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The Book

IATSOE Bookcover


(Surveyor Books, 2020)

What does the campaign-speak and/or ideology that filters into our everyday speech actually mean when we use it to define ourselves, or others? What are we willing to say to our friends and acquaintances in the name of debate? How deeply are American party affiliations rooted in real belief versus a taste for rhetorical bloodsport? Under what circumstances is democracy more noise than signal?

I AM THIS STATE OF EMERGENCY is a collection of poems that addresses these questions, but does not necessarily answer them. Composed over the better part of a decade, the book is an epic take on the stakes of personal communication in an era where politics infuses everything.

Available from most booksellers in your neighborhood online. Options outside the U.S. include Waterstones, Saxo, Book Depository and of course Amazon, which is everywhere. If you enjoy supporting independent bookstores and small presses, IATSOE is also available at Bookshop, direct from Surveyor and at Deep Vellum Books in Dallas.

Visit the NEWS page for IATSOE reviews, happenings and events.

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"With nods to O'Hara, Coolidge and Armantrout, Myrick chases the liminal moment." — William Lessard, Poetry and Hybrid Editor, HEAVY FEATHER REVIEW

"This collection asks us to consider our own everyday experiences of political language, and how our relationships are shaped by those interactions. ... Profound and illuminating, this book is a must-read." — Logen Cure, author of WELCOME TO MIDLAND

"Myrick's endlessly innovative poems transfigure the collective transcript of our last decade, showing us what better things we can do with words. 'The only way out is out,' she insists, and with this collection, points us towards the exits. A labor of love for the body politic, and a powerful, arresting debut." — Janet Sarbanes, author of THE PROTESTER HAS BEEN RELEASED and ARMY OF ONE

"Harnessing a docupoetics that returns poetry to the street, to the town hall meeting, to language as a state of emergence and exigency, I AM THIS STATE OF EMERGENCY asks us to consider listening as a poetics and a political praxis. Informed by information theory's foundational tenet, this is a book that takes noise as more than necessary; as narrative itself." — Chris Campanioni, author of THE INTERNET IS FOR REAL and A AND B AND ALSO NOTHING

"Robin Myrick has collected a cornucopia of conversations about American values and distilled them into tragicomedy for our times. ... Through a good long rubberneck at the morbid curiosities we've become to each other, what her poems reveal about American nature is terrifying, hilarious, and always full of heart. It's impossible to look away." — Cole Cohen, author of HEAD CASE

"Myrick has brilliantly imploded the bumper sticker stick-it-to-em, unearthing the true slogans of our time: a puzzle of contradictions, double standards, ironies — even thinly concealed hurt — and a devotion to the divide itself. Angry voter tirades are blasted open, pulled apart, taken to their logical conclusion, and smartly juxtaposed, each poetic turn an uncomfortable revelation inciting laughter, horror, and contemplation. It's precisely in Myrick's unwavering attentiveness to the us vs. them rhetoric that these poems point us elsewhere, lead us to unexpected places." — Stephen van Dyck, author of PEOPLE I'VE MET FROM THE INTERNET

"There is no easy way to explain what Myrick has captured by listening to the great unwashed body politic of America. Chaos and complications of political opinion as raw sewage. Or vomit on the family carpet. The kind of vile, twisted crazy talk one might hear in a mall, a town-hall, or a line at the pharmacy. ... Safe to say it is a fascinating glimpse into our collective disturbed mind. But not necessarily safe to read. The People, No!" — Kevin Russell, Shinyribs and The Gourds

Visit Surveyor to learn more about the book and read full-length versions of the accolades sampled above.

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Catalogues / Anthologies

(University of Texas at Dallas, 2016)

Exhibition catalog for the Tracy Hicks career retrospective at UT Dallas, curated by Greg Metz. Essays by Metz, Whitney Stewart, Ramona Austin, Kimberley Alexander, John F. Simmons, Robin Myrick and Kael Alford. Myrick also edited the catalog, which was designed by Spencer Brown-Pearn.

(Which Witch L.A., 2015)

This anthology featured panelists and participants from the AND NOW: BLAST RADIUS conference. All of the writing included was created during a marathon 72-hour literary residency at the legendary Saugus Cafe in Santa Clarita, California.

Flip through the book to read Myrick's poem "And Hold" (pages 67-68) and a lot of great stuff from other authors of note.

(Smith/Dietz/McParland, 2014)

Four photos from Myrick's glitch series appear in this serial anthology, which features visual art, poetry and fiction.

(Calarts, 2009)

This anthology features alumni from the Calarts MFA Writing and Critical Studies program.

Read an excerpt from Myrick's poem series in the collection, Our Relationship in 20 Concerts or Less. The poems first appeared in the anthology CHRONOMETRY: A COLLECTION OF TIME-BASED WRITINGS AND EPHEMERA (Superchen, 2008).

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Selected Other Publications

Early poems from IATSOE were published in {out of nothing}. The 5th issue, out of a system declaring nothing out of relevance, features a version of poems #19 and #51 along with several of Myrick's photographs.

Myrick wrote the introduction to Joe Milazzo's novel CRESPESCULE W/NELLIE, which appeared in both editions (most recently, The Accomplices, 2018). Excerpts from the novel and the intro are available at the link.

Myrick was a contributing editor at Entropy and also served as arts and culture editor in the publication's early days. The Election Poems series that eventually became IATSOE ran there first, from March to November of 2016. While that series is no longer available, some of Myrick's interviews (Art Moves: Sara-Vide Ericson, Interview: Charissa Terranova) pop culture pieces (Mad Men's Long Goodbye) and other writing remains in the Entropy archive. She also appears in a number of the collaborative Sunday Lists, including First Best Friend and Strange Clinical Stories.

Semigloss #3: Failure featured Myrick's essay Glitch is a Failure to Communicate, along with a couple of photographs from the glitch series.

City of _________: Dispatches from 16 Dallas Poets was a project created in response to the events of July 7, 2016 in downtown Dallas. Myrick contributed the closing poem. The project was featured in D Magazine and the Dallas Morning News.

Also of note (for the completists): Myrick started out as a sprout of a journalist at Houston's legendary indie Public News, and served as music editor there for a spell during its heyday. Other newspapers and alt weeklies where Myrick's byline once appeared include the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Chronicle, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Observer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston City Magazine, Houston Press and Miami New Times.


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