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Deus Ex Machina: A Melodrama

Deus Ex Machina: A Melodrama


Jennifer Pilch


    2015, 112 pages

    ISBN 978-0-932716-84-2



    Deus Ex Machina by Jennifer Pilch was selected by judge Myung Mi Kim as Winner of the 2015 Kelsey Street Press FIRSTS! Contest. In this series of first books by emerging writers, Kelsey Street Press continues to link its editorial policy of addressing the marginalization of women writers to a poetics of allowance that encourages women to write directly from their own creative imperatives.



    Jennifer Pilch is the author of four chapbooks: Profil Perdu (Greying Ghost Press), Mother Color (Konundrum Engine Editions), Bulb-Setting (Dancing Girl Press), and Sequoia Graffiti (Projective Industries, 2016). Her poems have appeared in American Letters & CommentaryDenver QuarterlyDrunken BoatFenceHarp & AltarThe Iowa ReviewNew American WritingSummer StockTarpaulin Sky MagazineWestern Humanities Review, and many others. She studied photography at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago before anything else. She is founding editor of La Vague Journal.


    Her first full-length book, Deus Ex Machina, was selected by Myung Mi Kim as the winner of Kelsey Street's FIRSTS! contest.


    Jennifer Pilch's Deus Ex Machina pulls the ache from a fractured century, stitching the bloom past artifice into an urgent, prismatic form unlike any we have seen. Each voice "risks/transforms night" into "a blossom that punctures that blots." A book like this, assembled from music and ruin and light, is rare and necessary.

    —Joshua Poteat


    In Deus Ex Machina, Jennifer Pilch crashes classical tragedy into melodrama, foregrounding the parameters of representation in an analog of early photography's impact. With lush language, she explores the photograph's obviating violence, focusing on the "taken" part of the picture and the lens's seizure of sensory mechanics. Working at varying distances from the stage, the page, and the photographic image, her historical characters successively worry the line between romance and fidelity, presence and preservation, and contend with a colonizing mode of "perception stuck to where there's light."

    —Kate Colby



    Amina Cain in Conversation with Jennifer Pilch on the KSP Blog

    An Excerpt from Deus Ex Machina on the KSP Blog 

    An excerpt from Deus Ex Machina in Tarpulin Sky Magazine

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