Naturalism, by Wendy Xu

  • Wendy Xu
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by Wendy Xu

Pub Date: November 15, 2015
42 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-936767-44-1

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“Wendy Xu’s verse nonchalantly approaches, coffee in hand, whispering Can we talk? Earnest and with a quick wit, Xu moves through a contemporary landscape where a ‘half slower good death,’ is the best that can be desired, where the speaker can only visualize a connection of disambiguation, ‘The it of love was on my mind.’  Through diction and syntax Xu creates unsettling juxtapositions that make us think and feel, make amorous intellectualizations. I highly recommend Naturalism.”

David Tomas Martinez


“The tremendous pleasure of following the vectors of Wendy Xu’s sharp and sparkling mind makes these poems transformative. ‘What if truly one builds an empire of doubt,’ she asks and so an uncanny world she builds that lives in opening, endless, glimmering opening. Elegant. Outright dangerous. She is leading my sight across our terrific landscape. No, she’s building it in me.”

Solmaz Sharif


Wendy XuWendy Xu is the author of You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013) and the recipient of a 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. Her writing has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Poetry, Guernica, Gulf Coast, jubilat, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches writing at CUNY.

Review by John Ruffo, for Ploughshares

“Instead of a surrealism based on “what if” and fantasy, the approach of Naturalism relies on flipping perception of pre-conceived, accepted, or currently understood systems of language. For Naturalism makes you realize how bizarre the “natural” world really feels. It’s how much a hurt can become, how much an everyday phrase can insidiously work and worm through, how much we disbelieve our own beliefs when we begin investigation.”

Inteview with Kaveh Akbar, for Divedapper

“I like the word “ecosystem” to describe the world of a poem, or maybe the world of the language of a poet in general. The stripping away of a conventional syntactical infrastructure is something that I think about a lot, very purposefully.”