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Rae Armantrout
Precedence

1985
poems, 48 pp., LP, smyth-sewn
ISBN 0-930901-24-x, paper $14
Out of Print

"The poetry gleams with the kind of clarity that comes only from honing down to the necessary syllables ... the beauty is A's quiet understated control. So that, finally, the work unsettles, stays with the reader and unnerves."

--Keith Shein, The SF Examiner


"A.'s phrasing and sculptured concision give her poems an exceptional formal coherence. Her ear shapes solid landscapes.... More typically she prefers an elusive humor, layered with parody and occasionally populated by cartoon characters in various stages of panic. The offhandedness of her manner is belied by the complex emotional charge she gets from apparently banal materials."

--Geoffrey O'Brien, Voice Literary Supplement


"Armantrout's poems ride the fence of the Language School movement. Precedence features poems of wit and humor not typical of the movement."

--John Stickney, The Columbus Dispatch


"Radiant with interest"

--Lyn Hejinian


"Hard edge.... [She] uses words with laser precision to explore facets which a lesser intelligence would never notice. Her sense of the essential is unfailing."

--Ron Silliman