from Galatea Resurrects: “I can say that Boyer has done what few can do…..write with intellect, clarity, class and the ability to engage a reader without off putting personal response so common to so called ‘political’ text. “
Art is War, Mitzvah Chaps, 2008
A book about imagined architectures.
Juliana Spahr at Swoonrocket: “I can’t stop thinking about how perfect it is. Gently mocking. Full of children.”
30 word review: “How to say enough? “Difficult Ways to Publish Poetry” is a fucking brick house. “Collect hair from living poets. Alphabetize hair. Spin hair into thread.” It’s humbling. We should talk.“
Anne Boyer’s Good Apocalypse, Effing Press, 2006
A book of nightmares.
Gina Myers: “In Anne Boyer’s Good Apocalypse there is a battle taking place—the attack on Culture—the push and pull of language, the muskrat collaged with Guy DeBord, a fight against the “same bland cinema: everywhere, here” (“Priapism).”
Joshua Ware: “Boyer’s collection opens with the line: “I was attacking Culture” through the act of “Pulling a thirty-six-inch strip out of Language” (1). Due in part to her affiliation with Flarfist techniques of poetic production, one can consider this an “attack” on “Culture” because she may (or may not) have “used a search engine/ and mocked the living end” (10) when writing her poems. In other words, if one “love[s] Literature” (1), implementing previous methods of production functions less as an act of reverence toward one’s art form, and more as destructive stagnation; or, as the poem “Brute” informs its readers: “‘catastrophe is convention’” (8). Moreover, Boyer’s poems ask readers to question their methods of production and material realities”
The Romance of Happy Workers, Coffee House Press, 2008
Huffington Post: “These deeply challenging poems courageously seek to agitate rather than placate. Willfully political, Boyer’s verse spears the sacrosanct at every turn — precisely the sort of dynamic, subversive quality one could wish to see more of in contemporary poetry. Those not yet initiates to this sort of frenetic, disjunctive, tonally and sonically fraught, citational, implied-narrative verse may balk; they should get over themselves. Boyer’s poetry provides a tantalizing and exhilarating glimpse of the future of American verse.”
Nathan Logan, Galatea Resurrects: “The Romance of Happy Workers is something that no lover of poetry can put down once they’ve had a taste of it. “
Mary Kasimor, Jacket Magazine: “(Boyer) uses the common and everyday to express the mystical revelations of an ordinary life; however, what she is really telling me is that there is nothing ordinary, or it is sublime in its ordinary nature — and that is the secret of these homely places. In her poems the obvious becomes an awareness that we live in unaware ways.”
Doug Korb at Barrelhouse: “Anne Boyer is a fighting poet. Her poems not only wrestle form but also continually challenge the ideologies we (as readers) have so long taken as “the standard.” For those of us who feel Ashbery and Ammons are the end of the Romantic line, it may come as a pleasant surprise to know that Anne Boyer is vivaciously picking up that dim torch and dipping it in kerosene.”